Do you think you might have a toxic family member? then you know for sure (2023)

Families go crazycomplicated.And while disagreements are perfectly normal, it's important to know the difference between a petty family feud and a completely toxic family member.

But how do you know who you're dealing with? Well, first you need to know that there are no criteria for a "toxic person", but there are certain things to look for in a "toxic person".Relationship." (FYI, if you think you have a toxic partner, this one is for you:24 Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship And Need To Let It Go)

"It's difficult to determine whether a person is toxic or not," says Alexandria Deas, a licensed therapist and owner of the clinic.Wisdom meets beauty. “The concept is easier to understand when you think about toxic interactions.” And surprise surprise, toxic interactions = a toxic relationship.

Now that you've reframed your thinking, you're probably wondering what a toxic interaction really feels like. Read on for 30 signs you're dealing with a toxic family relationship, according to experts.

(Video) How to deal with your toxic relatives | Mel Robbins

You don't like being around her

If you experience any of the following feelings when spending time with this person, you may have a toxic family member on your hands. "Check yourself in before, during, and after the interaction," says Deas.

  • You are afraid to be around her, no matter the occasion.
  • Their interactions make you feel invisible or weak.
  • The way they treat you and others is disturbing.
  • They accuse you during negotiations.
  • You feel uncomfortable just being in the same room with them.
  • You care about your own safety and the safety of others around you.

you have consistent bangs

Some conflict is normal in family life, says Tracy Ross,a family-oriented consultantbased in New York. This means that when you're in a toxic relationship with a family member, even the smallest disagreements can escalate into a huge argument. "It sounds like you have to walk on eggshells to avoid a fight," he explains. "But no matter how hard you try, it's not always possible to predict what might trigger them." Toxic family members may also be involved in:

  • You take everything you say personally.
  • Your struggles are the result of personal issues, not misunderstandings.
  • You feel like walking through shells when you get close to them.
  • You abandon your arguments, feeling drained and manipulated
  • you realize thatgas light sign
  • They personally attack your character during the discussion.

You don't respect their beliefs.

Many people have different beliefs than their relatives: the question is whether this is the caseRelationshippoisonous? “Our families are a part of us, a reflection of us, it is painful when they adopt beliefs that we find offensive or dangerous,” explains Deas. The difference, however, is that they don't actively accept your perspectives and life choices, perhaps even scolding or making hurtful comments when you're together. Can it be like this:

  • You do not accept your partner who is of another race or religion
  • They don't accept their sexuality or gender identity.
  • Family member shows active contempt for you
  • They express their negative opinion of you publicly or on social media.
  • If you ask them to respect your beliefs, they refuse.
  • You feel a sense of aggression that goes beyond discomfort.

They make *themselves* a priority

There comes a time when a family can start to organize their entire lives around a toxic member, says Ross. "The standards for this person are different, and people are trying to keep the peace," says Ross. “The rest of the family accommodates the toxic family member while convincing others to sacrifice their own needs, wants, comfort and values, saying it is the right thing to do.” This, in turn, can leave you feeling forgetful of yourself, exhausted, or even feeling worthless. Here's what it can be like when a toxic family member takes up too much brain space:

(Video) How To Deal With a Toxic Family

  • Toxic family member repeatedly sabotages plans
  • You are never responsible for your actions.
  • They rarely say "thank you", although you always make sacrifices for them.
  • You find yourself doing things just to get his approval or attention.
  • He is usually disappointed with his family's reaction to his behavior.
  • Your inability to consider others always comes at the expense of your needs.

they are abusive

"Adulting, gaslighting, border violations and threats of harm are examples of abuse," says Deas. Does this sound like something you're experiencing?

  • Everyone breathes easier when that familiar is gone.
  • They bully or chase you
  • They have little to no respect for boundaries or personal space.
  • Your familiar is extremely controlling and overly critical.
  • He received verbal and physical threats from them.
  • You have been physically attacked or injured in some way.

What to do with a toxic family member?

So you've identified the type of toxic relationship you have with your family member. And because you don't want to live with the mental and emotional burden, it's time to start thinking about possible next steps. Your approach will likely fall into three categories depending on the severity of your toxic personal life:

Set boundaries and limit your interactions

First, unless your security is threatened, Deas says, be careful to exclude people completely. "Stoppage is the toughest consequence you can impose for a boundary violation," she says. "If the relationship is important to you, it might be worth exploring less drastic options." Below are some tactics to consider.

