I have blogged many articles on aspects of dysfunctional families and thought it might be helpful to have a questionnaire to assist in analyzing just how dysfunctional ones family might be.
The list of course is not exhaustive and is simply an indicator as to whether one’s own family is dysfunctional or not.
If you suspect your family is dysfunctional, then you are probably correct. Every family is somewhat dysfunctional, even the most communicative and loving are on some level. Other families are simply toxic from the start and that function may be perpetuated through generations.
Dysfunctional families: 17 questions to ask yourself
1. Do members of your family go long periods of time without communicating with each other? Particularly when angry over something supposedly slight.
Obviously communication is better than non communication and counselling can help a great deal to overcome this particular problem;
2. Did you experience favouritism by your parents? Were one or more children treated substantially different as favourites from the others?
This obviously should not happen as in an ideal family children are treated equally in all aspects, particularly when it comes to reward and punishment.
3. Do members of your family abuse alcohol and/or drugs – particularly your parents?
4. Is the household full of sarcasm, insults, yelling matches and other inappropriate forms of communication?
Simple things such as teasing about one’s weight or other sensitive issues can go a long ways to causing problems within the family that can last a very long time;
5. Did your family ever discuss negative emotions or negative mishaps and instead express emotions such as love and caring?
Many dysfunctional families display behaviour known as passive aggressive behaviour.
6. Did your parents ever listen to your problems are your siblings problems? Or were they simply never interested or around for counselling?
7. Were you raised by other siblings or relatives rather than your actual parents?
8. Did you miss out on your childhood by assuming adult responsibilities at a very early age?
The roles that you and your brothers and sisters had as children will often impact relationships with each other and possible mates into the future.
9. Was money a very sensitive topic in the family? Particularly when there is not enough for social activities and the necessities of the children.
10. Were there mental health issues in the family that were typically avoided and not discussed?
11. Was one or more parents overly controlling?
12. Was one or more parents verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually abusive?
13. Did your parents show interest in you by attending school events, or sporting events in support of yourself?
14. Did your family take holidays together and if so, where they pleasurable or disastrous?
15. Were you raised in a so-called blended family where your parents had been involved with multiple partners and have multiple families?
16. Do family members dread seeing each other and rarely see or communicate with each other?
17. Was any form of abuse, particularly physical or sexual ever discussed openly amongst the family or was it hidden and never to be discussed?