Important Lessons We All Subconsciously Learn From Our Families

By Abigail 11 months ago

1. Love each other always.

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It doesn't matter what happens: the mistakes you make, the regrets you have, the problems you have. Your family is there to support and love you always. And that support that we feel from the earliest age is something that we all take into our lives. It helps us support our partners through thick and thin and support our children. Because the truth is, you can do anything with enough love around you.

2. Be patient.

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How many times when you were younger could you see your mom struggle with a million tasks at once, but still have time for your mad question, or pestering? It takes an immense amount of patience to raise children sometimes, and it shows that relaxing and listening is sometimes one of the best skills you can have, and one of the best gifts you can give someone else.

3. Appreciate your teachers.

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This is something that often times we forget as we grow older. But we all have that one school teacher that we still remember for their patience, humor, or passion (or all three, maybe.) Our teachers, whether that be actual family members, friends, or literal teachers, got us to where we are today. And we all subconsciously learn to appreciate them as we get older.

4. Try to be generous.

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Generosity is so important to families. You see it when you spend a few days living with your grandparents so your parents can get a break, or when a stranger steps in to help your family as your little brother has a meltdown in a restaurant. It's this quality that takes families from a mere gathering of strangers to people who really care and support each other, and will be generous with their time and care no matter what.

5. Speak up for yourself.

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If you grew up in a big family, you'll definitely have learnt this lesson. With so many brothers or sisters, it can be difficult to make yourself heard sometimes. Your parents can only focus their attention on one person at a time (two, if they're lucky.) And so learning to speak up for yourself and get the help and attention you need (or just want) was so important.

6. Be ambitious.

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Growing up, we watch our older siblings, aunties, uncles, and parents all change as they get older, and whether they follow their dreams or not, watching this happen can instil in us a strong sense of ambition. Either, we want to follow in their footsteps and achieve what they did, or we want to prove that it's possible to do anything we put our mind to - even if some family members think it's impossible.

7. Help each other.

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Where would families be without help from each other and from strangers? There's no debating that seeing families support each other through difficult periods makes us understand that helping under any circumstance is a really important characteristic. You may not even remember seeing incidents of help when you were younger, but it's something that you just know: families help each other.

8. Celebrate achievements.

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In many families, even the littlest things are cause for celebration. Maybe you did really well in a race at school, or did better than you expected in a test at college. Families are always up for a celebration, and it's a lesson that we would do well to remember now. You don't have to wait for birthdays or Thanksgiving to celebrate something good - there are reasons to celebrate everything.

9. The best things in life are invisible.

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Quite often, our memories of childhood are hazy. We might remember a specific day out but not know where we were, only that your dad was there with you. Or, you remember a Christmas where you got an amazing gift - but you don't remember what it was, only the person who gave it to you. That's because a lot of the best things in life are totally invisible: joy, love, excitement.

10. Sacrifices are sometimes necessary.

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Whose parents haven't sacrificed something so that you had the best life possible? In many families, those sacrifices are greater than we can ever imagine, like moving abroad for education or giving up on a career to raise kids. Seeing this in our families can teach us that sacrifices, though difficult, are sometimes necessary. We shouldn't always be scared of sacrifice, but look t the possibilities of what we're doing too.

11. Don't be selfish.

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If everyone in a family was completely selfish, nothing would get achieved. I'm sure there are some readers here who recognize that feeling of being brought up in a dysfunctional family environment. Whether that's you or not, we all learn from a young age to share and not be bitter about it. Caring for others is the most selfless thing there is, and that's a valuable trait.

12. But prioritize your hopes and dreams.

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At the same time, we're also pushed by our families to make the best for ourselves. And if we didn't get the support we actually needed from our families in the first place, this is a difficult conclusion to come to: that we must go out there and follow our dreams despite everything. Either way, we know that sacrifices are sometimes necessary - but at other times, we have to fight for ourselves and our hopes and dreams.

13. Be loyal.

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This is one of the biggest lessons we all learn from family. In fact, we all associate families with loyalty, and that's because subconsciously, we all learn the lesson that families support each other no matter what and always fight for each other. It's something that you see your parents doing for you, but it's also in the way that families can come together when one person is struggling.

14. There's always someone who can help.

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Even for the most obscure problem, it turns out that there's someone in your family that can help. Maybe your uncle is a tech genius who can fix your computer, or your cousin actually went through the same problem as you did and can offer support. Whatever the problem is, there's always someone there to help, and so we've learned to associate family life with advice and guidance.

15. You're never alone.

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Isn't it absolutely true that your family are always there for you? Even when you think they aren't, you can give your dad a call and they'll pick up. Whenever you need someone to talk to, some advice, or just distraction from a problem you're working on, your family are there. This is instilled into us, and means that we also feel we need to support younger members of our family as we get older.

