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Family Does Not Have To Mean Blood Family

Updated on August 31, 2014
The true meaning of family is being surrounded by those who love, respect, value, and encourage us.   This does not have to include blood relatives.   Sometimes blood is not thicker than water.
The true meaning of family is being surrounded by those who love, respect, value, and encourage us. This does not have to include blood relatives. Sometimes blood is not thicker than water. | Source

Blood Is Not ALWAYS Thicker Than Water

Yes, friends are the family you create. This is because people chose their friends based upon mutual likes, interests, and beliefs. Furthermore, friends respect each other and do not have the inane expectations that your blood family has. Friends usually take each other as they are. There are no supposed obligations and gameplaying as there are in blood families. Friends encourage each other to maximize their human potentials and respect each other's differences.

Many times as a person becomes older, friends become family because you have more common interests with your friends than you do with your blood family. Usually when one becomes an adult and pursue different interests than that of your family, you cease to have that much in common with your blood family. Oftentimes, your blood family either cannot or will not accept your differences because you have broken away from the family paradigm. This is where friends came in. You have found people with whom you have common interests.

A lot of times, you may decide to pursue a drastically different belief, career, and/or lifestyle than your family members. This can cause discord within the family unit. Oftentimes, people are disowned by their blood family for electing to pursue a different lifepath. Many people who have found themselves in these circumstances adapt friends who eventually become like family to them. In fact, these friends treat them better than family.

Blood and/or related family does not necessary mean loyalty and love. I definitely believe that the family of origin or blood family is a total accident of birth. Yes, there are some people who maintain that we chose our family of birth in order to learn certain life lessons and/or to fulfill our karmic destiny. Well, that is all well and good. While there are a few blood families who are supportive, caring, encouraging, and nurturing of its family members, an overwhelming majority of blood families have inner drama. Yes, I said it! There are families which there is plenty of upmanship, power plays, and other types of gameplaying occurring.

There are families in which parents insidiously ruin their children's self-esteem and their human potential. In many families, children are regularly played against one another in order to curry their parent's favor. There are children who have been disowned by parents because they decided to come out as either gay, lesbian, or decided to be in an alternative or no religion.

There are siblings who actually hate each other because some received differential and/or preferential treatment. There are adult siblings who are envious of each other because one is more financially successful and educated than the other one. Let us add this to the mix-there are siblings and blood family members who expect that their wealthier members give them a free ride i.e. financially support them. Still, there are other siblings who actually sabotage their siblings' chances for success because it would threaten the sibling paradigm.

Do not let me go into more egregious issues such as incest. Yes, there are some families that cross the line into pathologies. I will not elaborate on this issue here. Many blood family members are subjected to this heinous act which has profound ramifications on them long after they becomes an adult.

Then there is the issue of abuse which encompasses physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. Many children are periodically subjected to this abuse because of the power plays and mind games initiated by the parental figure in the household. Many parents actually do not know how to be parents. It is their assertion that being a parent means being the boss and dominant one and that the child or children are nonentities without an individual or independent thought. These parents are immature parents who do not have an enlightened view of parenthood with disastrous results for their children.

Many blood family environments can be described as insular and claustrophobic. These blood families have a paradigm which it is political, religious, socioeconomic, job/career, and/or lifestyle which is not to be deviated from or there would be dire consequences. In such families, traditions and rules are to be strictly adhered to. The mantra of such family units is, "What was good enough for our ancestors is good enough for us!" Woe to the family member who elects to try a different path. Oh no, this is not done. The "erring" family member would be brought back into the family circle or if the "erring" member persists in this different path, he/she would be ostracized by family members or worse, be disowned. There are many examples of this, family members who were ostracized and/or disowned by their blood families because they elected to intermarry with a person of a different race/ethnicity, adapt a different religion, pursue a different career, or adapt different political views.

This is where friends come in. Friends accept differences with each other. This is usually no hidden agenda with friends as there is with blood family. Friends are always there for each other through thick and thin while family members have a certain expectation that you will adhere to the family culture. Friends allow people to be themselves.

Friends nourish you when you are depressed. Friends do not expect you to conform to the mentality of group think as blood families do. Friends encourage each other to be an individual and unique.

In conclusion, friends are the family that we create. This is because we select our friends based upon common interests and goals. However, this is not always the case. Friends may have different interests from each other; however, there is mutual respect for each other's differences. Friends usually value each other's uniqueness and individuality. One does not have to play games with friends as they do with blood family who have unwritten expectations.

Family does not necessarily mean blood family. There are many blood families that are very negative and have no family love towards each other at all while there are friends who are intensely loyal to each other to death. Ultimately, family means closeness, love, and respect for each other. Many friends have this bond while there are blood family members that do not!


