What is your family role? - Scapegoat

Yesterday Teri introduced us to the "Family Hero". Sometimes as adults we may see ourselves falling back into these "roles" as we interact with our family of origin. As Teri recommended, see if you can identify your own role and your siblings too as we discuss these this week. Also, if you are a parent, see if you can see your children in any of these roles.

The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat is a role in a family that is generally hostile & defiant. They generally break rules and are often in trouble within the family, at school, or with the law. Overall, the Scapegoat has and shows alot of anger. One thing that rings true for a Scapegoat in a family is that they "hold" all the anger within the family. What does this mean? They feel the anger that others (generally the adults in the family) aren't acknowledging or expressing appropriately.

Inside, a Scapegoat feels rejected, hurt and believes "noone understands me". They also feel guilty....they don't enjoy acting out in anger, but don't know how else to get out their feelings. They are often jealous of other members of the family who are seen as "good" or "not a problem" (aka the Hero). They feel inadequate, which comes out in anger.

The Scapegoat is one of the healthier roles because they express and feel emotion, it's just that it is expressed in an inappropriate way most of the time. If you identify with this role, or see one of your children in this role, we encourage you to seek help for yourself or for them in expressing their anger. You/they are not a bad person. You/they are just trying to get feelings out, but need to know of a new way of doing so.

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.