Health Perspectives every Monday on Radio Shalom’s 1650 am Montreal from 14:59 to 15:30 is into its ”5th year on the air”. You can also listen to us live stream by going to www.radio-shalom.ca
Guest: Barry Anderson of the NEW Barry Anderson Show ”THE TRUTH”. You can listen to Barry on You Tube, AM FM radio.
8 characteristics of a dysfunctional family is defined as anything that keeps you in bondage for more than 6 weeks without any changes that lead into decades and generations of the same behaviours.
#1 – Addiction.
One of the most prominent characteristics of a dysfunctional family is addiction on the part of one or more of its member. Addictions being referred here are substances and emotional states including; chronic drama, victimization, self pity. This addiction need not be to drugs or alcohol, but it typically manifests itself by making it difficult for family members to communicate, and may affect the family financially. Typically addiction is a problem suffered by the adults in the family, though adult children and teenagers may suffer from addictions in various forms.
#2 – Control
Another hallmark characteristic of dysfunctional families is control. Control means that one member of the family exerts his or her will on some or all of the other family members. This may manifest itself, for example, as a husband not permitting his wife to see male friends, or as a parent not allowing their child to go to reasonable school events, such as football games and dances. Control usually occurs from spouse to spouse or from parent to child in a dysfunctional family. This control usually results in emotional “stunting” and may make people feel as if they are not entitled to an opinion or to a life of their own. Control may be overt, or it may be in the form of causing people to feel guilty for wanting to “step outside the box.”
#3 – Unpredictability and Fear
Unpredictability and fear are two common signs of a dysfunctional family. Typically, fear results from the unpredictability of a single or multiple members. This may be unpredictability with regard to financial matters, emotional state, or reactions to novel situations. This affects a family by making its members fearful of the actions of a single or multiple members. Typically an adult plays this role, and may be a spouse or parent.
#4 – Conflict
A more obvious indicator of a dysfunctional family is conflict. While a certain amount of conflict is expected in a normal family, constant, heated conflict is not. If a serious argument erupts over slight misunderstandings on a frequent and unyielding basis, there is a good chance that there is a certain level of disfunction within the family. Likewise, undertones of conflict and resentment can also be an indicator of a dysfunctional family. The conflict may also take place in passive-aggressive terms. Conflict may occur between any member of a family, and affects the family by increasing tension and resentment among its members.
#5 – Abuse
Abuse, whether physical or emotional, is another characteristic of a dysfunctional family. The way in which abuse affects a family is obvious, as it punishes and diminishes a single or multiple family members. Abuse typically occurs from one spouse to the other, or from a parent to a child. Sometimes children also abuse each other, whether through physical or emotional means.
#6 – Perfectionism
Although it may not seem to be a characteristic of a dysfunctional family, perfectionism very much is one. Perfectionism can be a reflection of unrealistic expectations towards other family members, and may also be an indicator of the areas in which the perfectionist family member feels that he or she is inadequate. Perfectionism may result in low self-esteem in other family members, and may be self-perpetuating. Typically, perfectionism occurs in parents towards their offspring
#7 – Poor Communication
Poor communication is another hallmark of a dysfunctional family. Communication may be strained, ineffective, or nonexistent. Family members may have difficulty communicating their wants and needs to other members, which can result in misunderstandings and little self-expression. Poor communication often occurs throughout the entire dysfunctional family.
#8 – Lack of Diversity
A lack of diversity in a family is a sign that a family may be dysfunctional. Diversity, in this instance, refers primarily to differences in interests and beliefs between family members. If all of the family members share the same interests and beliefs, there is a high probability that one member of the family is acting to control and manipulate the others. An example of this would be several children from a family that all have the same interests and aspirations as one of their parents. A lack of diversity usually occurs in families where there are children, though some people may be emotionally quashed in romantic relationshipsto the point where they adopt all of the interests of their partner.
Do you feel that I have missed any common characteristics of a dysfunctional family? Do you have relevant personal experiences with respect to the structure and characteristics of a dysfunctional family? If so, leave your thoughts in the form of a comment. Thank you for reading!
Are you in denial? Is your life unmanageable when you visit family? Fed up about being fed up? Admitting powerlessness is half the battle to changing your relationships. Einstein said “you cannot solve a problem on the same level it was created”. Find out why this step as easy and rewarding as it is, is the road less travelled! Tune in