... is how much what we say can hurt the feelings of those people we hold dear.
Those closest to us should be the ones that we are most caring with. Yet, sometimes, because the closeness makes us feel so much at home (or maybe it's the fact that we think we can get away with it), we just say what we think and do as we like without paying attention that the things we say or do might be hurting them. On top of that, the things we say or do actually means a lot (definitely more than if it had come from an acquaintance), hence it has more power in affecting their feeling.
Relationships within a family, between siblings or parents-kids, are very strong yet fragile. Strong, because in most cases, it's unconditional. You can do anything and they'll still forgive you in the end. Fragile, because once broken, even if they forgive you and still talk to you, they no longer actually "enjoy" your company and little mistakes build up very easily when things are in your face all the time. Plus, because we know them well, we are able to hurt them more when we're inclined to.
I find that the most common cause for the conflicts between siblings is that family members not realising that each member is an individual, who can still be very different, even though we grow up together, we live together and we were taught the same things. Or, even if we realise the differences, we do not try to understand the differences. Instead, we judge the differences.
Judging, in a close relationship, is a very very very bad sin.
Judging our close ones makes them feel that they have some sort of characteristics to fulfill in the relationship. Our judgement will most likely be incorrect too, as people change. The judgement changes too, but at a much lower speed than their rate of change (well for one, there will be a lag between their changes and our noticing their changes). If and when people are trying to change, judging can be very detrimental, e.g. labeling a person as lazy might promote their likeliness to keep their laziness.
Don't judge. When you do accidentally judge, imagine if it is you who are being judged. I assure you that when you remember how bad it feels when you're being judged, you will naturally stop judging.
Another very detrimental common sin in a close relationship, is to expect and not appreciate. The impacts of expectation in a close relationship has been covered in one of my previous posts, "More Recent Thoughts on Expectation". But, to expect and not appreciate, is a relationship suicide. Being appreciative generally does not require much effort while providing a very powerful impact. It changes the light of the relationship and it naturally encourages others to be nice and helpful towards you.
For my part - I plan to be avoid judging and to be more careful with what I say and do to the people that I love. I have also been testing and trialling the "no expectation, just appreciate" behaviour and I am definitely liking the result. Moreover, I'd like to use the "know them well" part to my advantage. Instead of using it to hurt them when I'm upset, I want to use this to improve the relationship.
There goes another rambling from me.