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    • profile image


      5 months ago

      This was a tough lesson to learn. The lesson that family may only love you from afar. That is enough for me, and I have learned that it takes other things to nourish my soul and sustain me. Friends come in all shapes and sizes and ages and so on. A sense of purpose. A life worth living. Positive Vibes only, and no deceit. Those are the things that are important to me.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      For me, when I left the South & was stationed in California in th US Coast Guard, I had to develop a whole new support system from scratch. I was blessed to meet a local family who quickly became my family of choice. Thirty five years have passed since we met and I'm living in SC again. My West Coast family is still my family above all others and they will be my family for the rest of my life. We talk at least once/week and I fly out every chance get. More than family, they are my kin and for me that bond speaks volumes compared to the voice of my birth family's DNA.

    • lilpatoot profile image


      7 years ago from Schenectady, NY

      This hub has hit the nail right on the head in my circumstance. You really helped me sort some things out that have been troubling me concerning blood relations. Thank you and I will be following your entries in the future.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      just because you are related to someone doenst make them your family. no you cant choose your relatives but you can choose your family i believe god has given you the challenge to find your true family. like my friend abi is now my big sister because god new exactly when i would need big sister advice. like god challenges was us having to get to know each other and trust each other first and keep in touch with her when she is at uni and she is always there for me and we just have such a strong sister bond unlike my relatives. she is my real family that god gave me if that makes any sence at all


    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      8 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      To molometer: Thank you for stopping by. You are so correct with your words. God bless you always!

    • molometer profile image

      Micheal is 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very interesting hub.

      The old saying "you can chose your friends, your family you are stuck with" comes to mind.

      Sometimes home is were the hurt is and the best thing you can do with your family is run away as fast as you can.

      Unfortunately some friends are hopeless too.

      In the end we get treated the way we allow.

      Great hub very thought provoking voted up UI

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      8 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you for your response. I have discovered that people from small families are more universally minded because they have non- blood related friends which are often considered family while people from large families have very few or no non-blood related friends which makes them more insular in outlook.

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image


      8 years ago from new delhi

      have very little immediate family (besides my nuclear one i mean_ so my larger family is of friends and some have given me as much as family members have. agree totally with you.

    • d.william profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Good hub. We can choose our friends, but we can not choose our relatives. Your article sounds like you know my family well. L.O.L. I come from a large family, but i can honestly say there are very few "real friends" amongst them.

    • LADYGIRL profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm currently going through some issues with my sibling, we haven't been talking for about two years now. Yes we are blood, however we're not family and not friends. We just two individual that know of it other as someone on the streets. This is a good hub...

    • alphagirl profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I think it depends on your culture, the respect you have among your family remembers, if any at all, protocol of patriarch... Blood can be thicker than water as in friendship...then again not everyone is fortunate to have a nurturing family background. There is a a book out,"why do I love all these people!.' For some are not meant to have blood family relations but are forced to create a family among those who edify them. With people moving and changing their jobs out of state due to economic conditions, you have to make a new family and that means your church, your neighbors, community. I have both family, distant friends, and friends from childhood. Being tolerant and less judgemental helps everyone friend or family.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      8 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I have a large family - five brothers and sisters - and we all get along for the most part. When I was younger, everyone on the block called my mother "mom" and we included these people in our family gatherings - I really have no "friends" - I just have a large family! :)

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      8 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I have a large family - five brothers and sisters - and we all get along for the most part. When I was younger, everyone on the block called my mother "mom" and we included these people in our family gatherings - I really have no "friends" - I just have a large family! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes in some respects are you correct that friends to become family. I was a lucky one that has a great family, yes drama does sometime happen but overall we get along very well. I can honestly say, my family consists of good friends and blood family.

    • Rastamermaid profile image


      8 years ago from Universe

      I totally agree and just because someone is blood doesn't mean they like you or have your best interest in mind.

      I do have friends that are more family than family but luckily some of them get along better with my family than I do.Then you just enjoy life and keep it movin.

      Nice hub!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      8 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Like TPM, I also came from a good family and am hopeful that I am in the process of raising a good one now. Fortunately, I also have a group of friends that treat me with respect.

      I'm guessing you'll eventually get some passionate argument that blood is everything, but you won't get it from me.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      8 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you, Nan, for your input and stopping by.

    • profile image

      Nan Mynatt 

      8 years ago

      Good information and I marked you up on this one. We can't live alone, and no one is perfect. It's good to express yourself and help others to see themselves. If you disagree with your family, silence in the best way to handle the situation!

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      8 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you for stopping by and for you response.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I was blessed to come from a good family, but not even good families are exempt from drama. Luckily I do have friends who are like family to me, accepting me for who I am as a person and not where I fit in the family structure. I acknowledge the same about them as well since they too have some drama in their families (but really, who doesn't?).

      Nice hub. Voted up!


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