Chapter 18 | Section 18.1 | Family
For most people, their family will do more things for them in their life than any other set of people. Individuals are allowed more leeway when they make mistakes and are forgiven by their family members for things many other people won’t so easily forget. They show disappointment, but continue to work with you when you have erred.
The first part of evaluating the Family Constant is to define who is in your family. Family isn’t defined as people with your last name and/or exact DNA string. Family is the network of people that helped raise you. It can be your Mom/Dad/Grandparents/Siblings, or it could be your Mom/Uncle/Best Friends Parents/Neighbor that was a father figure to you etc. The Aunts & Uncles & Cousins that you saw every other summer for 1 week don’t roll into Family in regards to you rating your constants unless they are people you have grown closer to and communicate your more personal details to on a regular basis etc. I would say as a rule of thumb you should limit this to the closest 5 to 25 people in your life that are defined more accurately as family than friends.
Any number of things can be going on within your family that cause your family constant to be a 0 rather than a 1. Someone might have been busted for drugs again, have cheated on their significant other, been checked into a hospital for one reason or another, or maybe your grandfather has recently passed and you are watching your grandmother lost in life trying to figure out how to move on.
Your location in relation to your family can also make your family be a 0 rather than a 1. If you got married, moved away with your spouse to be close to her family, and see your own 1 or 2 times a year and you just aren’t very good about calling them… then the fact that the few times you talk to them is positive isn’t enough to make up for the amount of support and contact you are used to with them. That isn’t to say that you can’t have a score of 1 for your family if you don’t live right next to them. Just pay attention to the fact that distance from them and their communication styles/attempts can factor into them helping energize and solve your problems vs. weighing on your mind.
Now that you understand the factors at play, think through whether or not there are portions of your family in distress or needing your help and/or with issues that weigh on your mind. And think about how many family members you find yourself wishing you had kept up with better over the past months/years. Finally think about the times you are interacting with them. Are you walking away with a smile on your face and looking forward to seeing them next week? Or are you walking away shaking your head, wishing you knew how to solve their problems or wishing you weren’t the one who had to deal with them?
One family member that has always been capable, but is working through an issue and has that issue under control (but you hear about it some) isn’t enough to make this a 0. Let’s say your brother is refusing to participate in his daughter’s life after he broke up with his girlfriend and your grandma is ill in a hospital and your uncle is already trying to divide up her estate because he needs money. These types of whirlwinds can strike a 0 for this Constant pretty fast. Even if your parents still stop by your house a lot and your younger sister tries to be nice and watch your kids for date nights once a week. Even though your parents and sisters actions are positive to you, you still see it wearing on their faces and the fact that you can’t solve it all on your own for them passes some of their stress along to you (and you are potentially already stressed out from watching it all yourself first hand).