Daughter covers ears while parents fight

How To Manage A Dysfunctional Family That Will Help You

What is a Dysfunctional Family

A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict and misbehavior are normal. And often, child neglect or abuse on the part of parents or family caregiver occur regularly. They are leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families, understanding that such an arrangement is typical. This also occurs often with older family members. It is hard to get dysfunctional family members to care for their parents. Dealing with this daily can cause strain on you as the caregiver. Don’t forget about caring for yourself and keeping your #business going while caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey of #caregiving. Schedule your planning session with me so we can look at how to keep your life and your business running smoothly as an executive or entrepreneur.

Managing Dysfunction

Dealing with a dysfunctional family is never an easy task. And takes a toll on your health, both physically and mentally. Dysfunctional family members often build up unhealthy emotional turmoil and stress. A get-together with dysfunctional family members can be a negative experience. Managing conflicts among the members become a pretty difficult task. Individuals who are victims need to know that all families are not perfect. They are not there to offer support. If you are a part of one such dysfunctional family, stand firm and learn to deal with the situation. Before we can understand the various ways to deal with the problem, let us look at the different types of dysfunctional families.

Dysfunctional Family

Types of dysfunctional families

Some examples of dysfunctional families include the following:

  • Addiction

Either one parent, both, or other family members have potent drug, alcohol, or gambling addictions. Which strongly influences the family well being.

  • Possession

One or both parents consider their children to be their possessions. Therefore, they feel they can exploit themselves physically, emotionally, and financially.

  • Ideology

Parents have a stronghold over children. The belief guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.

  • Violence

One of the parents or other family members shows physical or mental violence. Children witness all types of drama from a tender age and continue to live in fear of physical and psychological violence into adulthood.

  • Pacification

When one or both parents reward bad behavior in one child and punish another child’s good behavior for maintaining peace and avoiding conflict.

The above types of families are just a few examples of dysfunctional families. In addition, there may be individual variations within the families. And also, the degree of dysfunction may differ to a great extent.

Simple tips for dealing with dysfunctional family members

Learning to live with dysfunctional family members and yet lead a healthy life is not easy. Also, having a business and caring for a loved one can be very difficult with dysfunction. But you can certainly master the art. Here are specific simple steps to help you deal with dysfunctional family members.

  • Don’t expect a positive response.

    This is the rule of thumb to help you effectively deal with dysfunctional family members. First, it would help if you gave up all types of positive expectations. This is the essential nature of any dysfunctional family. No matter what you do, you will get the blame and be accused of your efforts and actions. Therefore, do not expect anything positive from your dysfunctional family or loved ones.

  • Keep calm.

    It is necessary to keep calm when conversing with your family member or someone close to you. However, this is easier said than done. Keeping calm is not always possible if your history with your loved one is negativeadversermore, it will help if you practice relaxation techniques to stay calm. Taking deep breaths before engaging in a conversation is also helpful.

  • You cannot change your family.

    You need to realize the universal truth that you can’t change your family members. Their thoughts, views, and ways of communicating will not change. Once you realize this, you will be better positioned to deal with your dysfunctional family member.

  • Think before you speak.

    Many regular family discussions may take a sudden unfavorable turn. For example, family members may yell, and the environment may become unfriendly. To avoid this, don’t participate in the discussion and avoid accusing other people. Yet, it does not mean you cannot voice your opinions and become a part of constructive criticism. But you have to realize that your ideas and criticism may not always be taken on a positive note.

  • Keep things civil as far as possible.

    You have to understand that conversations cannot always be friendly. Being an active participant in an unhealthy discussion can ask for more problems. Always maintain your calm. And make conscious efforts to take the conversation in a positive direction. Try your best to be civil and keep your tone as soft as possible.

Additional tips

  • Walk away when things get out of control.

    It may so happen that even after trying hard, things may not turn for the better. Discussions may turn into accusations, and the yelling starts. You may try to direct the talks to a more constructive and positive one. But unfortunately, dysfunctional family members do not want this to happen. Therefore, feel free to walk away when things don’t seem to work for you.

  • You cannot please everyone.

    It is almost impossible to keep everyone happy. Trying to achieve this will only cause more and more stress to you, your life, and your business.

  • Set boundaries.

    It would help if you told yourself the difference between what you want and what others want from you. For example, do you wish to obey every command of your family member, even if it means putting your needs last? Once you can answer this question. You will be able to avoid getting exploited. In addition, you also need to understand the difference between what you want to do and what others want you to do. Once you get this clarity, it will be easier to draw a boundary wall around yourself so that you don’t fall easy prey to the demands of your dysfunctional family members.

  • Do not feel guilty.

    Not every situation is in your control. You are not the only person responsible for clearing up all the problems. You cannot always be there to rescue them and fix their issues every time.

  • Accept help.

    You are not a superhero and do not have a solution to all the problems. It is better to ask for help from people or other members of the family whom you consider to be functional enough. Talk to them and ask for their help and support.

Let Me Help

Overseeing dysfunction can cause stress because you can’t be in 2 places at one time: taking care of your business and your loved one. Look into hiring some help. This will allow you to rest and ensure your loved one is properly cared for.

Or maybe you want to spend more time with your loved one while taking a break from redundant business tasks like sending emails, returning calls, or organizing files. Let’s chat about how I can be of service to you so you can take care of your business and your loved ones.


Dysfunctional family members can create problems from even the smallest of things. It is not that they cannot change; they can, but they have to decide what they want to change. With the above tips, you will be in a better position to deal with dysfunctional family members. Also, here is some more help to learn different parts of caregiving. Finally, here is an article on the requirements of caregiving that might help as well.


Similar Posts