Throughout your life you are going to have toxic interactions with many different kinds of people. You hopefully see or learn that they are toxic, and you move on. Sometimes it’s as easy as blocking their number, blocking them on social media, and then pretending like they don’t exist anymore. But what about when they are related to you?
It’s hard to see when someone is toxic, related to you or not. Honestly we don’t want to believe that someone is bad for us. We often excuse their behavior over and over again. We make up different reasons in our head, we feel bad for them, and we end up hurting ourselves because we are in denial.
It gets even more complicated with family members, because we love our family, right? Family is supposed to be there for each other through thick and thin, love unconditionally. We end up letting a lot of stuff go because we feel like loving them is our duty. But does loving them mean looking past their manipulating behavior? Their ill will to you, or other loved ones? Are you supposed to look past them gaslighting you, using you, threatening you?
Many of us have been in these situations with our own family, and it sucks. You have people in your ear saying, “that’s your family, respect them”. They make you feel like maybe you’re just not doing enough, like the problem is you. So you start trying to be there more, busting your back trying to be the best relative you can. Reality is, you will never be enough to a toxic person.
You have to start to think, what about their respect to you or anyone else? Does being blood related to someone mean they are allowed to treat you however they want and you just have to deal with it because you can’t choose family?
The answer is no. You should not keep anyone in your life if they are damaging to your mental state, related or not. Do not put up with someone treating you badly or constantly belittling you. The simple fact is, you can’t choose who you are related to, but you can choose who your family is. Being related to someone does not make you family.
Family is there for each other, they do love each other through thick and thin, but it goes both ways. If they are constantly suffocating you with their toxic behavior, it’s time to let them go.
Letting them go is hard, because you love them. You want the best for them still, you want to be there for them and support them. But if you are drowning yourself emotionally trying to deal with them, you have to learn how to love them at a distance.
You can cut someone out and still want the best for them. You still hope they have good days. You want them to eat well, sleep comfortably, and you don’t wish anything bad on them. You want them to have a happy life, yours just isn’t happy with them around.
There will be times through your life where yes, sometimes you have to put someone before yourself. Your feelings aren’t always gonna be the most important, but it’s up to you when to decide that. At the end of the day, you can’t help anyone or take care of anyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. And the ugly truth is, you aren’t taking care of yourself by letting someone dictate your mental state just because they are related to you.
It’ll be hard because other people you love will still have them in their lives. They’ll talk about them, they’ll remind you of them. They may even contribute to the drama without knowing they are hurting you. It won’t be as easy as just forgetting they exist, but you gotta try.
If other people try to pressure you into dealing with the negativity, block them too. They aren’t helping your happiness, they are a part of the problem. There’s no point in trying to convince them your side, because they’re not ready to believe what you know is true. So tell everyone you’re done, you don’t want to hear it. Take away other toxic traits that add to the problem. You can’t save everyone, but you can save yourself. You deserve it.
Block them, let them go, and most importantly, stick with it. Learn that your own happiness is important too, and hope that someday they will understand why you had to move on.