Monday, November 13, 2017

Family Conversation

Kyeongyang magazine has an article on the keys for family dialogue by a layperson involved in diocesan pastoral work.  He has worked on programs for families for many years but reminds the readers that monks can't cut their own hair. Looking over his own conduct in the family many are his faults as a father and husband. During a family fight his wife often lets him hear:"A developer of family programs is that all that I can expect from you?"

Knowing the way and walking the way are two different realities. However, knowing what to do makes the doing a lot easier. Working on family relationships a question he often receives: What is the secret in family dialogue? He has listed them for the readers; gathered from his experience even though he's still a learner.

1) Talking begins with the eyes and not the mouth.

2) Speak with warmth in the voice. When the words expressed are kind, the ones returned will be warm and kind. When the words heard are not, responding  with warmth and kindness that is love.

3) Keep the words you speak and the ones you hear at a ratio of 50 to 50. Like in Ping Pong give and take should be the same. Monopolizing the conversation is bad but so is not speaking. In the family, others know what is in the heart in the degree it's made known. 

4) The reason for dialogue is to understand and to sympathize with what is spoken. We express our love with our words. Speaking is not to make everything come out the way the speaker wants.

5) Putting oneself in the other person's shoes.  But no matter how much we try we will never understand the other completely. Like the words of the  song: "I don't know even myself how can I know you."

6) Speak from the heart. Speak frankly, plainly,  gently and with few words. More important than speaking frankly and plainly is to speak gently. More than the truth spoken is the respect one has for the person speaking.

7) Don't compare to others. For Catholics to compare with Jesus and the Blessed Mother is an attack on the family. Speak only what is seen without comparisons.

8) Better to speak about what is desired than what is not: positive instead of negative.

9) Speaking with a smile.

10) Listen to all that the family member wants to say and not prevent them from speaking fully.

11)  Physical  contact with the person your speaking  is a help in being understood.

12) Honest agreement shown in response to what you hear that comes from the heart.

13)  Better than asking questions with a yes or no answer, ask open questions: What do you think about this etc.? 

14) When speaking agitated that is the end of dialogue.

15) Speak about dreams of the family members.

He concludes the article by reminding the readers this is for those reading the article. Expecting this to be the response of the family members, better to forget all that was said.

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