How to Live a Good Life Without Good Family

Family and friends are two different categories. Unfortunately, you cannot choose with whom you share your blood. Family though are people who care about you and your welfare, people you enjoy being with. It's very simple to live a great life, even with bad relatives.


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    Go to events that you enjoy, or join an organization such as a church or a hiking club.
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    Stop worrying about people who only share one common bond with you (genes). This is easier said than done. Remember that you don't have to be just like them, who you are is the person you decide to be. Spend some time in introspection and turn to trusted friends who share your values and outlook on life to get support and test your ideas. Often if a family is dysfunctional, you may lack some skills in getting along with people that someone from a good family takes for granted. Equally, your friend who takes it for granted may not understand the ways that their reactions to things differ from yours or your family's - you're somewhere in between. Study healthy people who are happy with their lives for ways of handling conflicts, differences, changes in their lives, awkward situations, apologies and embarrassments.
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    Become aware of people around you who are interested in what you are doing or saying. Filter them for those who are positively interested in what you're doing or saying and those who aren't. So many people will gravitate to anyone who's vulnerable or unsure of their direction, promising answers to everything. You can best trust those who live well themselves and give advice only when asked than those who start out with a lot of sermons but don't actually live by their ideas.
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    Break the idea that everyone is just like your family and they're just better at covering it up than your family is. They're not. There are people who live that well, are that generous and gentle with those they love, that responsible, that trustworthy in life. No matter how your family acts, their behavior is only typical of them and maybe their types of problems.
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    If you are invited to join in any activity, go. You will not make connections with people without sharing experiences. Sitting alone at home is not an effective socializing technique.
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    Realize you are one of millions who is not thrilled with their blood relatives. If there's a common problem that has support groups, they can be helpful too - such as Adult Children of Alcoholics (and dysfunctional families.) You'll find many who made the same decision you did not to repeat your family's problems and pass them on.
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    Take classes in parenting before you have kids. If your example of how to raise kids is harsh, bitter, destructive, dysfunctional or inconsistent, you have a lot to learn before raising a child. Take classes and learn the patience to deal with children at all their stages of development in a gentle, reliable, firm way where punishment is moderate and delivered with judicial calm rather than in anger.
    • There are dozens, maybe hundreds of minor bad habits that add up to a bad system that you can pass on to your kids without realizing it even if you changed one or two obvious things like "no hitting them hard enough to leave a bruise" or "no forbidding them to read books." You'll want to change the things that hurt you most. Remember that there's much more you may not even realize was hurting you in how you were treated and that learning the skills can make up for it. What you say when you yell at a kid for messing up is very different between a healthy family and a dysfunctional one. A healthy parent never has to insult his or her child in anger to get the point across.
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    Smile and remember it's your life and you only get one. You're the one who has to live in it. If they've hurt you that much, they do not know what's best for you even if they say they do. Disbelieving this can take a lot of work because everything in society tells you to trust them - but when they have proved untrustworthy it's vital to understand what trustworthy means. What health means. What happiness means and that you have a right to it.
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    Forget those dull, trying or otherwise annoying people you are related to, and have fun. Breaking the ties may be hard, but if the situation's extreme it may be the best thing you can do. Live your life by what you believe and accept the happiness that comes your way is real.
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    Rewrite yourself. Decide who you would have been if you'd never been raised by them and learn the skills that go along with that life. Decide who you want to become and work toward becoming that. You can let go and start something new, you can build a life completely different from what anyone who knew them expects from you. It's your right - it is your life and you're the one who has to live it. No one else can.


  • Classes are also a good idea and will expose you to other people who share your interests.
  • Do something that you have never done before and try something new.
  • Some days will be harder than others to cope with. Joining a group of some kind is a great way to get involved in something.
  • Holidays are the hardest without a good family but try doing some volunteer work. You could Thanksgiving dinner at a soup kitchen or hand out gifts at an orphanage.
  • Try to keep yourself as busy as possible; self-isolating is one of the worst things you can do in this situation.

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Categories: Creating Life Balance | Maintaining Relationships