Identifying highly functional people

by Rod Smith

Highly functioning people may not be the people with the highest salaries, the most prestigious titles, or posses the most social clout. They are people of all ages who:

  • Are able to be with their parents without becoming reactive, shutting down, or regressing into childhood mannerisms. They are able to be with their elderly or needy parents without becoming patronizing or authoritarian. They are able to discuss care for elderly parents with adult siblings without becoming reactive, vindictive, or childish.     
  • Are able to hold their own with all people without resorting to judgements, insults, or stereotypes.
  • Resist group pressures  – group-thinking, group-feeling, group-fleeing, group-seeing – and are able to think (and see, and decide) for themselves when in a crowd, especially when the crowd is family. 
  • Have the courage to speak up to authority when it’s necessary with calmness, politeness, and reason. At the same time they do not attempt to reason with the unreasonable.
  • Take responsibility for their actions, debts, conflicts, and do their part in finding solutions to the dilemmas and difficulties they face. They don’t blame anyone or anything for their problems and dilemmas.
  • Resist the pressure to over-function (do for others what they are fully capable of doing for themselves – polite favors and niceties excluded) and under-function (expect others to do for them what they are fully capable of doing for themselves) especially when it comes to immediate family.   

It is with family, extended and immediate, that our emotional health issues are usually most successfully triggered. It is within the family that most of us are faced with most of our work. Get it growing and right in our families and our health usually permeates to all areas of our lives. 

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