Tag Archives: “Psychology Today”


‘Those who use emotional cutoff as a coping mechanism often ironically end up trying to replicate their prior relationships in their new ones in order to fill an emotional hole or make things “different this time’ reports this article from Psychology Today. The reason why I bring this up is, as PG Wodehouse once wrote, the icy hand of Christmas is about our throats once more.

And of course this means my mother is wondering why she has no relationship with her daughter. My bi-polar mother really wants a Normal Rockwell family but it’s not n the cards.

Well, my mother is mentally ill and I strongly suspect her daughter (my sister) is as well. I keep telling my mater matris to focus on the good in the here and now and not to obsess over what she can’t change in other people but frankly two mentally ill people are a lot to handle. I’d never tell her this but the two of them staying apart from each other may be as good as it gets.

The article goes on: ‘Sometimes willful estrangement is a necessary step a person must take to protect themselves. However, it’s important to note that estrangement can also happen because of a lack of skills to resolve common conflicts.’

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Two articles from Psychology Today

Why Do Some Siblings From Troubled Families Turn Out Fine, While Others Flounder?

This article looks at dysfunctional families and touches upon how one person can get saddled with caregiving.

‘To illustrate, say that one sibling is the “Chosen One” who has agreed to fulfill a dysfunctional role: He’s the one who never gets married so that he remains free to never leave home – in order to keep an eye on an ailing mother after a father runs off. Let us further suppose that the Chosen One suddenly says to Mom, “I can’t do this any more.  I’m moving out so I can have a life of my own.  You need to find someone your own age to take care of you!” and actually moves out (Mind you, this is something most people playing such a role are highly unlikely to ever do).

‘If he follows through, he will usually first suffer universal condemnation from every relative he has.’

Read more about this here.

The Twelve Red Flags of Dysfunctional Helping and Giving

Sometimes our helpful intentions give way to dysfunctional helping and giving. The solution isn’t to stop helping altogether; it’s to set helping boundaries once telltale signs of unhealthy helping appear. I call these signs the “Twelve Red Flags of Dysfunctional Helping and Giving.”

Read more about this here.



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