We have gone over this topic on Wednesday and Thursday, This is the concluding part which you can read up and enjoy..
How to overcome the effect of a dysfunctional family
In addition to other solutions, the following may be helpful
- Learn to identify and express emotion: Mostly growing up in dysfunctional homes often result in exaggerated attention for others’ feeling and a denial of your feeling and experiences.
However, while this results in good sensitivity to others, you may have neglected sensitivity to yourself. Therefore, pause each day to identify emotions you are or have been experiencing. What triggered them…?
Also be selective in sharing your feelings with others. You may not find it helpful to share all your feelings.
In sharing your feeling with others, take small risk first, then wait for a reaction. If the response seems supportive and affirming, try taking some larger risk.
- Allow yourself to feel angry about what happened: Forgiveness is a very reasonable last step in recovery but a horrible first step.
Naturally, children are hardwired to trust their parents. Therefore, when parents behave badly, some children tend to blame themselves and feel responsible for the parent’s mistakes.
These usually lead to an adult life of trying to live guilt, shame and low self-esteem. When you begin by forgiving your parents, you will continue to feel very badly about yourself.
Place the responsibility for what happened during your childhood where it belongs. This will help you to feel less guilt and shame and nurturance and acceptable towards yourself. Also, it usually helps to vent your anger in more productive ways. This could be done with the aid of support groups and friends.
- Learning to trust others: Take small risk at first in letting others know you. Slowly build up by taking bigger risks.
Learning who to trust and how much to trust is a lengthy process. Adult children from dysfunctional homes tend to approach relationship in an “all – or – nothing” manner. Either they are intimate and dependent in a relationship or they insist on nearly complete self-sufficiency, taking few interpersonal relationship.
Both of these patterns tend to be self-defeating. Frequently, these adult children continue to seek the approval or approval or acceptance from their parents and families.
Seek support from responsible adult.
Practice saying how you feel and asking for what you need. Don’t expect people to guess, tell them.
Share your feelings with family members, who are nice to you. Talk to the others in the family, share your thoughts and know theirs.
Discuss with them on how you can make amends to your relationship. When you grow up in an environment where your parents don’t trust each other, it becomes difficult for you to trust others.
You need to make an effort to build trust with your genuine friends and relatives. However, you don’t have to follow anyone blindly. Once you start believing people and strike a balance between blind trust and utter distrust, you’ll find peace.
- Practice taking good care of you: Frequently, survivors of dysfunctional homes have an exaggerated sense of responsibility. They tend to overwork and forget to take care of themselves.
Try to identifying the things you really enjoy doing. Give yourself permission to do at least one of these per day. Work on balancing the things you should do with the things you want to do.
Balance is the key for people who have grown up in dysfunctional home. Identify areas you tend to approach compulsively.
Drinking? Eating? Shopping? Working? Exercise? How might you approach this in a more balanced fashion?
One of the best things you can do for your mental and emotional well-being is to take good physical care of yourself. Do you eat a good healthy balanced diet? Do you get regular exercise?
Support or counseling is usually very crucial. Learn to be responsible towards your family. Understand your role in it, and know what expectations the other members have from you. Before trying to change the others in the family, make an effort to change yourself and turn proactive.
- Get help: In most dysfunctional family, children tend to learn to doubt their intuition and emotional reaction. Often outside support provides an objective perspective and much needed affirmation which will help you to learn to trust your own reaction.
Support or help could take many forms including: individual counseling or therapy group. The most common thing to happen in dysfunctional families is that the children start questioning their abilities and intuitions. They grow up with low levels of confidence and poor emotional health.
A helping hand from friends or professional counselors can provide you some support.
Many books and professional resources provide helpful information about dysfunctional families and strategies for removing from their effect.
Author: Shobo Mayowa
Categories: Featured Articles