If you ask me, there is nothing more painful and devastating than to break the connection and distance yourself from certain family members.
Family ties are one of the strongest types of bonds that we have in life. That’s why when we must cut them, it can scar us deeply. After all, your family is supposed to be always there for you, they are the people that you never expected to hurt you.
However, sometimes you must face the cold truth that some people, even if they are members of your family, are simply toxic to you and you’ll be better off without them.
You must put yourself first. You should never put in jeopardy your physical, mental, and emotional well-being just because you feel like you have to tolerate them because they are your family and you were taught that family bonds are eternal.
So, how can you know that you are dealing with a toxic family member? Watch out for these 5 signs of toxic people:
1. THEY FEED OFF DRAMA
You decide to turn to a family member for advice or share with them your deepest fears and expose your vulnerabilities because you trust them entirely. Then you find out that they betrayed you because now every member of your family knows your secrets. It is the ultimate betrayal, especially since it comes from a family member, a person with whom you share the same blood.
2. THEY JUDGE YOU
Criticism can be good and healthy only when it is constructive. However, constant, degrading, and unjustified criticism can really affect a person’s self-confidence. Family members that are judgmental and nothing you do seems to be good enough for them are toxic and you should remove yourself from their presence.
3. THEY ARE ONLY THERE FOR YOU WHEN THEY NEED SOMETHING FROM YOU
A toxic family member will only be there for you when you have something they want. Usually, they will go to you for advice or an emotional comfort. But as soon as they get what they need, they will distance from you again. And when you need their support and love, they will never be there. They will decline your needs and use everything they know about you to manipulate you.
4. THEY QUICKLY JUMP BETWEEN POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT
One moment they will yell at you and insult you, and the next they will praise you and support you only to lure you back into their trap. They can’t stand when you ignore them, so they will do everything in their power to regain the lost control on you. Of course, these pseudo-approvals are very short-lived as they will inevitably go back to their manipulative behavior.
5. THEY GASLIGHT YOU
If your family member ceaselessly claims that they never said or did something when you and everyone else knows that that’s not true – you are being gaslighted. Gaslighting is a manipulation technique with a purpose of sowing seeds of doubts in the victim in a hope to make them feel powerless and question their own perception, memory, or even their sanity.
If you recognized a family member in the description above, then they are dangerous for your mental health. Toxic relationships, even when they come from friends or family members, can really affect your sanity and your overall well-being.
There are many things that you can do to make the relationship with a toxic family member more tolerable. Still, the best solution is to cut them out entirely from your life.
This is not easy, especially when the toxic member is your parent. However, when the situation escalates to a point when it is almost impossible for you to live happily and freely – eliminating the source of your unhappiness is essential.
Also, you should know that when you decide to remove a toxic family member from your life, there will be feelings of loss, guilt, pain, uncertainty, and doubts whether you made the right decision.
However, you must determine how much you are willing to sacrifice yourself to protect your emotions. Sometimes, you must experience pain to help yourself. That pain is not malicious, but it is a normal part of the process of letting someone go.
And even when you do eliminate the toxic family member from your life, understand that you may need some time to recover from the abuse. This is also okay, and it is a part of the healing process.
Finally, love and support don’t always come from family members. You can get all the love and support you need from your friends and/or your significant other. By surrounding yourself with supportive people your life will change for the better.
TAKE CARE! You owe it to yourself.
By Mary Wright for ThePowerOfSilence