Dealing with toxic family members can be a painful thing. In society we’re taught that these are the people we can always count on and trust. However, not many of us are lucky enough to have these qualities in our family, which can really make us feel really frustrated and alone. Living with toxic family members can make you feel like you’re trapped and have nowhere else to go. The conditions and treatment you’re exposed to can really take a toll on your mental health, physical health, relationships, school and really lower your quality of life in general without you even realising it.
If you’re currently living with toxic family members, I don’t need to list the things you know that you face with them on a daily basis. I understand just how much you wish you could get out of your situation, but may not have the means to just yet. I’ve seen a lot of content on this topic that never really caters to people who don’t necessarily have the means to simply just move out and away from their toxic families. Sometimes things just aren’t as simple as that and I get it. However, by simply becoming aware of a few things, there are ways of dealing with toxic family that you live with.
1. Your Feelings Are Valid
Understand that just because someone does not validate your feelings, it does not mean that they’re invalid. Toxic family can often invalidate your feelings and make you feel like you don’t matter. This of course, is not true. You are not less than anyone or anything and you never will be. Whenever this happens to you or someone at home makes you feel this way by doing little things like ignoring you, talking over you, disrespecting you or whatever it may be… You need to understand that it is a toxic trait of theirs, not yours.
Dealing with toxic family can be difficult, but when you start to notice these little psychological traits that they pin on you, you will start to realise they’re the problem, not you. This is when you begin to stop making excuses for your family, stop feeling guilty and start validating yourself without the need for anyone else’s approval.
2. It’s Not You, It’s Them
In saying the above, you need to understand that your toxic family members traits are a reflection of themselves, not you. Whenever they try to belittle you, compare you or are just plain down mean towards you, understand that it has nothing to with you, and everything to do with them. The way a person acts towards another person is a reflection of themselves. It shows how they feel on the inside and what their insecurities are. So don’t allow people’s words and actions to defeat you, when they have already defeated themselves.
3. You Do Not Have To React
Things can get frustrating from time to time when you always have to be the one to let things go and never express your opinion because you fear the consequences. Unfortunately, this is the reality of living with toxic family. Little things like having a roof over your head, food, clothes, support and even love, are often a few things that these types of people will take away from you. They don’t care whether you’re right and they’re wrong, and you have to understand this for what it is.
I know a lot of young people that get really frustrated with their toxic families and just want to express that by reacting and adding more fuel to the fire. Please don’t do this, and understand that in dealing with toxic family, you are the one that knows better here. They are not on the same level of thinking as you are to analyse and see the wrong that they have probably done or said. I know that is frustrating but by just understanding this, it can save you a lot of trouble.
Again, you don’t have to react to a situation where you know nothing good is going to come out of it, you are dealing with a toxic person. The only thing you’re seeking here is validation when you react, and you need to give that to yourself.
4. Work Towards Moving Away
Now this is not meant to contradict what I said at the beginning. However, when it comes to living with toxic family, we all know that we can be way better off on our own. You don’t have to do this right now, but nothing is stopping you from working towards moving away. Little by little, start saving up, give yourself a realistic timeline, make a plan of action, set some goals and stick to it! You can do this. You just need to figure out a way and means of ‘how’ to get there. Once you understand how, you’ll have something to work towards, that can give you a better and happier future.
I know when dealing with toxic family members, it can feel exhausting and hopeless sometimes when you try to achieve your goals. They can really emotionally drain you from time to time, but you have to let your goals drive you during times like this. Keep in mind what’s more worth it. Allowing them to get to you and doing nothing? Or overcoming those feelings and getting closer and closer to your goals each day? Don’t underestimate those little hours you put in each day, or lose. They always accumulate to a bigger picture in the end!
5. Don’t Allow Guilt To Control You
When it comes to dealing with toxic family members, often times we allow guilt to control us. We’re taught by society, that you should always love your family and keep them close. However, if you’re in a toxic family this does not necessarily apply. If you know that what’s best for is limiting your time spent with them or completely cutting them off, then do it. Stop feeling guilty and allowing that to stop you from making a decision that you know could improve your life better. This goes for toxic relationships and friendships as well!
You have every right to a safe and loving environment. One that values you, respects and protects you. You should never have to settle for anything less than that.
6. Set Boundaries and Respect Them
When it comes to living with toxic family members you have to set boundaries. The key here is that you have to respect your boundaries first, before you can expect someone else too. If you say you’re going to do something at a certain time, stick to it and get it done. With that being said, toxic family can get in the way of a lot of things like relationships, your health, habits and opportunities too. Unfortunately, you have to recognise that these people are just in a unhappy state of mind and don’t even realise it, which is why they do, what they do to bring you down.
