The Internal Drama Dialogue and John Gottman’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Earlier in this blog, I introduced the concept of the Internal Drama Triangle. Our recent discussions of codependency have brought us back to the topic, and how it plays out in thought patterns.

John Gottman talks about the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as a negative communication style for couples. The traits are Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. We can see the same actions used by the persecutor, the victim, and the rescuer in your own Internal Drama Triangle.

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12 Characteristics Of Adult Children Of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families

Last week, we looked at 11 rules commonly found in families where any variety of dysfunction exists, including Adult Children of Alcoholics.  Those rules are often formed before a child is aware that they exist. They remain unconscious and powerful directives in our lives well into adulthood.

This week, we want to talk about 12 ways these rules manifest in our adult behaviors.

 Adult children of alcoholics tend:

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11 Rules You Didn’t Know Families Had

Children who grew up in dysfunctional families often feel their experiences were unique, and that no one else can identify with what they went through. What you come to realize, however, is that many other people had similar situations and had similar feelings.

Science proves it, too.  The Adult Children of Alcoholics movement led to much study of families where there is dysfunction and inadequate parenting. These works found that many of these families had characteristics, behaviors, and family rules in common.

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I Feel Like a Child in an Adult Body

This is a dilemma that many adults face. As an adult they may have responsible jobs, but their personal lives may be a mess. Bills do not get paid on time, even when there is money to pay them. Houses are not kept clean, diets are unhealthy, and many eat like a 12-year-old. Health is neglected, hygiene is hard, and only done when necessary. Self-care is an unknown concept. They have difficult developing close, long term relationships.
Often these adults are confused by their own behavior. “I can’t make myself do the things I want and need to do.”

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