Your relationship with your family can have a huge impact on your life. It can affect many things, ranging from your social skills and your mental health to your physical health, needs, and career. In fact, the way you feel at any given moment is often influenced by your family.
Considering this, if your relationship with them is not the best, your life can quickly become miserable. It might even lead to substance abuse and addiction. If you have already found yourself in such a situation, get help today and take back control of your life.
Whatever the reason for your poor family relationship, you can always do something about it, including cutting ties with the most toxic family members or even checking into a substance abuse treatment center. However, in most cases, talking to your family members, explaining to them how you feel and what you need can do wonders. But where should you start?
Write Things Down
First of all, you might want to write your thoughts and feelings down on a piece of paper. That way, you can better understand what is troubling you and what you want to achieve. If you are not used to writing, you can use your computer instead.
Once you do that, write down the ways you think you can change your situation. Then, choose the ones you can actually put into action. Make sure that you understand your own needs and fears though and do not force yourself to do things that are way out of your comfort zone just yet.
All in all, writing down your thoughts will help you determine what is actually bothering you. When you are done, you will be able to think more clearly and act decisively. You will also have a clear understanding of what and where you need to make a change.
Plan It Out
Your next step is to make a detailed plan. It needs to include the following things.
- When are you going to talk to your family? – It is better not to put it off again and again. That kind of approach will just make you feel more frustrated, and as such, it is best avoided.
- What are you going to discuss? – Write down what you think you want to talk about. To make it less confusing and stressful, you can write down what you want to say word for word and read it out loud to your family members later.
- Who do you want to talk to? – You do not have to talk to every single member of your family in one day. You can always plan out a few meetings over a longer period of time to make it less overwhelming.
- What are your expectations? – You need to know what you want your relationship with your family members to be like. If you do not think about that, your efforts might end up being ineffective.
- Who will help you and support you during the discussion? – If you are afraid of talking to your family members on your own, you can always take your friend or significant other with you. It will make you feel more confident.
Once your plan is ready, make sure to go over it once again before the meeting. If that will make you feel better, make notes in your notebook about every single conversation. This will help you keep track of what is going on and avoid unnecessary arguments and confusion.
Have a Support Network
If you do not feel like you are strong enough to talk to your family members about what is troubling you, make sure to build a support network. Such a network consists of people that you can trust and turn to if you ever need to talk things out.
Your team can consist of many people. Here are a few possibilities that you might want to take into consideration.
- Parents – If the relationship between you and your parents is good, then they will provide you with the support you need. On top of that, they might know some things about certain family members that you do not. Having access to that information can be quite helpful.
- Siblings – If you have siblings, it is very likely that they support and accept you.
- Friends – Supportive friends can be incredibly helpful when it comes to improving your family relationship. They are the ones that you can count on whenever you need help and the ones you can talk to without having to fear that they will judge you.
- Therapist – Speak with them before meeting up with your family members. You might want to go over your plan with them and see what they have to say about it. Their insight can prove to be really valuable.
What If You Feel Too Afraid?
If you are not ready to talk to your family members about your relationship, then consider finding alternative ways of letting them know how you feel. There are many options that you can choose from, ranging from text messages and e-mails to letters. In some cases, this is the better option, as it can help you avoid getting into a shouting match.
While improving your family relationship might seem like an impossible task, you should definitely give it a try. It might be an important step on the way to recovering from being emotionally and physically abused, as well as dealing with mental health issues. If it does not work out, cutting ties with your family is always a viable option.