In my opinion, there is nothing more challenging and heartbreaking than having to end the connection and distance yourself from a loved one.
Family ties are some of the strongest bonds anyone has in their entire life. Whether you are family by blood or family by choice, everyone has certain people they consider to be family.
Family is supposed to always be there for you and you never expect your family to hurt you. However, some family members can be more destructive and damaging than anyone else.
When this sacred bond is broken, it can leave a lasting wound. The truth is, some people are simple too toxic for you to be around and you need to move on without them.
Don’t be ashamed for deciding to put yourself first. Never put your physical, mental, or emotional well-being on the line just because someone is “family.”
So, how do you know how to spot a toxic family member? Pay attention for these five warning signs!
1. They feed off drama.
Have you ever decided to turn to family member for some advice or shared some of your deepest fears with someone you trusted? You expose your vulnerabilities in hopes to receive some sort of assistance in a time of need.
Then you find out they have completely betrayed you and now everyone knows your secrets. This is the ultimate betrayal, especially when it comes from a close family member or trusted friend.
2. They judge you.
Constructive criticism is extremely healthy and a required part of every relationship. However, repeated, aggressive, and degrading criticism can affect a person’s self-confidence on a very deep level.
Family members that are overly judgmental and controlling are definitely toxic and you have no need to feel bad about removing yourself from their presence.
3. They are only there for you if it somehow benefits them.
A toxic family member will only decide to help you if they have something to gain. Normally, they will come to you for advice or assistance, but as soon as you give them what they need, they will choose to distance themselves from you once again.
What happens when you need their support and love? They’re no where to be found. They know how to manipulate you.
One moment they’re praising you and supporting your efforts and the next they’re insulting you and judging every move you make.
They can’t tolerate it when you ignore their efforts, so they do everything in their power to regain control of your attention. It is nearly impossible for them to give up their manipulative behavior.
5. They often use a nefarious manipulation technique, referred to as gaslighting.
If you know someone who claims that they never did or said something when you and everyone else around know that’s a lie… you are being gaslighted.
Gaslighting is a technique based on planting seeds of doubt in the mind of the victim in an attempt to make them feel helpless and question their own sanity and memory.
Chances are, you might have a family member that matches the description above. If so, they are a threat to your mental health. Toxic relationships, even with family and friends, can have a major impact on your overall wellbeing.
Just because you have identified a toxic relationship, that doesn’t mean you should give up on that person. There are many things you can do to make a toxic family member more tolerable.
However, the best solution will always be to remove them from your life. It is not always an easy task, especially if that toxic person is a parent.
If the situation has escalated to a point where it has become impossible for you to be happy, then you have no choice but to eliminate that person from your life.
No matter how beneficial removing this person from your life might have been, there will still be feeling of guilt, loss, pain and doubt about the decision.
You must be willing to make this sacrifice in order to protect your emotions. Sometimes you have to experience pain to protect yourself. You will also need time to recover and heal.
Remember to always take care of yourself!
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives