Cycle of Dysfunction


Hey everyone, it's been a while but for good reason which will be revealed in a much later blog post. This one however has been stewing for a while and was inspired by a conversation that I had with a friend over how certain behaviours can affect relationships-platonic or otherwise.



Family, love them or hate them (hopefully not) they are filled with different characters that provide us with lessons very early on in life. If utilised properly one can learn quite a bit about society as a whole based on your nuclear family unit. Sometimes personalities may clash which is reflective of what can happen at work and so on.


It goes much further than that however and to some degree culture dictates-or rather influences the family. Where allowed, religion also influences family and it goes without saying that society has an impact on family too. Having said all of that however you (as a parent) are in control of how your family is run but before all of that let us go back to basics. 


Whether we like it or not there are certain traits/characteristics that we grew up with in our family that will spill over into our own family when the time comes.This can be a good or a bad thing. I will focus on the latter by first explaining what dysfunction is.


According to Merriam Webster dysfunction is described as:


Abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behaviour or interaction within a group




With that being said let us look at it in greater detail.



How can dysfunction appear, especially within a family unit?


It can manifest as something that deviates from the 'acceptable' norm. Being raised sparingly on love is dysfunction as is being raised on too much love (therefore being spoilt).


Absence of love is dysfunction

Doubting the love presented to you is dysfunction

Being the 'preferred' sibling is dysfunction

Being overlooked in your family is also dysfunction



Many more examples abound but this gives a good starting point. Dysfunction within the family is not a modern day phenomenon however and we see it occur in the bible too.



Families in the Bible and their dysfunction


Isaac and Rebekkah (Genesis 27)


Their household shared love unequally and unfavourably with one parent preferring a child to another. Needless to say this brewed anger between the two siblings and a series of unfortunate events ensued.



Jacob ( Gensis 37: 3-35)


Sadly the dysfunction continues and Jacob too favours Joseph over his other children which sets the ball rolling for disaster in the future. 



What now?


The moment you realise a dysfunctional trait that stems from your family upbringing is the moment you have the responsibility to do something about it! Don't confuse dysfunction with imperfection as the latter is human nature. Dysfunction differs in that it can seriously impact your relationship with others and whilst you many not see the results immediately it will manifest eventually. Contrary to a popular misguided belief a 'broken home' does not necessarily have to be a single parent household and in fact can be a two parent household whereby parents are present physically but not necessarily emotionally.


Make no mistake, you will encounter a relationship that forces you to face it or avoid it. It could be your partner/spouse relationship whereby you begin to see the fruits or even in your relationship with your child. If care is not taken you will imbibe the traits from the past that you swore vehemently not to do and then before you know it your children inherits your dysfunction thus creating a cycle of dysfunction.



Nobody chooses their family but we can choose to break that cycle right here and right now.