This weekend I went out for a walk with my family. We visited our favourite spots in Bristol – had a coffee, bubble tea and browsed around our favourite book shop. However, somehow we forgot about our “NO-NO” rule and so the experience left me a bit heavy. Let me explain.
When we experience social and physical isolation, we can feel very close to our family and so the way our moods impact each other is very critical. One of the rules we have agreed on during the first family meeting in the first lockdown was a “NO-NO” rule which helps to limit the amount of conflict and increase the overall sense of positivity in what is already a very challenging time.
The idea is that we all look out for those moments when we ask each other a question or point something out and do our best not to respond with negativity. If we need help around the house or simple moment of holding the umbrella, others are simply not allowed to refuse.
Now this rule only works if everyone gets it and also adjusts their needs and requests accordingly. If you know that the other family member will certainly say yes and step up, you need to choose your asks carefully too.
Both parties take responsibility for the communication. Focusing on collaboration. Avoiding conflict.
As I said – it mostly works, sometimes it doesn’t. When we are tired, a bit unused to a city walk – like today – they rule might not work. However, as I look back at 2020 I can vouch for it. We have managed to avoid so many mundane conflicts! We grew kinder in the process.
Try it out and let me know how it works for you. Just remember: for a rule to work, all must buy-in and consent to it and it has to apply to them all too.