Family and household environment play a significant role in developing and shaping one’s character and relationships. Those brought up in a healthy and functional family are emotionally available and are better at communicating. But those brought up in a dysfunctional family often face trouble in expressing themselves as they shut down their emotions and live through the art of denial. They experience a lot of trouble in building healthy relationships. And the only way to begin the healing process of such trauma is to accept that you have been brought up in a dysfunctional family.
Speaking on the subject, Psychologist Nicole LePara shared an Instagram post explaining the healthy skills we can learn from a functional family. “As someone raised in a highly dysfunctional home, I learned denial, enabling, shutdown and self-victimization as a normal way of existing. I never saw an adult model: emotional regulation, conflict resolution, open communication and solution-seeking. As we awaken, we begin to see family dysfunction more clearly. While this is extremely painful initially, it’s actually the foundation of healing. We’re no longer in the hypnosis or unconscious state of this as our normal. And once we see it— we can’t unsee it. The beautiful part is that we can all learn the skills and traits of healthy, functional adults at any time in life. We can reparent our inner child and learn new ways to exist. We can unlearn our conditioned behaviours and relearn things that serve who we truly want to be,” she wrote.
Things to learn from a healthy, functional family:
- Interdependence: Family members in a healthy family rely and depend on each other without sacrificing their own self and becoming a liability.
- Encourage Autonomy: Members of a healthy family tend to encourage each other on their role in the family unit along with personality identity.
- Clear and Direct communication: Members of a healthy family directly ask for their needs and are open and receptive to meeting them.
- Family can help navigate stress well: Members share and regulate their emotions, have clear thinking, and find suitable solutions to problems with absolute trust.
- Lack of hypervigilance: In a healthy family, members respect each other’s emotional states and trust that they will reach you if there is an issue.
- Clear Boundaries: In a healthy family, there are boundaries and limits on behaviour that everyone respects. Harmful behaviour is not tolerated or accepted.
- Relationships are based on authentic connection: Members of a healthy family meet and spend time together as they enjoy each other’s company.