A lot of cycle breaking that takes place in families happens without much open discussion. Often families don’t have the language or willingness to discuss things that might be unhealthy for one or more members.
Things that might prevent a family from discussing issues are:
- Feeling the issues are too overwhelming
- The issue is unresolvable, so what’s the point?
- You are the problem, and we can’t fix you
- The feelings that come up are too overwhelming for one or more members
- It feels uncomfortable, so let’s all avoid it
- Talking about it makes it more real
- If we talk about it, we can’t pretend everything is okay anymore.
- Fear of criticism and change
As the cycle breaker, it can be beneficial to start the open communication about what you would like to change. This happens most effectively when it is delivered without judgement in a moment of calm, rather than a huge list delivered in the middle of a fight.
Helpful steps might be:
- Get clear about what you would like to change and why
- When something related to that thing happens, you let your family know why and how you would like to change the family pattern.
- This is not demanding anything of them, it is simply letting them know that you are going to be doing something different.
- How they respond is not your business, but it is up to you to follow through consistently.
What other blocks have you noticed to open family discussions? If you feel safe to, add any extras in the comments below.