6 Things You Can Do When Dealing With Family Members Who Are Toxic
Toxic people are best to be left alone and avoided. Sometimes that’s hard to do as it may be the case that you either work with someone or have family members who are toxic. They are the type of individuals who make life difficult and have a stressful, draining, and overall negative effect on us.
Whether they are hyper-critical, jealous, overbearing, needy, manipulative, or full of unnecessary drama, their behavior makes us feel bad and can end up wreaking havoc on our emotional and mental well-being.
Thankfully there are some things that you can do and keep in mind to help with having to deal with a toxic family member. If you cannot escape or distance yourself far enough from them, then the following information will at the very least alleviate the situation.
1. Don’t take anyone’s toxic behavior to heart.Oftentimes toxic people, especially family members, will try to place the blame on you for something in an attempt to justify their behavior or get what they want. When you take it personally and end up feeling guilty, then you’ve fallen into their trap.If they get away with it once, they’ll likely keep doing it over and over, so put a halt to it. Instead of taking things personally remind yourself that it’s not you, it’s them, and let go of any guilt or blame and stand up for yourself.
2. Let them know that their toxic behavior is unacceptable. Many people make the mistake of ignoring a family member’s toxic behavior or they act like nothing is wrong when that’s clearly not the case. We often do this to avoid confrontations and it’s easier to give into a toxic person than to fight them on things. Pretending everything is OK might make you think it will stop their behavior but it only increases and makes it worse in the long run. They’ll see it as a sign that what they’re doing is right or you’re okay with it, they may even view your pretend ignorance as a weakness and try to further exploit it. Put your foot down and stop giving in to their emotional manipulation, you’re basically rewarding them every time you do so. Call them out and tell them their behavior is not OK.
3. They probably are not truly bad people, remember they’re just bad for us. Many toxic family members mean well and really do care, it’s just that they have a way of going through life that forces us to accommodate them. We settle for less in order to put their wants, needs and desires first, and in doing so we end up compromising our own happiness. Know that they do care, but keep a safe distance from them, and make yourself and your happiness a priority.
4. Be the bigger person and forgive them. It’s easy to hate a toxic person for all the negativity and stress they create, but hating only leads to more of the same. Put the drama aside and let it rest by forgiving them and moving on. It’s the best thing you can do for both yourself and your family, so open your mind and heart to forgiveness.
5. Take time to focus on yourself. Family members are the most overbearing and emotionally draining type of toxic people to be around. They get in our heads and make us question our motives, feelings, reactions, and just about everything else that involves dealing with them. Don’t let yourself get too hung up on the situation or it’ll quickly burn you out. Instead, focus on yourself and take time out to rest and get away from it all. Stay positive, take care of yourself, and don’t give up!
6. Let go of them. When you’ve tried seemingly everything and still cannot free yourself from serious emotional turmoil and stress caused by a toxic family member, sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. All you can do is try to make the best of it and if that doesn’t work then you may need to go your own way. In the end, you know what’s best for you and no one should ever keep you from reaching it.