The dysfunction in families!

Healthy boundaries help define relationships and foster trust

All individuals and families have challenges, but some families have "dysfunction," defined as "abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior.” Dysfunctional family relationships are impaired and incapable of closeness, communication, and self-expression. It can be challenging to see unhealthy characteristics until you confidently identify prevailing systems.

Dysfunctional relationships manifest themselves in many forms. I will share three examples today and much more on:

Family is dysfunctional if individuals interact undesirably with each other.

1. Ineffective Behavior - Dysfunctional family members might not talk to each other or speak at all in extreme cases. Some families only communicate with each other when there is a fight or a disagreement. Indirect, unkind, and one-sided interactions are common characteristics of dysfunctional families.

2. Lack of Boundaries – Someone’s lack of boundaries creates fertile ground for issues like codependency and enabling. When family members disagree on acceptable behaviors, won't speak up for themselves, or ask others to respect their values, this is a warning sign of dysfunction.

3. Unhealthy Boundaries – One of the most frequently spotted signs of dysfunction is having too high or too low boundaries. These characteristics manifest as minor or significant dysfunction. Unhealthy boundaries interfere with a person's ability to feel safe or comfortable in the home and with family.

Unhealthy limitations must be acknowledged and addressed immediately before permanent damage is done.

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