Do some people steal your happiness and mental peace everytime they’re around? Despite how close or important a toxic family member is in your life, sometimes it is okay to cut them off to recover from abuse, protect your sanity and self-esteem.
Is your family toxic?
Family always comes first. Our parents, siblings, partner or even our friends hold a very special place in most of our lives. They support us through the dark tides of life and give meaning to our life. Unfortunately, for some of us this definition of family may not be applicable as our family lives are riddled with drama, hatred, arguments, abuse, manipulation and even domestic violence. Having toxic family members can be emotionally draining and make you feel angry, sad, betrayed, guilty, hurt and confused. Studies have found that family instability can negatively affect our wellbeing. In fact, in the long run, it can adversely affect your physical, emotional and mental health and lead to the development of chronic stress, anxiety and depression. “Children who experience early life toxic stress are at risk of long-term adverse health effects that may not manifest until adulthood,” explains a 2014 study.
Research also shows that poor family relationships can have long-term negative effects on the sufferer’s health and increases the risk of premature death. According to another 2017 study, toxic family relationships can result in stress, reduced self-esteem, unhealthy coping behaviors and reduced overall wellbeing. “Family relationships are enduring and consequential for well-being across the life course,” adds the study. A toxic family member will not hesitate to manipulate and exploit you. They will never think twice about polluting and corrupting the sacred loving bong you share with them. Even when you are emotionally hurt, they will not step back as they realize you are stuck with them because they are your family. When you allow such toxic family members to abuse you whenever they want, they will not stop sucking out every ounce of happiness you have in your life. Unless you set clear & strong boundaries and remove yourself from that environment, they will continue to ruin your life.
Why you should cut off a toxic family member
Even though we may know what we need to do to protect ourselves, we often wonder whether it is morally and ethically right to cut ties with a toxic family member. But it is never about what is right or wrong as it is a very subjective issue. What matters here is what is best for you and your mental health. Some people behave the way they do because that is how they are. They may have a narcissistic personality or they may like to feel superior by putting you down. But it is not about them, it is about YOU. It is about you taking charge of your life. It is about refusing to accept abuse and negativity in your life. It is about creating your own happiness. And the unfortunate fact is, once you cut ties with the toxic person, they will find someone else to abuse and feed the ego. Even though it may create a void in your life, cutting ties will not make any significant difference in theirs.
So instead of putting up with the toxicity on a daily basis, define what behavior is acceptable for you and remove the rest. If the issue can be resolved through an open discussion, then you must communicate honestly with them about how their behavior affects you. However, if that is not an option, you need to walk away for yourself. You should always choose YOU as you are the only permanent thing in your life. Instead of turning a blind eye towards their abusive & manipulative behavior and pretending that everything’s still fine, realize that walking away is OKAY! It doesn’t make you a horrible, selfish person. It makes you human. Someone who is simply looking to protect themselves.
Why You Should Cut Ties With Toxic Family Members
If you are still having difficulty realizing how this relationship is draining for your mind and destroying your life, here are a few reasons that will help you gain insight-
1. They manipulate you
They are master manipulators and will use an array of strategies, like guilt and denial, to distort the truth in their favor. They will make you seem like the abuser, while they will pretend to be the victim even though they are the abusive one in the relationship.
2. They judge & criticize you unnecessarily
Toxic family members love to judge and criticize you in a rude and derogatory manner. Instead of providing constructive criticism, they are more focused on breaking your self-confidence and shattering your self-esteem. They will constantly make fun of your imperfections and make you feel adequate to hide their own insecurities.
3. They violate your boundaries
Abusive individuals have no respect for personal boundaries. Regardless of the boundaries you have set to limit your interactions with them, they will intrude into your personal space and completely disregard your boundaries to show their dominance.