  • Refusing to discuss certain matters with this family member. If necessary, leave the room alone.
  • Restrict conversations to specific settings or time periods.When does it usually heat up? Could it be limited to ten minutes of small talk?
  • Insist that all interactions with this family member be on your own terms. Maybe you only interact on vacation. You may prefer to have these interactions take place on your own turf or their turf, so you can leave whenever you like. Discover what works best for you.

Resolve with third parties

Sometimes a situation calls for more than just a one-on-one conversation with your toxic family member. If you think there's hope for a better relationship, consider getting help from professionals.

(Video) My 7 Types Of Toxic Family Systems

  • Invite your loved ones to regular family counseling sessions
  • Ask them to come with you to a workshop to work on their biases.
  • it motivated you Seeing a Therapist Alone When You Feel You Need One

    cut off communication completely

    A relative should *never* violate your sense of security or constantly ignore your boundaries, says Deas. Abuse is a serious issue and if you're dealing with it, don't be shy about walking away. Remember, it's not your responsibility to "save" these types of people or keep them in your life, and you didn't do anything to "deserve" the way they treated you. Still, removing a bully from your life can be incredibly difficult (and scary). Here are some tips that can help you on that journey.

    • If possible, cut off all communication: block him on social media, block his number, don't invite him to family gatherings, etc.
    • Contact a trusted friend or family member and ask for help in dealing with the situation.
    • contactNational Domestic Violence Hotlinetalk to a professional
    • See a therapist who can help you end the relationship safely

    "Ultimately, you choose the people in your life," says Deas. "You don't need a reason or permission to isolate someone if you feel it's in your best interest to do so."

        Do you think you might have a toxic family member? then you know for sure (1)

        Madeleine Howard

        freelance writer

        (Video) Avoid These People! 7 Types Of Toxic Family Members To Avoid At All Costs || Gracely Inspired

        Madeline Howard is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and creative. Her work has been published into place,Nylon,Cosmopolitanand other publications. Among other things, she was once editor ofwomen's health. Sign up for the "Hey Howie"

        (Video) 6 Traits That Reveals Toxic People and What To Do About It - Robert Greene EXPOSES Toxic People


        How do you know if you have a toxic family member? ›

        Signs that You Have a Toxic Family Member

        Their perception of you doesn't jibe with the way you see yourself. They accuse you of things that you feel aren't true. They make you feel like you're never enough or bad about yourself, or otherwise emotionally destabilized.

        What to do when you think your family is toxic? ›

        Seek out friends and new people to share with, such as a therapist, 12-step group, or other support circle. "Dealing with family members who have toxic behaviors is stressful and emotionally taxing,” she says. “Be sure to take good care of yourself physically and emotionally." Your physical safety is key.

        What makes a family toxic? ›

        This comes from a lack of security, an unstable environment, or mental and physical mistreatment. Some signs your family is toxic include feeling worried, tense, irritable, or restless. It is difficult to have lasting relationships due to a lack of trust in others or their own low esteem.

        How do you know if you have a toxic sibling? ›

        Some siblings consistently behave in toxic ways and refuse to put a stop to the cycle of sibling abuse. Their refuse to respect your boundaries and continue to push. For example, they always ask for your help for more than you can give, and when you refuse they emotionally blackmail or guilt-trip you.

        How do you know a person is toxic? ›

        What Is a Toxic Person? If you know someone who's difficult and causes a lot of conflict in your life, you may be dealing with a toxic person. These people can create lots of stress and unpleasantness for you and others, not to mention emotional or even physical pain.

        How do you know it's toxic? ›

        Your relationship may be toxic if it is characterized by behaviors that make you feel unhappy, including disrespect, dishonesty, controlling behaviors, or a lack of support.
        Someone using verbal abuse tactics might say things like:
        • “You're worthless.”
        • “You can't do anything right.”
        • “No one else could ever love you.”

        Are my parents toxic or is it me? ›

        Some of the common signs of a toxic parent or parents include: Highly negatively reactive. Toxic parents are emotionally out of control. They tend to dramatize even minor issues and see any possible slight as a reason to become hostile, angry, verbally abusive, or destructive.

        What is an example of a toxic family? ›

        If a certain family member is always criticizing or blaming you and never taking accountability for themselves, that's a sign of a toxic individual. As Nuñez explains, perhaps they're always playing the victim, they say everything is always your fault, or they avoid responsibility at all cost.

        What are examples of toxic parents? ›

        Common Toxic Traits
        • They're self-centered. They don't think about your needs or feelings.
        • They're emotional loose cannons. They overreact, or create drama.
        • They overshare. They share improper info with you, like details about their intimate lives. ...
        • They seek control. ...
        • They're harshly critical. ...
        • They lack boundaries.

