Staying in touch with family promotes good health

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

Family communication is a critical component in maintaining strong relationships and overall well-being. According to psychologist John Northman, feeling connected within a family contributes to happiness, mental health, and even physical health. The importance of communication in families is backed by strong research, as highlighted in the Handbook of Family Communication by Anita Vangelisti.

While communication can strengthen relationships, it can also have negative impacts, as seen in the case of deployed soldiers who may experience mixed emotions when in contact with their families. Vangelisti emphasizes that good family communication is essential for providing support and a sense of belonging. Different forms of support within families include emotional, esteem, network, informational, and tangible support.

However, maintaining communication within families can be challenging, especially with the rise of digital communication. Psychologist Arthur Bodin warns about the potential misunderstandings that can arise from emails, texts, or phone calls lacking visual cues. Despite the challenges, any form of communication is better than none, as Vangelisti points out.

When it comes to initiating communication, Vangelisti suggests asking rather than demanding, and understanding the need for flexibility and respect. Additionally, psychologist David Olson's Circumplex Model emphasizes the importance of togetherness, flexibility, and communication within marital and family systems.

Overall, communication is vital in both families of orientation (the family one is born into) and families of procreation (the family one creates). By focusing on listening skills, speaking skills, self-disclosure, clarity, continuity tracking, and respect, families can navigate transitions and maintain strong connections.

Despite the challenges that may arise, the unique bond of family provides a strong foundation for maintaining relationships and supporting one another through life's ups and downs. As Northman notes, the ties of family can withstand the test of time and adversity, making families a source of strength and connection.


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