16. Work as a team.

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Sibling relationships are some of the most special in every family, and that's because siblings are perhaps the most different. They can have wildly varying interests and personalities, but if there's something they want to accomplish, you know they're going to come together and do it. And what better lesson for working collaboratively is there? It's a lesson that ensures we can truly work with anyone when we get older.

17. Listen before acting.

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One of the biggest skills within families is that of listening. Your grandma will happily listen to you chat about your career, college experience, or what you're working on in your spare time without ever asking you shut up. And when it comes to problem solving, families are all about doing this listening before acting, and not rushing into solutions.

18. Learn how to focus.

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Somehow, even when your mom was being distracted by a thousand things at the dinner table, including feeding your little brother or sister, they can focus enough to give you an answer to your question. As stupid as that question might be, it deserved focus just as much as any other question. As we grow up, we learn that this kind of passionate focus is so important to life.

19. Life is about the choices we make.

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Where would your dad be if he didn't make the choices that led him to your mom? Or where would your family be if they didn't go into a certain industry 50 years ago that led them to your hometown? We make hundreds of little choices every day that have a huge impact down the line - and we understand that when we look at our families and what they went through.

20. Build a network around you.

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Families are just about blood relationships. If you had a difficult relationship with your family, or had to make your own, you know the value of that. And so we learn that having a support network around us is the  most important thing. Doesn't matter if they're your siblings and cousins or the people you work with, or your childhood friends, a network that can help you when you need it is so important to a fulfilled life.

21. Discipline is important.

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Children would get nowhere without a bit of discipline. And although we sometimes wish we could block out all those times that we were shouted at or told that we made a mistake - during that time we also learned about why discipline is so important. We can't always do as we please, but we can learn to act in a way that doesn't disturb the people around us.

22. How to stand out.

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As close as we might be with our siblings, we all subconsciously want to be different from them. And while that might come naturally, with different personalities and tastes in music and movies and games, we also have to make an effort to stand out from our brothers and sisters. This is a really valuable skill to take into adulthood - a healthy sense of self is important when getting job interviews, for example.

23. Sharing is a critical life skill.

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Every child learns to share from a young age. And even if we rebel against it sometimes, it's something that has become synonymous with 'families'. We share our toys with our siblings, and we learn to share our time with other members of our family, too. So, no wonder that as we grow up we become more and more used to sharing things - no temper tantrums anymore.

24. There's always room for one more.

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Your mom would never think about turning someone away from the Thanksgiving table at short notice. And if you turned up and your grandparents' house at last minute because your mom had something important to do for work, they would never turn you away. It's a family motto that 'there's always room for one more', whether we're talking about seats at dinner or sharing our time.

25. Not everything has to be an argument.

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You have to pick your battles sometimes. We learn that from observing our parents struggle to raise their kids, and from our grandparents, who diligently guide their own children in their lives. If we don't want something to be an argument - it doesn't have to be. It costs nothing to stay quiet and offer support rather than criticism sometimes - in fact, sometimes it's necessary.

26. How to make your voice heard.

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This one is a lesson to be taken literally. When you're fighting to be heard at a family gathering at Christmas or a birthday celebration, sometimes you have to be inventive. You find more ways to pester people, you use your 'outdoor' voice inside, or you make yourself heard through other actions. All that fighting to be heard, though, comes in useful when you're trying to get through to your manager in a chaotic meeting.

27. Celebrate the little things too.

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Families love to celebrate birthdays, engagements, and weddings. But it's the little things that deserve a celebration, too. Did your mom ever get you a gift for doing well in an exam? Or let you choose a takeaway for coming last in sports day, just because you tried your hardest? These are lessons to always celebrate your achievements, no matter how big they are.

28. Embrace diversity.

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Families are big melting pots of different personalities and characters - some nicer than others. But even if there's bickering, people can choose to be nice to each other on occasion, and that's a really important lesson. We learn that having differences in opinion is really important, and that physical diversity can also lead to better decision-making and more interesting conversations.

29. Don't be scared of change.

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Everything changes as we grow up, and not always in ways that we like. But no matter the change, our families always adapt to it. When you move away from home, your grandparents learn to chat on Skype on Facetime just to stay in touch with you. It's about embracing new opportunities, and seeing the best in everything - a classic family motto if there ever was one.

30. Always have an opinion - it doesn't have to be right.

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How many times have you had to hear your weird auntie spew a weird opinion at the Thanksgiving table? We're not talking anything discriminatory, of course - maybe they really don't like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Either way, it's better to have an opinion and fight your corner than to stay quiet and let everyone choose your opinion for you. This gets more important as you grow up and learn which fights you want to stand beside, and which aren't worth it.

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