What Brings a Family Closer?

Jeff Kaliel

February 24, 2023

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Family relationships are built on love, support, communication, and connection. These threads are often invisible, but they strengthen families and create meaningful bonds. When family members share their feelings, problems, and victories, they create a sense of mutual empathy that builds trust and respect. It is also a great way to help family members build their self-esteem and problem-solving skills.

Shared Experiences

Regarding family relationships, shared experiences are a powerful way to connect and build trust. Whether you’re visiting a corn maze or watching the Super Bowl halftime show, there’s a reason people flock together to spend time with loved ones.

In recent research, shared experiences have improved the enjoyment of various stimuli. For example, Raghunathan and Corfman (2006) found that consumers enjoyed a shared consumption experience more than a solo experience when their partner rated the stimulus similarly to them.

We explored this connection further and tested whether individuals would continue to choose to share experiences even when the opportunity cost was high. We found that participants’ intuitions about why people shared experiences remained stable even when removing the consideration of money.

Traditions and Rituals

Traditions and rituals strengthen family bonds, fostering positive relationships that will last. They are a way to celebrate special events and create shared memories. They can also help people understand their origins and how their family has shaped them. Examples include celebrating a birthday, attending a religious holiday, or preparing traditional meals.

Rituals are also crucial for people who live in a busy world, providing a sense of stability. They provide a sense of structure and familiarity, which can help alleviate stress and anxiety. In a family, a tradition can be as simple as having dinner together every week or sharing a special recipe. It can also be more serious, like celebrating a special occasion or paying respect to an important person.

Supporting Each Other

Many things can bring a family closer, but supporting each other is one of the best. This means listening to each other, recognizing their needs, and being there in every way possible. It also means helping them through the tough times and being there when they feel depressed. This is important to a healthy family, and strong relationship because it helps them feel that they aren’t alone in their struggle.

If your partner is going through a difficult time, they naturally want to talk about it. It is not always easy for them to do this, but it is important to show that you are there for them by listening to them and responding with kindness and compassion.

Mutual Respect

A culture of mutual respect is a vital ingredient for a healthy family. When family members take the time to listen and acknowledge each other’s feelings, they build strong connections with their loved ones. In a relationship with mutual respect, partners can express themselves without fear of being judged, ridiculed or humiliated. They can pursue their hobbies and goals with a partner that supports them every step of the way.

A culture of mutual respect also helps to improve collaboration between colleagues at work, preventing conflict and petty squabbles from causing a drain on productivity. Leaders who set the example of treating their employees with respect often see staff retention rates increase and team members become more engaged.

Shared Values

Having shared values strengthens the bond between family members. These values are often universal and rooted in a set of beliefs, including safety, security, protection, power, and responsibility. Shared values also allow families to evolve and grow together. For example, as children grow older and their priorities shift, families must update their core values list to reflect these changes.

While organizations cannot force their employees to share their values, creating a culture that fosters deep connections between individuals helps them develop a sense of belonging within the company and its mission and vision. However, pursuing shared value requires companies to articulate a social purpose at the corporate level, adhere to a set of common principles, and agree on a shared vision for partnership across sectors. This requires a new framework for collaboration that can catalyze change in the face of complex and far-reaching societal challenges.