The Roles & Labels Our Family Give Us (& How We Can Change Them)

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What’s In This Episode

In every family there might be the sensitive one, the tough one, the challenging one, the responsible one!

It’s such a normal part of the family system to give one another labels and for each of us to live our lives in a mix of trying to meet the expectations of those labels or fight against them.

In this episode we talk about:

  • the roles and labels our family give us
  • why this happens
  • why we struggle to change them or act outside of these roles
  • how we can change them to start deciding who we want to be rather than who we’re told to be!

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You’re now listening to the self-development collective a podcast in community full of inner work and self development ideas to help us get unstuck and become the person we truly want to be. Hi guys, and welcome to the south development collective today. We’re going to talk about family labels that will give it and how these affect out identity and how they affect our actions moving forward in our life. Now, the reason I want to talk about this today is the roles or the guides the roles of the labels that our family give us can often be quite frustrating, can hold us back. I can cause us a lot of grief Discontentment and I think that’s something that I’ve experienced quite a bit in my own life. And she’d shifting out of those roles in identity and, and shifting my identity and choosing who I want to be has been challenging because of the roles are the expectations around those roles at my family may have given me, at least is something that I realized when I started reading family therapy books. And I started reading on someone called Salvador minutia. He’s known as a father of family therapy, and he started his book about talking vents early childhood and how he was laid with the responsible one. And he said, when we even these lightens, and again, this is a paraphrasing, obviously when we’re giving when we’re given these rupiah family, we tend to act them out and live up to the expectations of those roles or labels. So he explained that he was always labeled as the responsible one and that any of the sites or things that he made were considered different compared to a sibling of his who had a different label, who was named the more responsible clumsy one. And I found that really interesting because, you know, even in experiences that I’ve heard from friends, you can have two children that do the same thing, but it’s interpreted very differently because of the ladies that the family system has given them. And this is something that I want to talk about today because we all have these labels and we can all find them challenging and be held back by. I just an example for me is honor. I’ve challenged a lot of my family’s generation expectations and roles. And I just want to emphasize too, this is not about criticizing or blaming family. This is just about again, creating self-awareness so we can step outside of those roles and really start to choose and shipped out identity based off who we feel we want to be rather than who we feel we’d need to be based on the roles and the ladies that were given. So when I was younger, I challenged a lot of the expectations that my family had and generational expectations of women and what, and how we needed to be. And because of that, I do feel that throughout my childhood, I got labeled as being challenging, sensitive, difficult. ’cause when I stood up for things that all, you know, assertive the way that I felt about something, it was considered to be difficult because usually the women in my family or the idea around women speaking up was not encouraged. I just thought in my family that women didn’t have a voice. It was just that I think women had expectations of how they wanted to be in, because I didn’t match those expectations. I was just putting, put under a label as being difficult rather than the development’s being questioned in the family. And that’s something that’s really normal because, you know, generational habits are hard to change. And that’s how I learned not to personalize the roles that my family gave me as much, because I could see that they’d be working off roles of labels that they would be given and roles and labels that had passed through generations again, around expectations of what women should be, how they should be, what they should do, what they should aspire for. And I always found that really challenging, you know, for example, that whole idea of, instead of having a career, hiring someone with a good career, that was something that I was, you know, I was told by grandma and I am standing at the time that used to frustrate me and I used to challenge it. But I understand now that that’s also just a role that they have generationally safe and expected. But when I did it match that role, there was, there was a pushback, you know, it was feedback. There was a bit of criticism there around the type of person that I want it to be. And so I really struggled to figure out who I wanted it to be and find acceptance with that versus finding acceptance from my family, for who they wanted me to be. And that’s something that is really challenging because something that we all strive for as human beings and it’s completely natural is we all strive to compliment. There was a study done with monkeys that is not acceptable now, but it’s been done. And they found that they, that monkeys responded more to one. So they made these fake mothers with wire and one of them only had the wire and they were feeding. They had the bottle that was feeding the monkey and the other one just had caught. So it was more physically company and came across more company naturally. And they found that the monkeys actually went to the cloth mother more because the comfort and more important than the food aspect and the mother that provided the physical needs. So that just goes to show you that we are wired to connect and connection is part of survival. So what happens is we naturally act out these roles because we want to connect with the ones that they love. We love. So when they tell us to act a certain way, we will act that out to connect. And the idea that we don’t, if we don’t and the fear of being faced with disconnection is scary. And I felt that personally, especially when I’ve challenged the values and the expectations within my family, and they’ve not been supported, I often felt a lot of disconnect, a lot of personal challenges with that. So this is something that I want to get thinking about. And this is why I’m recording this podcast today, because I want to know what’s your family say about the person that you were in, how you work, what ladies did they give you? What roles do they give you and how did those roles play out in your life and how do they affect you? So, for me, for example, when I was like with the challenging one but when I was labeled the difficult one, what happened was I tended to not voice my needs as much, because I felt like I