Deal With Toxic Family Members

 

Sometimes it’s not easy to deal with toxic family members. But it’s a necessary step in the healing process.

The best way to deal with them is to understand their tactics and set boundaries. That way, they can’t hurt you as much anymore.

1. Know Their Tactics

Having a better understanding of toxic family members’ tactics can help you deal with them. You can also ask a counselor who has experience with them for advice.

If they tend to be aggressive or prone to drama, it’s best to distance yourself from them and limit contact. That may include cutting them out of your life completely.

It’s also important to know their typical patterns, so you can recognize them more easily.

For example, they might become more toxic around certain people or at specific times of the day or week. Knowing that can help you decide how much time to spend with them.

Toxic people tend to project their own negative emotions and feelings onto others. It can be very hard to not take this personally, but it’s crucial to stay calm and avoid escalating the situation.

2. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is an important skill to develop when dealing with toxic family members. These boundaries can protect your mental and physical health.

Healthy boundaries start with establishing your needs and putting them first. This will help you avoid letting anyone else take advantage of your energy or make you feel depleted in any way.

If a family member is making you uncomfortable or upsetting, you can opt out of the situation completely without feeling like you have to explain or apologize. Leaving may seem like the last thing you want to do, but it’s often the best solution.

The key to successfully setting boundaries with toxic family members is being explicit about what’s okay and what’s not. Dropping hints or passive aggressively defending your boundaries will only serve to confuse people and not set them up to understand what you need.

3. Don’t Engage

Getting involved with toxic family members is a surefire way to trigger their negative behaviors. So, it’s best to avoid engaging with them at all costs – especially if they’re being particularly aggressive or provocative in their interactions with you.

Aside from limiting your time with them, it’s also smart to set boundaries. This will help you to remember that you have some choices, which can be particularly helpful if you’re feeling triggered by their actions.

Setting clear boundaries can be difficult, but it’s usually worth the effort. It can mean saying, “I don’t want to talk about this,” or even putting a phone call on hold. If they persist in their abusive behavior, it might be a good idea to cut off all contact. This doesn’t have to be a permanent decision, though; you might just need some time away from them.

4. Don’t Let Them Control You

When you’re dealing with toxic family members, it can be tempting to want them to change. You might even fantasize about the day when they realize how damaging their behavior has been and do something about it.

But if this isn’t going to happen, it’s best not to let them control you. It’s hard to cut them off, but it’s better for you in the long run.

One way to do this is to set up boundaries.

For example, if you don’t like your sister’s sarcastic comments and you know she’ll continue to retaliate, make a point of letting her know that you don’t want to be around them anymore.

Once you’ve put a boundary in place, stick to it.

If they try to talk you out of it, tell them they’re not worth your time or energy. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s always better to have a clear boundary than to give in to someone else’s demands.

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