5 Ways to Deal With Toxic Family Members

Here we go into the holidays again, back to our childhood homes… which just might be invaded by our family members! We tend to accept this as fact, and don’t challenge the “traditions” of the holidays, or the habits formed by families in order to “be together” for the yearly celebrations. This is wonderful if you enjoy it! Many of us come from homes and families of origin that are not healthy, and have some negative behaviors. We are not happy to be exposing ourselves or our children to these toxic behaviors, and are feeling as if we are stuck. But…

1. You are not stuck. You may be avoiding dealing with an issue that brings you, or your loved ones, harm due to a learned behavior. When we’re dealing with our family, we tend to go back to the behaviors and attitudes of the child that we were dealing with the dynamics of older siblings, mom, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles! It’s time to think this through! Sit down and contemplate what it is that is being arranged, and decide what your boundaries are. Where you stay, how long you stay, and what situations you are not willing to be involved in are all factors you can adjust.

2. You do not have to do what they tell you to do. If you are an independent adult you no longer have an obligation to ignore your own needs in order to keep peace. Be strong and tell them that you prefer to stay in a motel, or that you will be going home that same day. You can control what events you attend even if you DO stay in a family member’s home. Set up your own schedule based on what feels healthy for you to do, or healthy interactions. Then book your time as you feel needed in order to avoid stress, and keep strong.

3. A brief visit still counts as a visit! You CAN limit the time you spend during certain events, for instance, if everybody gets drunk on Christmas eve and acts up… don’t be there until Christmas day, or plan on a visit one week before the holidays. Once you sit down and go over what’s expected of you, and what you are comfortable with, it will become clear what needs to change. Then the question becomes how to make that happen!

4. You don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations! Accept the fact that you are not going to be able to please everyone and be happy yourself. Choose the events, time and activities you’re willing to participate in, then choose the person that needs to be notified of this. Call if you can; if not, write or use e-mail to let them know what you’re going to be “able” to do during the holidays.

5. No one can hurt your feelings without your permission. If you accept that they will be less than happy, and that you need to do this for your own survival of the holidays… it’s done and over, and a new tradition is being taught. Healthy holidays!

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2 thoughts on “5 Ways to Deal With Toxic Family Members

  1. Jacqueline

    So love your article Yemaya, Gina Rose I think we all own one of the red plaid shirts that make our moms crazy, lol… Too often I have found if we dont laugh at or with our families, they will make us crazy!!!!
    Happy Holidays!
    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  2. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Excellent , timely article…… Tis’ the season……

    ….and I employ all of these tips when dealing with my Mother, briefly, as I swing by to drop off her present……I will be out of there before she can start anything……he he.

    I like # 3…..yes, a 5 minute visit is still a visit !!!!! LOL.

    I also use # 5 mixed with humor……
    ……last time I stopped over at her place, as I walked into her house, she announced that ” that old red plaid shirt I was wearing made my skin look sallow and my red hair look orange “.

    ( Now, I live WAY OUT in a secluded rural area where hardly anybody would see me anyway…..and besides, it’s deer season, and you are supposed to wear some orange or red colored clothing to avoid getting shot by hunters…so they can see you……and Mom knows that too).

    Soooo…I told her that my dog thought I looked pretty darn good in my old red plaid shirt, and that actually the dog thinks I look good wearing anything just so long as I give him his treats. LOL LOL

    So my advice is be true to yourself and honor yourself…..you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do ….or feel as if you need to please others this time of year.

    Any questions ???? Need any holiday advice ???? Need holiday encouragement to make it thru the holidays….call me…..I’m working the holidays for CP this year….because that’s what I choose to do this year !!!! LOL LOL……

    I’m also helping with a benefit adoption dinner for the no-kill animal shelter this Christmas too ( I sit on the board of the shelter)…..because that’s also what I choose to do…..and besides Mom won’t be there…..to see me wear my old faded, torn jeans and red plaid shirt as I do animal adoptions……he he he.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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