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Principles of A Happy Family

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

What do Happy Families have in common?

With COVID19 cases back on the rise it seems we will likely be in lockdown for months to come. Being so close for so long has put pressure on many families. For this reason we tried to distill into a few core tenants what happy families have in common.

What follows are five principles...each with their own symbol so we can better remember them when times get tough. We also included emergency strategies for dealing with family problems.

We welcome you to join our efforts and suggest changes to existing or new principles.

First Principles

Positive Community

Happy families surround themselves with people that they want to emulate and that share universal principles. Positive communities support each others families by helping other to remember first principles like "Charitable Interpretation" and strategies like "Just Give a Hug". A positive community is available in times of need to listen, facilitate understanding, and avoids judging or other bad behavior.

Charitable Interpretation

Happy families try to take the most positive and optimistic interpretation that of other people's actions. We should assume that other people, especially family members, have good intentions. This helps us to avoid jumping to negative conclusions. If someone says something hurtful we should ask questions to clarify instead of assuming that their intention is to harm.

Silver Rule

Most of you know about the golden rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated." but we like the Silver Rule even better...“Treat others the way they want to be treated.” To do this you need to know the other person. Every person is different, and every person has their own unique personality, love language, and preferred communication style. Love others they want need to be loved.

Trust Not Fear

In the movie the Peaceful Warrior it brings up the concept of absolute vulnerability. Absolute vulnerability is when you are completely vulnerable to the people you love instead of getting defensive. This is hard because its the people you care about most that have the power to hurt you. But when we trust that they are trying to help us we can let go of our fear of rejection and disappointment.

Emotional Bank Account

The Emotional Bank Account measures how much stress a relationship can take. When we do something nice we make a deposit. When we hurt someones feelings we make a withdrawal. If the account runs low then even small things can cause big arguments and hurt feelings. Before this happens, we should make deposits and avoid putting stress on a relationship. This is especially true for people that live with each other because we often don't realize all the little withdrawals we make.

Emergency Strategies

Here are some strategies we recommend for dealing with family problems. You are welcome to suggest others.

Give a Hug

All families go through rough patches. Sometimes people argue. Sometimes feelings get hurt. When this happens we might know what to do. But we can always give a hug. Hugs show we care even if we don't know what to say or don't yet have the strength to say we are sorry.

Say I Love You

Above all...Love. Let others know that you are here to support them when they are in need. You can always say "I Love You" even when you feel angry. You can always say “I’m here for you and everything is going to be okay.”

Say I’m Sorry

We can always say we are sorry...even if we don't think whatever happened is entirely our fault. You can say "I'm sorry that your feelings are hurt" or "I'm sorry that I didn't do better". Feelings are complicated and we can always do better.