Living with a dysfunctional family can be very taxing and it can undoubtedly leave you feeling mentally, emotionally and physically drained. Read on to know the signs of a dysfunctional family.
With the growing conflict in the household which may lead to abuse, it becomes imperative that you learn to avoid disagreements, set boundaries and effectively cope with your family. A great place to start is focusing on the well being of your mental and emotional health and standing up for your rights.
“Toxic relationships not only make us unhappy; they corrupt our attitudes and dispositions in ways that undermine our healthier relationships and prevent us from realizing how much better things can be.” — Michael Josephson
The ideal family consists of a group of people we can depend on, people who love us, nurture and care for us, people who offer their guidance and support as we go through life, people who we trust.
Family is the most important influence in the life of a young child. We usually think of family as blood relatives but sadly not all blood relatives have our best interests at heart. Some of the most toxic people we know may share the same DNA.
A dysfunctional family background often leads to a child believing that their opinions, needs, and desires are unimportant and meaningless. As they mature they often lack confidence with low feelings of self-worth. Depression and anxiety are commonplace. Adult children from a narcissistic family need support to make them understand that they are not inadequate and to help them develop healthy self-esteem and build strong and healthy relationships.
In a toxic family neglect and abuse are often a daily occurrence. This family may look good from the outside but it’s a different story for those who live within this dysfunctional family dynamic. Everything is about an image.
The narcissistic parent will likely put on a display in public and be seen as generous, personable and charming whereas behind closed doors they are abusive and controlling.
The house where abuse takes place, whether mental or physical, will never be a home. Talking about their issues is forbidden. (Let’s just pretend everything’s perfect.) Family members who thrive on drama, negativity, jealousy, criticism, and denigration will never make a child feel good about themselves.
Children from narcissistic families rarely grow up to be close to their brothers and sisters in later life. They have often been pitted against one another in their childhood. Unless the child holds the position of the ‘golden child’ within the family unit, they will be seen and not heard, blamed and shamed. Nothing they ever do will be good enough and they’ll soon learn that their value depends on their achievements, how they can make the family look good and not for who they are.
“Family is supposed to be our safe heaven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Signs that you are dealing with toxic family members
1. They are verbally or physically abusive.
2. They make you feel that you can never do or say anything right.
3. They gaslight you. (Sometimes described as ‘psychological warfare’ gaslighting is an insidious process of mind games that occur over a period of time resulting in the person being gaslighted questioning their own sanity and/or reality unable to trust their own judgments.)
4. Lack of empathy.
5. They play victim to circumstances they create.
6. You feel uncomfortable when they’re around.
7. They put you down more than they lift you up.