Ep 136 Dysfunctional Families

 In Podcast

The nice weather is upon us, things are opening back up, families are gathering and although it is fabulous to be with each other again – frustration may soon set in.  Today I am discussing the idea of dysfunctional families, and what you can do in order to make the best of your time with loved ones.   

In Today’s Episode:

  • What does dysfunctional family dynamics mean to you?
  • Expectations of others
  • How people how love and how you can feel love
  • The stories we tell
  • Family beliefs 
  • Learning to let go
  • Deciding how you want to feel when around others  


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Episode Transcript:

Hello hello hello

Welcome back friends

Hope you had a nice week

It’s nice to be back

Do you realize we are almost 

To the half way mark of the year?

Crazy right?

Ok – let’s jump in 

Today I want to talk you about something I hear

A lot of folks talk about

And I think now 

With the nice weather, 

And things opening up, 

It means families are gathering again

Which of course is great 

After the year we’ve had 

But I think 

It can also be a bit of a challenge at times 

I know in the past 

I’ve had clients want coaching on family members

And I think now 

After some time away

We can be so excited to see everyone

But soon enough it might go back to frustrating moments


 I thought I would share a recent story 

and some tips that might help as we all start back.

When I talk about families 

I can’t help but think about Father Brian 

He used to say his family “put the fun in dysfunctional”.

I think there might be a few families like that – including mine.


I question if it is truly dysfunctional 

when I looked it up I found  the definition being “not acting normally’ 

And my thought was 


Well l…. this past weekend was just as “normal” as it’s always been.  

Let me begin with my crazy aunts.  

(I know – I am one as well….lol.. just a different level of crazy)

They come in and start telling my (not quite) 4 MONTH old niece what a little chunk she is.  

Of course this was in the most loving and adoring way 

…. but do we listen to what we say to kids sometimes? 

(You know my sister immediately told her she was perfect, 

and I took her in the other room to tell her not to listen to them – she is strong). 

And as we continue the afternoon 

they tell me how other family members should not take me seriously because I’m blonde… 

again… all in laughter and good fun in their mind.

Totally loving … at least I choose to think 

And by the way 

I wanted to thank them very much for noticing my blonde 

because I pay a lot to get it that way .

They also mentioned how most of the time 

they have no idea what I’m talking about online but they just “like” it.

At about this point I wanted to tell them clearly they should hire me then right? Lol

So Notice 

from 4 months to 4 decades 

ok, ok.. 4 decades … plus a few years  

they don’t discriminate on how they show love.  

Which might not be everyone’s cup of tea

And this might look different for you – 

but I’m guessing there are some family members that can make you go 


There’s a few things that make families tricky

Sometimes I see drama because family members 

Think the other one should 

Or shouldn’t 

Be acting 

Or doing

A certain thing

Sometimes the drama comes around

Lack of boundaries

Sometimes the challenges come 

From memories or past experiences

That just keep getting replayed over and over

It’s funny right

Sometimes it could’ve been one event

And it can last for years 

In our minds

One of the things that makes 

Family relationships tricky

Is the sometimes 

Over dependence we can have on each other

Here’s what I mean

Growing up 

A lot of us wanted to do everything 

For approval of our parents 

And so 

Even as we get older

We think that needs to be the case

I was just listening to a couple of podcasts 

Where they were talking about 

How the “bad” kids

Are great for parents

Because they challenge the norm

The “bad” kid 

Is the one that breaks out of the limited 

Identity of what the family is

I for sure

Was not the “bad” kid 

For the record..lol..

In fact

We laugh 

Because I was the oldest …

Which means the best right? Lol

But I remember I would ask to do something 

Mom would say 

I would rather you not 

And give me this look

And I knew 

That meant absolutely not 

My siblings 

They were like 

Ok – you rather me not

That’s not no 

See ya ..lol..

So there are a lot of us 

That still have that 

Have to be a rule follower 

Kinda kid

Question it 


What does it mean to have to follow all the rules?

What would happen if you didn’t?

What becomes available to you?

What extra stress comes from 

Trying to follow all the rules 

And be perfect?

It can be maddening 

But remember 

We as humans

Want to be part of a tribe 

We want to belong 

So if you start asking for more of what you want at these family gatherings 


If you say no you can’t make it

Then what happens?

I’ll tell you 

It usually feels super uncomfortable 


You can handle uncomfortable 

Another reason it’s uncomfortable 

Is because 

We have our beliefs of what a family looks like

And if we start to question that 

Our brain kinda freaks out

It doesn’t like to be wrong 

But here’s the cool thing

When you start asking things like

How can I love my family 

And not go to all of the events

(that’s if you don’t want to.. if it’s causing added stress)…

I don’t know 

Maybe it’s even redefining 

What the rules are 

Of being a family member 


All of our beliefs 

Have usually been handed down to us 

Beliefs about money,

Working hard,



All of our beliefs 

Are simply thoughts we’ve thought

So sentences we’ve said to ourselves

Over and over 

And we have the option 

To change any of them 

A lot of folks just prefer 

To drag the baggage with them through the years


You don’t have to 

And that’s just a 


Good to know 

You are fully responsible

For what goes on 

It’s not the family members 

That frustrate you

I mean think about this

You can be frustrated about them 

For an upcoming event 

They are not even in your presence 

And you say they frustrate you 

No no my friends

It’s all the thoughts you have about them 

Best news ever ..


What are some easy tips to consider 

1.  What they say is not as important as what you make it mean.  We all have stories – they do, I do, we do, you do.    

2.  What stories do you want to let go of?  Do you need to learn to let go – or just give yourself permission to let go?

3.  Do you need to start setting boundaries?  Reminder – boundaries always come from love, not manipulation.

4.  You can always ask – how would love show up here. … 

and reminder – 

you ask that for your own benefit – 

you are the one who feels love – when you choose love you feel it – it doesn’t jump into their bodies 

Here’s a crazy experiment for you 

Think of someone who drives you crazy 

My guess is 

You have the person and you can tell me all the ways they drive you crazy 

All the evidence 


Our brain always finds evidence for what we believe to be true

So you likely have an arsenal of proof


How would you like to feel about them?

If it’s love 

What might you think about them

In order to feel love

Or maybe for you

It’s compassion 


Sometimes compassion is an easier feeling to get to 

And if you aren’t sure what to think you can 

Take a minute and think about someone who is easy to love 

What is maybe a belief you have about them 

Can that belief be transferred to the other person?

Are you able to find evidence of how it could be true for this other person too?


If that ’s too far of a stretch

Can compassion be the feeling 

And maybe the thought is

They are doing their best 

I love that thought

I try to believe that 

Most people are doing their best

You can borrow that one if you want …lol…

Here’s the thing 

When we talk about 

Being able to excel in your career

But without all the stress and overwhelm

This is part of it

Our personal life 

Is our life 

It’s important to what we bring to business 

Family members 

Can give you amazing practice 

At mind management …lol..

And then you transfer the skills 

To dealing with co workers 

It’s so great 


It seriously changes your life 

Ok friend 

If this resonated today 

And you want help with this 

Or any of the topics I discuss on the podcast 

Let’s chat

My flexibility coaching program is open 

I totally designed it with you in mind

To be able to gain the benefits 

Without being too set to call times 

And yet 

Still have daily access to coaching

It’s exactly what I love about the coaching I get most of the time


Send me a message 

You know I’m on the socials 


And we can make sure 

All your questions are answered 

Ok friends 

That’s what I have for you today 

Let’s circle back next week

But for now 

Stay safe 

And make it a great day 

Take care!


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