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Understanding Family Dynamics

From: Empowered Living,

Understanding Family Dynamics

What drives you? What drives others? This is what determines how we live and function, and how others live and function too. The way you see yourself, your life, and your family, is all based on “Values”, i.e on what our own priorities are. Each person has a unique set of priorities and this dictates the destiny of that person. If we understand this and communicate our values in terms of the other person’s values, we will have a win-win situation instead of conflict. It would be wise also to change your expectations towards those around you and honour them for THEIR values rather than projecting your own values on to THEM. All events are actually “neutral” until we label them according to our own values.

There are over 4600 traits and in a family all traits are demonstrated by the family members. Wherever you have “chaos”, someone else will have “order”. Wherever you have “order”, someone else will have “chaos”. There is an equilibrium of all complementary opposites in nature, in the universe, and in the family too. Please understand this, and appreciate the family as it is! Warren Buffett studied finance, economics, and wealth building. His son (on the other side of the brain), is an artist and musician. There is no cooperation without competition, unity without diversity, over-protector without aggressor. If someone in the family is an intellect, there will be someone who “goes-with-the-flow”; if someone is a “party animal”, there will be a quiet one; if someone is “focused” another one will say “I don’t know”. Whatever is low on your values will be high on someone else’s.

Make a list of all the traits in the family and discover who is playing what role in the family. They are constantly changing and when one person changes, there is a shift in all family members. It is a moving dynamic and what parents repress, children express!

The financier and author Robert Kiyosaki was a militant, strategist, aggressor and businessman with a fortune in wealth. His sister made vows in poverty, and led a non-violence approach to life (complementation of opposites). A beautiful model may have a not so good-looking brother. There is a constant balance of opposites in the family – peace AND war, happiness and sadness, a soft and quiet protector vs an outspoken, aggressive, and perhaps violent person.

Everyone lives according to their own unique values and whatever is high on their values is where you will find their order and discipline. If you are attempting to fix anyone in the family – just know it’s futile!

It would be wiser to ask “What are THEIR values?” What is THEIR life demonstrating as this is how THEY live and THEY make their decisions. If YOU were to want THEM to become like YOU – then YOU would start to become like THEM!

People just want to be loved and appreciated for who they are! Whenever this isn’t the case – the ABCs of negativity appear: anger, aggression; blame, betrayal; criticism, challenge. It would be wise, therefore, to determine the values of ALL family members and see how they serve YOU so that you can appreciate THEM. Find out how THEY are dedicated to serve YOU, and also how what you are doing serves THEIR values. People just want to live and fulfill their own values!

Value Systems

For this reason – don’t expect peace in a family because there are two different Value Systems. In every family there is support AND challenge, peace AND war, agreement AND disagreement, like AND dislike. If everyone is peaceful and everything is all good in the family environment, then there will be anger towards someone in the neighbourhood, or at work, or the repressing of feelings to put on a facade! You must have both in order to grow. Maximum growth is at the border of support and challenge – in ourselves, and in the family too.

Every trait can be found in the family. Look for its opposite – is it in a repression? New boyfriend? A relative? Having an affair? Love is the synthesis and synchronicity of all opposites and that is what family dynamics are for – to maintain the “whole”.

A supportive, kind, peaceful family is not OK. It’s a delusion, and many people when young have a fantasy of a kind, sweet, happy family, and get angry because it isn’t like that! There will always be agreement AND disagreement.

Nothing is missing in a family either. If there was no mum when growing up – ask yourself who WAS representing the mother? Which trait did you feel was missing? And what was the new form? You will have a more fulfilled life if you see the traits that ARE there and you’re not addicted to the fantasy of how it SHOULD have been. What and who IS providing it? It’s always in a form of your highest values.

Regarding soul mates too – if you’ve had more pain with the one, the “soul mate” will diversify into the many. If you’ve had more pain with the many – it will diversify into the one. What are the traits you are looking for in a soul mate? What and who IS providing them?

Be aware not to compare ourselves to others too. Appreciate who we are, the way we are! There is a very helpful “exercise” to do on each family member. Have realistic expectations on ourselves AND on our family! There are universal laws which apply to the family too.

A superstar will often be well known in the media. Her opposite in the family will be quiet and at home. A person who excels in intellect will have a challenged brother or sister. For every extrovert there will be an introvert. Don’t infatuate with one side and resent the other as that will lead to bipolar states. See and honour both sides synchronously, and appreciate and love the family as it is. Remember – what the parents repress, the children express. Own all parts yourself, and appreciate them for theirs too.

If there is a family member who only contacts you, for example, when he needs money or favours – just realise that each person only wants to fulfill his values. If they don’t need you to help with this – they won’t get in touch. Be aware you don’t expect human beings to do what won’t fulfill THEIR values! If you were to give in to the person, (wanting money for example), and they get whatever they want, you are feeding that. Make sure you give them accountability and responsibility for their own money management. If it inspires you too, then say yes. If it doesn’t, and you give money without accountability – you will feel resentment. It would be wise if you give money in this case, to give a loan and charge interest or come up with a payment plan etc. Make sure there is an income source otherwise it is a delusion!

DON’T RESCUE PEOPLE as it undermines them! If you do enable them, then they will undermine you and resent it! Make sure there is some sort of “fair exchange”. Be integral and open, and feel free to speak up about it. If you don’t, there will be a sense of incompleteness which will lead to gossip. Don’t, however, expect them to excel in an area that is not high on THEIR values. Give them some accountability such as fair exchange, and if they aren’t earning, then have them do jobs in the house or garden. Otherwise you will disempower them and undermine the relationship.

