Distortion feeds dysfunction

By Dave Henning / April 19, 2023

“Because of the Fall (Gen. 2-3), all of us have some level of distortion or dysfunction.  We do not perceive, think, feel, or behave in the healthiest way possible at all times.  As a result, emotional distortions such as latent anxiety, shame, low self-esteem, pessimism, depression, and perfectionism (among others) dynamically interact . . .”- Luis Villareal

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.  One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.”- Proverbs 17:17-18 (NIV)

In Chapter 3 (“It’s Not About the Problems, It’s About What the Problems Represent”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst observes that relationships often die due to conversations that never take place.  Rather than the actual words spoken.  However, simple awareness of our dysfunctions fails to fix them.  To achieve healthier relationships, we must be willing to address the issues.

In addition, Lysa counsels, distortions of reality feed dysfunctions.  Relationships, though, don’t magically make our personal issues disappear.  Often our mutual lack of self-awareness collides.  Hence, Lysa notes, that clash presents us with a choice:

  1. use the conflict to increase awareness of our issues
  2. ignore what the other person says; remain wrongly convinced that the conflict will improve on its own

Above all, Lysa advises, failing to address dysfunction increases the risk that we view a pattern of wrongs as acceptable.  Because over time such patterns seem less alarming.  So, we tend to accept them as our version of ‘normal.’

In conclusion, Lysa encourages, with emotional closeness and access, it’s critical for each person in a relationship to understand what they need from the other person.  Because that enables both parties to continue a mutually healthy and respectful relationship.

Most significantly, Lysa cautions, apply wisdom to a relationship.  Certainly, at times we find it hard to say no to someone.  Especially when we invest deeply on an emotional level.  Yet, Lysa notes, an unwise agreement remains an unwise agreement. Even when you find it hard to say no.

Today’s question: When do you find that distortion feeds dysfunction?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Bad behavior validated?”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button