was always being difficult. So that played out in friendships and relationships. I was always there to serve others. I was always there to figure out what I was needed for me. Because I felt as though I was difficult and I didn’t want to travel people with my issues and my challenges because they weren’t valid because I was difficult. So that’s something that’s played out a lot in my life. And I see how that’s has held me back in ways, especially with these type of work and following through with my passions, I felt a third. If I didn’t get approval from my family around what I wanted to do, there would be a disconnect there. And it, and it was really scary on something as well. You know, I had a, my dad used to tell me quite a bit that I was too sensitive. I used to be more logical. And so I show I stroke. I, I was determined to become super logical. And so then I just pushed migrations down. And that was another thing that I felt I experienced. When I was consistently told that I was a sensitive one. And again, this is just a reflection of family systems and how they work, right? So sometimes when we challenge our families in ways that don’t work for them or scare them, they can be bused the label that reflects that. So in my opinion, I think I’m quite open and honest and I love to communicate. And I love to be honest about how I’m feeling. And I think my family better really do that. So I think that they swore that was too much for them. And then they saw it and then they decided, excuse me, to label that as Cincy. So again, not a criticism on anyone’s family, just a reflection on how our labels affect us and how we tend to act out throughout our lives and how they adjust our identities. And the way we go about taking action. Sorry, once you thought about these roles are the labels that you will give in the way you act them out. For example, in that one could be maybe all the care. I’ll always the responsible ones who you take on more of the load than what you should, because you’re the responsible one, right? You’re the one that can manage it because the other family members whose oldest sibling or someone that you know, that like it was irresponsible, perhaps can’t manage it. So you feel you need to take it on. And then that affects your boundaries and the decisions you make around your boundaries. That’s an experience that I’ve had as well. And just to get another example of how those roles and identities she fell off. So how do we get out of these labels? How do we get out of these roles? How do we stop shifting and making changes in setting boundaries when these labels are so hard to get out of. So the first thing that I want to say is that something I’ve learned in challenging, the roles and ideas that were given as children, is to first start trusting out in your voice and doing the work to trust our circles. So something that helps us to practice prioritizing out in a voice is to actually ask ourselves, who do we want to be? How do we want to feel? And what values do we have? What do we enjoy doing? What is important to us? What brings us meaning what brings us purpose and something that really helped me was looking back at 12 weeks. And mainly because I do think that the roles we give up at that they give us that our family would give us naturally and we’d give roles to other people as well. This is not just like a, a victim mentality again, just about self-awareness something with roles I think, and something I’ve learned is, and it reminds me of this quote and said, who would you before the world told you who they needed you to be. So looking at our child and helps us to look back and see what we used to love doing before we started to really after act out those roles and shift, our identities will permanently. I think as kids, we tend to have a little bit more courage and fight, and we tend to naturally pursue our interests. And that’s what we’re accepted as children versus when we become adults. And we have certain expectations about what we should be taking seriously and what we shouldn’t, what did you enjoy doing? What passions, hobbies, things did you love to do? And for me, I always loved talking and I loved, it was really funny. I used to love creating websites and things, and I had more of a creative side than I did as I got older and was told to be more logical. So as I got older, I found myself letting go of that creative side and becoming more logical. And it took me work to get back into this space. In fact, here I’m doing this work, which is quite creative and challenging, that identity role that I had that really just shifted and adjusted the type of decisions that I was making. So when I was told that I had that, I had to be more logical than I was, who said to me, I tended to go for more logical work, more logical ideas of things I became, I started cutting shares and became like this really what I felt logical person would feed. Right. But it, but it definitely didn’t make me happy because it was not the pursuits that I used to have when I was young, but the things that I used to enjoy, the things that brought me joy. So that’s why I always say, go back to childhood. What did you love doing? What gave you joy and what versions of that? Can you use there that you can create that you can do now? Someone I spoke to the other day, he said that they really just love to bring me and I have a grid of ages. And I was like, maybe just choose a book. She’s a really good fiction book that’s out there right now. And just give yourself five minutes a day, three, see that type by yourself, a grade it’s, as simple as that, it’s just about pointing a bumpy that we can do to challenge our perception of who we need to be versus who we want to be. And I think that is just natural work that we can do that prioritizes that inner voice, because every time we make a choice to choose to listen to that part of ourselves, that’s there, that’s irritating us in the sense that it’s constantly following us around and knows that we should be doing something that we want to do, but we’re ignoring it that I think is when we start to work on our inner voice. So the question is simply asking ourselves, who do we want to be, rather than looking at the ladies we’ve been given and asking ourselves who we are. So who do you want to be? An idea different exercise that you can do, right, is you can just grab a page from anywhere, put it down the middle and write down all the labels that you think you, that, that you have and a great way to do these. These, and this is an exercise that I got from a book was to think of the way that other people would describe you, what roles or labels do you have. So maybe you’ll notice that diva, the responsible one, the hard working ones, the logical one, the sensitive one, the challenging one, the energetic one, the difficult one, right? And then it’s about on the other half of the page, writing down again, the language that, well, not the labels, but more the values and the type of person that you want to be. So maybe for example, you’re always a responsible one, but you want to be the most spontaneous. You