Living in an unhealthy family structure is difficult for all family members. All members of the family and even the social environment of the family are affected by family problems and conflicts. In some unhealthy families, the environment of trust is also damaged. One of the typical situations seen in unhealthy families is that individuals blame each other for family problems. Conflicts may become inextricable due to such patterns in family communication. Recognizing and working on communication patterns will help bring the family back to a healthy structure.
The communication patterns seen in unhealthy families attract attention with various types such as judgment, supervision, and superiority. Family members do not tend to compromise during discussion and display a strict attitude. They give opposite and contradictory messages both during discussion and in daily life. In unhealthy families, individuals personalize family problems. Incriminating statements are common. It is very useful to consider the family problems as the family’s problem first. Although individual problems affect the family, communication is the backbone of family life.
The habit of controlling behavior overshadows relationships!
It is difficult to find characteristics such as empathy, openness and consistency in messages in the communication established by unhealthy families. Anger, in particular, makes it difficult for people to empathize. The desire to dominate and control is common. Parents in families that do not have pre-spoken and determined rules and principles may take an attitude towards establishing judgments on children instead of a healthy discipline. Messages can be indirect, threatening or contradictory.
Rivalry between husband and wife or between siblings can also be seen as a separate problem in families. The sources of competition brought by individuals from the unconscious should be emphasized. The root cause of the problems should be addressed step by step by overcoming communication barriers. For this, it is beneficial not to hesitate to get professional help. Communication problems should be solved and an environment of cooperation should be established between family members in order not to increase the tension in the house, especially during periods when it is difficult to cope with the difficulties of life.
Some couples or family members prefer to keep quiet or complaining rather than open and clear communication. An analogous to this is when someone is constantly declared guilty. In some families, a person is declared a scapegoat and labeled as the only “problematic” person in the family. It should be taken into account that the family is a system and that this person is an individual who interacts with the whole family, even with family history. Individuals are affected by family events, changes and behaviors of family members. Without analyzing them, seeing a single person as the cause of the problems is far from solution.
Communication is the exchange of feelings and thoughts between people. For the correct understanding of thoughts and feelings, it is important to convey the messages in a clear and positive language and to stay in the focus of the main subject. In order to create a healthy communication environment, it is important that family members are ready to listen to each other and show empathy. In families with healthy communication, some features come to the fore in individuals’ communication with each other. Individuals in these families volunteer to solve the problems that arise together. While communicating, they actively listen to each other. In such families, the functions of the family continue in a healthy way.
In order to follow a healthy communication path in your family, you can try to implement the patterns that healthy families use in communication. Healthy families do the following in communication;
They respect each other’s autonomy
Every family has some unwritten rules. In families where principles are predetermined, individuals observe the rules that protect both themselves and their family members within the family system. This situation helps to protect the uniqueness of individuals and to give them a space of freedom. When individuals have a certain area of freedom, they do not lose the opportunity to realize themselves. Family members respect each other’s autonomy. In the face of difficulties, they are ready to fight together.
They don’t judge and empathize with each other in difficult times
Even if rules and principles are predetermined in the family, life itself is full of uncertainty. This makes it inevitable to experience various problems. In addition, the family is a structure where changes occur frequently due to external and internal conditions. Healthy families act as individuals in cooperation with each other and seek a solution to the problem together before judging each other in the face of problems brought about by changes. Family members can approach each other’s situation with empathy.
Ready to listen to each other
Being ready to communicate and resolve when problems occur is a big part of the solution. People willing to solve problems are ready to listen to each other. In healthy families, individuals can communicate independently of prejudices in case of problems and needs. They establish support mechanisms for each other and are ready to listen to what they hear. Couples, in particular, act attentively and responsibly to listen to and understand each other. They are eager to spend time with each other.
Messages are clear and concise
In healthy families, individuals may be able to present the issues as they are without personalizing them. Problems can be discussed clearly and clearly. Thus, it becomes easy to find solutions together. Thanks to the clear expression of feelings and thoughts, it is easier to find out where the problem is happening. The issues can be rooted without going back to the past and mixing other problems. This allows the needs and desires to be expressed more clearly.
They are consistent
In healthy families, parents show consistent behavior towards children. Mom and dad go together on rules. Authority is established with love, not firmness. The roles are clear. Love is always present and felt regardless of the behavior shown. In childless families, adults show consistency between the messages they give to each other and their behavior. Although the ways of showing love vary from person to person, unconditional love is always present.
Text: Senem Tahmaz