The purpose of this paper is to discuss a family system concept which I think is the most prominent feature in my own family. This is a negative/disfunctional feature regarding rules and communication. I also note the type of behaviors that are indicative of this aspect within my family, and the type of behavior that an “outsider” would notice. “Family dysfunction can be [described as] any condition that interferes with healthy family functioning” (Kansas State University, n.d.).

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There are two members of my family who are very negative people who do not always communicate in the normal polite and respectful way, and who have their own set of rules which are outside the normal boundaries when it comes to behavior. They are both very fond of drinking hard liquor, especially whiskey. They are my father and my grandfather. It could be said that my father is a mild alcoholic who does not drink every day, and that my grandfather is a strong alcoholic who is able to get on the wagon for a while, but then inevitably falls off and needs to drink a bottle of hard liquor every day. This alcoholism clearly show a genetic link between my grandfather and my father. These circumstances have led to unhealthy family functioning, and many upsets. My grandfather often shouts and gets angry, but sometimes he breaks down and gets upset after being verbally abusive to family members.

An outsider would immediately pick up on my grandfather’s general negative attitude to life. He behaves in a self-centered way, and is not usually very considerate about others, even his close family. My father is also quite a negative person, it seems to be part of his make-up (genes).

Alcohol abuse has a knock on effect to the entire family, and right from my childhood I can remember family upsets and family get-togethers in which the subject of my grandfather’s alcoholism and negative way of communicating and not following society’s rules was brought up. I hope that something positive can be done. The TIP needs to be consulted as it offers excellent guidance on substance abuse and family therapy, as well as interventions (NCB, n.d.|).