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5 Ways to deal with toxic Family members

January 29, 2018

I am not a huge fan of my family. As many of you know I rarely talk to them. When I say rarely…..my Aunt died on Jan 17th….I spoke to my Uncle for the first time on that Friday (when he called to tell me she died) since 2007. Yes….over 10 years. I don’t deal with toxic people family or no family. I didn’t get to make it to my Aunt’s funeral, not because of my family (I will cuss their asses out) but because I didn’t have adequate childcare for my kids. Many people did, however, assume I didn’t go because I don’t talk to my family. Nope, that wasn’t the case. I know you have a question…So why don’t you talk to them? Because I can’t stand folks who are toxic in the way they act and think so I don’t bother myself. It’s more nitty-gritty reasons that I won’t get into today but I wanted to help some of you out with how to deal with toxic people. These people come in the forms of cousins, Aunts, siblings, parents, and even spouses. Here are 5 ways to deal with toxic family members…..

Don’t talk to them – Easier said than done. Sometimes we have to deal with them because maybe we are in business with them or maybe we have to see them during holidays or family reunions. I don’t speak unless spoken too. So for me, it’s easy not to speak to them. What on earth would we talk about that is going to save them from a cuss out? Maybe the weather…..I cut my family members off. My Uncle has my number but he knows not to call me unless it’s an emergency and that is just when he called me. I was cordial when we spoke but we stayed on the phone for no more than 2 min. It’s best to not speak to people at all when you know they are toxic. The less you say the better….trust me on this

Limit your time – Time means more to me than money and I value my time like it’s liquid gold. If I have to be in your presence I give you a time limit. My Time limit is usually no more than 15 minutes. Small talk and then I walk away. I actually will put my alarm on too because I want to make sure I am not giving you my precious gift. During the holidays don’t stay with toxic family members and if you can, avoid being in the same room with them. If everyone is sitting in the family room go to the kitchen. If everyone is around the tree sit on the opposite side of the person you don’t get along with. Lessen the time you spend together and you will be okay

Don’t take their toxic behavior personally – Some folks have had some bad childhoods. They don’t know any better. They treat you how they were treated or how they feel they were treated. Some people are truly in their own reality and sometimes you have to let them live there. It’s not about you personally sometimes it’s about them. Toxic family members like to say that you’ve done wrong and make you feel guilty   And because the ‘feeling guilty’ button is quite large on many of us, even the implication that we might have done something wrong can hurt our confidence and unsettle our resolve.  Remember, there is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.  Most toxic people behave negatively not just to you, but to everyone they interact with.  Even when the situation seems personal even if you feel directly insulted it usually has nothing to do with you.  What they say and do, and the opinions they have, are based entirely on their own self-reflection.

Get to the bottom of why you don’t like each other – Fixing it might be something you can do. There is a family member that I don’t like because she always makes me feel less than or dumber than her. She has the masters degree, she is the smart one, she did this she did that. I have talked to her about it twice but she still goes around making me feel less than so guess what….I cut her off! If you have tried to have a conversation with the person and they still don’t change then at least you have said your peace. If both of you truly want to repair what’s broken you will have to talk to find out why. It only works both ways! This happens a lot in a brother and sister relationship. One child may not like the other child or have resentment because a parent may have treated both differently. Or one child had their dad in their life and other didn’t. Sometimes we live in our feelings is that is what makes us toxic.

Focus on what you can control – You can’t change them. They will have to want the change for themselves. Be your best self in response to their behavior. I can control the time I spend with them so I limit it. I can control the negative energy by not speaking to them. I can control my expectations of them and know that it is what it is and let it go.

My family is a piece of work and I can be also. I know I am not perfect and I make mistakes and sometimes they view me one way when I can be completely the opposite. You ever live with someone for years and then find out things about them that you never saw. We sometimes don’t open our eyes to people we only see them from the level of what we see.  Now while you can’t choose your family you can choose your friends. If you have a toxic spouse you can walk away. Let them sit there in their world and be toxic by themselves. If you have a friend that’s toxic….don’t let the door hit you on your way out. Some people will always live in their toxic world…it’s normal to them.

Do you have toxic family members? How do you deal with them?

  • Reply
    robin rue
    January 29, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    I hate having people like that around me, but when they are family there isn’t much choice. I definitley try to limit my time with them.

  • Reply
    valmg @ Mom Knows It All
    January 29, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I do have a toxic family member. I found it best to remove them from my life completely, I don’t need senseless drama in my life no matter who it’s from.

  • Reply
    Amber Myers
    January 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Oh man, this can get tricky at times. Luckily I do get along with most family members, but my husband has issues with one. We just see them in small doses and it seems to work out okay.

  • Reply
    Terri Beavers
    January 29, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    It’s not really easy to stay away from family members, even those who are toxic. One thing I’ve been trying to do this past year is to avoid them at family gatherings, in the nicest way possible, lol.

  • Reply
    candy
    January 29, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Kill them with kindness. My mother always use to pat a aunt who was hard to get along with on the shoulder and say yes dear we have all heard you loud and clear, now let us all move onto something else much nicer. Always shut her up.

