Family life can be troublesome. Yes, blood is thicker than water, but, boy, can family members make your blood boil! If you find that your family struggles to communicate and you disagree on everything, then you’re going to need to work on your communication skills.
We’re all different, and we don’t see eye to eye all the time. So, is your family dysfunctional and disagreeable? Read on to find out.
Is Your Family Dysfunctional?
What do we mean by dysfunctional? Well, in the most basic sense, a dysfunctional family dynamic means that it does not work or run smoothly from day to day. For instance, a dysfunctional family may often have conflict, abuse, misbehavior, and anger within their family dynamic.
A dysfunctional family is one that is filled with negative relationships and emotions, and you may feel that you’re unable to express your thoughts, emotions, and needs openly without criticism or disagreement.
A dysfunctional family may be unpredictable. There may be some forms of abuse, whether that is verbal, emotional, sexual, physical or substance abuse. You may find that a dysfunctional family lacks empathy or care for one another. However, the most common sign of a dysfunctional family is a lack of communication.
Communication is one of the fundamental foundations of a healthy relationship, whether that’s a familial relationship, platonic, or romantic relationship. So, what are the signs that your family cannot communicate effectively?
6 Signs Your Family’s Communication Needs Work
There are many signs that your family’s communication may need some work, but some of the more common signs of dysfunctional family communication are:
Families that do not communicate properly often end up lying or denying things to each other. They may not be truthful and may withhold information from others; whether they do this with malicious intent is another matter. For a better family dynamic, it is best to be open with one another.
Overly critical remarks are a common sign that there is a breakdown in communication in the family. Dysfunctional families often strive for perfection, which can cause a rift between family members.
Bitterness and jealousy can also result in critical remarks that can be damaging for not only the self-esteem, but the relationships between the family as a whole. When someone feels criticized, they may be less likely to open up or share things in the future.
You Are Not Heard
In a similar way, if you feel no one sees you or hears what you’re trying to say, then this is a sign that your family communication needs work. Everyone within the family unit has the right to be heard and have their own voice.
You Cannot Be Yourself
In addition, if you feel that you have to hide your true self or your true feelings from your family, then there has been a breakdown in communication and trust within the family.
You Are Verbally Abused
Verbal abuse is common in dysfunctional families. This is another sign that you cannot communicate in a healthy manner within your family.
How to Communicate Better as a Family
Be a Good Listener
Being a good listener is just as important as being a good communicator.
Be empathetic of other people’s feelings and beliefs, even if you feel differently.
Try to be clear with your boundaries, thoughts and feelings, so everyone is on the same page.
Lying and hiding the truth can only lead to misunderstandings, which can escalate the problem.
If things get heated, take a time out until things slow down a little. Someone who is angry, whether it’s you or another family member, is like someone pushing a shopping cart down the middle of the street: you can’t reason with them and they can’t reason with you. Best to wait till everyone’s calm before trying to have a reasonable conversation.