Here comes one of my Creagerisms- the simple definition of a dysfunctional family is one that discourages you from trusting your true self so you develop a false self.
What does that mean?
It means that you are entitled to be all that you are but unfortunately many people have unconscious limitations due to coming from a family that subliminally asked the person to adjust to the needs of one or more family members.
Here are seven signs that you were raised in a dysfunctional family.
- You spend too much time trying to please others
If you ask yourself what YOU want to do for the evening, for the weekend, etc. and you have no idea what the answer to that question is, you may be spending way too much time and energy trying to make others happy or pleased. Probably your role in your family of origin was to adapt to someone else’s needs and sacrifice your own.
- Related to number 1- you seem to feel guilty a lot.
You feel guilty about doing things for yourself, you feel guilty for your anger towards people you think you should not be and you feel guilty when others are upset. This is caused by your erroneous thinking that you are responsible for other people’s feelings. You were trained, in essence, to do what is impossible to do’ make others feel happy.
- Also related to # 1 and 2, you tend to pick people that have trouble reciprocating.
You constantly feel that the relationship is very uneven. Of course, due to your false sense of responsibility and guilt, you stay in these uneven relationships for too long.
- Here is an interesting one: There is either too much or not enough conflict in your intimate relationship.
If you are always bickering and arguing without any listening or resolution, you may have come from a family where people were very reactive and ineffective in soothing themselves. If you never have conflict and things are always agreeable, you may have come from a family where emotions were “swept under the carpet” and not dealt with. Both high conflict and “too low conflict” intimate relationships can be unsatisfying and draining.
- You get really hard on yourself and tend to be perfectionistic.
That typically means that you were either overvalued or undervalued. If you were overvalued, one or both of your parents made TOO big a deal out of your accomplishments and seemed to feel even better than you about them. Or you were undervalued and were made to feel that you could never be good enough. In both cases, you haven’t learned how to feel just plain old “valued” for who you are.
- You have a very hard time relaxing.
If you ever do stop, you may notice how uptight you are. However, often people that have this problem are in perpetual motion always having more to do on his or her to-d- list than time allows.
- You are an extreme as a parent
You are either too “laissez-faire,” letting your kids run the household or you run it like a boot camp, thereby squelching the spontaneity of your children. In this case, you probably came from a house of one extreme or the other; either that or each parent represented either extreme and did not develop a united stand.
The good news- you can create a new legacy for you and your children. I have helped thousands of people break from the self-limiting beliefs and lives that result from a dysfunctional family of origin. I invite you to contact me so that I may help.