I decided to write about this topic because it has so much importance and value in how we live our lives. Most people do not necessarily think that how they were raised and that their childhood experiences impact how they relate and interact with others. However, the reality is that family dynamics often have a significant influence on the way we see ourselves and others and the world in general which in turn influences our relationships, attitudes, behaviors and well-being. Growing up our parents lay the foundation of how and what the world will look like for us. Depending upon the amount of attention we received, how we were treated emotionally, mentally and psychically can define who we are today and who we have become.
If you were raised in a family of constant arguing and fighting you will more than likely find yourself in a relationship as a young adult and adult in this same type of relationship because it is familiar and comfortable for you; you know how to be in this type of relationship. However, depending upon your personality and your role in this family you may choose the opposite kind of relationship and be a conflict avoider because the experience of that level of fighting was too traumatic for you that you as an adult choose to not engage in the kind of interaction. The reality is you need to determine if how you are currently functioning in this relationship is healthy or harmful for you?
I don’t believe that constant arguing and fighting is healthy in any relationship; however, having arguments and occasional fights is normal. Because conflict is inevitable in relationships, no matter how much we may or may not like conflict. Most people do not like conflict. It is uncomfortable and often does not feel safe for most people. That is why being too passive in a relationship can be harmful because you will find that you don’t always ask for what you need and saying YES is just easier. You have to be able to determine if avoiding the conflict is not harmful to you which will depend on how you feel about your partner and if 75% of the time you get along well and love each other than it is okay. Let me clarify this is a personal decision.
What is good for me may not be good for you. That is why relationships can be so complicating. Yet if you understand where you came from and how you were raised you can say “oh so this is why I am this way?” It never ceases to amaze me that when I am working with a client and we start talking about their childhood, growing up and their parent’s relationships and sibling interactions that they will look at me and say,” That makes perfect sense to me.” Most of us aren’t even aware or necessarily believe that childhood greatly impacts who we are today good, bad or indifferent.
What I find is that most people view it as blaming their parents or their childhood experiences. Which it is not it is about understanding where we came from so that we can understand who we are today and why we do the things we do. Not everyone cares about wanting to know or to understand and even change. However, if you are the one who wants to understand the patterns and behaviors of your current life relationships take time to look back at your childhood and upbringing you may find some interesting things out and for most people there is a sense of relief. If you don’t like yourself very much or are unhappy with your life and have just told yourself this is who I am I can’t change. Understanding this new information is freeing because we now know that we can now change who we are and how we interact with others. So be the change you want for yourself!!