Your Life is not your own.
You are an author, writing the Truth of You.
Your family, culture, country, planet, and universe are each whole organisms of which you are a part.
Without them, your life would have no context---the author's pen would have no paper.
Don't judge others;
Pour Love's Unconditional Power into your pen.
Impact those around you with love, from the inside out.
Acknowledge and appreciate the opportunity to bring Love into this communion of souls in physical form.
On this page you will find information about the following:
- Family Dynamics
- Family Conflict
- Your Power in the Family
Families operate as emotional and behavioral systems. Family problems result from the system, and not as a direct result of any one person. Each person's personality (actions, words, etc.) influences every family member. As a result, chain reactions occur and contribute to family operating systems. Family problems do not reside within an individual, but within the operating systems. These systems usually become predictable and repetitive. If you are able to get a somewhat objective view of your family system, you will be able to see your roles, and your impact within the system.
Each family member can be programmed into specific roles in the family system. Roles change over time, with evolving circumstances. Each given role influences the person's way of operating in the family system. It is possible to become aware of how you have been programmed into a role, and to change your role. This is difficult. As you mature, you may realize a misfit between your sense of self and your assumed role in the family system. Here, a struggle for individuality may occur. Ideally, a balance is discovered in being true to yourself, and operating from a healthy role in the the family system. If this balance cannot be found, you may want to create a healthy distance from the family. Continuing in an unhealthy role contributes to a problematic system. It is difficult to leave a role, as each role evolved according to apparent gain from assuming the role, no matter how negative the role appeared. Changing your role can be uncomfortable yet liberating.
Conflict remains alive only when there is participation in it. No one person is to blame. More than one person is required to create and maintain conflict. Do not blame others. Blame will decrease your personal sense of power and joy. Focus on improving yourself; do not focus on changing others' thoughts, words, or actions.
The happiest people take responsibility for their own happiness.
Family patterns and individuals' roles are passed from one generation to the next. Adults tend to assume the same emotional roles in current relationships as they did as a child. People tend to form relationships with others whose emotional roles compliment their own. This creates relationship patterns reminiscent of childhood. Parents usually continue the same emotional roles and family patterns as were present in their original families. These patterns include belief systems (prejudices, anxieties, expectations, assumptions, etc.) which are then reproduced in the new family system. When you become aware of the way you were programmed, and the changes you want to make in yourself, powerful changes can made in both you and your family patterns.
Problematic systems, known as 'Triangles", form in families. When one person feels hurt, disappointed, or angry with another, and cannot resolve it with that person, tension builds. A third person is often brought into the situation, decreasing tension, but confusing the problem. This is a "Triangle".
- A parent may use a child to meet emotional needs not met in the marriage.
- A child may bring in a second parent to negate the first parent's rules.
- A friend or relative may be brought in from outside the immediate family to take sides in a conflict.
When tension is building in a family relationship, it is best to resolve it within the two people. One person can have a positive impact in healing a triangle by refusing to be a part of it. If a second parent is brought in, the parents need to act in unison (as one), thus avoiding the creation of a triangle. This is a wonderful opportunity to use unified parenting skills.
All families experience conflict. Conflict arises when the needs of one family member are understood to be counter to the needs of another. For example, an adolescent's need for greater independence may appear to conflict with a parent's need to maintain a healthy level of control over the child's activities. In another example, one person experiences the desire to be alone at the same time another desires companionship.
Conflict is normal. Family members experience various needs (love, recognition, self-reliance, independence, health, physical security, self-worth, intimacy, pleasure, privacy, competence, accomplishment, purpose, and many more). Although various needs can be met at the same time, there are also instances when needs appear to conflict. Always know there is a way to meet the needs of all...somehow.
Whether a specific conflict helps or hurts relationships depends on HOW the conflict is managed. If members in the dispute take into account the needs of each other, and then negotiate an agreement, they will likely create a favorable outcome. If they get into a tug-of-war about who is right or wrong, the outcome will likely harm the relationships.
Conflict communication requires honest negotiation and focused effort. Difficult and long-standing conflicts are not easily solved. Avoid getting caught in common destructive communication patterns (these are listed in Communication Skills Part 1).
Escalation of conflicts can usually be avoided if family members seek to resolve conflicts when they are first noticed. Effective communication skills are easier to practice when conflict is in initial stages, prior to becoming red-hot. Red-hot conflicts result when problem-solving is avoided and/or when destructive communication is used. In the case of escalating conflict, resolve within yourself to be calm. Express the need for a "Time-Out" (discussed in Communication Skills Part 4). Do not let uncomfortable emotions create a desire to hurt the other. After the Time-Out, resume healthy communication.
Each family member, regardless of age, needs her/his feelings and opinions recognized and respected by others. However, a family cannot be a pure democracy, as parents are responsible for the welfare of the children. Some family "rules" are non-negotiable and can only be decided by parents. At the same time, many family rules have room for negotiation. Parents must clarify (usually repeatedly) what is non-negotiable. Parents also need to be responsible and respectful of the opinions/input of children. It is healthy and empowering for children to participate in decision making.
Your Power in the Family
Your Best Self
Take personal responsibility to be your best self in your family. Consider the beliefs you have that set you free from judgement and resentment. For examples, "I refuse to see others through eyes of judgement," and "I center myself in love, before responding to others in stressful situations." Do you use these beliefs in all situations? Or do you judge in certain circumstances, creating opposition and/or resentment for yourself? Do not waste energy in a tug-of-war about anything. Create joy, and share it with those who desire it also---In this way, you will discover your power to impact those around you.