Family ties. Is it time to cut the cord that binds you together? One of the most important things to remember about toxic relationships in general is you always have a choice. You can choose to stay in it, try to change it or simply walk away from it. The problem with toxic family members is there is a stronger bond, an invisible emotional tie that only you can feel. Over time, dealing with toxic relationships can hurt your emotional well-being and deplete your self worth. If it starts to affect your mind and soul on a daily basis you should reevaluate how involved with this family member you should be and when to slowly start disengaging.
Struggling with mental illness, I choose my friends and relationships very carefully. In the past, I didn’t think about the effect certain people had on my illness and it was very hard for me to cut ties in relationships without feeling utter guilt. After a few heartbreaking experiences, I realized how much I loved myself and that I deserved to be treated as I treat other people. Searching for a new way of life spiritually and mentally I started to snip the strings binding me to toxic people.
Not everyone has a super close and healthy family. Unfortunately sometimes the word “family” is just that, a word. Ceasing communication with people who cause you more harm then happiness is sometimes the last resort but most effective to your well-being. Here are 5 things to remember about toxic family members.
1.) They are bullies. Unhappy with their own lives or maybe dealing with past resentments, they want everyone around them to feel just as awful as they do. Instead of digging deep to the root of their problems, they try to drag you into the dirt with them. They try to tear down your self-worth and destroy your confidence so they can feel better about themselves. Sometimes, recognizing this behavior and standing up for yourself can dramatically change the situation. Saying something like “I have done nothing wrong and I will not allow you to let me feel like that anymore,” can be very empowering.
2.) They are passive-aggressive. Communication is key to having a healthy relationship, passive-aggressive behavior is probably the worst way someone can act to get your attention. They may try to point out your flaws randomly when you are talking about your dreams or just ignore you completely if they are upset about something. The easiest way to solve this is communicate, if they don’t take the communication bait then you may have no choice but to detach yourself from the situation as much as you can.
3.) They may not necessarily be terrible people. Even so, you should not be spending time with them on a regular basis. Everyone has bad and negative days, but it’s the people who have a bad and negative day everyday you should stay away from. At this point, I’m sure you have tried uplifting them and maybe feeling guilty about not being able to do so. Frankly, it wears on your emotional well-being and their happiness is not your responsibility. Anyone who does not make you feel good and lift you up more so than not, shouldn’t be a part of your daily routine. You are the company you keep.
4.) If anything, learn from their mistakes. Do you ever watch how someone acts or listen to their words and think to yourself…”God, I hope I don’t sound/act like that person EVER in my life!” Well, take your own advice and be the opposite. Practice compassion, mindfulness, and and self love every day. If you love yourself, there isn’t really anything anyone can say to you to make you feel bad about who you are!
5.) Let it go. Expecting someone to change will just leave you let down and discouraged. We can all hope people will change and our positive vibes will effect everyone we come into contact with. That is just not the case sometimes and to be completely honest, positive people annoy the hell out of negative people. When you are not on the same wavelength as people, it’s very hard to see to eye to eye and that creates friction. Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you and what feels right in your heart.
Personally, I have always had a very small “group” in which I confide in and spend serious time with. Trusting people for me is key and paying attention to how people surrounding me treat other people is exactly how they are going to treat you. What do you guys think? Any tips on dealing with toxic family members?