3 Ways To Deal With A Toxic Family Member
You have to take action on toxic family members. If you don’t, your mental, physical, and spiritual health will suffer, and you will regret not taking action later on in your life. Not everyone has to be cut out of your life. Sometimes you can take control of the relationship and make it better. However, be prepared for the fact that some family members may be too toxic to be around.
If the above signs resonate with you, then the chances are very good that they are creating the problem. But I’m going to get real honest here – some people reading this are actually the toxic person in the relationship. You have to take a look at your perception of yourself and then decide whether you are the one who is being the toxic person in the relationship.
Signs you are toxic include:
– You have a lot of friends and family distancing themselves from you.
– People seem unhappy to be around you.
– You feel like victim in life and you verbalize it.
– You have to be in control of everything that happens.
– You find yourself saying cruel things to other people.
– You need to be validated by other people.
– You have an addiction problem.
– You are constantly thinking negative thoughts about yourself and life.
– You take everything very personally and find ways to make other people pay for it.
– You gossip about others and put them down.
If you see these behaviors in yourself, then you have to admit that you may be the problem. You may feel angry, upset, drained, or mistreated by other people, but that may simply be because you are a toxic person who has a very negative viewpoint of other people.
Total honesty will help you feel much better about yourself and your family. If you can take the time to get honest about your toxic contribution to other people’s lives, you will take the time to find ways to fix it. When that happens, you may find that all your relationships suddenly become much more loving, energizing, and rewarding.
2. Create Boundaries
This is important for you to do with all toxic family members. You teach people how to treat you by creating boundaries. Boundaries are the lines you draw that teach people how far they can push a situation before you will no longer take it. If they are making you angry, upset, or sick right now, then you have not drawn any boundaries and they will push you to your limits and beyond.
You have to decide where your limits are and then let the toxic family member know where those limits are. For instance, if you do not want someone to take out their anger or pain on you, then you have to let them know that they are not allowed to do that to you. Let them know that you will not allow yourself to be treated like that anymore and that if they want a relationship with you, they will have to live with your boundaries and not go over the line.
Keep in mind that some people are going to put up a fight to keep acting in a toxic way towards you. They have been used to mistreating you for so long that they can’t understand why you suddenly have all these rules about how they can treat you in place. You must stand your ground and keep your boundaries in place.
I have a friend whose mother-in-law treated her very poorly. Just to name a few things – she ignored her, talked a different language to her when she did talk to her, and bought her clothes on Christmas that were 5 times too small for her. My friend put up with the toxic mother-in-law because of her husband, but one day she realized it was making her stressed out to the point of sickness. So, she asked her husband to lay out some boundaries with the mother-in-law. He quickly told his mom that she was not allowed to speak a different language to his wife that she didn’t understand and that she needed to treat his wife with more respect. The mother-in-law cried and played a victim card, but she did respect those boundaries after that conversation.
There is a good chance that your toxic family member will test your boundaries quite often. They will want to see how serious you are and how far they can push you. Don’t give in just because you are starting to feel better about your relationship with them and you are questioning if you were just overreacting about their behavior. If you do, then things will go back to exactly how they were and it will be harder to get them to respect your boundaries in the future.
3. End The Toxic Relationship
If you set boundaries and they don’t follow them, then this is your only option for sanity. Moreover, if you have had enough of their abuse and don’t want to even try to set boundaries, then this option will give you the freedom you want. Keep in mind that they will be caught off guard and will likely have a lot to say about your decision.
It can be hard to end a relationship with a toxic family member. So, you need to get a clear vision of why you are doing it.
– Write down exactly what they are doing to you and your health.
– Write down how you feel around them.
– Write down the benefits of ending the toxic relationship.
Lastly, remind yourself that it’s not cruel to end a relationship with a toxic family member. It is a way to take care of yourself and your health when someone else is not willing to treat you with love and respect. If you spend another year around a toxic family member, that’s a year’s worth of damage done to your happiness and health. But, if you get out now, you will have that year to build a happier life and find fulfilling relationships that make you feel good about yourself.