However, if you keep allowing it to have an effect on you, they will just keep on repeating the toxic cycle. The only way to go about this, is to rise up each time and keep on going. Again, this does not mean you have to react, it simply means that you be resilient and keep on doing you.
7. Find An Outlet
Living with toxic family members can often feel like you’re stuck with nowhere to go. This is why its important for you to find an outlet. Whether that’s drawing, writing, painting, taking photos, reading, etc. Find something that brings you joy that you can do from home. There’s only so much time we’re able to get away from dealing with toxic family members, so this is why it’s important that you find an outlet you can have in your home too.
8. Connect With Uplifting People
With that being said, find people that you can engage with as well from home. We live in an online world where we’re able to connect with so many different types of people out there, that can make us forget about what we’re going through at home. There are tons of inspiring and uplifting YouTubers, Bloggers and Influencers that create great, motivational content. These people usually have a strong community of people that follow them and engage with their content too.
It’s always great to be apart of something that’s bigger than yourself. Platforms like WeHeartIt and PinTerest always have amazing people on their that are really supportive and uplifting. I also have a mailing list with hundreds of young women, that I engage with each week, so if you’d like to be apart of the Blogging Girl Daily family, sign up for the mailing list!
9. Seek Help
If things are really getting to you at home when it comes to your wellbeing and mental health, please seek help. Go to a school councillor or someone you trust that can help you. If you’re someone that is physically being abused then reach out to someone of authority immediately! This post is aimed more at people that are going through more mental and emotional issues that aren’t so severe, however if you’re going through something a lot more serious, please use your discernment to reach out to someone who can actually help you and get you out of your situation and into a safe environment.
10. Don’t Allow Their Behaviour To Get To You
It can be hard living with toxic family and not being affected by their behaviour towards you. However, when you let them get to you, you also allow them to have control over you. Another thing to be aware of, which I know is really hard, is to not start acting like them and picking up their toxic traits too.
Unfortunately, often when we feel mistreated and like we’ve had enough, we try to subconsciously fight back by giving into the same behaviour, with the intention of only projecting it back onto that person. We do this in an attempt to make them feel, the same way they make us feel. However, the only person your hurting here, is yourself. This behaviour is not something you ever want to adapt to and carry out unconsciously in your future relationships or with your own kids one day. So be aware of not picking up your toxic families traits. The last thing you want to do is be just like them.
11. Understand That Your Situation Is Different
There are many of us out there who go through dealing with toxic family members. It can be a difficult thing when so many people can’t even understand what you’re going through. Many times when you try to explain to people closest to you about what’s going on your life, it’s gonna be hard for them to understand. Especially, when they haven’t experienced the conditions and treatment you’ve gone through.
However, you have to understand that a lot of people out aren’t gonna understand your situation like you do. Again, that doesn’t mean your feelings are invalid. It just means that just because your friends or partner may brush things off about your family, and not understand them like you do, does not mean you have to brush things off too and go back to the same old toxic situation.
12. You Do Not Owe Anyone A Damn Thing
Your family should never hold basic things, that they are entitled to providing for you, against you. Necessities like money, food, having a roof over your head, etc. are things that your parents should be providing for you. Those are not things you should be ‘earning’ from them. Things like love, care, support, protection both physically and emotionally are all things that you should be getting from your family at the least.
If your family makes you feel like you don’t deserve these things that you know are basic, they are just really toxic people. Your family should always be there to uplift, protect you and provide for you wherever they best can. Do not let toxic family members let you believe otherwise. You do not have to do x,y and z just to get a plate of food, an education or have a roof over your head. This is so incredibly wrong. Please understand and know that it is them that’s in the wrong, not you.
13. Having A Lack Of Proper Communication
Sometimes there’s just no making people or a person understand how you feel. No matter how well you try to communicate with a toxic person, they’re just never going to understand or perhaps they might, but will still just not even care. Again, this is just something you have to realise, for what it is. Stop frustrating yourself trying to communcate with a person that just doesn’t even care to understand you.
Instead, vent your feelings out to someone that you can trust, who does actually care and understand how you feel. If that’s not your thing, then write it our. Whatever it is, find a healthy to vent out those feelings. A way that makes you feel heard and understood.
I hope this post has enlightened you on a few ways that you can deal with toxic family. I know things can get hard sometimes. When they do, remember that you are in control of what you allow to affect you.
Remember, if you would like to get in contact with me or just find a safe space to vent, you can get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can DM me on Twitter. If you’d like to be apart of our community with over hundreds of young women, subscribe to my mailing list. I engage with my subscribers weekly and share many more helpful tips on there too, that you may love!