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The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Has your family been more of a positive or negative influence in your life?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14596points) June 1st, 2009

Our families aren’t perfect and family traumas are often the most traumatic so they are always remembered.

Overall however, have they done more good than bad for you in your life? My family and I had troubles for many years but we’ve resolved our differences and moved on. Despite our disputes they have done far more good.

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26 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Without my family, I wouldn’t be alive, and life is the greatest gift of all. After that, no matter what happens, at least I will have experienced it. So, yeah, positive. I am grateful.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

More positive. Of course I say this having cherry picked through my blood relatives ;)

bythebay's avatar

Unbelievably positive, even in the bad times. I view my “bad” times as lessons. When times have been tough or I’ve been let down, I take the lesson and run with it. So through it all, the influence has been amazingly positive. I’m very grateful.

tinyfaery's avatar

My immediate family’s influence has been overwhelmingly negative. I’ve had to do a lot of work to get over my childhood. But, I had 2 sets of grandparents that were very supportive and giving. So, I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m fairly happy with who I am, so I guess I have to say 51% positive. Okay, maybe 58%.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I suppose positive overall.

Aside from getting my life from them, no matter how inadvertently (I was not expected or wanted and my BF most likely has no idea I’m here), I’ve recently realized that I’m a lot stronger than I’ve thought to give myself credit for in the past. I survived a lot. I thrived, even, and with my senses of humour and awe at living intact.

dynamicduo's avatar

Completely positive. My parents gave me the perfect upbringing filled with adventure and excitement and education. They encouraged me to try new things and supported my successes and failures. I have a great relationship with each member of my family now and will always have one. I can think of no reason why I would ever sever my relationship with my family.

My partner on the other hand had an awful relationship with his mother (parents were divorced) until he was finally able to escape her awful clutch and live with his dad. I have learned a lot from his non-relationship with her, and it’s made me love my own relationships much more deeply.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Definitely positive. I love my parents and my siblings; they are all awesome. Sure, I’ve been angry at them before, but who hasn’t? They are all responsible for who I am today and I am very proud of who I am today. I greatly admired the way my parents parented and I hope to imitate that style of parenting when I have kids. They have definitely done more good.

saraaaaaa's avatar

I had a bad upbringing, with a mentally ill mother and an abusive father but personally I think it did me the world of good. I appreciate everything so much more and I’m now about to graduate and get on with my life. Things that happened to me meant that I have been forced to sort myself out and figure out my life, not that given the choice I wouldn’t chose a different family situation but I’m happy where I am now and I know how I got here. Just because you have been brought up well doesn’t mean you won’t make any mistakes or get into trouble, but if you can get yourself into a point in your life where you are happy and stable then its those mistakes/bad times that got you there.

chelseababyy's avatar

Oh god. Negative. Completely and totally.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Positive for sure. My family is small and has always encouraged me to do what I want to do. I really couldn’t have asked for more from my parents.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I suppose by family you mean my parents and other people biologically related to me

They’ve provided financial, not emotional support

hug_of_war's avatar

There are so many positive and negative things, I can’t easily put them on one side or the other.

bezdomnaya's avatar


My parents are the loveliest, most supportive people ever. My mom is my best friend. She is there for me 100% of the time, and she pushes me to be the best that I can be. My dad stepdad actually, but I think of him truly as my own blood and I have not always gotten along, but he’s always meant the best for me, and I can see that clearly now.

My older sister, on the other hand, while I love her to death, has been an almost constant struggle. She has a destructive personality. A few years ago, she got hooked on meth, then she almost failed out of college, and now she’s stuck at the bottom of a pyramid scheme. She refuses help and thinks my parents and I do not care about her. If only she knew how much time I’ve spent worrying about her.

So, overall, positive. I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. I would be devastated if anything happened to any of them.

cookieman's avatar

I have to say it’s about even.

My mother and maternal grandparents were mostly negative influences. Meanwhile, my father and paternal grandparents were mostly positive. So it’s pretty even.

YARNLADY's avatar

Being around my extended family while growing up was the only thing that helped me get through the hell that I experienced in the public schools.

We lived near all of my father’s 4 brothers, and my mother’s brother and sister and parents. The entire group would get together nearly every weekend, and they were nearly all within walking distance of where we lived. We all went to church together, and then to our house for a huge meal that lasted all day.

It was only after I grew up and moved away that they all disbursed, and even then we had great family reunions every summer at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm.

Hubby had much the same experience growing up in Queens with family all around.

Bluefreedom's avatar

My lifelong experiences have been generally positive influences that started with a solid upbringing by my parents. Later on in life, I saw both of my brothers have problems with controlled substances and my mother was an alcoholic (she’s been on the wagon for several years – good for you, mom) and even though these were life events that had a sobering impact upon me, they were ultimately inspirational because I saw both of my brothers and my mother completely recover and become stronger after conquering their addictions.

cak's avatar

Pretty much positive. We’ve all grow and changed – for the better. There have been some difficult times, but those are in the past. I’m lucky that most of them live in the same state and some are within minutes of where I live.

bythebay's avatar

I have a feeling they are the lucky ones, @cak

cak's avatar

@bythebay oh! Thank you. Can my family adopt you? :)

RedPowerLady's avatar

I love my family now and try my best to make situations positive. But overall I would say my answer is: Negative. I don’ feel the desire to elaborate. Of course I am referring to my upbrining and not my current household. :)

CMaz's avatar

Possitive! Negative is what you want to make of it.
Family is (should be) always there for you.

casheroo's avatar

Pretty positive. It took me maturing to fully understand that though.

AnnieOakley's avatar

It could have gone either way – but I made a choice to make it positive. There is something to be learned or gained through every experience in life – no matter how ugly it was/is at the time. I always try to ask “what can I learn from this”, even if it’s just a little self compassion.

Clair's avatar

they have been positive because most of them have taught me exactly who i don’t want to be. they’ve put me in a lot of bad situations that have taught me great life lessons.

sakura's avatar

Positive definately even the things that went wrong helped me gain a positve view on things as I thought that ‘aint gonna happen again!

imyourbffjess's avatar

Positive mostly, and at times a negative influence.
They taught me to help others, and to…be healthy.
They cuss, and smoke.
I’d say that it’s better to focus on Positive, other than focusing on the bad things. I try just to say:
’‘Don’t smoke you’ll turn out like your parents’’ It helps me bunches! See, my parents are having health problems, because of smoking, and I don’t want to turn out like that.

So overall, a pretty positive effect on my life.

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