Every day we’re confronted with the opportunity to react or respond to an event. It may be something as simple as a request for your order at the coffee bar. When dealing with family it can get messy blocking your happiness.

Do You React or Respond To Email?

When dealing with familyEmails create another opportunity to react before thinking. An email arrives from your family wanting you to do something that doesn’t feel right for you. The coffee bar is a simple solution when you know what you want. If you order the same thing daily likely, it’s a reaction. It becomes a response if you take the time to reason what you want to order. This is a case of choice. You have several favorites, and you’re deciding if you want to have that piece of banana bread or not. You go through a process of reasoning what tastes and sounds good to you at the moment. You’re thinking about your answer because you are choosing from a variety of choices. Honestly if you want to be happy then all decisions should come from a place of heart. A place where you stop and think first. It’s not only the words you say however it’s how you say it.

Dealing With Family

So, when we are dealing with family, it can be a delicate situation. In the case of an email, consider your reply instead of reacting. Families are tricky they can bring up old feelings and stories from past patterns. The bottom line is text and email have no emotion. Does a smilie face help? It depends on the content you send.

The Dysfunction Isn’t Your Problem

If you’re part of a dysfunctional family, it’s a matter of do you feel comfortable doing it. This can apply to non-physical things you don’t do. This can be a family event that requires your presence and may be in conflict with your well-being. The dysfunction isn’t your problem this is the first thing to remember when dealing with family.


None of us want to go forward in a dysfunctional situation. Sometimes these are best left alone rather than diving back in. It’s because we know the situation is unlikely to change. In feeling this way and knowing this information is it okay to say no to your family for such an event? My belief is yes.

come from the heart

We may be born into a family or marry into a family dynamic that doesn’t work for us. Family members do not always grow at the same pace when it comes to personal development. The key is knowing if each person is accepted for their uniqueness without judgment.

So let’s talk about this dysfunctional dynamic it is always best to reason and then responds. The idea may be finding the right words to say no we can’t join you this time. It’s being selective about what events you choose to stop by for a short time. Coming from your heart rather than your head always comes across better.

Being Responsive instead of Reactive Make You A Function Better

Now let’s focus on a functional family grouping. Do we still want to reason and then respond? My Deb sense says yes. Either way, we look at this we have love in our heart for these people. We don’t want to create pain or harm anyone. Getting even or holding on to past events stops you in all areas of your life. It can be the reason you struggle at work or have health problems.

Email is difficult. Text messages are great for a quick update. They can create lots of reactive interactions be careful to keep it kind. Another thing don’t say too much. You don’t have to explain yourself.



Our best reply is a responsive well thought out answer. To make an email softer or have emotion we do this with the words we choose. Remember when your mother said always say please and thank you? These are two phrases to be sure you include in emails to anyone. Other ways you can show your personality is to make a list of your favorite five to ten phrases.

Some of the mine are, “I’m looking forward to ______.” Another phrase I offer up is “I’m excited about____.” The key is you have to mean it.

One might say, “Thanks for inviting us we have other plans and will try to stop by don’t count on us.”

When dealing with family step back first so you don’t react. We get into the habit as children of answering parents and sibling immediately. It’s not respect for your parents or childhood sibling rivalry. As adults we should leave thoughtless reaction behind and be heart centered in our communication with family.