top of page

4 roles that might be holding you back from your true potential

Get a sneak peek at what your negative patterns might look like and why you feel unhappy and stuck in life... until the end to find out what roles I have been carrying with me and how finding this out changed my perspective on myself.

Let’s learn about roles you might adopt as a child while growing up in a dysfunctional family.

Dysfunctional family habit is running pretty much in every household at least a tiny bit.

I am writing this article for you to better understand some of your or your loved ones' behaviour.

This particular part, I've learnt in the family and youth counselling and it helped me to finally understand my reactive behaviour on a deeper level and I was able to develop more self-compassion, learn about my mistakes and how to forgive.

I finally learnt why am I so hard on myself, why I’m never good enough and why am I such an annoying perfectionist.

This learning led me to become a perfectionist in recovery for now and this does make a huge impact on my life and my needs.

I understood why I’m so serious all the time and where is all the fun I used to have.

Because let's be honest, being perfect requires so much attention, energy and seriousness.

And this is NOT fun! Not even slightly.

Well enough about me, let us get into some new learning. Yaay!

When a child is growing up in a dysfunctional family ( and the chances are high) you might adapt to a certain role, which enables you to meet the requirements from your parents to love and accept you.

Unfortunately not the way you truly are but the way they’d like you to be.

Causes of Family Dysfunction

Feelings like you don’t belong there or like you don’t want to be like your family when you’ll grow up.

There are often many factors that contribute to causing family dysfunction, including:

“Lighter” issues:

  • poor communication

  • excessive criticism

  • conditions for care

  • lack of empathy

  • financial problems

  • Individual internal struggles

  • Lack of support or resources

  • Unhealthy attachment patterns

  • Unhealthy parenting patterns

“Heavier” issues:

  • Abuse

  • Alcoholism

  • Untreated mental health issues

  • Neglect

And finally, here are 4 different types of those roles :



  • is the person who is good for the family’s public image and detracts from the dysfunction that lies at the heart of the family

  • not accepting there is something wrong and will even lie to her/himself

  • lives in denial

  • acting as the parent/ taking over

  • looks after everyone

  • has good grades

  • perfectionist

  • miss out on the childhood

  • unconscious about all this


  • this child usually does one thing well

  • good sense of humour, cute, pretty

  • uses humour and goofiness to distract from serious issues

  • acts from a place of anxiety and trauma


  • has all the blame on them

  • a kid who acts out - starts experiencing the drugs, alcohol

  • the family will put the problem on the kid

  • parents weren’t accountable for their problems

  • a defiant child who has been conditioned to understand that negative attention is better than no attention


  • not connected to true self

  • imaginary friends

  • often hidden in the books

  • good at being invisible

  • may have difficulty developing social skills and self-esteem

  • lack of social confidence and healthy relationships

There is always “something” (usually from the past) behind every person's struggles.

Not all dysfunctional families, of course, will include individuals who fit each of these roles and the same individual may fulfil different roles at different stages of development; for example, the ‘lost child’ may later become the ‘scapegoat.’

You don’t have to fit into one category as it usually blends. A bit of HERO and a bit of the SCAPEGOAT etc..

I hope this can give you an understanding of some of the behaviour patterns you might not understand fully, perhaps.

It is best to learn and educate yourself so you can understand better and cut yourself some slack. Don’t be too critical and offer more compassion.


You might want to save the date :)

And always remember, with that much knowledge you had back then, you did the best you could. <3

PS: I adopted The Hero role, unfortunately, and it all makes so much sense now.

Let's better ourselves every day! It is an amazing feeling!

I’d love to know your feedback and if it helped you to discover a bit more about yourself.

Let me know!

Vendula <3 A L I V E

49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page