Dysfunctional Environments Can Create Broken Relationships

How does a social environment compare to that of a business environment?

An environment, which deprives us of the purpose for which it was intended is dysfunctional. As an example, the family: starting with two adults of opposite sex acting in consort to create another human, then caring for, exhibiting love, nurturing, guidance and direction for that human till it is capable of acting on its own.

The family is enlarged by siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, mentors, spiritual advisors providing comfort, support, visible love, and assurance that this created individual is on its own worthy.

Environments, which do not provide all or most of the aforementioned, are dysfunctional. There is no criticism in this statement, just an observation of facts. If your family by its actions, or absence, did not provide for your feelings of self-worth, you come from a dysfunctional environment. Join the club. You are in a representative group, which approximates the majority of the population. Recent estimates indicate over 90% of the families in the U.S. are operating above a 50% dysfunctional level.

If a dysfunctional environment produces feelings of low self-worth, the child product of this environment may seek status, wealth, power, or any of the other entrapments of success as a means of “feeling good” about themselves.

The dysfunctional arena is not always one of purpose or intent.

A child reared in a family where one parent dies prematurely may feel the same deprivation as one in which the father abandons the family.  The child of a physically abusive parent may feel no more emotional distress than the offspring of a verbally abusive mother or father.

The physically abandoned family may feel no less deprived than those who lived with a work or hobby obsessed parent.

Our feelings are often drawn from perceptions, faulty or otherwise. Thus, perception becomes reality and in the case of dysfunctional families, the degree of unworthiness felt by the offspring (family member) is a matter of their individual perception.

Noted author, Leo Buscaglia waxed eloquently about his father’s caring, loving spiritual behavior — only to have his brother respond, “Are you sure we lived with the same father?”

The family is a social system designed to protect, invigorate, nurture, and contribute to the feelings of well-being of those within it. If the family malfunctions, the product (those within it) are most often dysfunctional.

Dr. John Bradshaw, author of “Healing the Shame That Binds You” (Health Communications) states the issue clearly in his research:

“In family, the whole family as an organism is greater than any individual in the family. The family is defined by the relationship between the parts rather than the sum of the parts. As social systems, families have components, rules, roles and needs that define the system.

The chief component in the family as a system is the marriage. If the marriage is healthy and functional, the family may be healthy and functional. If the marriage is dysfunctional, then the family is dysfunctional.

A business environment frequently takes pathways similar to that of a “family”.”

We are as individuals constantly being challenged to create environments which are positive and productive. It is important to understand behavior (ours and others). We can benefit by understanding the various models of behavior in others and ourselves. Then utilize adaptability in an effort to improve our “social intelligence quotient”.

You can utilize this not only for your personal growth, but your growth as a businessman as well.

An excellent tool to begin the passage to a more positive environment in both your personal and work settings in the behavioral profile. This assessment will give you insight about yourself, your adaptability to others, how resistant you are to change, and how manageable you are.

For more information on a chronology of broken relationships, look at the below chart: 

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