Family communication

The article that I chose is called “Building Strong Families.” The article itself focused on the various aspects of family communication and how to communicate with the various hierarchies that exist within the family domain. It speaks on the value of non-verbal communication as well as the value of listening in every relationship that one has, not just within the family. The article talks about the four ways or “four horsemen” of negative communication that create barriers within family or spousal communication: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. The article says that these four horsemen are the cause of emotional overwhelming. When someone becomes overwhelmed with his or her emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration, or depression. The main conclusion in my eyes is that people need to understand how important non-verbal communication is as well as the fact that communication in its most simple form is a two-way street.


This article talks at points about the differences in communication within the family and various blocks that may come in the way of effective communication. One of these blocks that I believe I experience most often is the hierarchical ceiling that exists within each family when conversation or communication is initiated. For instance, my father is the son of a Baptist reverend. He was raised with respect and to be respectful of others especially in terms of your elders and those that carry authority. My mother on the other hand was raised by one of the first Mexican union leaders in the steel mill region where I was raised. She was raised to believe if you are right, speak your mind and let it be known that your belief or your idea is superior or more correct than those above you. I was raised with a mixture of both of these beliefs and have made a talent out of walking the fine line that exists between those two worlds. When my father has an idea or a notion to do something, he does it. However, sometimes he is extremely hard headed about his ways of doing things. Sometimes, I like to shoot him a few pointers on how to save time or energy on something. Now the biggest communication barrier that exists between my father and I is that hierarchical barrier that exists. He is the chief or leader of the household and I am merely his offspring. Yet, sometimes it just makes sense to tell someone to walk straight rather than zigzag through the park. This hierarchical barrier is difficult yet not impenetrable. What is needed in this scenario is time, respect, and making sure that it is known that the person who is the “chief” within their family is still acknowledged as such.


This article, albeit a good article to read, was loosely related to the text that we were assigned. I found it extremely hard to find a related article to the topic without finding some kind of spousal therapy site or fathers rights believe it or not. However I feel as though this article did a good job of describing at least one or two aspects of family communication.


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