Copyright © 2007 by Robert Woeger.
All rights reserved.
See my rights and permission license for
important notices about permitted uses.
Unauthorized duplication, modification or distribution of this work is prohibited.
Publisher: Robert Woeger
How To Deal With Dysfunctional People, Things and Situations.
This writing describes dysfunctional things, people and situations, so that we
can learn how to spot them and avoid potential problems in our Christian walk.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number TX0006607552. Registered on 07/20/2007.
You often hear the word dysfunctional as it is applied to families. This writing is about a wide scope of dysfunctional things which happen in life. I encourage everyone to read this and understand the implications of dysfunctional behavior and relationships, as our society needs to change its behavior and right the wrongs inflicted upon it.
The word dysfunctional means not operating normally or properly. When applied to behavior, dysfunctional is deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad.
No one should purposely want to be dysfunctional. The health of our society depends upon whether people are striving towards order or disorder. When we as a society are made up of people who are largely dysfunctional, it tends to lead to chaos, lack of productivity, and many ills that drain the health, wealth and prosperity out of us.
The good news is that we can change from being dysfunctional to being well-balanced in our life. Read on to find out how we got the way that we are, and what we can do to help overcome dysfunctional behavior and tendencies. Also, learn how to deal with dysfunctional people we encounter in life.
A Dysfunctional Generation
The current generation was raised to become a dysfunctional group of people. There are so many external pressures and forces at work that push people to dysfunction. In fact, our popular TV ads and movies often glamorize being rebellious and dysfunctional.
There is a popular TV cartoon series called The Simpsons, which regularly pokes fun at and mocks our culture, and which shows all kind of dysfunctional behavior by the characters. It mocks Christianity, and shows rude and often obnoxious behavior. It also makes fun of what a true family should be, and instead shows off a very dysfunctional family called The Simpsons.
Children and teenagers are very susceptible to being influenced and manipulated by what they both see and hear around them. They want to fit in and "be cool" with their peers, and many of them listen to how TV and movies are encouraging them to behave. They pattern themselves after, or model the behavior of, what they regularly see and experience. The old motto applies here: garbage in, garbage out.
As the music, television, movies and other media attack our society from the inside out with programming and an agenda designed to influence improper behavior, we also have many other external forces vying for the attention and the control of our people.
In the 1950s, the biggest problem that teachers reported was "chewing gum in class" or "talking" by students. Now, teachers have to be a policeman, lawyer, social worker and more to deal with the many problems they regularly face in their classrooms. Many students no longer respect their teachers nor truly desire to learn. Instead they want to "act out" and behave badly to try and impress their "friends" and "be cool." Gangs have infested many of our schools and neighborhoods giving people a false hope of family.
Do we really want television, music, movies, the Internet, advertisements and gangs shaping our younger generation into a dysfunctional generation? We must provide positive role models, healthy outlets, and rewards for proper behavior.
Improper dysfunctional behavior should never be rewarded or tolerated, but instead should be shunned. Only when people know they are acting improperly is there any chance for them to change.
Stealing From Us
Our young people's happiness and lives are being stolen right out from under us. They need mentors and role models for proper, acceptable behavior, but instead our society as a whole feeds them dysfunctional garbage.
We are allowing advertisers and corrupt music, television and movie companies to steal our young generation from us. We must not tolerate this any more. Prayer changes things. Pray for our society and our young people!
Lift up a standard for right behavior, and never reward wrong, dysfunctional behavior. If enough people refuse to permit or reward dysfunctional behavior, then people should get the message that it is not OK, nor will it be tolerated any more.
Dysfunctional behavior steals from the society as a whole, and "cheapens" and disrespects everything that our forefathers and ancestors paid for us to live in freedom and peace in our nation. Don't fight against the freedoms and liberties that many people died for and paid such a high price for! Don't steal from society.
The Dysfunctional Excuse
You may often hear the excuses: "I grew up in a dysfunctional home" or "my family was dysfunctional" batted around by people who are having problems. Our society has unfortunately told people that they can use these kinds of statements as justification for their behavior. This is what I call the "dysfunctional excuse."
