Are you having a difficult time accepting new members as a part of your family? Or do you feel you need to put in more effort to make them feel at home in their new surroundings?
All relationships deserve the basics, that is love, respect, kindness, and care. But sometimes when new people become a part of your family you might experience some confusion or refrain from accepting them. It’s natural and there are tons of ways out of this feeling. While all relationships and people are different, the following are some general areas you can work on to improve your relationship:
1. Give them space
When new people enter your family chances of them being different are 110%. At this point, it’s important to realize that being different is not equivalent to being difficult. You might not be accustomed to their way of living but you sure can learn their way of doing things and make your way around it.
Give them some time and space to do the same for you. When someone becomes a part of a new surrounding it takes them some time and observation to adjust. It’s not that they are not trying. We all are trying, subconsciously if not consciously. Your mind is always learning new ways for better survival. Giving them some time and space will help them sort out things. In the meantime, you can continue doing things the way you used to or better still, improve if you see them doing it in a better way.
2. Set boundaries early on
There are some areas of life where you just can not compromise. It’s important to make sure you are not being very difficult or picky here. As discussed earlier, people become accustomed to their new surroundings in a while. While you are trying to give them space, it’s crucial to set healthy boundaries at the same time as well.
If you let them continue with something, over time it will become a habit. Habits are hard to change. If you don’t like someone calling you with a nickname, or addressing you a particular way, or interfering with your work in any manner, the right time to tell them to not do it is at the very start.
Be mindful of being very kind in addressing the issue. I would advise you to first write your conversation on a piece of paper and then revise it at least three times to make sure it’s the kindest possible while conveying your feelings.
3. Shift your focus
You need to focus more on yourself than on them because you are in control of yourself. If there is anything you feel should change, remember for someone to change, they need to acknowledge the problem, identify it and then work towards improving on it. Sadly, you can’t make everyone do that. But what you can do is be your best self in response to their behavior.
Not saying you shouldn’t address things if they are significant. But many times it’s just a change in personality that makes it a bit difficult to accept people.
4. Kindness paves the way
For most people, going a bit out of the way and doing something nice for them is a great ice-breaker. Do it out of your pure intentions and not just to gain acknowledgment or appreciation for your efforts. Over time this will smoothly carve your relationship with them. What I’ve always regretted is being rude to people without first understanding them.
Generally in life, I have a rule, be kind to the people who are kind to you, forgive the people who are mostly kind to you but sometimes lose themselves and hurt you, because that’s a part of being human, and avoid people who are generally rude to you for no good reason. I learned this method in Eric Barker’s Barking Up the Wrong Tree where he calls it the Generous Tit for Tat method. Be good to those good to you, forgive those who are sometimes off, and then for those who make it hard to deal with, deal in a way appropriate for them.
5. What expectations can you meet?
We all have our bar of expectations with every relationship we have in our life. Sometimes that bar is up high and sometimes it’s not. People have their own bars set too. Personally, I don’t believe in the advice of not expecting anything from anyone. Being humans we will expect. But setting the bar right is the key. Also, it’s crucial to understand we are humans, not every time will someone come upon our expectations and that’s okay.
As we expect from others, so do they expect from us. When entering new relationships or when accepting new people into the family understand their expectations from you. Then mentally take notes on what you are interested in doing for them and then make another list of things that don’t require much effort but doing them will help break the ice in your relationship. It’s okay to go a little out of the way once in a while to make room in someone’s heart. It usually pays back. The universe always returns the reward for your deeds.
In the end, remember all relationships require effort. It depends on you how much you are willing to invest in order for it to work out. Most of the time, a little goes a long way. Good people remember the good you did for them and naturally try to return it when their time comes. Even if they don’t, your intention in the first place should be to improve relationships for you. The return is then complimentary. On the other hand, some people, 1 out of 100, will never return you anything good. These people are your test. You have to learn your way around them. But you sure can work on a way that gives you your peace of mind when around them.
What areas do you think you need to improve in order to maintain or improve your relationships with your family members?
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