How Dysfunctional Families Affect Development and Relationships

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The weird thing about the word dysfunction (and the often-used dysfunctional families) is that — from a definitional standpoint — it pertains to anything that’s considered outside the norm.

Why is that weird?

Well, because the one thing that’s abnormal, if you ask me, is growing up in a family that doesn’t have any dysfunctional relationships/patterns/behaviors.

Hence, dysfunctional families are actually normal and, dare I say, often quite functional.

Dysfunctional Familes are Normal And so is Development

Let me make clear, at the outset, that my only objective with this blog is to have you start thinking about any of the…

  • cracks in the foundation
  • pain
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • upheaval

…you feel in your relationships today — that may stem from your “dysfunctional” past — doesn’t have to last forever.

Examples of not so everyday dysfunctional familial relationships:

  • Mother had postpartum depression and couldn’t connect with child for the first couple years of its life.
  • Child never saw parents during the day because they were in daycare since three weeks old.
  • Parents were overly involved, never allowing child to develop autonomy.
  • Older sibling was a drug addict.

How growing up with family dysfunction impacts our relationships today.

Sometimes dysfunction that we’ve been exposed to (growing up) can have a positive effect on how we parent, like 1) what we will not tolerate and 2) values we will and won’t pass on.

But more often than not, that dysfunction we experienced in early childhood has a negative impact on our subconscious beliefs.

That’s why our…

  • parent-child relationships
  • romantic relationships
  • friendships

…are often:

  • sabotaged
  • damaged
  • suffering from poor decisions

This all comes back to subconscious fears that are controlling you in a way you probably don’t even realize.

How Your Dysfunctional Family Affects your Relationship Today

How do you fix it?

The only way to heal and mend a subconscious fear is to do the work it takes to uncover where it stemmed from in the first place. 

For much more related to this topic, including:

  • The 1 question I want you to ask yourself re: your most troubling relationship
  • Personal anecdote of my friend and her subconscious fear (and how it affected certain relationships in her life)
  • The first step in identifying your problem as it relates to a certain relationship

Check out The Chalene Show episode below:

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