Virtual Tool 1: Who is Family?

Who is Family?

You’ll go through 25 questions. Take your time, you will see how insightful this is!

Theme I: Learning

Question 1. I tend to learn by myself or with external peers and resources, but I can't say I learn a lot in life with my parents, siblings, cousins or our next gen. I learn a lot in life with my parents, siblings, cousins or our next gen through planned or spontaneous discussions, activities and exchanges.

Theme I: Learning

Question 2. In my family, we know a little bit about our past, a few bites and anecdotes here and there. In my family, we share a lot of stories about our ancestors, where we came from, our values and what we experienced.

Theme I: Learning

Question 3. I can draw by heart on a piece of paper one or two generations of my close family with most names. I can draw from memory on a piece of paper several generations and branches of my family with all the names.

Theme I: Learning

Question 4. I cannot recall a word or expression that defines who we are as a family. In my family, we have a living motto or "mot d'ordre" that has a meaning for each of us and that defines us as a group.

Theme I: Learning

Question 5. I seldom find or have opportunities to educate myself together with my parents, siblings, cousins or our next gen. It is part of my life to go to seminars or training programs with my parents, siblings, cousins or our next gen or to organize some educational activities with them whereby we educate ourselves together, which might include inviting guest speakers, listening to experts and debriefing as a group.

Theme II: Boundaries

Question 1. In a typical week, I regularly see, speak or share thoughts with the same few family members. In a typical week, I tend to have meaningful exchanges with many members among my parents, siblings, cousins, spouses or our next gen.

Theme II: Boundaries

Question 2. Close family friends are not family to me, they belong to a different class of relationships. I make no distinction between close family friends and family, to me it's all part of the same big family.

Theme II: Boundaries

Question 3. If we owned something together as a family, I would never involve in-laws, spouses, step children or adopted children in that ownership; it belongs to the blood line. If we owned something together as a family, I would consider that we can share or divide ownership with members of the extended family including in-laws, spouses, step children or adopted children.

Theme II: Boundaries

Question 4. When we have family dinners or gatherings, I am not comfortable having in-laws or significant others share their points of view about family decisions or orientations. What I enjoy about family dinners and gatherings is that everyone including in-laws and significant others can influence or orient family conversations and some decisions.

Theme II: Boundaries

Question 5. I make a clear distinction between my direct cousins and second cousins. To me, all my cousins are the same, no matter the generation and branch.

Theme III: Trust

Question 1. I trust very few members of my family, I share confidential information with only a few. I give my trust to a relatively large number of individuals in my family across generations or branches.

Theme III: Trust

Question 2. I share my dreams with people from the outside, not with family. I am afraid they would judge me or not understand or appreciate what I think. I like to share my dreams with my family as it makes them somehow more clear, real and achievable.

Theme III: Trust

Question 3. Very few people in my family trust me. I know from direct sources many family secrets, dreams, concerns or aspirations.

Theme III: Trust

Question 4. I avoid discussing emotional topics with family, it quickly becomes uncomfortable or out of control. I might like or dislike discussing emotional topics with family based on my personality, but I don't feel it is a burden doing so because of the openness and non-judgmental approach we have with one another.

Theme III: Trust

Question 5. There is a sense of disappointment in our family when we think about who's reliable and who can help whom. There is a strong sense of reliability in my family. I always find that in the case of need, we can rely upon one another.

Theme IV: Identity

Question 1. I mainly share inside jokes and jargon with people from the outside, but do occasionally so with family. My family and I have a dictionary of inside jokes and jargon that makes it sometimes hard for outsiders to understand us.

Theme IV: Identity

Question 2. When I feel lost or under stress, I cope on my own or may reach out to outside people like colleagues, friends or professionals. When I feel lost or under stress, I can quite instinctively turn to some of our family values to find back my balance, or reach out to some family members who will bring back those values to me.

Theme IV: Identity

Question 3. I have a very short term view of family, I don't have a very clear picture of our identity and future in a decade or two. When I think of my family, there is a sense of past, present and future that all comes together in a meaningful image.

Theme IV: Identity

Question 4. “Limit projects with family”, is my saying. I say: “Multiply projects with family and explore them through various angles to give them more meaning.”

Theme IV: Identity

Question 5. We don't have a strong family identity because each of us tend to individually adhere to our in-laws, spouses or close family friends' identity. Our family identity is so strong that it attracts in-laws, spouses or close family friends like a magnet as they strongly identify themselves to our behavior, dreams and ways of life.

Theme V: Conflicts and communication

Question 1. In my family, we don't address conflicts, we keep everything buried and have triangular conversations about it. In my family, we have this habit of opening up conflicts and addressing them at the root.

Theme V: Conflicts and communication

Question 2. In my family, we avoid having conflicts. In my family, we experience some minor or serious conflicts.

Theme V: Conflicts and communication

Question 3. If we ever had a conflict in our family, I feel that we would primarily reach to the outside to find help in addressing or dealing with it. The history of our family is that we would seldom reach to the outside to address and deal with our conflicts, we would tend to discuss them and manage them by ourselves and only go to the outside if necessary.

Theme V: Conflicts and communication

Question 4. I wish that in my family, we would listen more to one another. We are quite good at listening to one another in my family, it's something I even take pride in.

Theme V: Conflicts and communication

Question 5. There are only a few family members with whom I can have a real sense of communication, whether it's one-on-one or as a small group. I find there are many opportunities and forums in my family to have some meaningful small groups and large groups discussions.

Position yourself on this scale

Graphic with scoreGraphic with description
 
  •   LF Theme I: Learning Family - About learning together
  •   FB Theme II: Family Boundaries - About who belongs to the family
  •   FT Theme III: Family Trust - About who we can trust
  •   FI Theme IV: Family Identity - About how we define our identity
  •   FCC Theme V: Family Conflicts and Communication - About who we communicate and address conflicts with

Click on the triangle to see your results

Click on the triangle to see the description of each zone

Remember that our sense of identity evolves through time. Take this test once in a while. Also compare and discuss your answers with members in your family.

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