Life Hacks

How to Deal With: Toxic Family Members

How to Deal With: Toxic Family Members

unhappy black couple sitting on bed after having argument

It’s not a secret that many of us suffer from toxic family members. Asian culture and traditions specifically dictate always deferring to and offering respect to elders.

unhappy black couple sitting on bed after having argument
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That’s why if some of us have problems with the way we are treated within our family, it can be hard to speak out or even express negative feelings. While we can’t change the makeup of our family, we can change the way we react to such negativity in our lives.

Here are some useful tips for dealing with toxic family members.

Communicate – but know when to cut your losses

Though it can be hard, communicating might be the only real way to achieve a breakthrough. If a family member is constantly harping on you and crossing boundaries, it might be time to sit them down and (in a civil manner) tell them to stop.

two women sitting on a couch chatting
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After all, how would they know there’s a problem if you don’t let them know? But when it seems like communication is just breaking down, the better choice might be to save the argument and keep your thoughts to yourself.

Avoid sharing personal matters about your life

Avoid oversharing with the family member in question. This way, there are less comments, less questions asked. You should still be able to have a proper conversation with them, but it’s best to provide them with the least information about your life as you can. That way, they can’t manipulate or take advantage of what you’ve told them.

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Find a support system

It can be difficult dealing with a bad presence on a regular basis. You can’t necessarily talk to your family about it, but you can try and find a solid support system that will uplift you and talk you through your bad days. Ideally, these are the people that won’t judge you for your conflicted feelings and let you know when it’s time to draw lines or keep to yourself.

three men sitting on veranda
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Forgive them for the way they are

This one is debatable. There are some things that are considered forgivable, and things that are not, but that’s up for you to decide. There are definitely some actions and words that can cut deep or be traumatizing, but it might do you some good to let go.

happy women hugging
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Forgiving family members may not so much be for their own sake but for yours. You’ll achieve peace of mind knowing that you did what you could and that you tried to forgive anyways.

There are many ways to deal with a toxic individual in your life. It can be especially hard when that individual is present at every family gathering, or may even live in your home. 

joyful adult daughter greeting happy surprised senior mother in garden. learn how to deal with toxic family members
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But surely the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself and understand that you can’t change them. Making sure you have the right people and resources around you is a good first step to dealing with your toxic family members.

ALSO READ: How to Deal With Toxic Bosses

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