Family are those connected by blood, that is, parents , children, brothers , sisters, cousins, and so on. Ideally a functional family gets along like good friends (inside the trust zone), but human nature being what it is, this is rarely the case.



Trust with Family is Optional

Note that the circle of trust starts with Friends. This is due to the fact that trust is a conscious decision by two people to act in a mutually agreed way. Good families place trust amongst themselves first before others and thus would fit somewhat within the trust circle. Unfortunately for a lot of families however, trust is a rare or unknown quantity.

Parents often try to teach trust to children, but young children being what they are tend to be very slow learners. Subsequently parents give up and the result is that the parent no longer practices trust and the child does not learn it. For the rest of their life the child is likely subject to power and control behaviour of various levels.

Effort is Necessary for Trust

If we want a trust relationship with a family member then effort must be applied. Just because they are family does not automatically create a trust relationship. Without trust family members need to be considered acquaintances, or even strangers if they are barely or not known.

A good family-member relationship is formed by building trust as if they are to be a friend.

Family Skills

Unless mutual trust has been established, treat family members as Acquaintances.

Parents are more effective if they teach the basics of trust and encourage their children to use the same skills. Trust is better learned at an early age as learning trust later on in life can hold someone back in many areas of their life, leaving them lost, vulnerable, hurt and bewildered.

"You can choose your friends, but not your family". This reknowned quote says it all, your family are always there so give them a chance.

Know that family members are uniquely flawed individuals. Just because they are family does not mean they will automatically think and act like you. It is irrational thinking to believe otherwise. In fact you have to work a little harder with family as they are always there, and it is harder to avoid them. Family members are individuals just like anyone else, treated them with the respect you would anyone else.

Part ways with a family member that causes pain despite all the efforts to improve the relationship, abuse is not acceptable in any form or for any reason. There is no point putting yourself through constant pain. Do not give up easily though, but if after many, many years of trying an adult should separate themself from a negative family member for the sake of their own health. You must choose to be content. Children and teenagers need to know that they may still be learning and that they still need to find their own path (rebelling), and if you fit this category then give it time until you are legally an adult before parting ways. Keep the door open to patch things up, but only once or twice. If it cannot be resolved after a couple of attempts, chances are the two people are too different and may never see eye to eye. Move on. Serious situations do require discussions with a independent helpline for advice.