They’re the anchor, the linchpin, the nucleus, the glue of the family.
Every family has one: that person who holds down the fort when times get tricky.
They represent stability, keeping things afloat through the many trials and tribulations of life.
Age isn’t always a defining factor.
They can be a sibling, a parent, a step-parent, a second cousin, a grandparent, or even a great-grandparent.
If you’re considered the emotional anchor of the family, you’re in an elite club, one marked by maturity, responsibility, patience, and empathy.
Let’s get to it!
1) You’re an active listener
When family members need to blow off steam, they tend to seek you out.
You’re always ready to lend an ear.
You’re often seen as the unofficial, unlicensed shrink of the family–but an effective one nonetheless.
This is because you’re an active listener; you can give people your undivided attention without judgment.
Rather than condemn your family for their decisions, you first try to understand, perpetually keeping an open mind and heart.
If your family is anything like mine, you’ll know how stressful it is to confide in them; so instead of being vulnerable, I avoid them for fear of harsh words and a lack of understanding.
Hence, if your family members can consistently fall back on you for guidance and comfort in life’s difficult moments, they’re incredibly lucky.
Keep at it. Good karma awaits.
2) You’re a problem solver
Not only do you have the ability to listen to others, but you approach these discussions with a proactive mindset.
In life, we have to deal with situations that can seem insurmountable–but with the help of friends or family, we’re often able to come out the other side in one piece.
You’re considered an anchor because you’re able to find solutions to issues and conflicts within your family, that without you, would otherwise have gone overlooked.
You have the distinct skill for thinking outside the box, with a way of mediating things that benefits everyone involved.
During times of turmoil, your family members are drawn to you like moths to a gentle glow.
Your ability to solve problems with assertiveness and grace truly stands out.
3) You’re emotionally supportive
Family members instinctively also turn to you because you’re like a rock; you’re always there for them where needed.
This means comforting and reassuring them when they’re down, and encouraging them when they need that extra boost.
You’re a constant source of support through both good and bad times.
You know how to bring the best out of your family members, tapping their strengths and helping them rebuild confidence.
Your altruism makes everyone feel valued and cherished, which contributes greatly to the healthy atmosphere within your family.
4) You act as a peacekeeper
Family conflict is about as inevitable as death and tax season.
And during these bouts of tension, you’re consistently present acting as the neutral party, the mediator, the referee.
You can be diplomatic during disagreements, providing both parties with objective feedback, rather than letting them duke it out.
You’re a voice of reason, and more often than not, your family members follow your lead.
In the heat of battle, they trust you to act with logic, level-headedness, and fairness.
5) You make it a point to celebrate milestones
The emotional anchor in my family is undoubtedly my grandmother.
She’s a genuinely selfless woman, who for as long as I can remember, has helped all of us in times of distress.
You see, she has a deep, inner strength to her–an attribute that I’ve always found so admirable.
And yet, she’s always so present in our lives, selflessly cheering us on.
I’ve had siblings and even parents forget my birthday, or neglect to enthusiastically congratulate me for academic or work achievements.
But not my grandmother.
She will be the first to greet any of us on our birthdays, graduations, engagements, and so on.
While many of her peers have succumbed to dementia, she has an incredible memory for an 87-year-old: she remembers every single birthday in the family from her firstborn son to her great-grandchildren.
Here’s the thing: making others feel valued and celebrated for their life achievements takes a pretty high degree of empathy and thoughtfulness.
So if this all sounds familiar, then like my grandma is to mine, you may well be the emotional anchor of your family.
6) You’re the crisis manager
During the inevitable crises or emergencies of life, you take the driver’s seat.
You’re able to stay calm, organized, and collected.
While other family members might panic in certain circumstances, you take charge.
And like clockwork, everyone follows your lead.
Let’s say a hurricane is approaching and everyone in the family is anxious.
You don’t wait around idly, consumed by fear. You actively take measures to protect yourself, your home, and your family.
Maybe you’ll prepare emergency kits, protect your windows, clear your vicinity of debris, protect important documents, devise an evacuation plan–the works.
You lead by example and always take action, providing an ample amount of direction and inspiration to those around you.
7) You’re trustworthy
When someone tells you a secret, you know how to keep it.
You don’t feel tempted to gossip.
You realize that someone has entrusted you with sensitive information, and you will consistently honor that, deeply respecting their privacy.
This is called integrity.
When someone confides in you, they don’t have to tell you to keep it on the down low, it’s assumed.
Your family therefore trusts you unconditionally, having zero qualms about sharing things with you.
They’re aware that whatever they might spill to you will be locked away, deep inside the volt.
If this list has resonated with you, then you deserve a firm pat on the back.
Being the emotional anchor of your family is no easy feat.
You have a rare combination of traits that will take you far–and define your relationships with people for the rest of your life.
Never lose that gift. Those closest to you depend on it.
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