I've read quite a bit on dealing with toxic people, and most of the advice involves cutting them out of your life. That's fine if it's a co-worker or a friend, but with family, it's harder. First, they may not be toxic to everyone in your immediate family. You may see them when you attend family events. They may have legal rights to see your children. Or you may not be able to do it psychologically able to do it because they are your family and perhaps have so poisoned you, you simply don't know how to walk away from the abuse.
Or if you're me, you may be married to someone who has a hard time walking away. And you may feel very, very guilty about wanting them to. Which is exactly where I am today.
This is how you recognize a Toxic Person:
Toxic people are extremely negative, nasty, miserable, whiny, jealous, inconsiderate, financially irresponsible, selfish, and abusive. They can be criminally minded, mentally ill, or just plain evil. Toxic people are also the ones that abuse alcohol or drugs and then hurt other people. The toxic individual exudes the dark side of human nature all of the time. They cause other people pain, craziness, and aggravation. They are not hard to recognize. Just take notice of how you feel when you are around one of these people. It will be easy to determine. You will immediately feel sick and experience physical symptoms like a headache or stomach pain. Or you will just feel like you are going crazy, but don't worry that is the true mark of being with a toxic person. Remember this so that you will be better able to identify a toxic person. That is the first step towards eliminating one from your life. -
from Dealing with toxic people
This is exactly how these people affect me, my husband and everybody else who knows them.
With the Holidays coming up, it will be harder to avoid Toxic Relatives. This piece offers some advice for deciding whether to attend events where you know you'll see Toxic Relatives. It suggests you ask simply whether opting out would feel "freeing or binding" for you. If you feel relieve, dont' go. Then it discusses how to address the guilt that may result. The article also suggests you "divorce" toxic relatives, which I just love.
I like the idea of doing a gut check. Recently I read that you can quickly make decisions on even complicated questions by simply asking what will bring you peace. It's a variation on that theme. For me, it would bring me peace to divorce these people and ignore any contact from them for the rest of my life.
One more note: If you've cut a Toxic Family member out of your life, ABC wants to talk to you. Good luck.
technorati | Toxic People | Relatives | Surviving the Holidays | Parents
Labels: Family Problems