10 Signs You Have Toxic Family Members
Many adults who were raised in an unhealthy family are out of touch with their emotional needs. This can be a result of feeling obliged to continue toxic relationships against one’s best interest.
Do you think ‘toxic’ is too harsh of a word for negative family members? The definition of toxic is that something is harmful to your health or lethal if consumed in sufficient quantities. When you understand how negative family members affect your health, this word makes total sense.
Toxic family members cause a lot of stress on you. Their manipulation, drama, neediness, criticism, jealousy, and other negative traits can drain you emotionally and make you feel bad about yourself. All of these things affect your health both directly and indirectly. The stress and anxiety affect your health directly, and your negative state of mind causes you to make decisions that negatively affect your health in a big way.
10 Signs You Are Dealing With Toxic Family Members
Not sure if you are actually dealing with toxic family members? Think that maybe it is all just in your head and you are overreacting to their antics? Following is a list of very real signs that your family members are toxic to you.
No matter what you do, they say things that make you feel bad about yourself and your relationship with them. For instance, if you say ‘no’ to doing something for them, they will make you feel guilty and say things like, “After everything I’ve done for you!” or “You are a horrible person!”
A lot of times these comments won’t attack you directly, but they are meant to make you feel bad anyway. Comments like “I wish I could get out of this house!” doesn’t directly blame you for not helping them get out of the house, but it does imply that no one is helping them, especially you.
The bottom line is that you will often feel bad about yourself after talking to a toxic family member. They find a way to make you feel guilty, ashamed, hurt, regretful, or just plain depressed.
If you feel like your head is about to pop up when you are around them (and sometimes even when you are not around them) because of how they act, talk, or behave, then they are toxic to your health. They may not even be doing things to directly make you upset. They may just be behaving in their normal manner. But their behavior is one of a victim or jerk, and dealing with it becomes so stressful that you have a hard time keeping your cool around them and you find yourself leaving them feeling extremely angry.
3. You Don’t Want To Go See Them
Most of us like to see our positive and uplifting family members. If you choose to hardly ever go see someone in your family, then they are toxic to you. If having to go see someone in your family makes you want to get an instant cold, then they are toxic to you. The latter often happens during the holidays when toxic family members we can otherwise avoid might show up.
Everyone is perfectly capable of taking care of themselves for the majority of the time. If a family member is a constant state of need, then they are toxic to your health. Taking care of them, fixing problems they encounter, and having to treat them like a child you are looking after, are all signs that they are contributing to your health in a negative way.
5. You Feel Drained Around Them
People you love should give you energy and make you feel great about yourself. If you find yourself completely exhausted around them, then they are toxic to your health. Your energy is being zapped, which means you are putting yourself into a situation where negative thoughts and emotions are a frontrunner for the time you are with them – and usually well after you leave them.
People you love should make you feel alive, not numb. If you don’t feel happy or sad, then that’s a sign that you are just going through the motions because you have to. You have checked out emotionally and you are doing what you are obligated to do. That is certainly not healthy, and it is a huge sign that the person you are around is either controlling or so bad that you have shut down your emotions so you are not upset anymore.
7. You Can’t Say Anything Right Around Them
If you feel like you have to be very careful about what you say to them because you know they will get upset if you say the wrong thing, then that is a very toxic relationship you are in. You shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around people you love.
You normally don’t spend time around people you don’t like, but with your toxic family member you feel like you have to. This is usually because they have emotionally blackmailed you into thinking you need to be around them. They make you feel bad when you don’t come around them to the point that you feel obligated to. For instance, they will let you know how lonely they are in life (even though it’s completely their fault no one comes to visit them), and so you feel like you have to be the one who shows compassion.
The people you love are people you can just be yourself around. If you feel weird, as if you are someone completely different around them, then something is happening to make you feel as though you can’t be yourself. You may find yourself unable to speak up when you normally have no problem saying what’s on your mind. You may find yourself unable to show off your true attitude or behavior when you normally embrace who you without a problem.
They decide when to tell you things that are important. They decide when you are going to meet or not meet. They decide what you will do when you get together. You feel like they have some sort of upper hand in your relationship, and you feel resentful for that fact.