        What kind of parents are toxic? ›

        “Toxic parent” is an umbrella term for parents who display some or all of the following characteristics: Self-centered behaviors. Your parent may be emotionally unavailable, narcissistic, or perhaps uncaring when it comes to things that you need.

        How do you deal with a toxic family sibling? ›

        The best ways to deal with a toxic sibling relationship.
        1. Empower yourself with acceptance. Empowering yourself is a process which takes time — no matter what you're empowering yourself to work through. ...
        2. Set out some boundaries. ...
        3. Assess the damage. ...
        4. Communicate the tough stuff. ...
        5. Let them carry their own baggage.
        Jul 23, 2020

        What is an example of a toxic person? ›

        A toxic person is someone who holds you accountable for every fault in a scenario and the worst part is, you believe them too. 2. They never admit their mistakes. No matter what happens, they never admit that they were wrong and they never apologize for any of it.

        What are examples of toxic traits? ›

        31 Toxic Personality Traits To Spot in Yourself And Others
        • Lying.
        • Insincerity.
        • Playing The Victim.
        • Cheating.
        • Not Speaking Out.
        • Taking Things Personally.
        • Perfectionism.
        • Seeking The Validation of Others.

        How do I know Im not a toxic person? ›

        Are You a Toxic Person? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself
        • Do you use shaming language? ...
        • Do you tend to blame others for your problems? ...
        • Do you try to “one-up” people who come to you with a struggle or good news? ...
        • Do you tend to take more than you give? ...
        • Do you say you don't like drama, but your life is full of it? ...
        • Do you gossip?
        Aug 17, 2018

        What are things that toxic people say? ›

        7 Toxic Phrases People In Relationships Say Without Realizing It
        • “It's not a big deal” or “You'll get over it.”
        • “You're just like your father.”
        • “You always ... ” or “You never ... ”
        • “You're doing it wrong. Why can't you just do it my way?”
        • “I am done.”
        • “You're too sensitive.”
        • Not saying anything.
        Dec 2, 2021

        Do toxic people know they are toxic? ›

        It's natural to assume someone's bad behavior is a conscious choice. But many people with toxic traits don't realize that their behavior impacts others. You may have toxic traits that you don't know about.

        What does it feel like to have toxic parents? ›

        One of the biggest short-term consequences for a child who is the victim of toxic parenting is a constant feeling of being trapped. “Whether it's physical, verbal or emotional abuse, you feel trapped if you're a child,” Dr. Childs says. “It's not like a child can just get up and leave, to go live on their own.

        What causes a toxic parent? ›

        Toxic parent/child relationships develop when children experience significant stress at the hands of their parents, or when parents fail to protect their children from a stressful environment. These relationships may involve physical, emotional, or sexual abuse and parental substance use and mental health issues.

        Should you stay away from toxic parents? ›

        If it's because your toxic parent is old, frail, sad or lonely, that might be all the reason you need to stay, and that's okay. If it is, own the decision in strength and put limits on contact or how much you will give to the relationship. You're entitled to take or give as much to the relationship as you decide.

        What is a toxic mom? ›

        A toxic mother creates a negative home environment where unhealthy interactions and relationships damage a child's sense of self and their views of relationships with others. Over time, it increases the risk of poor development in the child's self-control, emotional regulation, social relations, etc1.

        How do you know if you have a toxic dad? ›

        “It is characterized by criticism, control, manipulation and guilt.” For example, if your dad constantly criticizes your life choices (like badmouthing your spouse or rolling his eyes at your career path), and if this has been an ongoing pattern for as long as you can remember, you might be dealing with a toxic father.

        Are my parents in a toxic relationship? ›

        Toxic relationships include relationships with toxic parents. Typically, they do not treat their children with respect as individuals. They won't compromise, take responsibility for their behavior, or apologize. Often these parents have a mental disorder or have a serious addiction.

        How do you not care about toxic parents? ›

        How to Successfully Stop a Toxic Relationship With Your Parents
        1. Set boundaries with your parents (and enforcing them!)
        2. Accept the guilt (and live with the discomfort)
        3. Don't try to change them—change what you can control.
        4. Take care of yourself first.
        5. Surround yourself with supportive relationships.
        May 24, 2019

        How do you break a toxic family member? ›

        How to respond to it
        1. Decide what you want. ...
        2. Practice detachment. ...
        3. Decide what you'll share and what you'll keep private. ...
        4. Learn when to say no. ...
        5. Don't try to change anyone. ...
        6. Plan meetings that work for you. ...
        7. Talk to someone.
        Oct 25, 2019

        How do you survive a toxic household? ›

        Here are five helpful strategies:
        1. Give yourself time to mourn. We all want a family that's supportive, loving and kind. ...
        2. Set limits and boundaries. Make toxic family members aware in advance of what topics you will not discuss. ...
        3. Work on your self-esteem. ...
        4. Get what you need from others. ...
        5. Separation and Individuation.
        Feb 24, 2015

        Why do people become toxic? ›

        People who display toxic behaviors might be doing it to try to bring others down. This may be done to make them feel better about themselves, to get more attention, or other reasons. They may judge your looks, actions, and decisions, regardless of how much it hurts you.

