How to separate yourself from toxic family members
Everyone has family members and everyone has family members that are better than others. Every person has at least one family member that is difficult to deal with and toxic. How you deal with a toxic family member though is more important than how they act. If you have a toxic family member you don’t have to let them continue to bring that kind of negativity into your life. There are tactful ways for you to separate yourself from toxic family members. The important point is to remember we can never control someone else’s toxic behavior only our own. We should always be kind to everyone no matter how toxic they are especially family members who are difficult.
Here are ways to separate yourself from toxic family members
Sometimes the best way to handle family problems is to separate yourself physically and emotionally. This may mean moving to a different house, state, or country. Or, it may mean not answering the phone until you’re mentally and emotionally ready to talk. You don’t necessarily need to cut toxic family members out of your life; rather, you can give them a quick call every 2-3 months — or you can send a note instead of calling.
Don’t expect your toxic family members to change. Change the things you have control over, such as how often you visit. Even knowing you have control over the littlest things can make a difference. Your toxic family members may never change, but you can empower yourself in different ways. For instance, if you have an alcoholic sibling, you can join an Al-Anon support group. Toxic family members are stressful but you can reduce the stress by checking your own attitude and response to them.
Expect criticism from your toxic family members. Handling problems with family requires setting healthy boundaries. It’s easier to set boundaries than to actually stick to them! Learn how to protect your boundaries despite criticism from other people. And remember that your toxic family members may not think they’re doing anything wrong, and may not see the negative effect they have on you or others. They may think everyone should live and act the way they do. That’s their right, and it’s your right to live the way you see fit.
Dealing with toxic family members can be challenging but there are tons of books and resources on how to deflect conflicts and situations. Read about boundaries, take workshops or classes about setting healthy boundaries with toxic people, and consider talking to a family counselor about the best way to handle family problems.
There are multiple different ways to separate yourself from toxic family members but the most important thing to remember is to set boundaries. Do what you can for yourself and leave them as they are. Trying to change your toxic family members is where most people get it wrong. Separating yourself from your toxic family members and keeping yourself safe and healthy is your best bet for having the healthiest relationship with them as you can.