Having toxic family members in your life shouldn’t be something you just accept. Cutting them off is okay, and here’s why.
Growing up in the Philippines, we are taught to always pay respect to our elders. To say po and opo, to mano, and to never talk back. And essentially, there’s nothing wrong with that. But what do you do when you realize that you may have toxic family members? What is a toxic relationship even and how would I know if I have a toxic family member? Read on to find out.
What is a toxic relationship?
According to ‘Toxic People’, a book by Dr. Lillian Glass—a communication and psychology expert defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship (between two people who) don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there are disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.” If that sounded familiar to you, or if somebody you know popped into your head while reading this, we suggest you re-evaluate the kind of relationship you have with this person.
Identifying toxic family members
It may be difficult for you to pinpoint and to firmly accept that you have a toxic family member. Often making excuses for the way they behave, “She probably just had a bad day.” Or, “He’s just tired from work.” To help you, here is a story from someone who shared what their toxic family members were like.
A Reddit user shared a clear example of toxic behavior. The user told the story of how one time, their mom used their Social Security Number to apply for a credit card. Just so that she could buy a new TV, which she didn’t need. All because she was jealous that the user had bought a bigger TV recently. It shows a need to compete and to undermine, qualities which Dr. Glass mentioned were tell-tale signs of a toxic relationship.
Think back on instances when your potentially toxic family member has hurt you or disrespected you, or maybe tried to undermine you.
To cut or not to cut
We know that cutting off toxic family members from your life is difficult. And that it’s not easy to decide to actually do. So take your time to really think if you want to cut this person from your life. Because everyone has reasons, why they do the things they do and act the way they act. If you really care deeply for this toxic family member, we suggest you try to get to the root of the problem first. Sit them down and talk about how their behavior has been deeply hurting you. But if things don’t change and you’ve tried everything, sometimes it’s just best to walk away.
Love yourself first
Because at the end of the day, when you’re lying all alone in bed, all you’re left with is you and your peace of mind. Peace of mind is something that we all strive to have in this world. And we should never allow or accept that a person gets in the way of that. Not even our own family members. Because they’re the reason things ended this way. They have continuously hurt you, leaving you with no other choice. So cut off those toxic family members and give yourself some peace of mind.