Family Roles: Family Hero

In our family of origin, we each chose roles as our way to belong in the family. Possibly we were indirectly “assigned” these roles. However, we settled on two of the roles. One is our “doing” role (how we appear to others) and the other is our “being” role (the role we choose to solve our emotional problems ). The roles are family hero, scapegoat, lost child, and mascot.

Positive characteristics of the family hero:

Responsible—dependable—hard worker—achiever—successful—focused—generous in praising others—leader—survivor—loyal—powerful–organized

Negative characteristics of family hero:

Inflexible—fears intimacy—driven—unable to play—has unreasonable expectations—fears failure—experiences guilt easily—has trouble getting personal needs met

Inner feelings of family hero:

Works hard for approval—super responsible—successful—appears to be all-together—believes themselves to be special

Major hidden feelings of family hero:

Inadequacy because nothing is ever good enough

Gift to the family:

Pride from the achievements of the family hero

To outgrow need for family hero role, he/she needs to learn:

They are responsible for getting their own needs met and are not responsible for everyone around them. They need to learn to play and not take themselves and others so seriously. They need to give up compulsion to be perfect and to give up the need to be boss in order to win approval from authority figures.

Techniques others may use to help the family hero to give up using this role exclusively:

Allow the family hero to know it is all right to make mistakes.

Help the family hero to feel validated by his-her own person rather than by achievements.

Give the family hero attention and approval at times other than when he/she is achieving.

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