“I don’t like my family” is one of the most common complaints heard during psychotherapy sessions. Sometimes it is the reason for the consultation, the reason why the person went to the psychologist; Sometimes it’s a consequence of the behavior problem you’re going to therapy for. And sometimes it’s two things at once.
In any case, in many cases it is possible to make great strides in overcoming this type of problem, although many do not believe it. It’s true that once you’ve had a dysfunctional relationship with your parents for years, the idea that things could turn out differently seems unrealistic; But it’s the truth. If the behaviors of people are already in themselves very flexible and adaptable to circumstances, the behaviors of several people in interaction can still be transformed, and this is good news in the world of psychotherapy, because with the help of psychologists, it is possible to identify for the first time problems rooted for years and to apply solutions that have never been used before.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common psychological principles used in therapy. helping people bond with their families.
The original question: an all-or-nothing question
Before considering how we can reconnect with our family (or, for the first time, in some cases), it is crucial to start with a crucial question. The one that is at the heart of the successive decisions that we will then take; he is the origin of all. This question is: Is my family at risk for physical and/or mental health?
If the answer is yes, we must be clear the priority is to get to safety as soon as possible. In the most extreme cases, in which there are real cases of constant abuse and domestic violence, this means cutting off the relationship, however painful it may be, at least for a while. Time that we will dedicate to repair the emotional wounds that have left us and to develop our life in an autonomous way, gaining autonomy; only when this is done will we be far from the danger of falling back into the dynamic of abuse as victims and can we think of giving a second chance.
If the answer is no, we can consider establishing strategies to strengthen these emotional bonds in the short term.but it is also important to pay attention to the signs indicating that dealing with the family can have psychological consequences on us, to have a reference on the degree of sacrifice we are ready to make to initiate this emotional “reunion”. .
So, at the start of everything, there is a question of all or nothing: either we intend to be with the family and lead a life accordingly, or we intend to break completely with this social and relational environment, or at least with those they damaged and with whom they collaborated.
I Don’t Love My Family: Strategies for Overcoming Conflict and Strengthening Family Bonds
In psychotherapy, each problem is always treated individually, and of course, there are no solutions that ensure, in advance, the resolution of a family conflict that may have lasted for years or decades. However, these general ideas, widely used by therapists, can serve as a reference.
1. We must combine moments of intimacy and those of going together
Maintain that healthy balance it allows everyone to be comfortable contributing and receiving things from the family and, at the same time, having their own space to develop their life as an individual.
2. Assertiveness is the best prevention tool
Being assertive allows us to communicate disagreements and dissenting opinions in a timely manner. without letting unease build up, at the cost of not expressing oneself for fear of generating unease or discussion. until generating explosions of frustration and anger.
3. It is important to respect generational differences
Many people, because they only relate to people their own age, end up not knowing how to connect with those of other generations, assuming they have interests, inappropriate political and moral tastes and positions.
This creates a divide that makes honest and direct communication difficult., leading, for example, many parents to limit their conversations with their children to bombarding them with questions about objective facts about their behavior: What did you do today? What career will you choose? When are you looking for a boyfriend? Thus, there is no elaboration of this person’s feelings, concerns or priorities and, as a result, young people become defensive in the face of this attitude which they perceive as police.
Therefore, it is important to have conversations that go beyond asking trivial questions, and in which everyone not only questions, but also contributes and is ready to learn from the other.
4. Criticism should always be made in a direct and constructive manner
It is very harmful to criticize the back of the other; not only because it embarrasses the interlocutor and does not serve to provide solutions, but also because it generates an atmosphere of distrust in the family. This should be replaced with constructive criticism or, if what we don’t like is an unimportant detail, even silence.
Are you interested in having professional psychological assistance?
If you are seeking professional help from a psychologist trained in managing personal relationships and the emotions associated with them, please contact me.
My name is Javier Ares and I am a psychologist specializing in the field of clinical psychology. I work with issues such as low self-esteem, family conflict, excessive anxiety and stress, depressed mood, and relationship crisis, among others. You can count on my help in person and in the form of online video call therapy.
- Horse, V. (1983). Social skills training and assessment manual. Madrid: Acronym XXI.
- Paterson, RJ (2000). The assertiveness workbook: how to speak up and stand up for yourself at work and in relationships. Oakland: New harbinger.
- Ochoa, I. (1995). Approaches to systemic family therapy. Berger: Barcelona.