orlando-marriage-counselor-4-tips-to-avoid-dysfunctional-relationships-flThings we can learn from Scandal ABC TV Show and 4 Tips to Avoid Dysfunctional Relationships by Orlando Marriage Counselor and Expert! Dysfunctional relationships have been well known in the world of movies and TV shows for years, but Scandal’s recent season takes the cake. With quality writers and a talented cast many people were thrown for a loop as the dynamics of the show relationships played out. The values being portrayed cross-comfortable and even ethical lines.

A scene between the characters of Huck and Quinn definitely raised some eyebrows. Their relationship has been characterized as an “on and off” or “casual hookup” relationship. But earlier in the show when Quinn was depicted as the enemy Huck decides, as an act of torture, to pull her teeth out. Fast forward a few episodes and you enter a scene filled with sexual tension between Huck and Quinn. In a moment that should be romantic Huck says, “I pulled your teeth out because you couldn’t mind your own business. You can never mind your own business, Quinn. And if I had to do it all again to teach you a valuable lesson, I would.” This conversation leads to an almost kiss sending a very mixed message.

  • Assertiveness and being the “alpha” male is very attractive for many women. But there’s a difference between being assertive and aggressive, and this scene definitely crosses over to the aggressive side. A clear set up for a dysfunctional relationship.

The most alarming scene I found was one between Cyrus and Michael. Michael is a prostitute that became Cyrus’s lover, but when Cyrus discovers Michael has been using him to gain secret information on the president, all hell brakes loose. Cyrus cancels his date with Michael only to show up unexpectedly at his doorstep. In a heightened emotional state Cyrus tells Michael to bend over, pushes his face down, and forcefully penetrates him.orlando-marriage-counselor-4-tips-to-avoid-dysfunctional-relationships-facebook-fl

  • This doesn’t sit well with me or with many viewers. The aggression and force displayed in this scene glorifies the authority Cyrus has over Michael. The scene portrays Cyrus as trying to “achieve vengeance” and not committing a crime, which crosses serious ethical boundaries, even for a scripted TV show.

These scenes are only a couple of many that signify a serious loss of perspective and absence of responsibility. While TV shows are mainly for entertainment purposes, the messages they send out people can take very seriously. And what is being sent out from Scandal has red flags written all over it. They are missing the mark between entertaining possible situations and glorifying crime. Writing about controversial topics is no problem and actually encouraged in many instances, as long as the message has a moral value, and is one that should be received.

How to handle Dysfunctional Relationships:

  • Don’t match their intensity. Matching aggression with more aggression won’t get you anywhere. Staying calm will help you avoid getting the other person more riled up.
  • Look objectively at the situation. Take your emotions away and depersonalize yourself from the situation. You’re less likely to get tangled in an argument or become offended. Dysfunctional relationships breed in negativity so when you look objectively at the situation it becomes easier to identify the root of the problem.
  • Redirect the focus and power. Put the focus and power back in the relationship in a way that both people have equal parts. By doing this you are creating a healthier dynamic and path where the relationship can flourish.
  • Stand up for yourself. You teach people how to treat how by showing them what you will and won’t accept. Be assertive and let your partner know what’s on your mind but with the intention of informing your partner and not bringing them down.

NOTE: Freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the authors, name, credentials, and contact information below intact and include a link to this article.

AUTHOR: Jada Jackson, MS, LMHC – Communicator, Coach & Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with couples, teens, young adults and women empowerment issues in Orlando and East Orlando Florida!  Jada Jackson can be reached at (407) 248-0030.

AUTHOR: Dani James (Intern: University of Central Florida)