Tools & Tips for Healthy Family Dynamics

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Our tools and tips come directly from our podcast episodes. To fully understand the context of our tools & tips, please listen to each podcast episode (72. A New You: E34 – Healthy Family Dynamics, 73. A New You: E35 – Healthy Family Dynamics II, 74. A New You: E36 – Healthy Family Dynamics (Tools & Tips)). You may consider listening to the episode (71. A New You: E33 - I Am Not Invisible) which introduces this podcast segment. Lastly, we recommend picking one or two items to start focusing on. Jot down how you want to put these things into practice as well as your progression in them. When you are proactive in taking small steps, before you know it, you would have walked a mile, or two, or three.

  1. The first tip is if you have not heard it before, we all got problems! I guess that’s not a tip rather a statement of fact. The tip is while we all have our journey, there are common experiences that we possess. In these common experiences, we also have resources to help us through them. Feel free to check-out Tanya’s resources. She listed a lot of resources during the interview, for anxiety and support groups. Feel free to browse the listing.
  2. Tanya talked about interpersonal effectiveness. This tool involves healthy communication. Learn how to express your needs and feelings healthily. She suggests being assertive, not aggressive or passive. I will admit for those who are learning how to do this, the temptation is to beat everyone into submission so that you are understood and heard. Unfortunately, this response causes more harm and usually, the opposite person no longer wants to be around you. You can start small by saying I require 5 minutes to process our interaction before I respond. This small act goes a long way as you are voicing your need to pause. Your need to regroup. Hopefully, in the regroup time, you can determine the root cause of the emotion bubbling up. Once you regroup, began the conversation with I statements. Tanya provided examples, by stating I feel hurt or disappointed when you blame me for x,y, and z.
  3.  Sometimes you need more than five minutes and that’s okay. Tanya once again spoke about the joys of journaling. In journaling, you have the opportunity to let those emotions and thoughts out. Let them run free. She indicated that when we keep those items bottled up, it can lead to anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues.
  4. Tip number 4, while you are working tip number 2 & 3, this is a great time to ask yourself questions to identify the hurt and deep feelings. If another person is contributing to the hurt and deep feelings, then this is also an opportunity to ask more questions. These questions now involve placing yourself in their shoes, i.e. how would I respond if x,y, and z happened to me. The x,y, and z are your behaviors toward the individual. Once you do this, you can also ask the other person to do the same. Overall, you are requesting that you both see your part in the situation.
  5. Tip number 5, actually includes tip numbers 2, 3, and 4. Yes, we are building. Tip number 5 deals with managing your anger. To manage your anger, Tanya suggests journaling, praying, and healthy communication. See tip number 5 encompasses all the others and helps to manage our anger.
  6. I like this tip. Tip number 6 is healthy distractions. Yes, sometimes grown-ups require time outs too. These time outs should be filled with fun or change of environment. Tanya suggested playing a game, praying, going for a walk. If you cannot get out of the house, doing household chores helps too. The premise is to take a break so that you can return to the matter at hand refreshed.
  7. Tip number 7, come up with a game plan so that when circumstances arise, you already have tactics in place. For instance, I learned that when I am feeling overwhelmed by a conversation, I make a request that we either pray or take a moment to revisit the situation when I can think more clearly. Honestly, my first line of defense has become, can we pray! Works every time!
  8. Overcome evil with good. Tanya reminded us that love covers a multitude of sins. I will preface this statement by she is not stating remain in an abusive relationship. Rather there are moments when we are heated that we lash out. Instead of lashing, the goal is to practice good behaviors. These good behaviors include being humble and no longer thinking about having it your way.
  9. Tip number 9, we have shared numerously throughout the show as well that is practicing breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques. Tanya expressed her mental happy place is envisioning herself on the beach, listening to the waves, walking barefoot through the sand. Go ahead, pick a place for yourself.
  10. Our last tip, do the work. I like how Tanya identified doing the work to establish a safe place for real communication. When we put in the work for healthy communication, we realize that we do not have to be invisible, but we also do not have to be enablers or co-dependent.