How to Build Better Family Communication Published June 5, 2020 By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Marty Clary 139th Airlift Wing ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- One way to cool rising tension and anger in your family is to talk things out before they reach a boiling point. Some helpful tips to do this are: 1) Be considerate. This means talking to others in a civil manner and taking their feelings into account. 2) Try to see others viewpoint. Restate what the person said in your own words in order to make sure you understand their viewpoint. 3) Ask how the other person feels about what you are saying. Make sure that the message you intend to send is the one being received. 4) Don’t monopolize. Don’t do all the talking yourself, in fact, try to listen more than you talk. 5) Respond to the other person. Express you own thoughts and feelings about what the other person has said. 6) If you’re feeling good, say so. If the other person has said something to make you feel good, let them know it. Another good tip is to learn how to listen. All of us want and need to be listened to. If you extend this courtesy to others, you are more likely to receive it in turn. Listening takes time and energy, but it’s worth the effort. Some tips on listening: 1) Maintain eye contact 2) Be aware the signals you are sending 3) Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What are they hearing, thinking feeling, etc 4) Don’t interrupt 5) Be aware of body language (yours and theirs) 6) Ask pertinent questions Good communication skills can enhance all of your relationships and make everyday life easier and more enjoyable. Give it a try!