Language (verbal or non verbal body language) is a special gift of humankind that can help to generate goodwill, for self growth or to relate better to other people including our near and dear ones. However, language alone cannot help when it comes to relating meaningfully with another human being.
In psychological terms, language is only a means of communication. Without feeling, it loses its capacity to build a sensible relation between two individuals. Let us try and focus on close relations in our own family system. If your intention or emotion is one of love or affection for the sake of it, that is unconditionally, relating is more pleasant or open minded and empathetic. If the intention or emotion is hatred, the language can only be bitter and harsh and sharp like a knife! If the underlying emotion is anger, the language can be more impulsive, intolerable and for the moment and probably damaging physically and psychologically. If the emotion is jealousy, the language can be degrading, critical and belittling.
It means that emotions drive the content and tone of the language and expressed words in relating to each other.
Family members have to be aware and work through these basic emotions to relate to each other. Otherwise, the relationship may not become meaningful and end up being a relation based on only a biological basis but without heart and soul.
Is there a need for family members to relate when the basic premise is that family members are already related by nature?
It is essential to constantly recognize how we related to each other as family members as the intensity and variation of the basic emotional flow can drive the relationship closer or apart. If the members relate to each other unconditionally (without an underlying agenda of major expectations from each other), the emotion of love is at a peak. In an over strained/over involved relation with major expectations, the emotion of hatred may rear its head. Anger or impulsive behavior goes on keeping the relation between family members fluctuating at its extremes of either disturbed or extra sensitive and hardly at balance or predictable. Jealousy comes into the picture when differences in the wave lengths of thinking influence the attitudes of family members.
Somewhere in the stream of various emotions, the bonding in a family depends on which emotions form the basis of or play a major role in the relation. One of the emotions may become the primary drive for the relation with the other emotions then playing a subsidiary or supplementary role.
Families are never static, they are always in a dynamic state and flux and hence relationships in a family also never remain static. The balance is maintained by the fundamental emotion that drives the context of the relationship at that point of time. For example, at the time of arrival of a new addition to the family (like a new born baby), if the underlying emotion is love, the new born receives an immediate warm welcome and acceptance. If emotion is one of hatred, there maybe a disengagement from the newborn, if the emotion is jealousy, overdoing/under doing comes in and anger leads to destruction/deprivation.
This does not mean that any relation is ruled by emotions alone. Communication is a mediator of our emotions, it is also a mediator of thoughtful processes from a thoughtful human. But when emotions are at their high intensity, thinking or logical reasoning may take a back seat. Too much logical practical thinking without emotion is equally disastrous. There is a need for balance between the emotive and thoughtful state for us to relate sensibly to our own family members.
But in cases of depression or higher anxiety (they also come under emotional states of mind although maybe in a negative way), the equation of relating to a family member can change dramatically to a pathological extent. Viewing all experiences from a negative viewpoint (as in depression) and unable to be at peace or in a calm state (when in state of anxiety) can distort the equation of the relationship to the core and create extreme stress and friction in relating to each other.
It is essential that we keep the balance of emotions and thoughtful states at its best. As a social being, relating to our family members or to the larger world around us needs constant self analysis, accepting and correcting our mistakes, and a readiness to move on with new learning, a willingness to change for the better, taking responsibility for ones actions and their consequences. Life is not forever, and living life meaningfully will hopefully be better than living life without direction. Relating sensibly and happily to each other is fun, complex and possible only with effort….we may be born relatives but may not die relating if we do not put in the efforts to make relations work!