You may be wondering, “How did my relationship with my parents get this way?” No family is perfect, but many families have dysfunction that, when unaddressed, breaks down communication and hurts relationships. What makes a family dysfunctional?
A family becomes dysfunctional when conflict, abuse, cruelty, and other toxic behaviors become the norm. If you and your family fight constantly, and no one tries to improve their behavior or get help managing their emotions, you’re likely stuck in a pattern of family dysfunction.
It’s important to note that while outright cruelty and abuse are significant signs of a dysfunctional family, those aren’t the only indications your family may be dysfunctional. Families can also become dysfunctional if parents insist on perfection, have poor emotional boundaries, withhold affection, distance themselves from your life, or manipulate you into doing what they want.