An excuse is way of reasoning away improper or unacceptable behavior. We can become a society so full of excuses that absolutes don't matter anymore. It is literally an attack against right and wrong. If we have so many excuses that we can pull out at any time to justify wrong behavior, then we can rationalize that all our behavior is right (or justified).
A society needs rules, and laws, to properly function, so that people know how to properly behave towards one another. We are in fact deluded if we are permitted to justify wrong behavior and allow ourselves to "get away with it."
The dysfunctional excuse attempts to shift blame away from one's self, and transfer it instead onto others. People often use the dysfunctional excuse as a reason for why they are not living up to expectations or accomplishments that they should be living up to.
Another problem with people who are dysfunctional is that they tend to get involved in dysfunctional relationships, which tend to cause pain and many wasted years. Not only may dysfunctional relationships be abusive, but they tend to lack true satisfaction.
If you are unhappy in your relationships, you will likely stifle your own growth and possibly your mental health. It doesn't matter if the dysfunctional relationships are with acquaintances, friends, coworkers, or of a romantic nature. All dysfunctional relationships are damaged from the start and will remain unproductive unless we begin to make different choices.
We should all strive for positive, uplifting relationships around us. Our friends should treat us properly and be supportive, not drag us down. Our goal is toward physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, and anything that draws away from that goal should not be welcome in our lives. We have wasted enough time with problem people, distractions and guilt. Now is the time to redeem the remaining time that we have left in life, and make a positive impact on our world and the people around us.
The wrong choices that we have made need to be put behind us. Walk in forgiveness toward others. Right past wrongs, if at all possible. Mend relationships that are healthy and productive. Treat people properly, and with respect.
Wrong choices tend to leave a wake of problems and destruction behind them. The wasted time and missed opportunities caused by wrong choices can be stopped, if people would get free of the dysfunctional mindset and attitudes.
Abuse starts a vicious chain reaction that can be passed on to others, including being passed on to future generations. The wake of negative influence that abuse brings is staggering. No matter if it is sexual, verbal, psychological, emotional, or any other kind of abuse, it will have repercussions that spread out over both distance and time, likely touching many lives before it is stopped. Abuse is an incubator for all kinds of dysfunctional behaviors and situations. Unless the root cause of the abuse is properly dealt with, it will likely infect many other people.
Dysfunctional areas of a person's life are contagious. Just as sicknesses, such as the flu, can be passed around by sneezing and the spreading of germs, dysfunctional behavior can also be passed on to others. That is why you should work to stamp out dysfunctional behaviors in all areas of your life. Otherwise, you will be a contagious "carrier" of the dysfunctional behaviors disease and will likely infect others.
If a person around you continually talks about how they are damaged and "not good enough," it will eventually cause you to experience self-doubt. You may wonder if there is a problem, when none exists.
Many experts would admit that our present educational system is broken and in a state of disrepair. In most schools, God has been left out of the educational process, and is denied entry into the curriculum. Without a good, moral, well-balanced, Christ-honoring educational environment in our schools, is it any surprise what we now have to deal with? Apart from Christ, there is lawlessness, hatred, confusion and all kinds of dysfunction. Only when we put Christ back into the equation is there hope again.
In Our Relationship With God
There are certain people who want to be called Christians, or followers of Christ, yet they have no desire to pay the price to follow after Christ, which requires properly living their lives as Christ-honoring examples to the world around them. Instead, many so called Christians want the best the world has to offer them, and they seem to care very little about what kind of Christian testimony they are portraying to the world. This "dysfunctional Christianity" sets up the wrong standard for other Christians to live by as well.
If someone has a dysfunctional faith life, and a dysfunctional relationship with God, they will be missing out on the blessings of having a wonderful relationship with The Almighty. God can not allow us to be close to Him when we participate in hypocrisy in our conduct and our testimony to others. We need to humbly go before God and ask for forgiveness of all our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, and ask Him to guide us to be a better example and witness for Him to others around us. Our goal should be to have all our dysfunctional behaviors and actions removed from every area of our life, including those related to our relationship with God.
