We don’t discuss problems, emotions or express opinions in this family.
Children who are brought up thinking that none of their emotions, desires, worries, aspirations or opinions matter become adults who are disconnected from their feelings, and who avoid expressing an opinion in case of mockery or rejection.
You must always be tough and keep to the rules, or at least pretend to.
Often children are taught that they need to put on a brave or happy face, regardless of how they feel. It is the image that matters, not the reality. When this mentality extends into adulthood, people’s self-expression of needs and feelings becomes shut-down.
You’re not good enough or you’re too arrogant.
When children are not appreciated, repressed or taught that it’s unacceptable to be praised or receive praise, they become adults with low self-worth, who look for affirmation from others.
Shouting, fighting and hitting in anger are normal.
If children are exposed to violence—verbal or physical—on a frequent basis, they develop a belief that dysfunction is normal and familiar, and this may lead to them marrying into violent, abusive, neglectful and disrespectful environments.
Stringent expectations or no accountability.
Children raised in families where there are either excessively strict or markedly absent expectations tend to become adults who exhibit maladaptive traits such as controlling or enabling dysfunction in others.
This is not an exhaustive list of the traits of dysfunction found in the family – there are many more. If you think that you came from a dysfunctional family, or currently belong to one, Christian counseling for codependency can guide you into a healthy view of yourself and your relationships with others, and help you to explore your God-given liberty, identity,and joy. Stopping codependent behavior doesn’t happen overnight, but recovery is achievable.