The dynamics in our family of origin leave an imprint on us--for better or for worse. If there is perpetual toxicity in your family of origin, the imprint left can feel devastating. It is also common for family members to sometimes not recognize the toxicity and its impact. Knowing the signs and impact can help you understand why you might feel the way you feel and why you have some of the struggles you have. Thankfully, you do not have to stay tethered to, or wounded by, these toxic patterns. Healing, freedom, and positive growth can be yours.
Below is a brief synopsis of some common signs of toxicity in families, the impact that toxicity has, and what to do about it.
How to Effectively Bring Your Voice to Difficult Conversations
Whether you are prone to feeling like an avoidant, shrinking violet in your interactions, or a dominant over-reacher, better ways of communicating are possible. One key is healthy assertiveness. First, let’s be clear. Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Assertiveness is a skill that involves owning, valuing, and appropriately sharing your own thoughts, beliefs, and needs while respecting others. This article will provide you with tips on how to begin building assertiveness into your communication.
Please Keep in Mind: These steps pertain to interactions with mentally and emotionally healthy individuals. If you are in a dynamic where the person is dangerous, get appropriate help. If you are trying to engage with someone who is unwilling to engage in a reasonable and healthy manner, walking away from the conversation might be the best course of action. Use wisdom and discretion.
1. Build Rapport
Building rapport is an important first step. It allows for greater understanding in our exchanges with others. Here are some ways to build rapport.
Are you wondering if you should opt for relationship counseling or if you should try relationship coaching instead? Here's why coaching might be a good fit.
First, it's important to note that marriage counseling provides an important form of intervention for many couples, especially where there are complex mental health issues involved. Marriage coaching, unlike counseling, does not provide mental health treatment.
Marriage coaching, however, is a great fit for couples who desire to acquire and be proficient in relevant and effective tools and new relationship strategies, and and who want a space where they can heal from old wounds and explore new and meaningful ways of relating.
An experienced relationship coach can help you to become highly skilled at cultivating a tremendously satisfying relationship. An effective relationship coach partners with you to help you discover the patterns in your current relationship, reevaluate and address problematic dynamics, acquire the skills needed to resolve conflict in intimacy-building ways, identify and release unresolved feelings and issues, set and effectively pursue meaningful relationship goals, take your relationship to a new level, and thrive in your partnership.
For this reason, marriage coaching is a highly valuable pathway to marital satisfaction and enjoyment. For more on marriage and relationship coaching, visit here.
While an apology letter is not an instant fix, it is an important and valuable step in the recovery process. There is no one way to write an apology letter. However, there are some important elements that can be tremulously healing for the betrayed spouse. Below, I have organized those elements into 7 paragraphs based on the acronym APOLOGY.
Forgiveness isn’t typically our favorite word when others need it from us. Yet, a critical aspect of healing from the wounds of the past is forgiveness. Depending on who or what needs to be forgiven, the prospect can seem impossible.
There is much that can be said about forgiveness, but let’s focus on two important aspects of forgiveness. Forgiveness involves: (1) letting go of the expectation that those involved will ever acknowledge that they have hurt you, and (2) letting go of the expectation that one day they will make it right.
This brings us to why forgiveness is so difficult. Forgiveness offends our sense of justice. It seems as though we are letting the offender off the hook. They’re getting away scot-free, and that just isn’t right. It isn’t fair.
You might be walking through some type of trouble. But God is present. If you belong to Him, you can depend on Him to be active on your behalf ... even through this very present difficulty you are facing.
Who are you?
Perhaps you can answer that question with ease. You might give your name, your profession, or the roles in which you function. Yet, those answers do not really capture the heart of your identity. Significant numbers of individuals experience profound internal struggles because they do not know who they truly are beyond those labels, functions, and achievements.
Having a true sense of self - an identity - is a critical part of living well. Certainly, we can all experience times when we feel like we don’t know who we are. This can be especially true during challenging seasons, such as losing a loved one, being unemployed, going through a divorce, or moving to a different country.
A real identity crisis, however, is different. It is not merely situational, but pervasive, and it causes profound struggles. Those with identity issues can experience anxiety, insecurity, depression, hopelessness, difficulty with emotional intimacy, a chronic sense of loneliness, and more.
How do you know if the struggles you are experiencing are tied to your sense of self? Ask yourself a few questions:
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, it is possible that your sense of self has been wounded or compromised in some way. If you answered yes to a few or several, it is very possible that you are struggling with an identity crisis. Thankfully, there is help and hope. The true joy of living with a healthy sense of self can be yours. Reach out for help and find freedom.
Dr. Dawn-Marie shares a refreshing blend of professional insights and personal stories in this encouraging blog.