Would you know if you were in a toxic relationship? Are you dealing with toxic family members or people in your life who manage to drag you down, make you feel angry, worn out, deflated, belittled, ridiculed or confused? Are you dealing with conflicts and problems because of a toxic parent, sibling, co-worker, spouse, friend, toxic in-laws or other extended family members? Are toxic family members causing stress, anxiety and even symptoms of depression during the holidays and special occasions, a time that is supposed to be about family, love and togetherness?
Most of us could write a laundry list of names of people who make us feel miserable whenever we’re around them, spewing their noxious negative attitudes, behaviors and gossip like nauseating toxic waste. Have you ever wondered what makes toxic people tick, or why some family members have the tendency and inane ability to be two-faced in their relationships with others in the family?
Who Are Toxic People?
Toxic people are extremely negative, miserable, whiny, jealous, inconsiderate, financially irresponsible and entitled, manipulative, narcissistic, selfish, disrespectful, gossip mongers, mentally and emotionally abusive bullies who have no boundaries. Everyone and anyone is fair game for toxic people, with toxic relationships creating undo stress and anxiety for everyone involved. If you are dealing with these problems and conflicts in your life, know that you are not alone.
According to mental health specialists and psychologists, toxic people are “highly insecure people who only feel better about themselves if they make others feel worse, and they make up about ten percent of the population. A toxic person, including family members and in-laws, cause over 50% of all communication and relationship stress in others, health problems such as headaches, stomach pain and digestive problems, due to negative baggage brought on from low-esteem”.
Understanding how low self-confidence and low self-esteem causes some people to grow up to become toxic adults may help you feel better about yourself. However, having some understanding, compassion and empathy for bad childhood experiences and memories that continue to fester and linger in their personalities does not change the fact that their toxic attitudes and behaviors will continue until you stop allowing them to hurt you and your life.
Toxic people are this way because they can and often do get away with it, and it works well for them. If it didn’t work, and work very well, they wouldn’t continue doing it.
Toxic People Will…if not dealt with:
1. Rob us of our dignity.
2. Destroy our self-confidence.
3. Increase our stress levels.
4. Cause health problems.
5. Destroy our morale.
6. Destroy family relationships.
7. Foster negativity.
8. Decrease productivity.
9. Get you fired from your job.
10. Drive you to bankruptcy.
How to Deal With Toxic People and Family Members:
Recognize that toxic people have issues within themselves, and their toxicity has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. In life, everyone has to take personal responsibility for their own choices, attitudes, actions and behaviors. Toxic people do not do this. You become their personal target. They habitually turn things around and manipulate you to the point where you feel bad, you feel guilty, you feel like you are at fault, therefore responsible for their problems.
You may even begin to feel like you’re “going crazy” or “losing your mind”, wondering if you have become the victim of a psychopath desperately trying to manipulate and control you. Once you recognize the toxic behaviors that are engulfing your life and health, it allows you to take your power back.
Keep emotionally toxic people from ruining your health and happiness by setting limits and personal boundaries, assertively speaking up for yourself, and standing your ground. Don’t make someone else’s problems your own, but physically and mentally distance yourself from the negative and toxic people in your life, which may or may not include cutting the person out of your life entirely.
Knowing what it means to “let go” of negative people, along with their personal demons and issues, allows you the strength and determination needed to live your life without the constant barrage of criticism that can easily erode your own self-esteem, health and well-being.
Dealing with family members and in-laws can be especially difficult and stressful. If there are family members or in-laws that treat you like their personal doormat, criticizing and ridiculing you for everything and anything, you may have to consider putting a strict limit on how often you associate with them, if at all.
Holidays and special occasions can quickly become a dread, where just the thought of being around toxic relatives or friends causes your blood pressure to rise to unhealthy levels. You have the right to decide who to associate with and who not to associate with, who is or isn’t invited or welcome to step foot into your home, including toxic family members.
Toxic people need years of in-depth therapy, not you. You can’t change their attitudes or behaviors, but you can change yourself. You have to decide for yourself how much pushing around you will or will not accept. Allow yourself the personal right to disengage, disassociate, and detach. Use your God-given backbone when dealing with toxic friends, co-workers, family members or in-laws etc, with the understanding that detachment is not a sign that you don’t care but that you are doing what is necessary to preserve your personal health and happiness.
Surround yourself with positive influences, people who genuinely care about you and are supportive of you. These loved ones are a great defense and support group against the negativity of all kinds of toxic relationships or toxic family members, allowing you to choose for yourself to no longer be a victim of their malicious and abusive behaviors.
See: People Pleasers and Doormats as well as Abused Men: Battered and Emotionally Abused Male Victims of Domestic Violence for more.
Are you dealing with problems and conflicts of being in a toxic relationship? Do you struggle with how to respond and react to ridicule and criticism from toxic family members? Share your personal story or even ask a question by leaving a comment below.