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    January 29, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I have one or two in my family and I’ll be honest with you I don’t talk to them. It’s not worth it to me to have that kind of drama in my life.

  • Reply
    Iman
    January 29, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Kita, this is so true and refreshing! I thought I was the only one that really didn’t tolerate toxic family members. Some people only accept who and what they want to accept. So I leave them as is!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    January 29, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    This rings so true. I think you have toxic people all around, families included. As you have mentioned probably the best way is not to talk to them and ignore them. That is something that works for me.

  • Reply
    Farrah Less
    January 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    It’s hard dealing with toxic family members, most of the time I just wish I vanish at the place where they were are. So that I don’t have any to look or talk to them.

  • Reply
    Glamamom
    January 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Ugh. Such a tough topic but I love all your advice. Especially focusing on what you actually can control bc as you mentioned, it’s not personal and you can’t change others, only how you respond to their behavior.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    January 29, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    My extended family actually loves each other and gets along for the most part. I do have this one uncle that I don’t care for. Thankfully, I don’t have to ever be around him.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 29, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I don’t deal well with toxic people either, and thankfully I do not have any in my life right now. I am one to stay away from drama and people who bring me down. Sorry you’ve had to go through this!

  • Reply
    Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    January 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    I can totally relate. Toxic people have no place in our lives, family or not. We cut some family members out for various reasons, but it all had to do with their toxicity.

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    January 29, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    It can be so tricky when you have issues within the family. Luckily on the whole we are OK but it’s always good to have ideas up our sleeves.

  • Reply
    Sarah Honey
    January 29, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    These are awesome tips. Unfortunately, I think every family has toxic family members. It can be so hard. Not taking it personally can help for sure. Sometimes easier said than done.

  • Reply
    Carol Cassara
    January 30, 2018 at 12:22 am

    I think there will always be family members like this and you gave the best tips when it comes to dealing with them. I take a step back and remind myself that it’s something that I cannot change or control. So it’s easier to limit your time when you’re there.

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 30, 2018 at 4:35 am

    These are great tips! I like the last one the most, focus on what you can control. I have a few family members that have hurt me in the past. For many different reasons I still see them with big together, but I do control my actions and responses to them. It has helped bring me some peace.

  • Reply
    Anosa
    January 30, 2018 at 5:39 am

    I think we all have some family or friends who are toxic or always bring negativity with them, I am loving these tips as I have always limited my interaction with toxic people

  • Reply
    LaQuisha
    January 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Girl, this post is EVERYTHING!! I do your suggested tips and my family now thinks I’m weird but I love it!! This should be read by everyone, including those who are toxic!!

  • Reply
    Jay Colby
    January 30, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    This is a great topic that needs to be talked about more. Toxic family members can take a toll on anyone during the holidays season.

  • Reply
    Claudia Krusch
    January 30, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I have a couple of family members who are really toxic. I try dealing with them as little as possible!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    January 30, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I agree with cutting off toxic people. I liked that you included getting to the bottom of it. Some people avoid that portion and I think that causes more issues that it should. Hopefully, in time it will get better, but in the meantime, live your best life.

  • Reply
    Sanaa Brooks
    January 30, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Um, yah … don’t talk to them is my go to LOL Until it’s a darn holiday, and then I make conversations short and remember it’s only one day. LOL But I love it when they’re like “you don’t come around anymore”. LOL Well I wonder why?

  • Reply
    Leslie
    January 30, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    How I deal? I just don’t. Lol. I try my best to preserve my peace over here while they keep the toxicity over there. All you can do is pray for them. Leslie~SobeSavvy.com

  • Reply
    K. Elizabeth
    January 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    My siblings and I did one of those Facebook siblings game/questionnaires during the holidays. I was unanimously voted as the sibling with the strongest cut off game. That’s so true. I value my peace above all else. And when someone starts disrupting my peace and bringing unnecessary drama to my doorstep, I cut them off with the quickness.

    Misery loves company, but it won’t get any from me has always been my motto. Although, it definitely sucks when family and friends turn toxic, when people show who they really are, believe them and run for the hills.

  • Reply
    Zuqueta
    January 30, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I totally agree and deal in small doses. Allowing people to say and treat me poorly is just not my ministry.

  • Reply
    Nanekia Ansari
    January 31, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Time limitation has saved several lives! Jesus said to love you not like, lol

  • Reply
    Tomiko
    January 31, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Girl we cut from the same cloth! I don’t do toxic either and I only speak to my dad when it’s necessary.. he is the most toxic and depressing person I know.. it takes me 2 weeks to get my spirit back in order after I speak with him..

  • Reply
    Kiwi
    February 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Im going through some toxic family stuff now. It sucks because we all used to be really close but as I grow my family doesnt seems supportive so I keep away now.

  • Reply
    Bianca Dottin
    February 20, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Unfortunately I have so many toxic family members in my family. These are such good tips. Thanks for sharing!

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