Mothers and Adult Daughters: Communication - FamilyEducation

Mothers and Adult Daughters: The Real Bonus of Communication

Learn how communication can enhance intimacy and closeness between mothers and daughters.

Building Blocks

Rapport is a natural harmony between two people that enables them to feel comfort and pleasure in one another's company.

Building Blocks

Interdependence is the mutual intermingling of independence and dependency that affects caring, support, and interaction.

Whether you are aware of it or not, the conversations with your mom or daughter open a door for the growth and formulation of intimacy—familiarity with another person's private emotional and physical wellbeing. In my opinion, intimacy is the real cornerstone of rapport and closeness between mother and daughter. For that reason it is important for you to understand how this develops; only then can you consciously try to reel in those bonus points.

The first step is to engage in self-disclosure, commonly referred to as revealing one's personal and innermost feelings. Examples are dreams, fears, goals, insecurities, and joys. Sharing these private realms of oneself does make the individual vulnerable to the reactions of someone else. However, Shauna L. Smith, author of Making Peace with your Adult Daughters (Perseus, 1991), says it makes you more human—and I believe, more approachable! The big qualifier is that self-disclosure has to be a two-way street to lead to real intimacy and understanding.

From this expression of self-disclosure comes intimacy that enhances closeness between mother and daughter. And along with mutual disclosure and understanding there develops a mature level of interdependence that is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship.

The following diagram provides you with a visual model of how this marvelous cycle begins, continues, and grows on its own volition once set into motion.

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