Family relationship is entirely different from what the television usually portrays. It is not perfect, always loving and considerate. Family relationships in real life are more likely toxic and dysfunctional. But to be fair, there are those family relationships that can still manage to create a healthy environment for each other even if they do not connect with the unit.
Although most families are not overly destructive, their problems are not simple and can be resolved within a thirty-minute discussion. Sometimes, it requires an exhausting process to overcome difficulties in the relationship. Some factors need consideration all the time. These include each family member’s preference, individual feelings, the difference of opinion, and emotional issues. These things are often the reason why families become dysfunctional.
What Is A Dysfunctional Family?
A dysfunctional family is characterized by members of the unit happily accepting negative treatment. Members find it normal to criticize, judge, and hurt each others’ feelings. There is always conflict, misbehavior, and abuse inside the unit. Usually, there is no open space for expression. Thus, feelings and opinions do not matter even if they are indeed the source of the issue.
Signs Of A Dysfunctional Family
There are recognizable signs that can determine whether a family is dysfunctional or not. However, it is better to acknowledge that people share and deal with their respective family issues differently despite the given warning. These signs are just part of something that can indicate bigger problems.
Abuse – All kinds of abuse are present inside a family unit. Usually, one or two reasons can point toward active harm like physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual. Abuse is an entirely problematic cause of family dysfunction as it can get caught in a phase that eventually accepts and normalizes family members’ negative behavior. One inflicting sad result of abuse is kids exhibiting the same behavior, causing a loop once they reached adulthood.
Addiction – One cause of unhealthy family relationships is addiction. It is usually the start of all misunderstandings that can occur in a particular event. Addiction varies, but usually, these are more likely specific to alcoholism, gambling, and drug abuse in a family unit. The effects of addiction are always unbearable due to the damage to all the family members’ emotional and mental health.
Poor Communication – A dysfunctional family often has issues with proper communication. People constantly yell and shout at each other only to prove their point. They have this mentality that when they do not turn in rage or shout, no one hears or listens to them. Also, in some instances, they normalize active silent treatment to avoid talking with their family members.
Perfectionism – Dysfunctional family often relies on perfectionism. Family members use it as a standard of what they should achieve and become based on expectations from the rest of the family. Thus, when expectations did not meet reality, people inside the unit snap. It results in emotional and mental health issues that can develop into certain psychological conditions. Perfectionism creates an entire bigger problem for family members as it puts a lot of pressure on everyone involved.
Fear Of Trust – When a family is dysfunctional, they often have trust issues. Usually, all members find it hard to establish a trusting relationship with everyone in the house due to the anticipation of possible disappointment and conflict. It results in everyone putting a barrier to keep other members of the family to reach them emotionally. As a result, everybody avoids getting close to each other.
Lack Of Boundaries – It can be easy to identify the main reason why family members tend to hate each other. One of them is the lack of boundaries that usually pinpoints to controlling parents. When parents are intimidating, children find it extremely toxic to handle and disrespect their autonomy. The continued life of the children with a lack of boundaries often results in unhealthy, codependent relationships later in their adult life.
Lack Of Intimacy – Each family unit can have its distinctive ways of showing its members their love and care for each other. Sometimes, their signs of closeness can be different from the rest. However, in a dysfunctional family relationship, the connection is superficial. It results in fantasizing about a different physical and emotional availability.
Conditional Love – It is quite hard to deal with family issues, especially when members simply show affection when they want something. Conditional love is a sign of a dysfunctional family relationship that destroys everyone’s mental and emotional stability. It develops manipulative actions towards each member of the unit. It makes people feel obliged to please everyone in the family.
Again, these factors are only some of the reasons why families tend to have dysfunctional relationships. If some of these indications are present, it would be best to consult a professional to assist with family counseling.