This phrase “dysfunctional family” is one which has stuck in my craw for some time. First it requires a judgment about the validity of someones life. Even if you are in that family, you only see a very narrow range of what is going on. Second, it does not matter how the family is functioning, it is functioning. Perhaps not to the optimum support of everyone concerned, but it is functioning. Third, the term dysfunctional family is a crutch, a barrier to better communications. At times it becomes a justification for less than loving relationships.
If you finally realize what people all around you have been aware of for some time, that your family structure is less than optimal, you have many choices, one is to slap the term “dysfunctional family” on the interaction and wear it proudly. Or, you can take a step back and ask why you are choosing to continue to behave this way. Begin by looking at where you feel disconnected, what areas of your life simply don’t work for you. Now comes the hard part; ask yourself how you are contributing to this dynamic. Everything we do has a pay-off for us, everything. What is your pay-off for participating in the discord? This may sting a little, but as you get more familiar with the Involved Observer process contained in my book It’s All About Me, you will find it easier and easier to identify and deal once and for all with relationships which take more from you than they contribute.
Begin the journey by reading It’s All About Me and taking some time to look honestly at your own life. Wonderful things will happen as a result.