You May Have Toxic Members in Your Family and Not Have Realised It All Along…
Some people are fortunate. They are born into families that they love spending time with and share mutually loving bonds with every member of their family. These are the families who frequently have get-togethers and enjoy multi-generational holidays together. However, for others, seeing an incoming call from a family member triggers anxiety.
Get-togethers could have left them frustrated, exhausted, and even angry. You are not alone. For many people, the behavior of family members gives them the impulse to protect themselves. Here we dive into the signs of a toxic family member. It will help you identify and learn how to handle being around them.
No matter what kind of family you have, the truth is that nobody knows you longer than your family does. This comes with the disadvantage that they have records of your personal and professional failures. It includes your poor relationships and a trove of bad choices to choose from when they wish to remark on your life. But make no mistake – blunt criticism from a family member can feel like a physical stab to the gut.
Toxic parents are the kind that exhibits a lack of empathy towards their kids that is chronic. Such behavior is identifiable via cutting remarks about relationship status, appearance, physical or mental wellbeing, or even financial or career battles. Don’t let it fool you if they told you that they’re just teasing you. These comments are decimating by design, and while you may find it hard to imagine that any parent could take such cheap shots at their kids, it happens.
Pitting You Against Others
Toxic family members don’t just indulge in remarks and comments about you and your disappointments. But they also can bluntly raise topics that are unsuitable or inappropriate in the company of others, or among other family members.
In doing so, they create a platform for drama, pitting you against your siblings, your parent, or other relatives. They sow seeds of competitiveness, conflict, and set up scenarios where resentment and jealousy can flourish among members of the family.
Just like you do get family members who display their toxicity in their harsh, brazen, or careless words, you also get the toxic kind who are short of words, but harmfully so. We all know that words do hurt. But none of us are strangers to the pains of silent treatment either. You can identify a toxic family member with this trait by looking at whether any of your family members ignore you for hours, maybe days, after a disagreement.
Some express their displeasure by shielding you from passive-aggressively. This leaves you wondering what has gone sour. The silent treatment is a form of manipulation as a means of emotional control. The toxic people will find power in making you pursue a relationship.
Breach of Trust
Toxic family members typically do not have any regard for the impact their behavior has on the emotional or mental wellbeing of another in the family. Of course, when something goes wrong in life, it is hard to hide from family, and there shouldn’t be a reason to. However, you may feel it necessary to hide things form family members who are toxic in the sense that they share your struggles or information with whomever they deem worthy of knowing about it. Family members like this don’t recognize that in sharing information that is personal with others, they have breached the confidence of the person.
Repeating Toxic Patterns
Unfortunately, none of us could choose the family that we were born to. What you can choose is not to extend the toxic influences that may exist in your family into other relationships in your life. Don’t assume that the poor manner in which toxic family members treat you is acceptable, and then accept the same treatment from those who enter your life.
If you grew up in a family with one or more people who had toxic and negative personalities, you have to identify them. You have to know what red flags you should be looking for when you interact with others. People raised in toxic families typically wind up in toxic love relationships or having toxic friendships as well.
Sometimes there are people in life who are toxic, but their behaviors aren’t so extreme to have you eliminate them from your life. It can be tempting to call them up on their traits. However, it is dangerous ground. Plan for the worst outcome so that you will be ready to face anything that comes. You can’t control someone else’s behavior, but you have control over your own. Change the way you respond to toxic behavior and learn to spot it. That way, you can stop it from affecting your mental and emotional wellbeing negatively.
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