How to Overcome a Dysfunctional Family Legacy
By Dr. Daryl Green
Are you dealing with negative vibes in your family? Do you feel like your being held hostage by your family dysfunctional behavior? Unfortunately, no one has a perfect family. In fact, there’s probably some dysfunctional behavior in everyone’s family tree; most people are too ashamed to admit it. Confusion can destroy a close-knit family. In this situation, the word “family” primarily refers to your extended relatives (brother, sister, aunt, cousin, etc.). Communication usually breaks down--feelings get hurt. Disharmony can happen to any family. In fact, this situation can be created either by individual choices or by the decisions of others. You can see it created through many ways: selfish sibling, drugs taking control, dependent relatives, money-stricken friends, or toxic relationships. Can you think of others?
Many issues can cause family confusion. Many people tend to react to their gut feeling without thinking through the consequences. Don’t believe these personal decisions only impact you. No, short-term choices can leave a legacy of total disasters. Do you need examples? Take someone else’s loved one? Threaten to kill someone? We live in a society where no one wants to wait and develop a real relationship. People prefer to generate quick “soap opera” relationships to shield their insecurities. There are unintended consequences.
In 2000, former NFL star Derrick Thomas died from injuries suffered in an auto accident. Thomas had fame, fortune, and a bright future. He probably hoped to leave fans a legacy of outstanding memories. Unfortunately, this was not the case. It stands as another American tragedy. He left seven children from five different women and no will. While Thomas earned more than $30 million in his football career, his children will long remember the legacy of dysfunctional family memories. Therefore, individual actions can contribute to the level of dysfunctional behavior in families.
Some family members can also create family disharmony. A small dose of confusion can spread like a wild fire in a family. You can always find at least one person looking to generate “mess” in a family. What will start it this time? Family property? Money? This person will not let the problem die down; he is not content until there is a big explosion. The results are generally not positive. In our own family, we have seen family members fight over property. There is generally lots of anger and hurt feelings.
Often kids are caught in the middle, left to carry on this confusion (even when they don’t understand the cause). While many involved in these types of situations are left empty, some people thrive on this negative energy and seem to get enjoyment from it (the more trouble, the better). They celebrate disharmony. We call these folks “troublemakers” or “instigators.” Here are some suggestions for improving these situations:
· Recognize the potential problem.
· Deal with the problem immediately. Don’t wait.
· Determine the root cause. What is the situation really about?
· Determine who really needs to get involved. Do you need to broadcast the problem to everyone in the family?
· Find common ground and create a win-win situation, if possible.
· Keep your cool.
Building a strong family bond takes commitment. It’s easy to get sidetracked by “he said, she said” ordeals. It takes courage to look beyond the surface problems to determine the real root cause. You have to be stern in your beliefs…and committed. You need to focus on what’s critical for your family. Make every attempt to live at peace with everyone. Determine to make yourself a peacemaker and don’t allow yourself to be conquered by negativism. Stand Tall. Embrace your relatives with positive vibes. Effective individuals want to build harmony in their families. Start today before it is too late!
© 2014 by Daryl D. Green
Dr. Daryl D. Green writes on contemporary issues impacting individuals, businesses, and society across the globe. With over 18 years of management experience, Dr. Green’s expertise has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to http://stores.lulu.com/darygre or http://www.darylgreen.org.
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