Family can be one of the most incredible things in the world. It can make you feel grounded, secure and they are meant to grow you as a person. However, as marvellous as a family is, they are not all equal. Some can be incredibly toxic and don’t give the security and growth you are meant to receive.
So how do you stop your family and other members from being toxic? What do you do when you’ve reached the final straw?
Today I’m going to be talking about toxic family members. What the signs of poisonous households are. And provide some comfort for those in which being a part of the family is long gone.
Signs your family are okay.
Because of how big families can be, the entire family could be a nightmare to be around! Or it could only be a couple of members you feel the need to avoid. However, before you know the signs of what is considered toxic, you should probably know the non-toxic behaviours first.
Let you be you.
You’ve read that subheading and are wondering what I’m typing. Let me break it down. If family members aren’t toxic and are genuinely good, they won’t see you as an extension of themselves and force you to do things they would like. They let you be you, let you do the hobbies you want and the careers you want. And they don’t try to sabotage it either.
Do not manipulate you emotionally.
A typical sign of decent family members is that they don’t toy with your emotions. They don’t use your feelings against you to make you sad or force you into dangerous or harmful situations.
They don’t hurt you verbally.
Pretty simply, non-harmful family members won’t put you down, won’t shame you and won’t be disrespectful when things aren’t going their way. They won’t make disparaging comments to bring you down deliberately.
Make you feel safe
The best sign that you can assure your family aren’t horrible to be around is that you feel like you can communicate well. That you can be whoever you are openly and that you feel safe and okay around them.
Signs they are toxic.
Treat you as an extension of themselves.
Remember what I said about treating you like your own person? The opposite is that they see you as an extension of themselves and make you be like them instead of letting you be you.
However, giving you bodily autonomy and your wants and needs doesn’t just stick to letting you pick your hobbies and career path. Sometimes, it can be them deliberately stopping you from doing stuff you want to do for the sake of a sibling consistently. And isn’t impacted by financial and work reasons.
Make you feel like a burden.
In my ‘toxic things, parents say’ post. I also name making you feel like a huge problem. It also counts here too. However, it goes deeper than the statements that you cost too much. It’s also caused by the way worse comments, like ‘I never wanted you.’ Or ‘You ruined my life.’ Which are 100 times worse because the general ones normal parents come up with is just from frustration. But those other two are from something worse.
You feel unsafe around them.
I think this one is self-explanatory, but if you don’t feel comfortable. Suppose you don’t feel okay to open up and talk and are scared of a family member because of how they act or treat you. Then it’s more likely than not that they are toxic.
Are manipulated emotionally/verbally
Suppose they use your emotions against you or force you into situations. In that case, you don’t want and then insult you to a damaging degree, then their manipulative and terrible family members.
Why family members being toxic/damaging isn’t good.
Individual family members being this bad isn’t good as it can affect all areas of your life– From your physical health to your mental one. On top of that, it can affect your mental health badly and make it harder for you to form relationships.
However, if that toxic family member is a parent, this gets worse, especially when you have nowhere else to go.
Is it okay to cut out toxic family members?
Because of our thoughts on genealogy and how ‘blood is thicker than water.’ We often assume it isn’t okay to cut toxic members of the family out. And we often advise people when they have terrible friends to stop contact with them. It should be the same for family members too! Especially when chosen families are a thing!
The difference you will find is if it’s an extended family member, it will be way easier to ignore and cut out than a parent.
However, don’t feel guilty as you ar you have to do what’s right for you. And if you are in a situation that is severely affecting you, you should be able to leave the problem or put in boundaries to fix it.
In the end, working out whether your own family are good for you can be challenging! And sometimes it’s fixable, and sometimes it isn’t, but you have to do what’s right for you. Just make sure you have a support system, do the proper research, and think things through properly!
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