Toxic Family Dynamics
5 Toxic Family Roles
The “Hero” or “Responsible Child” -T hey are self-sufficient, perfectionistic, and over-achievers. They are afraid of becoming like their parent, so they learn to be the exact opposite. If the hero has a narcissistic parent, they are often that parent’s favorite child. As a result, the hero relies on performing well in order to feel and receive love.
The “Scapegoat” or “problem” The scapegoat or trouble maker is often angry and defensive. They tell the truth by acting out the family’s problems that are usually denied at home. The scapegoat is often the child that toxic parents are the most ashamed of. They come off as rebellious, distrustful, and cynical, but beneath their hard exterior, they are the most emotionally sensitive. The scapegoat has been hurt and damaged by their abusive parent and can be self-destructive.
The “Lost Child” or “Dreamer” - They are often invisible in their family and try to cope with their family’s struggles by disappearing and focus their attention on reading books, daydreaming, or watching movies. The lost child is typically very shy and enjoys having a lot of space and solitude. Because they withdraw themselves from others, they struggle with developing important social skills and relationships with others, and often suffer from low self-esteem.
The “Mascot” or “Class Clown” - Typically known as “the cute one,” they are always ready to lighten the mood by cracking jokes or putting on an entertaining show for others. Often, the mascot feels powerless from the family’s dysfunctions and tries to cope by breaking the anger, tension, and conflict with fun and humor. Behind the mascot’s cheerful demeanor, they usually suffer from anxiety and depression. Mascot children often struggle with low self-esteem issues and can exhibit workaholic tendencies to make up for their insecurities. Mascot children enjoy helping others with their problems because it’s a way to distract them from their own. T
The “Enabler” or “Caretaker”
The enabler often justifies the behavior of the toxic or addicted parent. They are the martyr and good at masking the family’s downfalls and dysfunctions, making sure that the public sees that they’re a happy, well-rounded family. It’s painful for the caretaker to come to terms with what happens behind the scenes. I