Research your family

by Rod Smith

There are a number of ways to improve your family relationships. But, before you know what needs improving I’d suggest you do your research. 

At least for a few weeks watch for family patterns. You may think you know all about all the patterns but I would suggest you probably do not. Watch who is lazy (under-performs, is apparently helpless) when it comes to relationships and who works too hard (over-performs). You may also notice that such people tend to find each other and can dance this way for years. Notice where and how you over and under-perform. There is no need to comment. Watch, learn, and think.

Assess how you can more pointedly show up for yourself, self advocate, shape your own behavior within all your many contexts (home, work, social settings). I am not promoting selfishness but self-awareness. So, watch yourself. Become an expert in your behavior. Abdicate the role of being the expert in the behavior of all other family members and friends. Don’t do this dangerous work for them.

While researching, think about how you will know if things are improving so you will be able to identify successes. Focus on your thinking rather than feelings. You will think and behave yourself into new ways of feeling, not the reverse.

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