Family, family, family. What even is
We can talk biology, but it doesn’t boil down to that, does it? People are adopted
At its most basic,
That’s the defining characteristic. It’s not biology, it’s love.
What family does
Your family, the people who love you, probably do most (if not all) of these things:
- Listen to you
- Look out for you when you’re hurting
- Share good times with you
- Ask you for help when they need it
- Speak well of you to others
- Respect your autonomy as an individual
However it plays out, the important thing about family is that they love you unconditionally for who you are.
What family does not do
What does it look like when that label gets improperly used? Here are a few that I’ve seen.
- They ignore your perspective
- They claim that the person you are causes them pain
- They require you to behave in ways that are uncomfortable for you
- They complain about your failures
- They talk about you behind your back
- They violate your personal boundaries
- They love you on the condition that you are the person they’ve decided you should be
People who treat others these ways are not being loving. They’re being manipulative and controlling. Their love isn’t
Family uplifts you. People displaying these behaviors suppress you. Watch out for them, and be careful what kind of influence you let them have on your life. They are not your family.
So. Who is your family? Chances are, you can find them everywhere. They may show up in places you’d never expect.
Maybe as you’ve read this, you’ve recognized some of the people in your life as family members. Tell them you see them that way. It’s a wonderful thing to hear from someone you love. ❤️