What is a dysfunctional family?

A dysfunctional family is characterized by conflict, misbehaviour or abuse. Relationships between family members can be tense and filled with neglect, screaming and physical harm. If your family is dysfunctional, you would have no open space to express your thoughts and feelings freely. You are not able to thrive and feel safe within your own family.

What are the signs of a dysfunctional family?

Not all families are the same, however that are clues and signs apparent to most problems.

  • Addiction
  • Perfectionism
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Unpredictability and fear
  • Conditional Love
  • Lack of boundaries
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Poor Communication


How will this affect you?

You could be affected by having low self-confidence or low self-esteem. Social anxiety and unexplained aches and pains can even be a part of it.

It is common for such traits to repeat themselves throughout generations. Your parents may have picked up on cues from their parents, which their parents picked up from their family. Many of us even grow up thinking that our families’ behaviour is normal.

How do you deal with them?

There are many reasons for family members to act problematically, it could be their finances, or their past and how their family members treated them. As stated previously it is common for traits to repeat themselves over time.

In order for you to be able to move on in life with your families, one of the most important steps is to set boundaries with them. It can also help to find support outside your family.


Contact one of our therapists here an Aventis Wellness if you need to seek help on such matters:

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