body language

Family Matters – How to use your body language around family to improve relations

Throughout the years I’ve learnt to love that my family knows me so well. They know my mannerisms, they understand my quirky sense of humour, my ‘concentration face’ when I’m trying to focus or I’m absorbed into something. Unfortunately, they also know when I’m feigning interest, am distracted or irritated. In order to live an authentic life and foster deeper intimacy with family it’s important to be open, honest and assertive, expressing your feelings, thoughts, opinions and beliefs in a diplomatic and respectful way.


I’m certainly not suggesting we should cover up our true feelings or put on a mask by using body language strategically, rather what I am suggesting is that by consciously being aware of our body language we can emphasise our interest or even stop aggressive body language which often fuels disagreements.


Below I have outlined some common body language which can serve to keep the peace or show your interest:


The 10 Key Behaviors That Will Ensure Strong Family Bonds Over the Holidays Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Like most families, my family has had its ups and downs. During my teenage years my household had its turbulent moments. There were times when we spoke in anger and communicated poorly. There were times when we felt unheard and misunderstood.


As I’ve matured and reflected on the part that I had to play, I realize that my approach to my family has changed over the years. I’ve learnt assertiveness and developed the capacity to both say sorry and forgive quickly. I have tried to empathize and understand my parents as best I can. I’ve made a point of spending quality time with them and have expressed my love more.


But even the strongest of families can have difficulty over the holidays, when stress is high and tensions fraught. Visits from extended family and the desire to host ‘the perfect Christmas’ all serve to add pressure to an already stressful time of year.


I realize now that there were ten key behaviors I fostered to deepen my family bonds. Use these behaviors to ensure your family bonds remain strong over this holiday season, allowing you to navigate the holidays with grace and ease.


How to enhance friendships by listening intently so your friends feel valued and understood

Most people want to feel valued and understood, especially by their friends. Whilst I haven’t always agreed with my friends opinions, I have always tried to understand their perspective. When we listen intently to our friends and seek to understand them on a deeper level, both intellectually in terms of their rational and emotionally, we develop greater intimacy with them and strengthen trust. Below are just some of the ways you can show your friends you are listening intently, thereby enhancing your friendship.


  • Use positive body language: Tilting your head to the side, mirroring their body language and pointing your feet in their direction all indicate an interest in what is being said and that you are actively listening.