How to start a family conversation

There are very few things that are as intense or more primal and complicated as family. You can’t choose your family members, yet you are connected to them for your entire life. In our special Love & Life, you can read an article about family feeling. Below we give 3 tips on how to start a family conversation.

  1. What is my share?: According to Dutch psychologist Marjan de Vries it’s important to always be willing to look at your own contribution to a situation. What is your role and are you clearly indicting your limits? It’s also important to acknowledge your family member’s feelings: “I’m sorry I made you feel sad.”
  2. I’d like it if…: “Don’t express expectations you have of your family as an expectation but as a wish. That way you don’t get bogged down in an atmosphere of indirect rebukes,” advises De Vries. “What’s more, it’s very therapeutic to express what your needs are.”
  3. Go for a walk: According to Australian-born social philosopher Roman Krznaric, if you simply take the time to do something fun in a relaxed atmosphere, with your brother or stepmother for example, conversations can easily take an unexpected direction.

Text Otje van der Lelij Illustrations Ruby Taylor