When we consider the personality of an individual, too often do we fail to see how that person’s household situation affects him. We routinely assign blame to the person for whatever omissions o…
When we consider the personality of an individual, too often do we fail to see how that person’s household situation affects him. We routinely assign blame to the person for whatever omissions or mistakes we may have seen him commit. As a consequence, we judge him and label him for what he has done wrong. This mental bias that we tend to perform constitutes an error in attribution that prevents us from seeing beyond the individual’s nature. But perhaps that individual’s environment also plays a role in his behavior. And frequently, that environment involves the home in which he lives.
What happens when a person lives in a home that is dysfunctional? Strife within one’s family can take many forms. It may involve delinquency of the children, or parental conflict. Occasionally, in order to avoid constant bickering, parents just ignore the existence of a problem and the children simply follow suit. As a result, a degree of peace and quiet is achieved. But is there really peace when family members just pretend that everything is ok?
Consider the widespread problem of marital infidelity. What if the parents just pretended that such a situation did not exist, even though it did? Yes there is quiet. And the family members happily go about their business. But this is merely for appearances’ sake. What really goes on in the hearts and minds of everyone in the household? This situation wherein a household merely ignores the existence of certain difficulties may also happen in situations involving family members with vices, dysfunctional behavior or even in cases of abuse. Family members turn a blind eye to what is really going on.
Individuals who exist in a situation like that cannot be expected to act normally in the outside world. In some way, somehow they will be affected emotionally, mentally or even behaviorally.
We cannot merely pretend that all is well in the hopes that these troubles will just go away. Simply ignoring the presence of such problems does not ensure peace. Instead it will perpetuate their continued existence and create disturbed minds within members of the family. True peace in the household can only be achieved when problems are recognized and acted upon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Fabella, PhD is a graduate and undergraduate professor in the Philippines. He is an editorial board member of the IRP international research journal and a Fellow of the Royal Institution Singapore. He is also an author of various books and studies. His blog can be found at Meanings and Perceptions.