Again – regarding values. Find out what’s important to other family members and talk in those values. That way people will be more receptive to you. If you have any kind of “charge” against someone, do the Demartini Method on them. Whenever there are more differences than similarities, there will be resentment. Find out what’s common and similar to your belief systems.


Whenever a young person asks “how can I get through family events at the weekend when I have a bossy mother/father? How can I not lose my temper?”

Just remember that in any of the 7 areas of life you don’t empower – that is where you’ll be overpowered. If someone is domineering and extrovert, who is quiet and introvert? If you don’t want your mother, for example, to be bossy, do what YOU can to speak up! Speak up not out of retaliation, but ask HER questions that are important to HER! Find out what’s important to her - “Mum, what have you been up to today?” “What are some of the challenges you may be facing?”. By asking questions – you actually become in control. Many mums don’t have as many people around them (like you perhaps), or as many as she’d really like to, and perhaps feels she has no one to open up to like you.

Whenever someone says “my mum and dad have an unhealthy relationship, and I see my mum suffering” – just be aware this may be a “vague label” and ask yourself if this is based on YOUR “ideal” fantasy relationship that you’re projecting? To have peace at all times is unrealistic. There will always be cooperation and competition. There is also no suffering without the opposing benefit. Perhaps there is no communication in each other’s values? Has this then brought the children closer? Remember – there are always two sides to it.

It would be wise to do the Demartini Method on other members of the family whenever there’s a situation like this. When you do – and as you come to the centre, so do they. If you are judging them and withdrawing – they polarise further so ask the question : “what’s the benefit of whatever’s going on?”

Whenever a mother is supported and praised by the family, and whenever the dad is acknowledged and supported at work, there will be challenges from the outside. Any time you think you are suffering, what are you gaining, learning, or what is it driving you to do? In fact if you as the child are the one wanting “peace” – then YOU may be the one initiating “war”. Look for who’s playing the opposite role to balance it.

Another quite common situation is where a parent feels they have a child who doesn’t want to talk to them, or communicate with them. In this case find out where he DOES communicate!! Is it at school, work, with friends, a book, TV, etc. It’s very rare for a person to really not communicate anywhere at all. This would only be if a child sees such life challenges that they go inside to protect themselves. Whenever you feel you have an introvert child, therefore, find out what’s important to HIM and communicate in those values. This way he will open up. If you don’t communicate in their values – they will shut down.

Family Values

In another family situation – perhaps someone feels you have left them, or abandoned them. In this case – ask specifically “What is missing in my life?” and then find out where it IS, and in which form is it in? There is nothing missing! It is just in a form not recognised. Find out where it is and honour it in that form. For example if a sister says she misses my communication, contact etc. I would ask “who represents a sister to you right now?” Who’s playing that role in her life? (Do the appropriate Demartini Method exercise). If the sister was expecting me to live in her values and not in my own, that would be an unrealistic expectation. If someone is ignoring you, ask who’s admiring you and giving you time and find the benefits of that.

If a family member compares themselves to another family member, and feels they’ve been minimising themselves and not living their own dreams – they will feel resentment towards that family member. Whenever you try to inject the values of someone else and sacrifice yourself for them – you will resent them. Do the Demartini Method on them, therefore, and own the traits you admire in them and see where you have those traits in your highest values. Don’t subordinate yourself to others. The only time you fear others is if you have given more power to what THEY think and THEIR opinion than YOURS. Remember that that is something which is coming and going, whilst you are not! Be sure to define what the “fear” is, and then ask how will it serve you? Keep asking! That way you can get on with your own lives.

Whenever someone feels their mother has been abused by their father – if you are labelling it “abusive”, it may be because you are not seeing the benefits of how it served you, and how it served her. If you don’t see the benefits – it will keep you in victim mode rather than allowing you to transcend it and use it to live an amazing life! Whenever there is a disempowered person (mum in this case), they attract overpowered people. And if she is addicted to support and peace “always”, she will attract challenge and war. Whenever there is a repression of sex in the family too, it can attract the attention of an uncle, father, or brother, for example, towards another family member such as a daughter, or niece. If a woman is disempowered in many areas of her life, she will shut down her sexuality and intimacy towards her partner, as that is the only area she DOES feel empowered. Find the underlying order, therefore, of what’s going on!

If you are someone who worries about the opinion of others – you are not getting on with YOUR life and holding yourself back! Do the Demartini Method on those people and take them off the pedestal you’ve put them on. People often have idealist fantasies about how relationships and how families are “supposed” to be! The “black sheep” in the family is to teach parents and family to breakthrough dogma! Whenever you feel your parents are challenging you – look and see if you have over supportive friends and protectors. Then look at the benefits to you of your challenges regarding your highest Values. And remember - there will always be support AND challenge no matter what you do, and no matter what decisions you make in life.

LOVE is the synthesis and synchronicity of complementary opposites and our dreams of a perfect relationship or always harmonious family life are just that – fantasies! If we learned to expect only the realistic – a balance of good and bad, support and challenge, etc, - rather than live in a “false” world that expects too much of ourselves or others, we would feel much more fulfilled with our lives. A balanced perspective will assist you to discover appreciation for what is, as it is, including families and relationships too.

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Susan Dellanzo is an International Transformation Coach & Speaker who inspires others to live a more fulfilling life. Susan has had a lifelong passion in the areas of human behaviour, personal development, health, fitness, and lifestyle. In particular she is interested in mind, body, and soul, and has spent a lifetime observing how people interact between each other owing to their self imposed limited beliefs. An author, speaker, mother and wife who loves to travel and teach internationally as well as nationally.

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