When we look at dysfunctional family systems we will almost certainly be looking at control. Dysfunctional family systems evoke fear in the members to keep control over them. Dysfunctional families do not encourage the members to do what they want, think what they want or be what they want. Dysfunctional families will often push boundaries and over step boundaries as a way to measure if a member is still under the control of the system.
Use this list to measure if you are being controlled by a dysfunctional family system
1. You are afraid to tell a member of the system no
2. You do not ask for what you want or need
3. You go the extra mile to help but others in the system do not reciprocate when you need help, or they over help by giving help in a way where they are in control of everything
4. You are afraid to set boundaries, you do what others in the system want you to do when they want you to do it
5. Having others in the system talk bad about you, this can include twisting what you said or did or just lying about you
6. Being worried that if you do not do what the family system wants you to do that you will be talked about in a bad way
Setting boundaries to stop the control can be scary and nerve racking to say the least. Most dysfunctional families have spent years instilling fear that you need the family or that the family is everything. The family then uses the threat of withholding the family from you if you are not allowing the control to continue. When you finally get the courage to live your own life, it can feel like you are on your own with no support and this can feel both scary and intimidating. The reality is that you were not supported anyway, you were controlled.
Getting out of the control may include the following:
1. Having to risk losing the dysfunctional family system
2. Limiting your time with the dysfunctional family system
3. Saying no
4. Not explaining or defending yourself or your decisions
5, Refusing to engage in manipulation or guilt trips- learning to just say no and walk away
6. Creating a new support system for yourself
Most of us that come from a dysfunctional family system, cannot see it when we are in it, but for most of us there comes a day when we begin to realize that our needs are not being met, taken seriously or respected and then we have a chance and responsibility to do something about it.
Take care everyone, and if you have been stuck in a dysfunctional family system then this may be the day that you begin to say no thank you to being controlled and start making a plan to live a life that you love. Thanks for reading and take good care!