A Lack of Communication
This article was originally written for an assignment I was given by my professor, while enrolled in a writing class. I have held on to the essay since that time and wanted to share it because I feel it addresses an important topic. Communication within a family. In this article I describe how a lack of communication had a negative effect on me throughout my childhood and early adulthood. I hope this article helps readers understand the value and importance of effectively communicating with family and loved ones.
A Lack of Communication
In the article, “What Good Families Are Doing Right”, Delores Curran discusses the importance of communication and gives examples of several methods that are used by healthy families. According to Delores Curran, “Communication is the most important element of family life because it is basic to loving relationships.” After reading this article, I thought about the lack of communication within my own family and the effect it had on me. As a result of poor family communication, I struggled with low self esteem, had a difficult time maintaining meaningful relationships, and did not develop the coping skills that are necessary to thrive in the outside world.
One thing that was affected by poor family communication was my self esteem. Curran discusses the importance of listening and responding, and how this method allows members of a family to show that they are interested in one another. Growing up I felt that my family did not take the time to really listen to me, and it was extremely rare to receive any type of response. This lack of interest caused me to feel insignificant in relation to not only my family, but to anyone that I would encounter in my daily life. When a family does not listen to one another they are inadvertently telling one another that what they have to say is not worthwhile. These feelings of worthlessness are the reason for the low self esteem. Fortunately, I was able to overcome these feelings in my adult life, but I wonder how many people continue to struggle with similar issues throughout their lives, as a result of lack of communication in their families.
Another way in which I was affected by the lack of family communication was in my inability to maintain close and meaningful relationships with others. It was not acceptable to discuss individual feelings or thoughts when I was growing up. In fact, my parents perceived any attempt to express opinions or ideas that differed from their own as a sign of disrespect. It was also unacceptable to ask my parents to share any personal information. Because my family did not communicate effectively within the home, I was unable to communicate with my peers outside of the home. I did not know how to share with others and like my parents I did not feel comfortable discussing anything personal. Many of my relationships quickly dwindled because I was unable to open up and talk about life or anything else for that matter.
The last way in which I was affected by a lack of communication is the underdevelopment of coping skills that are necessary to survive in the adult world. Entering the world on my own as an adult was extremely difficult, because I had no idea how to deal with the things that life throws at you. Whenever I was presented with an obstacle I panicked. While most people would take the time to deal with their issues and find solutions to the problems they were facing, I would shy away from them because I did not know how to cope. I believe that these skills are learned in the home through conversations with your family. For example someone who grew up in a home that discussed issues such as finances would have the knowledge and tools they needed to cope with problems concerning money. I did not have this knowledge and was not only unable to cope with my financial difficulties, but with other problems that I was facing as well. Eventually, I was able to recognize that I had a problem and as a result, I sought out counseling to learn the coping skills that I should’ve learned as a child through my family life.
The lack of communication that I experienced during my childhood negatively impacted my self esteem, my relationships with others, and the way I coped with life in general. The methods that are suggested by Delores Curran in her article give examples of how families can communicate with each other in a healthy way. After reading the article and reflecting back on my childhood I can clearly see how important it is to talk to your family. Like Curran and those she surveyed I believe that communication is the key to raising a healthy family.