Back to homepage

Improve Family Communication to Resolve Conflicts and Bridge Gaps


Improve Family Communication to Resolve Conflicts

and Bridge Gaps


As social creatures, people tend to look to others for emotional support. Fundamentally, this kind of connection is first developed and sought from one’s family. Despite the immense and unconditional love that can bind families, conflicts can still arise. Often, they are challenged by misunderstandings and communication issues that can create rifts between and among its members.

When these happen, your family can become emotionally burdened, instead of being a source of inspiration and encouragement. Distressing emotions, such as worry, pain, blame, and guilt, can damage family relationships and dynamics. Without a conscious effort, these communication issues can easily escalate into bigger conflicts. In the same way, actively improving family communication can lead to the resolution of conflicts and the bridging of gaps.

Communicating well with your loved ones may seem naturally easy, however, this isn’t always so, but it is possible with the right kind of family therapy.


What Is Good Family Communication?

It is widely held among experts that poor communication and conflicts are among the hallmark indicators of a dysfunctional family. For most separated couples or issue-troubled families, “Communication may be strained, ineffective, or nonexistent,” breeding the most painful exchanges.  “While a certain amount of conflict is expected in a family, constant, heated conflict is not.” When a family has poor communication, serious arguments can easily ensue, even when there are only minor differences in opinions or perceptions.

Communication can become strained or ineffective in the most close-knit families. Understanding the value of good communication is important, but the knowledge can be compromised when you or a family member is wrought with anger, disappointment or by other negative feelings or emotional conditions. When a family member is weighed down by depression, anxiety or some other emotional challenges, including substance abuse, communication issues can be further complicated. Not wanting to aggravate the situation, it is a natural inclination for families to withdraw or avoid each other.

Good communication within the family can create an atmosphere where it is easier for everyone to express their thoughts and feelings, no matter how adverse.  This can contribute to resolving conflicts and disagreements, and in fortifying your bonds.  Good communication can help the family with their personal challenges and other issues in the home.


The Impact of Poor Communication

“You cannot, not communicate,” goes an adage. This means that everything you say or do is a way of communicating a message to someone else. This is especially true with the people you are constantly with, particularly your family. Thus, communication is a “given,” even when you are not actually talking. This is why your family is unique, having your own ways of “sending out” messages.

Just as good communication can foster many constructive benefits, ineffective or harmful communication can bring about misunderstanding, arguments and conflict. What is “bad” family communication? Just as good communication can take varied forms, so can bad communication. It can be described as unwholesome and damaging. This can include swearing, yelling, using abusive/berating words, and name calling.

Blaming, imposing guilt, focusing on the mistakes of a family member, and labeling them and using threats and ultimatums, may also be considered as negative ways of communicating with the family. Also, furtively keeping information from one another, as well as not talking or giving the “silent treatment” to your loved ones can also be forms of poor family communication. All these can be harmful to your family.

According to a Samek and Rueter (2011), authors of “Associations between family communication patterns, sibling closeness, and adoptive status” posted in Journal of Marriage and Family, “family communication plays a role in the positive development of children, teenagers, and young adults.” Thus, “families with poor communication are less likely to identify as being close to one another.” Xiao, Li and Stanton (2011) also said that “negative family communication is even more likely to lead to depression or anxiety in young people”


Is this Your Family?

The value of good family communication cannot be underestimated. Despite one’s best effort to communicate, the words or gestures may still be misinterpreted. Even loving families may read them in a different light, depending on one’s current state of thinking, emotions and maybe a previous dynamic. Feeling that they can let their defenses down when with the family, it is also common for the members to be less mindful of their utterances and actions, offending others without intending to do so.

When confrontations are becoming frequent, avoidance of family celebrations or get togethers are becoming habitual, and/or disciplining the children is becoming the norm, then it may be time to “watch out!” These are just some signs that the family members are not seeing “eye-to-eye” on many critical family matters or the children are experiencing a generation gap with the parents. These can result in poor or delayed decision-making, distress in the family, and cause further rifts between and among its members.

How to know if your family needs help to improve communication?

Are your family relationships suffering because you argue over so many things? Are members staying away from or ignoring each other, so you can’t seem to remember the last time you had fun as a family?  Are there members who are consciously seeking attention from people outside the family to fill the void they feel?  Do members feel the weight of the unhealthy dynamics whenever you are together, so some members have stopped talking to each other? If “yes” is the answer to any or most of these, it may be a wise decision to seek family counseling immediately.


Improving Communication with Counseling

Family counseling can be a significant element in building a healthy foundation for families through developing or enhancing healthy and effective communication. It can improve the quality of exchanges, both in words and behavior, so it can untangle misunderstanding in an efficient manner. Counseling can similarly help family members to be more sensitive or conscious of their nonverbal communication or actions.

Family counseling can help the sharing of family responsibilities become possible, improving your dynamics and support for one another. It can help restore and strengthen your family ties and everyone’s principal source of happiness, love, appreciation and support can be improved. During family tragedies, counseling can help, not only in healing and surviving the crisis, it can also be beneficial in transforming the tragedy into an opportunity for the family to become stronger together as a group.

Are conflicts splintering your family apart?  Now is the time to help one another because there is a happier way out of family conflicts. To keep your family resilient, it can be an invaluable step to improve your family communication with the assistance of a right-fit counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Cameron, NC – on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks. Call today!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Other Contact Info

If you have a compliment, concern or comments please contact:

Contact Management:
click here

If you need to speak specifically to the owner
Click here and use our Contact Form