On dysfunctional families

Dysfunctional families are those whose members can’t get their needs met.

It’s easy to grow one.

Just institute a few simple rules:

1. Don’t talk about problems.  It just makes everyone uncomfortable.

2. Don’t express feelings openly. Same reason. Why upset people?

3. Don’t communicate directly. Whenever possible, use another family member as a messenger. Children are especially useful for this.

4. Harbor unrealistic expectations of each other. Especially of kids, who’ll try their best to meet them anyway.

5. Don’t be selfish. Hide or minimize your own preferences, feelings and needs. Expect others to do the same.

6. “Do as I say, not as I do.” For example, demand honesty while remaining defended. Or condemn substance abuse with a drink in your hand.

7. “It’s not okay to play.” Be serious all the time.

8. Don’t admit mistakes, limitations or weakness. Pretend that perfection is a reasonable goal.

9. Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness. (See rule #8.)

10. Blame. It’s so much safer than responsibility.

~ From the forthcoming Monkeytraps in Everyday Life: A Guide for Control Addicts.


One response to “On dysfunctional families

  • the1313

    You ought to be here. We tread a tight wire. Family can do that. I already got in a knock down drag out battle with the brother-in-law where my husband had to get in between the two of us. I am just biding my time till we are out of here. I gave up trying with him. He is not willing to change. Unfortunately I just don’t speak to him if I don’t have to. I am thankful he sleeps to avoid the day and works 2nd shift so I really don’t see him much. When he comes home I retire to my room. Yes that in and of itself is annoying. My brother-in-law hits every one of those points. Every single one. I keep thinking he must has some form of Autism or something.

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