How to Handle Toxic Family Members

 

The holiday season is fast approaching, and that can only mean one thing: Another dinner where you have to endure Aunt Sue. Try as you might, you can’t seem to find good in this person who shares your bloodline. It’s a sad reality, but family members can be toxic too.

What is a toxic person?

When we talk about toxic people, it goes deeper than your personal feelings. A toxic person is someone who consistently hurts other people with their words or actions. They may even be very charming, but you know you’re going to be sorry if you let yourself get too close. Toxic people are selfish, and they aren’t above lying to get their way.

How to handle toxic people

Fortunately, in most cases, you know when you’re going to see that toxic family member. This gives you some time to prepare. Follow the tips below to help protect yourself from other people’s toxicity.

  1. Give yourself a pep talk – When you know you’re going to see this person, remind yourself not to get sucked into the drama. This person cannot hurt you if you don’t engage.
  2. Consider that they cannot help themselves – Oftentimes, individuals who are considered toxic may have reasons for their behavior. They may suffer from a substance abuse disorder (1 in 8 Americans are reported alcoholics), or they may have a personality disorder, such as narcissism. You can forgive them for how they have hurt you in the past, but this doesn’t mean you should let them hurt you again.
  3. Keep contact to a minimum – Avoid talking to this person as much as possible. Try taking the seat furthest away and think of reasons to excuse yourself when this person approaches you. If this person calls or texts you, don’t respond. You don’t need to explain yourself to a toxic person. It’s better to keep your own sanity than to appear polite. This person will eventually take your hint.
  4. Avoid sharing personal information – The biggest problem with toxic people is that they can seem endearing. If you get stuck talking to this person, keep reminding yourself to share as little as possible. Any personal information you share may be used against you at a later time.
  5. Don’t let anyone make you feel small – Toxic people are very good at making you feel like you have to defend yourself. They may spread lies or half-truths about you to others, and you’re left feeling like you have to make up for something. Don’t fall into the trap. Whatever it is, let it go. If someone changes their opinion of you based on hearsay, that’s their problem.

When you know how to handle toxic family members, there’s no need to stress about the encounter. You’re above all of their nonsense, and you’re going to show that by removing yourself from the drama. The more you engage, the deeper you fall into their trap. It may seem gratifying to expose a toxic person, but you’ll likely be sorry you even spent the effort. Walk away with your head held high. After all, you’re not the one who is toxic.

This is a sponsored guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.


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