How to Deal with Toxic Family Members

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Do you have toxic family members?

If so, learn how to deal with toxic family members.

Mothers-in-law get a bum rap, but let’s use that as the prototype.

It’s true we do have toxic family members, whether it’s your mother-in-law, father-in-law or somebody else in the family. The question is, how to deal with toxic family members?

Dr. Dabney says to ALWAYS cut out toxic people from your life. There’s absolutely no reason to have toxic people, toxic friends, or the toxic family in your life.

However, there are some family members that we don’t want to cut out of our lives, or it’ll cause other problems. What do we do in this case? For starters, we have to realize that toxicity and annoying behavior are different.

There are pink flags and red flags, how do you tell the difference?

By following these three easy steps:

Ignore the behavior and see what happens.

Simply change the topic, or go on to do something else and don’t address it. If the person changes their behavior, that’s a good sign. This means the pink flag is not a red flag because they recognized your silence meant you weren’t happy with the topic/behavior, and they changed.

Kindly confront it.

Say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry but that’s a sensitive topic for me,” and change the topic. If they go along with it and don’t bring up the topic again, then the pink flag is not a red flag.

Elicit help from your significant other or someone in your family.

In some cases, you may have a new boyfriend or girlfriend and the toxic or annoying person is their parent, it’s better for them to say something to the parent rather than you. Your significant other should willingly speak to someone on your behalf. If they don’t, this can be a red flag. If they do have a quick conversation, and the family member changes their behavior after the conversation, then the pink flag is not a red flag and you don’t have a toxic person on your hand and the person made a mistake or is annoying. 

Look for pink flags, don’t rule them out as red flags until you’ve tested them, in one of the three ways mentioned above. You may not have to eliminate the person from your life after all.

If you need help with setting boundaries or learning how to deal with toxic people, we can help you! Call now for a free 15-min consultation 757-340-8800.

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