Is Your Family Dysfunctional? A Holiday Quiz

Do you dread holidays? Have to gird yourself to face the relatives? Most likely your anxiety relates to sharing a room with a dysfunctional family. To see where yours falls along the spectrum, take this insightful quiz.


Which of the following describes members of your family? Note: One person can qualify in multiple categories. Step-relatives count! And don’t forget to include yourself!

Give yourself one point each for family members who are:

1. Racists
2. Ageists
3. Prejudiced against a certain religion, ethnicity or sexual identity (extra point for each)
4. Weapon-loving “loners”
5. Woman haters or abusers
6. Man haters or abusers
7. Dog-haters
8. Extreme Dog- and/or Cat-lovers (caring for more than five animals)
9. Suspected pedophiles
10. Registered sex offenders
11. Drug addicts
12. Alcoholics
13. Gambling addicts
14. Selfie or social media addicts
15. Food addicts or those whose food issues mar the Thanksgiving experience
16. Other addicts (specify: __________________________________________)
17. Anyone who has appeared on Jerry Springer (including Judge Jerry) or a Housewives show
18. Anyone who describes himself unironically as a “confirmed bachelor”
19. Sadists, masochists and sado-masochists  (extra point if you know the difference through familial experience)
20. Religious fanatics
21. Prostitutes
22. Bigamists/the polyamorous
23. Sexually active couples comprised of two relatives (extra point if they actually get married)
24. Relatives dating or married to someone at least 18 years older or younger than themselves (i.e., old enough to be their parent or child)
25. Products of artificial insemination or surrogate mother resulting in lawsuit
26. Chronic name droppers
27. Chronically unemployed
28. Chronic money borrowers
29. High school dropouts
30. Narcissists (extra point if narcissism is completely without any basis in reality)
31. Conspiracy theorists
32. Professional psychics
33. Socio- and/or psychopaths (extra point if you know the difference through familial experience)
34. Obsessives (extra point for each person, place or thing obsessed about; extra point for stalking)
35. Will-changers (e.g., a grandmother who uses inheritance as a weapon)
36. Convicted felons (extra point if currently serving time; 2 extra points if the subject of a documentary or fictionalized show or movie)
37. Charged but not convicted felons (extra point for each charge; extra point for each restraining order)
38. Juvenile delinquents
39. Phobics—specify fear(s): (examples: homophobic, agoraphobic…)
40. Just plain nuts (be honest—annoying doesn’t count)

PART 1 Total _____


Which members of your family do you currently not speak to? Give yourself one point for each.

1. Mother
2. Father
3. Sister(s)
4. Brother(s)
5. Half-sibling(s)
6. Spouse
7. Ex-spouse(s)
8. Inlaw(s)
9. Ex-inlaw(s)
10. Grandparent(s)
11. Great-grandparent(s)
12. Aunt(s)
13. Uncle(s)
14. Cousin(s)
15. Son(s)
16. Daughter(s)
17. Grandchild(ren)
18. Great-grandchild(ren)
19. Any step-relative(s) (including ex-step-relatives)
20. Relative(s) from which you are at least once “removed”

Part 2 Total: _____


Now add in:

Number who were formerly on the list but have been reinstated _____
Number not included in above but only because they are hanging by a thread _____
Number of relatives who are not speaking to other relatives (example: your sister is not speaking to your mother, your cousin is not speaking to his ex-wife…) _____
Number of parents and step-parents your children have collectively (not including yourself and your current spouse, if applicable) _____ 
Number of your ex-spouses who owe you money _____

Part 3 Total: _____

Okay, time to add it all up:

Part 1 Total _____

Part 2 Total _____

Part 3 Total: _____



0-10 Why are you even taking this test? An Osmond could score higher! Are your relatives actually alive, or are they just not keeping you informed?

11-25 Politicians pray that their background search turns up a family like this. Not dysfunctional, just wacky enough to be interesting.

26-40 You come from the kind of family that the neighbors whisper about, as in “I don’t want you going over there!” Many of your relatives are considered a “bad influence,” and have probably caused you great embarrassment over the years.

41-60 Most likely no one in your family has killed anyone—yet. Besides intense competition at the family picnic for the “black sheep” award, your relatives (and possibly you!) suffer from myriad conflicting problems that keep shrinks, lawyers, diet doctors, reality TV and nurse practitioners in the money. Hey, at least someone loves you!

More than 60 As nutty as they come. Your relatives not only have made you crazy, but your family’s combined dysfunction is its own vortex, picking up speed and growing exponentially, ensuring that generations to come will suffer as you surely do. There is no good news here, only an inevitable farewell wave to reality as one by one you and those related to you surrender fully to the insanity that is your family. Tip: help raise money for treatment by writing a blog, book or movie, especially one focusing on holidays!

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