6 Signs You Were Raised In A Dysfunctional Family

Sound familiar?

women in conflict Gladkikh Tatiana / Shutterstock

The simple definition of a dysfunctional family is one that discourages you from trusting your true self so you develop a false self.

What does that mean? It means that you are entitled to be all that you are but, unfortunately, many people have unconscious limitations due to coming from a family that subliminally asked the person to adjust to the needs of one or more family members.

Does this sound familiar?


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Here are 6 signs you were raised in a dysfunctional family and it's affected you into adulthood.

1. You spend too much time trying to please others.

You feel guilty about doing things for yourself. You feel guilty getting angry at people whom you think you should not be. And you feel guilty when others are upset.


This is caused by your erroneous thinking that you are responsible for other people’s feelings. You were trained, in essence, to do what is impossible to do to make others feel happy. An essential people-pleaser.

2. You tend to pick people that have trouble reciprocating.

You constantly feel that the relationship is very uneven. Of course, due to your false sense of responsibility and guilt, you stay in these uneven relationships for too long.

3. There is either too much or not enough conflict in your intimate relationship.

If you are always bickering and arguing without any listening or resolution, you may have come from a family where people were very reactive and ineffective in soothing themselves.

If you never have conflict and things are always agreeable, you may have come from a family where emotions were "swept under the carpet" and not dealt with. Both "high conflict" and "too low conflict" intimate relationships can be unsatisfying and emotionally draining.


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4. You get really hard on yourself and tend to be a perfectionist.

That typically means you were either overvalued or undervalued.

If you were overvalued, one or both of your parents made too big a deal out of your accomplishments and seemed to feel even better than you about them. Or you were undervalued and made to feel that you could never be good enough.

In both cases, you haven’t learned how to feel "valued" for who you are.

5. You have a very hard time relaxing.

If you ever do stop, you may notice how uptight you are. However, people who often have this problem are in perpetual motion, always having more to do on their to-do list than time allows.


6. You're extreme as a parent.

You are either too laissez-faire, letting your kids run the household, or you run it like a boot camp, thereby squelching the spontaneity of your children.

In this case, you probably came from a house of one extreme or the other. Either that or each parent represented either extreme and did not develop a united stand.

The good news is you can create a new legacy for yourself and your children.


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Todd Creager is a marriage and sex therapist. He provides unique and powerful insights that lead to powerful breakthroughs, which result in his clients getting closer to realizing their full potential.