In the last few days I published the words of Jimmy Evans that said, “Functional Families talk…Dysfunctional families do not talk.” It received quite a few comments from my friends. One said, “I think that in order to help dysfunctional families heal we have to find ways to create an environment where they can feel safe to express their thoughts.” Another said, “Dysfunctional families also don’t talk because most times the responses are negative, disruptive and hurtful so why set yourself up for that?
Have you ever considered asking your family, friends and work associates, “How am I affecting You?
I personally dealt with this very question almost 15 years ago. As a young married family man, as well as a senior Pastor I possessed the character trait of being a controller. It never occurred to me that I was. Among other things it had travelled upline from my family of origin. Everybody in my environment realized I was, except me. For years I possessed this way of life until, as Peter Scazzero says, my life hit a wall. It was then, after months of counselling, life evaluation and introspection that this destructive behavior was realized.
I was broken. After this realization I have continuously worked on it, making myself vulnerable by allowing my family and several very close friends to speak into my life as they observe my day to day journey. It has helped me to be a winner in life. As a family we are closer and more respectful of each other than we have ever been. As Ephesians 6:15 says, we speak the truth in love.
I believe that asking this question could change the course of your life. Your family, friends and work environment might be a little suspicious at first but if you keep on asking they might just be honest. You may be affecting your family and friends in good ways but also some damaging ways too.
If you are successful in getting valid responses, then let me encourage you to be non-defensive and respond with a thank you.
We all need to own our weaknesses and be aware of our influence. My friend, Bill Thrall says, “it’s my maturity that releases me into my influence.” Yes, we need to hear the affirmations of our influence but also the negatives of our influence. He reminds us we are to face those who we are affecting. That’s owning our influence.
I am reminded by what one of the Trueface authors, Bruce McNicol says repeatedly, “God intends for our healing and maturity to flow right through us to others.”
This takes courage…. Do you have that courage to change and make your life better?