When it comes to home life and the relationships within, stress can be an incredibly damaging element. Our anxiety levels peak, our reactivity tends to rise in direct alignment. We can become snappy, short-tempered, and even aggressive, which is both confusing and upsetting for those around us. Left unchecked, this pattern can lead to long-term communication breakdown.
How We Operate
None of us operate at our very best when we feel under pressure. Realistically, stress is an unavoidable fact of home life that we cannot always prevent. However, there are many powerful ways to overcome its hold on our emotional balance to take better care of the relationships we care about most. Thankfully—this article is here to help!
Your natural stress response might be to avoid talking about what’s happening. However, the opposite is necessary if you want to stay connected in your household relationships. Whether it’s with a partner, family member, or roommate, an open line of conversation is necessary for all parties to feel safe and honest about their feelings. Without honesty, family bonds are threatened.
Make The Time
When home chores and family responsibilities mount up, our relationship focus can begin to dwindle. We lurch distractedly from one day to the next while telling ourselves we will eventually find time to talk. However, we must create specific times to connect to allow space to communicate effectively. Regular conversational check-ins will soon lead to ‘home-team success.
Talking about how stress makes you feel at a time when you feel calm can be enlightening for others. Set aside quality time to talk through how it feels when you’re overwhelmed. Discuss what would be helpful to you. Perhaps you prefer not to have solutions thrown at you. You might just need a listening ear. Or maybe physical reassurance, such as a hug, would be beneficial.
Communication is Teamwork
Communication is fundamental to teamwork—a family is a team, after all. Therefore, make the crucial effort to ensure you each feel heard. When you’re talking about a problem, particularly if it’s one within the home, make sure you each have space to talk. Resist the urge to interrupt when others are voicing their feelings. You might be surprised at what you learn about them.
Ensure that you allow space within your home routine or work schedule for great communication practices. Tackling a stress-loaded issue while you’re getting ready for work one morning is not going to lead to positive results. Most likely, you’ll lead your day feeling agitated and unclear about what’s happening. Choose regular time slots that suit you both to talk freely.
Put Away Distraction
There is nothing more deflating than opening up to someone before witnessing them glance down at a notification on their phone. This toxic habit can stop a great conversation dead in its tracks. Set aside those digital vices and turn to face one another. Grab some coffee to share and get comfortable. Calmer environments lead to better home communication.
Most importantly—acknowledge consciously that home communication may not always go to plan. Stress can sneak up on us. We might fail to initiate a difficult conversation at an appropriate time or say something we later regret. You are wonderfully human, and the process of relationship-building is ongoing. Be forgiving with yourself and others. You’ve got this!