Areas Of Dysfunction
3. In Our Home
4. With Our Family
5. With Our Friends
6. At Our Job
7. In Our Church
Words Lead To Being Dysfunctional
Words are powerful. The wrong use of words can be damaging, just like abuse can be damaging. Words plant seeds into the lives of others, and the wrong words plant wrong seeds that will eventually lead to a harvest of very undesirable things, that will likely lead to a person being dysfunctional in various areas.
We need to be careful in our speech and the words we choose to use. Are they uplifting and instilling the proper hope in others? Are we building up the faith of others, or are we tearing others down?
Words have the power to change and transform lives. They act to encourage and exhort people around you. You must learn to use words wisely to act as a positive agent of encouragement and change in the lives of others. Only then, can your words be changed from leading to dysfunction to being uplifting.
Satan Wants Us To Be Dysfunctional
Satan is real, and he is out to destroy whatever good plans God has for people. Satan loves to sabotage and abort the perfect will of God for a person.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2.
God is encouraging us here to present ourselves and our lives to Him as a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to Him. We must not be conformed to this world, but are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then will we be able to prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.
Satan wants the opposite for us. He wouldn't mind it if we chose to ignore God's perfect will for our life, and instead started operating in a dysfunctional, flesh-satisfying way, chasing after every lust and evil thing that Satan has planned for us to engage in. He desires for us to be so preoccupied with sinful things and our own fleshly desires, that we forget about serving and pleasing God.
Avoid these snares of the devil, come out from your sins, repent, and ask God to help change your life around! Only then can you truly know the good and perfect, pleasing will of God for your life.
Will Pull You Down
Dysfunction people and behaviors will serve to pull you down. It makes no difference if you are source of the dysfunction or that others are, the end result is that everything dysfunctional steals from us. It steals our time, energy, joy, peace, money and happiness. Good relationships sour due to dysfunction.
There is nothing positive designed to come out of things that are dysfunctional, they are only designed to destroy, take from us, and wear us down. We need to recognize dysfunction and deal with it properly.
How To Deal With Dysfunctional People
Dysfunctional people can be a challenge to deal with. If you are involved in any kind of relationship with a dysfunctional person, you know from firsthand experience the problems that a dysfunctional person can bring into your life and the lives of others.
You have to decide, as led by the Lord, how to properly deal with the person. Do you stay in a relationship with the person or break off ties with them? Do you refuse to let them annoy, bother, or control you anymore? Is a time of separation from that person in order, in hopes that they will change their behavior toward you? Spending time in prayer seeking the wisdom of God is essential when deciding how to deal with dysfunctional people who are already in your life.
For new dysfunctional people that attempt to come into your life, you should have a much easier time in deciding whether to grant them access to you or not. Nip off bad relationships "in the bud" before they have time to grow to a point where they are harder to remove.
You are not destined to help everyone you come in contact with, only those God has assigned you to. Saying "No" can be hard at times, but is required to "weed out" undesirable relationships and contacts with others, which only serve to distract you from your destiny in Christ in this life.
For more about properly learning how to "say no" in a godly fashion, I encourage you to read my writing titled The Importance Of No available on my web site.
We Need To Make A Change
While we can't always change everything and everyone around us, that doesn't mean that we can't exert a positive influence on those things and people. We can start with ourselves, with God's help, to make changes to get rid of all our dysfunctional behavior. We can then seek God's direction as to how to deal with dysfunctional relationship with others. It will likely be a step by step, gradual process, but soon we will be have much more freedom, and bad things won't have the level of control they once did over us anymore. The Christian life is all about becoming an overcomer through Christ over everything that exalts itself against God. Trust God, and hold fast to His promises contained in His Word.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4.
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." Isaiah 54:17.
God Wants Us To Be Well-rounded
"Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." Proverbs 30:7-9.
God wants us to be well-rounded. He wants us to avoid the pitfalls of being too rich or poor. God doesn't want us stealing, nor does He want us thinking we don't need Him anymore. The Christian walk requires a person to be well-balanced and to live soberly (sensibly):
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" Titus 2:11-12.
Well-rounded, But Set Apart
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;" 1 Peter 2:9.
We are to be in the world, but not of it. Don't become an "odd duck," but rather become a well-rounded follower of Christ, so that you may properly carry out the assignment and purpose God has destined for you to accomplish in your life. May you experience the fullness of His joy!
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10."Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 2.