Being family-oriented may seem an old-fashioned concept to some but, especially nowadays, it has never been more important. We all grew up in a society that gave a bit too much importance to individuality, especially in big metropolises where it’s often easy to isolate ourselves from the communities surrounding us. Now more than ever a return to a more family-oriented lifestyle is needed! But don’t worry, this doesn’t necessarily mean spending more time with your drunken uncle at Christmas or taking care of the Eastern lunch instead of your grandma. Being family-oriented is a lifestyle that is not only related to your relatives, but to the community of people around you.
Family-oriented: what does this even mean?
First and foremost, we need to define the word ‘family’ (I’m pretty sure we all know the meaning of ‘oriented’). As said before, for ‘family’ we do not necessarily mean your parents, grandparents and hundreds of cousins and nephews. The definition of what constitutes a family is different for each of us. For some people, the term ‘family’ may refer to themselves and their partner. Other people consider their group of best friends as a family, while others use this term in reference to their housemates. Family can be defined as the group of people you love the most and with whom you spend most of your life. Being family-oriented means that you do not only see yourself as an individual but as part of a family and, as a consequence, that you care about the well-being of that family.
The importance of being family-oriented in today’s society
Humans are social animals and, as such, they tend to perform better in communities rather than by themselves. Whether we like it or not, we all live within a community formed by our family, friends, housemates and colleagues. But not only. Also, the guy who delivers our mails every morning, our hairdresser and the owner of our local pub are a part of it. While in small towns these communities tend to have a big value in people’s lives, in big cities individuality becomes the priority. Of course, practising self-care and valuing your own individuality is important. Only by loving yourself will you be able to properly take care of others. However, sometimes the focus on individuality is too much. Rarely people living in cities such as New York, Paris or Tokyo know their postman or neighbour by name. Sometimes, people do not even know their own housemates. When you lose contact with the people of your community, life becomes difficult. Think about it: is it easier to face the challenges of life by yourself or with the help of the people you love the most?
By choosing a family-oriented lifestyle we surround ourselves with a community of people we love. We ensure we have a group of people on which we can always count upon and that in turn, count on us, value us and care about us. In other words, by being family-oriented you make sure you will never be alone.
Qualities of family-oriented people
Family-oriented people have many positive qualities that help them in their everyday lives.
First and foremost family-oriented people are selfless. They tend to put other people’s needs before their own. They are always happy to help out the ones they love and will be the first ones there when you need them. However, this may have some negative aspects as sometimes, these people tend to put their own problems aside to help others. If you recognize yourself in this description, remember that only by leading a healthy and relaxed life you will be able to fully be there for others.
Family-oriented people also tend to be more generous than the average person. This does not mean that they will happily lend money to a stranger, but that they will always find joy in sharing what they have by offering you their food, their time and their own skills to lighten up your mood. For them, sharing is caring and this is one of their main ways of showing their love.
Family-oriented people tend to take care of all the members of their community. They know that only when all the individuals of a family are truly happy, the community well-being can be reached. For this reason, they are truly interested in everyone’s problems and will make it their priority to listen to people’s feelings and emotions. They are the perfect people to go to when you feel down or when you need someone to talk to. They are good communicators, and above all, good listeners.
Spending quality time with their loved ones is one of the favourite activities of family-oriented people. They love to organize dinners, celebrate festivities together and prefer the company of people to solitude. They are the perfect people to go to when you feel lonely and they always know how to spice up a party.
Tips and tricks on how to lead a more family-oriented lifestyle
Decide who the most important people in your life are
If your goal is to become a more family-oriented person, first and foremost, you need to understand who constitutes your family and who doesn’t. Ask yourself questions such as ‘who are the people I care about the most?’ and ‘With whom do I spend more time?’. Once you understood who the people that form your family are, you can start taking care of them.
Put your family’s happiness on top
The energy and vibes of your community have a big influence on your own life. If you live in a house where people are always grumpy and frequently in a bad mood, you will soon start to feel the same way. However, when you are surrounded by a group of positive people, chances are that, whatever problems you are facing in your life, you will soon start to adopt a positive attitude towards them. By putting your family’s happiness on top, you will cherish your own happiness as well.
Too many people neglect their own well-being to help others. The truth is that unless you take care of yourself, you won’t be able to effectively be there for other members of your community. Make sure you’re happy and satisfied with your life, practise self-care on a daily basis and always listen to your body and mind. Of course, you can’t always be happy, but this is also the beauty of leading a family-oriented lifestyle. People will remember you were there for them in times of need and will happily return the favour.
Learn how to be a good listener
Good communication is key. Learn how to listen to people. Don’t interrupt when they talk, truly listen to their problems and before giving your opinion, make a brief summary, in your own words, of what you think they just told you. Many fights originate from miscommunication and misunderstanding. By using this method you will make sure you properly understood people’s problems before giving advice. When problems that directly concern you arise in a community, keep your calm and choose rationality over emotions. Always choose your words carefully. Focus on your feelings rather than what people did. Sentences such as ‘I felt left out when I didn’t receive an invite’ should always be preferred to ‘You left me out when you didn’t invite me’. Don’t accuse people but show your emotions instead.
Spend time with your family
In the end, the most important piece of advice I can give is simply: be there. You will make mistakes and there will be fights and misunderstandings, this is simply how families work. But if you spend enough time with the people you love, all disputes will eventually settle. In the end, simply being there constitutes most of the work.
The thousands of benefits of choosing a family-oriented lifestyle
The benefits of leading a family-oriented lifestyle are several. A life shared with your loved ones is always a better life than the one spent in solitude. Solitude is the worst companion. If you look back at your life, chances are that the worst periods were the ones in which you had no real community of friends and relatives on which to count upon. By practising this lifestyle you will be able to always count on a group of friends and relatives in times of need. In addition, by taking care of others you will take care of yourself. Think of the last time you spent time crafting the perfect present for your best friend. Didn’t the whole process make you feel extremely happy and accomplished? Bringing happiness always gives joy in return. Lastly, the community you live in highly influences your own mental state. Think of your community as your own environment. When your room is clean and tidy you tend to feel productive and happy. When on the other hand, your room is a mess it’s much more difficult to focus on your task and lead a healthy lifestyle. In the same way, your room reflects and influences your own mental state, your family’s well-being affects your mindset. By cherishing the harmony of your family you will value your own harmony.