Family is supposed to be safe haven. The people who are supposed to hold your back when and if needed but what if the family turns out to be the place where you get deepest heartaches and life long sorrows? And still if you are thinking TOXIC is too strong of a term to be used for negative family members then remember definition of toxic is that something which is harmful to your health or lethal if consumed for a regular interval. So when we are using Toxic family members then it totally make sense. Get over this mythical bond and start setting your priorities right which suits you and your mental and physical health. If anything is affecting your happiness, well being or peace it’s totally correct to remove that reason out of your life because there is no reason that you suffer out of obligations.
How to recognize that toxic family member?
They are judgmental
Sometimes constructive criticism is fine and it may help you achieve new heights but repeated,persistent,unwanted and unnecessary criticism which only degrade your existence and affect your self esteem is bad. These family members,friends or relatives would always shake your confidence. Bottom line is they will always make you feel small and feel bad.
They dominate you
They will always try to dominate you and bully you into submission. They will always try to prove a point which you and everybody else know is not right. But you listen to them just to avoid the family drama.
They are manipulative
Once you withdraw yourself away from such nasty relative , they tend to be super affectionate and offer support.At moments they will shout at you,insult you and at other they will coax you back into their laps by offering pseudo praise and concern. How to recognize if the person has changed really? Well,their positive response will only last for shorter period and as soon as you start submitting to them they will be back to their manipulative behavior.
They are melodramatic
Drama is their second nature. They will cry,crib and complain and at the second instance they will pretend to be the most optimistic person on the planet. They can faint or fall sick if you try to confront them. They will tell you their sob stories how their lives have been troublesome always and how much faith they had once in you. All so that they can clutch you again and you backtrack after they create new set of problems for you.
They will gaslight you
These family members will always claim they never said anything bad even when you and the whole family knows that they did. But they will put blame on you. It might seem an irrelevant behavior and you tend to ignore it but it is a form of emotionally abusive behavior
Their presence never make you feel happy
You don’t want to visit them, find excuses to stay away as much as possible,feel down and sad around them. You are always drained out and numb around them. You can not say anything right around them and you are forced to be with them. Only your optimism in family values tend you to stick to them else your inner voices howl out loud all the time around them
You feel unlike yourself with them
You can not tell them about your happiness because it will result into their sob stories and struggles. they can never be happy in your happiness and love to extend a support arm in your miseries only because they feel it will set things right. You hide your real personality before them and play it low.
They feel they are perfect
They will never ever apologize for their behaviour and when confronted,point out to your mistakes while claiming they valued the relationship more and loved you very much. It is you who hurt them. Don’t ever fall into that trap, they are fully aware of their deeds and they know that it works on you,So rather than feeling guilty,realize that it is just one of their tricks.
Pretending that this behavior of those negative family members even if they are parent or spouse is not OK. Most of us are actually not in a position to just walk away and infact we don’t even want to. You must realize that not everyone in the family would be healthy and trusted upon. Not every family member will spread mutual respect,love and support. Some family members build us up and some break us down. And it can be anyone your mother,father,Mother-in-law,wife,husband, kids anyone. Sometime family just means that you share a bloodline or simply a social relationship.
How to Deal with Toxic Family member
You have to stand against 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.
Distance yourself from them
It’s absolutely fine if you cut away from them for a while or forever. Maintain a minimal communication and never for a second share your problems with them.
Realize they will never change
Sometimes trying to bring changes into other people lives who matter to you can be exhausting. Understand these toxic people will never change and you have to turn your ways around them.
Never confide in them
Those moments when they are being extra sweet,don’t rush to lean upon their shoulders.Give it some good amount of time and you will understand that it was for good. Most toxic people blabber out your sacredly saved feelings before others or even you when they are at their original avatar.
Know what you want and how much you will tolerate. Have courage to revert back to these people. You are not even allowed to take all the burdens on your family under your emotionally stressed out self. Defend yourself without bothering about the position of that person.
Support your family but take care of you first
It’s okay if everybody is not happy with you. You should know what is right for you and how much you can do. The golden rule is ‘Anything that makes you unhappy should be addressed and conveyed to other family members. Those who love you will always understand.
But wait what if you are that Toxic Family member? Check out these signs honestly
– 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. Family means unconditional love and support but any relationship where there is only stress,needs to acknowledged for your own health.
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