May 20, 2024
self esteem

Top Dysfunctional Family Roles Affecting Self-Esteem

codependent recovery


codependent recovery

Why did we, as children, adopt dysfunctional family roles in our family?

In dysfunctional families the roles we took on tended to be unhealthy because of alcohol or drug addiction, physical or sexual abuse, or extreme aggression by a parent. We fell into these roles as a way to reduce stress and emotional pain. As a result our self-esteem – our degree of confidence in ourselves suffered.

As children, we may have believed we caused the problems. We choose our different roles to survive the best way we know how.

What role or roles did you assume in your family? We can take on different dysfunctional roles at different times.
Six Main Dysfunctional Family Roles:

Addict Dysfunctional Family Roles – addicted to alcohol, drugs, physical or sexual abuse. The addict because of unresolved emotional pain probably has very low self-esteem. They use addictive behaviors to numb their pain.

Caretaker Dysfunctional Family Roles – enables the addict by avoiding confrontation and wants to control or manipulate and keep everyone happy. The caretaker ignores their own needs to take care of everyone else. The caretaker seeks feeling better about themselves – a boost of self-esteem – by doing things for others.

Hero Family Roles – They achieve success on the outside and make the family look good. This is the student with high marks, the football star, or the popuScapegoat dysfunctional family roleslar girl. The hero gets their self-esteem from positive attention outside themselves. They may feel inadequate inside.

Clown Family Roles – make jokes, sometimes inappropriate to ease tension. The clown may feel the family shame or anger. They suffer the butt of negative attention which they seek. Negative attention decreases self-esteem.

Scapegoat Family Roles – acts out tension or anger that the family wants to ignore. The family holds up this child as the cause of problems while ignoring the real family issues. Again because of negative attention this child suffers low self-esteem.

Lost Child Family Roles – withdraws and becomes invisible so as to avoid creating problems. The lost child may experience depression, lack of trust, and very low self-esteem.

Dysfunctional Family Roles Quiz

How did your roles in your family affect your self-esteem?


Michael David Lawrience is the author of His book provides ways for improving emotional health, easing pain and stress, healing physical and emotional abuse, and spiritual awakening.

Michael as a Residential and Self-Esteem Coach and Mentor has over 13 years’ experience teaching teen’s self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-reliance. See eBook

Michael offers Bowen Therapy in person in Sedona, Arizona for easing physical and emotional pain.

Find and Experience the Energy Vortexes in Sedona with Michael

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    Michael David Lawrience has been an Energy Healer for over 40 years. Also a Bowenwork Practitioner since 2005. Michael David has decades of practical experience. with Empaths, Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP) and Crystal, Rainbow and Starseed children.

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