Tips on how to have tough conversations with family

Difficult conversation with family have to be had, despite anxiety about the outcome or the reaction of your loved ones.

Clinical psychologist Teboho Monyamane explains that people usually avoid talking about the proverbial elephant in the room due to fear of rejection or judgment.

Avoidance can also stem from efforts to shield family from distress or because of shame.

Subject matter including death, finances, prejudice, politics or illness are often tough to broach.

But not having transparent conversations can leave individuals feeling isolated and uncomfortable, maintains Monyamane.

She says that is important for families to adopt an environment of open dialogue, especially when having discussion with young children.

Monyamane offers the following advice:

  • examine what is making it difficult to have conversations with family
  • be aware of the context and potential consequences of the discussion
  • only open up when you are ready

It's good to have a conversation if you're ready... There's no one correct response. People are ready when they're ready.

Teboho Monyamane, clinical psychologist
  • consider the option of holding a family meeting or consulting with therapist to mediate
  • be honest and do not lie, as it makes matters worse
Read More
6 tips on how to tactfully navigate office gossip

6 tips on how to tactfully navigate office gossip

Office gossip can be innocent, but can also end in cringeworthy moments. Here's some advice on how to steer clear of awkwardness.

10 tips for students experiencing anxiety or trauma

10 tips for students experiencing anxiety or trauma

Psychologist Dr Schomer offers advice to students amid trauma from disputes with university management and various authorities.

Why family interventions aren't ideal

Why family interventions aren't ideal

Despite the best intentions for your loved one, a family intervention may not be the way to go, advises psychologist Jeanie Cave.

Advice on how to instill discipline in young children

Advice on how to instill discipline in young children

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane explains that discipline as a practice is ever-evolving as social norms continue to change.

Advice on how to mend broken relationships with friends and family

Advice on how to mend broken relationships with friends and family

Want to reach out to an estranged loved one, but not sure where to start? A relationship coach offers tips during Family Matters.

Popular articles
Money makes the world go 'round (but sex makes it spin!)

Money makes the world go 'round (but sex makes it spin!)

Bruce Whitfield interviews "Dr Eve" Wasserman about her attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc).

Earn peanuts? How to best invest very small amounts...

Earn peanuts? How to best invest very small amounts...

Got a spare R200 or R300 a month? Here’s how to make that money work hard and grow…

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?