2 Valuable Resources For Common Family Problems Make You Stronger

Feel Pulled

Feel Pulled In All Directions?

It falls under common family problems, and it’s not just dads anymore. With more moms in the workplace than ever before, this problem is taking a toll on the family structure for sure. And it’s a heavy toll.

While reading my 1972 copy of the book PeopleMaking by the famous family therapist Virginia Satir, I got a huge Ah-Ha. On page 155, she has a great example of a typical family problem, one you will easily connect with, whether you have a family or not.


Because common family problems like this happen when you feel pulled in all directions, whether it’s by family, co-workers or in any situation you find yourself in.

How it feels to you, what happens to you and others because of it, and what you can do about it will depend on the people involved. Of course, if it is a problem you are familiar with the “what you can do about” will be especially useful.

I’ll explain the situation, as Virginia does in her book, and you can see it relates to you or someone you know.

Common Family Problems

From “Peoplemaking” by Virginia Satir

John comes home from work. His wife Alice would like to have his company. The kids, Joe, Bob, and Trudy also want some attention. If they all want his attention at once, this is what he will feel like:

Now you put “John” in the center of the room standing straight and balanced. Then get “Alice” to take his right hand. Ask his firstborn to take his left hand. The second-born “Bob” to grab him around the waist from the front; “Trudy” should put her arms around his waist from the back.

If there are more kids in the family, have the next oldest grab the right knee, and the next his left knee. Keep going until all the family members have a good grip on “John.”

Now, get everyone to pull gently, slowly, but firmly toward themselves until everyone feels the pull. Then freeze. After a very few second’s John will begin to feel stretched, uneasy, uncomfortable, and miserable. He may even fear he will lose his balance.

If you actually do this exercise, you will recognize these feeling that “John” has in his everyday life when too many demands are made on him.

John cannot stay in this position forever. He has to do something. Several choices of action are open. He can decide to endure it and get increasingly more numb until he no longer feels anything. Once this numb he can wait indefinitely.

Finally, people will just let go, left with the feeling that “Daddy” doesn’t care.” Or John can decide to “bull” his way out by using brute force. Some of the family members might accidentally get slugged or knocked over. Then as John looks at his family, he can see he has hurt them.

He may feel guilty and blame himself for not being able to do what they want, or he may blame them for putting burdens on him. The others are likely to feel that Daddy is mean, unloving, and hurtful.

Something else John can do is collapse when he feels the pressure. He literally drops to the floor, which represents his solution to becoming sick or helpless.

When this happens, his family could feel they are bad because they have hurt Daddy. And he could feel angry at them for making him feel weak.

2 Excellent Resources For Common Family Problems

Common Family Problems 2

Virginia’s Book

Virginia offers three more choices that John can make, which you will readily recognize. What will come as a big Ah-Ha is the Truth and Consequences of these choices laid out in a startling manner.

I can’t rewrite Virginia’s book Peoplemaking here of course, but I highly recommend reading it if you want to understand why you are having the family issues you are having.

Oh, and just in case you were not aware, all your issues are family issues, so, get this book. You can thank me later.

How to Heal from criticism, insults, abuse and rejection book

How to Heal from criticism

Another excellent book on the same lines is Ronda’s Degaust’s book, “How To Heal from criticism, insults, abuse, and rejection.” We have a few short videos from some great people who have read the book here, so click the link.

So if you “Feel Pulled In All Directions,” isn’t now an excellent time to change that?

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Bob Clarke

Hi I’m Bob Clarke, writer of most of these blog posts. I’m also the Co-Creator, with my wife Ronda, of the Most Comprehensive NLP Training and Coaching Program Online. Our purpose is to bring NLP to you, saving you time, travel and money.

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