want to be more have more freedom you want to have you want to be more open, have more courage, very different things that, and the way I’m going about that is writing down the values or the roles that someone would have, excuse me, or the person that you’d want to be would have. So that helps us to say the difference from who we are versus who we want to be. And again, looking at prioritizing our inner voice versus living up to the expectations of the roles that we were given and the labels that we would give in and trusting too, that when we choose to listen to, in a voice, we find ways to connect with people in a different way, because truth of the matter is that when you decide to leave away from those labels and ship, those labels, your family may find it challenging because that also represents challenges that they have. For example, my family, I’m not a super emotional and super talky. So even just the idea that I do sweat and get on your talk, they can find that challenging. And it’s not something that they like to necessarily talk about because they don’t know how to talk about it. So I went to that, those labels and those expectations I have around, you know, how I should be. It’s just a reflection of of the things that they do and don’t struggle with if that makes sense. So how think about the ladies that you feel you have in your family, how do you think about how those labels affect your decision-making? When you think about those labels and the identity and how it’s affected your life, how has it affected it? What does it stop you from doing that you’ve really wanted to do? And how can you shift that? How can you change that? What can you stop prioritizing you in your own vein in your own time that helps you to value and prioritize the things that are important to that inner voice that you have. So, again, thinking about the hobbies and the things that you love to do that you no longer do, because you were told to be a certain way, or you were or again, perhaps the roles and the expectations about who we should be and what you should do. Challenge us, appraise that, you know, the, the system a bit in your own family, but not in like a re like a challenging and angry sort of weight challenge it because it’s time for you perhaps maybe to start living out your life the way you want to live it out. And sometimes again, those roles and those expectations around those roles could hold us back. And usually those roles are a reflection again, of what our parents or our families find acceptable and not acceptable based on generational habits and expectations. So a key thing in we’re doing this work as well is try not to personalize their reactions in the labels, but be reflective of the fact that theses years and years, and years, and years, and years and years of work from families before you, you know, something, another activity that I really liked was, and even if you just do this while you’re driving, if you’re listening to these, but I found this really helpful, someone said to do a family map of habits, and I was like, oh, okay. So let’s look at the habits of the people before you, and let’s look at the expectations and roles of the people before you, and you find that they are very similar to the expectations of roles in my experience of what they have given you, it’s just a matter of habit of generational habit. Nothing that we add against the ladies, a negative labels will perhaps the labels that we find challenging. And usually because we, again, challenge the system, challenging those roles means it, our family struggled to understand and manage and figure out how to, how to manage us. And that’s something that I’ve seen as well in my, or your family. So I do want to know what roles you had, what challenges you had with that. How has that affected your decision? How does it still affected decision making today and how can you change that? And maybe it’s just about doing those exercises and even just thinking about how you might take on extra, because you’re always the responsible one or how you’re just assumed that things won’t work out for you because you’re the one that always struggles to get things done. That’s another thing that could, that’s another lady that an expectation that could be out there. And again, starting to think how we believe those roles and how we live out and how they’ve affected our lives. So I hope this episode has been really helpful for you. It’s been more a reflective one, because I think that once we start to reflect in those roles and get awareness around it, we can start to shift and change them. And again, practicing that work on your inner voice and the things that you find in recalling the things that you love to do, the things that you enjoyed when you were younger schedule to me and give yourself five minutes to do the things that you love. So you can stop becoming that person that you feel you’re called to be, and you can start stepping in seeing those roles and stepping out of them. For example, you know, I went to that when I started to see that I was always getting assigned the responsible one to incurring a lot of the emotional weight and responsibility of the family. I started to pull back with me and started to make my own decisions and worry less about other people’s feelings. And I had a really great friend who said to me, is this yours to hold? Or is it theirs? So every time I started to stress about a situation and get, and that responsible label, that acting that I knew that acting out, that lady started to happen, I would say, okay, is this mine to hold her his affairs? And that helped me to step back and make better boundaries so that I started to take myself out of that role and really just try and take responsibility for my actions and not take on other people’s stuff. Because I was just told that I was the responsible one and therefore I felt like I had to. So this is just an idea. See how you go with these, take what resonates, leave, what doesn’t, but again, what roles do your family give you and how can you shift those roles? How can, who do you want to be and what kind of values activities expectations would that type of person having? How can you become that person for yourself? So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. As I say, take what resonates label, leave what doesn’t, and we’ll be doing a bit of these quick, the membership would be launching next month. I’m really excited when you leave there. I’m going to got to leave at about a hundred spots on there. So if you would like to join, make sure to jump on the email list, a Saturday almond that opens because once it opens for a couple of days, and then we’re going to shut enrollment, and we’re really going to hurry up, focusing on how it can make changes, how we can work as a community to create the life that we want to, we can support each other, give ourselves accountability and get working on creating that life that we will create for ourselves. So thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Take what resonates leave with us it, and I will catch you in the next episode.