Life
5 reasons why it's okay to cut that toxic family member out of your life
Surround yourself with those who lift you up...not bring you down.
Luis Gaskell
07.21.22

When you want peace of mind that badly, it often requires taking matters into your own hands. Mental health is a fickle thing that can change when you least expect it.

And taking care of it often involves making some difficult choices. But within us resides the power to make those choices, and you’ll be thankful that you did.

Pexels - RODNAE Productions
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Pexels - RODNAE Productions

The following words are all about toxic relatives and how to deal with them. It’s something we all know too well.

1. Do you always find yourself overexplaining to your relatives? It’s probably a sign.

Pexels - Karolina Grabowska
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Pexels - Karolina Grabowska

We’re all too familiar with the image of a toxic person who always seems to misinterpret what you say. In some cases, the word “gaslighting” is what comes to mind.

It seems like everyone these days knows at least one relative who does this.

You say one thing, and they manage to distort it and frame you as dumb or irresponsible. It’s exhausting. If this is something you go through, it might be time to cut ties.

Pexels - Monstera
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Pexels - Monstera

2. Are your emotions being played with?

Emotional manipulation is tricky to spot, but it’s nasty when you do spot it. It’s a delicate game played by the most experienced of narcissists.

Pexels - RODNAE Productions
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Pexels - RODNAE Productions

It’s not exclusive to toxic relatives either. You don’t need me to tell you that even romantic partners do this.

One moment, it’s berating and insulting your intelligence. The next, it’s the old “you can trust me” and all the sweet talk that comes with it.

Sooner or later, you’ll have to cut these folks out of your life.

3. You always get criticism even when you didn’t ask for it.

Pexels - August de Richelieu
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Pexels - August de Richelieu

Look, being open-minded is a great personality trait. You’ve got to learn to take criticism and grow from it.

But that criticism should be balanced with praise and compliments too.

No one can function when all they hear is what they did wrong. Someone should get the message across to your toxic relatives, then.

If moving out isn’t an option, try to spend more time around people who’ll look at you and see more than just your flaws.

4. Are you just straight-up miserable around them?

Pexels - Liza Summer
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Pexels - Liza Summer

Sometimes, the most obvious sign isn’t so obvious. When manipulative, negative behavior is an everyday occurrence, it can be hard to step back and see where you are.

If you find yourself constantly unhappy and miserable with their company, then that’s a sign that change is in order.

Maybe pay your therapist a visit, get out with friends more, or cut them out if you have the means.

5. They only care about being supportive when it benefits them.

Pexels - Nicole Michalou
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Pexels - Nicole Michalou

Support goes both ways, but not everyone gets that. A toxic family member will only care about familial support when it’s their turn.

But all those other times when you need their support? You can forget about it.

A toxic personality is always born form the marriage of selfishness and narcissism.

Pexels - Gustavo Fring
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Pexels - Gustavo Fring

Toxic relatives can be a major pain in the backside that just doesn’t seem to go away. But just like your physical health, there are steps you can take to improve your mental health too.

These are all signs of a toxic relative that you might need to cut out from your life. They might tick just a few of these boxes, though I wouldn’t be surprised to find some people with a relative who ticks all 5.

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By Luis Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Luis Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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