With every coaching client the conundrum of family comes up and the misunderstandings cause plenty of unnecessary stress. As you probably already figured out for yourself, all families are f***ed up.
Families are screwed up or at least dysfunctional. The purpose of this seemingly defective group is to experience love, allow growth, and handle crises for each individual and in a group environment. In other words, a family is by definition a potentially dysfunctional environment for all family members to learn their lessons from and with each other. We learn the good like receiving love, loyalty, forgiveness and we experience the bad with betrayal, disappointment and shame.
There is no such thing as a perfect family like you see on TV, but we long for it.Can you remember when you wanted your friend’s parents, because they were so cool. Guess for a moment what your friend of those cool parents wished for? If you would grow up in a TV family setting, your survival in the “real” world would be short lived. Why? Family hones your emotional intelligence by teaching you to gauge the meaning of trust and distrust, love and manipulation, honesty and deception. Family is a “safe” training ground to prepare your skill of being able to live in the world as adults.
Sadly, the reason of all family damage comes from an adopted understanding that a family is supposed to be perfect in a certain way. Trying to adapt to such an ideal increases tension, control and anger. Families that strive to conform to their made-up model often end up in shaming its members actively, through ridicule, or passively, through comparison to the “perpetrator.” “You are (are not) like your brother who stole the money, you are just like your cheating father”
I define a functional family as one that creates a dynamic community, which allows its members to embrace their individuality through independence. This kind of family knows that, no matter what happens, it can cope with differences, arguments or events, like a 12 year old daughter becoming pregnant or a parent falling ill without jeopardizing any of its members. A family works when it can handle dysfunction, when it can deal with anything that is thrown their way and everyone knows they will get through this.
This established safety is the glue that holds a functional family together. Contrary, living with each other by depending on conformity leads to unnecessary stress, hurt and boredom. The art of living life is where everyone is participating and contributing with their uniqueness and idiosyncrasies to uplift. The purpose why all families are dysfunctional is for the reason of everyone’s growth, experiencing love, learning how to handle crises and how to function as member and as a unit discovering one’s impact.
Understanding and accepting your families’ function will allow you to relieve stress and guilt, refocus and create space for each family member to experience a more content and a happier future.
Listen to this podcast click Family – What is It?
Michaell Magrutsche, Dr. Joen Painter & Hillary F. Brown are certified personal coaches that let you listen-in on the best of their private master-sessions where they discuss topics that come up with themselves or their clients. Secret Talks Podcasts andwebpage.