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How to Deal with Toxic Relatives

toxic relatives

How to Deal with Toxic Relatives

As we progress as a society, people are learning more and more about how toxic relationships, jobs, situations and even people affect them and their lives.

It is fairly easy to cut out most toxic situations in our lives and even to change jobs in order to place ourselves in much healthier environments. But removing toxic people is often much tougher to do because all-to-often, those toxic persons are related to us.

There is a very old saying that, “Blood is thicker than water.” There is also a favorite quote of mine from a 1982 movie called “The Man from Snowy River” that I will paraphrase: “One of life’s great injustices is that we can’t choose our family.”

This line has stuck with me for years because I have a couple of extremely toxic persons in my family and often wonder if I would even choose to be friends with a few select relatives were we not related. We all have family members with whom we do not get along. That does not constitute a toxic relationship.

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There are several traits that toxic relatives share such as they are often quick to dismiss your feelings and concerns, they’re overly critical, they’re usually controlling and sometimes make threats such as saying they will leave you or cut you off financially. Toxic relatives never see their own fault and do not take any ownership of their own actions or words.

Some toxic relatives are more aware of their own behaviors and the fact they do not value all other persons equally. These people will often target certain family members because they know these relatives have little choice but to deal with them. Much like terminally ill patients will take out their anger and frustration on those closest to themselves.

If you find yourself having to deal with a toxic relative that you are not able to avoid or simply cannot bring yourself to cut off, then you need to learn some techniques and tricks to deal with them.

The most important thing you need to learn in dealing with toxic relatives is that the person will not ever change. This is simply the way they are, and odds are they have no idea just how toxic their words and/or actions really are, so they see no need to change.

You need to set firm boundaries with toxic relatives and stand by them. You do not need to explain or try to justify these boundaries to that person. Learn to pick your battles. Do not try to seek out approval or acceptance from toxic relatives.

The key in dealing with all toxic persons is simply knowing your own worth. Hold others accountable for how they choose to treat you.

In addition to knowing your own worth, it is imperative that you not take the words and/or actions of a toxic relative personally. Unless you really did do or say something to merit their mistreatment of you, the problem is theirs. Not yours.

Lastly, know that it really is okay to walk away from toxic relatives.

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2 Comments

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