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5 Signs You Have An Unhealthy Household Environment

Whether you feel comfortable in your house has a huge impact on your mood and life satisfaction. Your home is the place where you unwind and relax after a long day at work or school. It can also be a place where you’re met with unexpected stressors. Read on to identify whether you have an unhealthy environment in your household. Personally, this is something I struggle with, so I will be identifying these signs in my own house.

1. Disrespectful communication with your family

Do you ever find yourself shocked at the way you and your parents/siblings/kids speak to one another? This may be a sign of an unhealthy household environment, as it contributes to the atmosphere in the house. If you cannot talk to each other without starting an argument you will soon learn to avoid contact altogether, in order not to get into a fight. Such an atmosphere will impact all of your family members. Perhaps it will make you tense, stressed out, or even awkward around each other. If you find yourself always holding back your tongue, and not being able to be honest with whoever you’re living with you might want to try to talk to a trusted friend, or family member, preferably in the house, to get their perspective, and look into getting help.

2. Lack of privacy

Privacy provides solace and comfort. And we’re not talking about hiding your personal data online, although that is important as well, we mean the privacy at home, your own space, where you keep personal things or even something intangible – moments alone. However, everyone needs their alone time sometimes, even extroverts. If you’re always sneaking around in your own house you know that something is off. Your family members should respect your space, as you should theirs. This comes back to point number 1, you have to communicate with each other. For example say “Hey, I know we share this room, but can I spend some time by myself here? We can switch later if you like”.

Another important aspect of privacy is having your own space for your personal things, that only you can access. Now, we don’t mean that you need to have a safe with all your machine guns like in Mr&Mrs Smith, but your own drawer would be nice, right? Perhaps the most important aspect is that your family members don’t go through your stuff, which includes your phone and laptop. There needs to be a certain level of trust, especially between children and parents, and it’s always better to communicate instead of going behind each other’s backs to find out if your child smokes, or if your partner is cheating.

3. Unclear boundaries

Whether you are living with your parents, or college roommates you need to set some boundaries in order to live together in harmony. For example, if your flat mates are blasting music at a time when you are preparing for an end-of-year exam or if your children do not respect your requests to help with house chores. There needs to be a place for compromises, and again healthy communication in order to reach an understanding.

4. Dirty surroundings

Whether it’s dust, toys lying everywhere, or broken furniture, your actual surroundings in the house matter as well. Now, it’s understandable that not everyone can afford brand new working equipment, but the bare minimum is required for a decent level of comfort in your home. Unless you like to live in a messy place, and none of your flat mates mind, you should always  try to keep your part of the house clean. Remember it affects everyone who also needs to spend time there! When it comes to common rooms, like bathrooms or kitchens you should help clean those too. Everyone will feel more comfortable if there aren’t dirty dishes everywhere!

5. Inability to relax or rest

If you find it unusually hard to relax in your own home, or even fall asleep and you feel that the atmosphere is the cause, it’s a clear sign of an unhealthy household environment. It may be connected to the signs above, or just generally reflecting your attitude to your home.

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Written by Olga

Contributing Writer

Currently studying Psychology in the IB DP
Applying to study Psychology in the University of Amsterdam next year
Planning on becoming a therapist in the next 10 years

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