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Unpacking the Effects: How Family Ties Influence Our Happiness

create a happy and fulfilling family life

Family is a fundamental building block of our lives. Whether positive or negative, our relationships with family members will likely significantly impact our overall sense of happiness. But how exactly do these familial ties shape our well-being? In this article, Dr. Eric Kim, UBC, explores how family dynamics influence our emotional state, uncovering the complex web of factors that can contribute to a healthy or unhealthy familial environment. Through a deeper understanding of these effects, we can gain a clearer perspective on our own experiences within our families and work towards fostering positive relationships that promote our happiness and well-being.

1. Family Support

Family support is a significant factor that contributes to our happiness. Having someone to rely on during tough times is essential for our emotional well-being. When we feel supported by our family members, we are better equipped to deal with the stresses of our day-to-day life, leading us to have a more positive outlook. Family support comes in various forms, such as financial, emotional, and practical help. Knowing that we have someone who believes and cares for us can positively impact our overall happiness.

2. Family Conflict

No family is perfect, and disagreements are a natural part of family life. However, too much conflict can impact our happiness and well-being. High levels of conflict can cause stress, anxiety, and depression, which can have long-term effects on our mental and physical health. Learning how to communicate effectively and manage conflict constructively is essential, especially within our family dynamics. This can lead to happier and healthier family relationships.

3. Family Traditions

Creating family traditions can be a significant source of happiness, creating a sense of belonging and shared memories. These traditions can include holiday celebrations, daily routines, and special outings. Such activities help to strengthen family bonds by fostering a sense of unity, trust, and security. It is crucial to keep up with these traditions, especially during adulthood, when we have kids and become busy with work. Research has shown that family traditions contribute to greater happiness and stronger relationships within the family unit.

4. Family Values

Our family values play an essential role in shaping us as individuals. Our family values are a combination of ethics, morals, and beliefs passed on from generation to generation. Strong family values such as honesty, loyalty, respect, and compassion can positively impact our happiness and well-being. When we share and respect our family values, we create a sense of unity, making us more resilient to life’s challenges. Having this shared sense of purpose and belonging can significantly affect how happy we feel in our daily lives.

5. Family Influence On Children

Our family dynamics can shape how we view the world and our relationships. As parents, creating a happy, stable, and nurturing environment for our children is essential which plays a critical role in shaping their happiness as they grow. Children who grow up in high-conflict homes may experience long-term negative impacts, such as anxiety, depression, and poor academic performance. We must foster healthy communication within the family and model positive behavior to our children. This can lead to a more positive outlook, better coping skills, and emotional intelligence, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and happier life.


Our family ties are crucial in shaping our happiness and overall well-being. Family support, traditions, values, and dynamics can positively and negatively affect our happiness. Therefore, creating a healthy, happy, positive family environment that promotes well-being is essential. This can be achieved through effective communication, positive modeling, creating family traditions, and fostering strong family values. It’s also important to recognize that families are imperfect, and conflicts may arise. However, Dr. Eric Kim, UBC, maintains that constructive conflict management can overcome any issue and create a happy and fulfilling family life.