        How do you communicate with toxic people? ›

        Tips to cope with toxic people
        1. Set boundaries even if it creates guilt. When dealing with toxic behavior, knowing where to draw the line is critical. ...
        2. Avoid getting drawn into the drama. ...
        3. Talk with them about it. ...
        4. Resist trying to fix things. ...
        5. Limit your time around them. ...
        6. Above all, ditch the blame.

        How do you not let negative family members bother you? ›

        How to Deal With Toxic Family Dynamics
        1. Set boundaries. Decide ahead of time what things you won't tolerate and what you will do if your family member crosses that line. ...
        2. Give yourself permission to leave. ...
        3. Be selective about what information you share. ...
        4. Call 9-1-1 if you are in danger. ...
        5. Consider talking with a counselor.
        Apr 25, 2021

        What are the 4 causes of family conflict? ›

        Other causes of family fighting can be differences in opinions, poor communication, changes in the family (such as a new baby or divorce), sibling rivalry or discipline issues.

        How do you heal yourself from a toxic family? ›

        Here are seven ways to pursue just that — and center your own emotional well-being in the process.
        1. Get Clear. Reflect on your relationships with family. ...
        2. Take a Breather. Sometimes space is the best option. ...
        3. Negotiate New Terms. ...
        4. Boundaries are Best. ...
        5. Let Go of the Fantasy. ...
        6. Start Fresh. ...
        7. Focus on the Family You Build.
        Dec 18, 2019

        Is it OK to cut off toxic family members? ›

        It could be time to cut the person off if you or your child start to dread visiting that family member, especially if they only interact in negative ways with those around them. "Recognize that spending time apart from them is important to one's own mental health," adds Dr. Halpern.

        How do you distance yourself from a toxic family? ›

        Cut Off Channels of Communication

        Eliminating methods for toxic relatives to contact you is the ultimate method to manage distancing yourself from them. This means not taking their phone calls, ignoring text messages and emails, and removing them from your social media pages.

        What to do when you feel like your family is against you? ›

        So to sum up:
        1. Understand where things went wrong in the first place with your family and why they turned against you.
        2. Try to rectify the situation if you can through constructive conversation.
        3. If reconciliation isn't an option – it's time to move on!
        4. Don't accept abuse or disrespect, stick firm to your boundaries.
        Feb 11, 2023

        Should I distance myself from toxic family? ›

        They physically or verbally abuse you

        It's generally safest to distance yourself from family members who cause you physical harm. If you have to see them, try to always meet them in public or have someone with you. Verbal abuse can be more difficult to recognize, but some examples include: name-calling.

        How do you not let toxic family affect you? ›

        Here are five ways to cope with toxic family members.
        1. Create boundaries. OK, easier said than done, but very essential to do. ...
        2. Limit your contact. This may be hard to do, especially because family members often get together on various occasions. ...
        3. Don't engage. ...
        4. Create a solid support system. ...
        5. Cut off all contact.
        Apr 28, 2022

        When should you leave a toxic family? ›

        When the relationship creates so much stress that it affects the important areas of your life at work, home or both. When your emotions are totally caught up in defending yourself and wanting to explain yourself and the chaos of your relationships with these people is all you talk about, it is time to let go.

        How do you end a toxic family cycle? ›

        Enforce and model healthy boundaries with children and other people. Encourage children to think and make choices for themselves, even when it's different than the parent's beliefs or ideals. Encourage children to live their own lives, even if the parents miss them.


        1. Toxic People You Should Avoid at All Cost! | Jordan Peterson
        (Evolve Your Mind)
        2. When To Cut Toxic Family Members From Your Life
        3. The 4 Major SIGNS Someone ENVIES You
        (Rich Cooper Clips)
        4. How to Deal with Difficult People | Jay Johnson | TEDxLivoniaCCLibrary
        (TEDx Talks)
        5. WORST Cookware Lurking In Your Kitchen to Toss Right NOW | Dr. Steven Gundry
        (The Dr. Gundry Podcast)
        6. You MUST Walk Away from These People | Jordan Peterson on TOXIC Relationships
        (Pursuit of Meaning)


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