Why might I be afraid of being shunned by my family?

Diana, One of the greatest fears of a family member is shunning. Shunning is an ancient practice where a member of any group disagrees with the norms or the values of the family, the family may expel that person from the group. When a family lives with secrets or dishonesty, most of us will stay in our dysfunctional family because of the pain of shunning, rejection, and isolation.

Many of us will walk on eggshells to stay in a family of secrets and pain rather than suffer the consequences of rejection and abandonment. In some families it is very risky to tell the truth. We all want to be loved, accepted, and appreciated, especially by our families. When we begin to question our family values or our family’s religion, we risk losing the adoring, accepting looks from those we love. We innately know this as small children. We begin to live secret lives and to keep the secrets of our own truths. Children become compliant for survival. They survive with the love and protection of their family, and without it they could die.