A toxic relationship with a family member can really ruin your life - WTVideo.com
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A toxic relationship with a family member…
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A toxic relationship with a family member can really ruin your life

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We know that we cannot choose our parents or relatives and that we must learn to live together - or at least, we should try to do this.

In fact, it often happens that toxic relationships develop within a family, which is a situation that is not easy to simply get rid of, as one would do with an acquaintance, and especially as long as one is not an adult. 

However, it is also important to learn to recognize within the family environment which relationships are toxic and look more for possible solutions rather than just the causes.

In a family, toxic relationships develop when the cognitive, affective, and social dynamics are distorted, and there is an increasing amount of conflicts, devious behaviors, and abuse.

However, family members tend to perceive these attitudes as normal; therefore, it is important to instead recognize them for what they are, starting from some examples. A family is toxic when: 

  • There are no rules or privacy; 
  • The family regulates all the activities and personal habits in the life of its members; 
  • Children must compensate for the emotional needs of their parents; 
  • Parents require homogeneity of thought among all family members, and tend to express ourselves with phrases like "This is the way we think" and "We have always agreed"; 
  • The mother develops an unhealthy and selfish attitude that, if not satisfied, makes her either very angry or she burst into tears; 
  • The mother establishes an ambivalent relationship with her children, which oscillates between demonstrations of love and indifference; 
  • Parents establish the future of the children in an authoritarian way; 
  • The parents let the children "educate themselves", failing to perform their role as educators and guides.
image: Unsplash

This type of behavior often stems from the fact that the perpetrator has in turn been the victim of some form of abuse. Toxic relationships obviously manifest themselves at various levels of gravity, but in all cases, they cause social and emotional problems for those who experience them. It is, therefore, necessary to get rid of them - but how?

First of all, by showing self-confidence in expressing one's point of view on different occasions. In this way, one establishes one's self as an individual within the family and reaffirms taking one's distance from the toxic dynamics that are taking place within it.

If this intellectual distance is not enough, you need to make it physical, which means to leave home once you reach the age of majority. It is often the only thing to do when the real problem is the parents, who can rarely change their character.

Cutting off all communication with a family member may seem like a drastic and painful choice, but when there are no other feasible options, it is the quickest and healthiest solution. In any case, consulting an expert can always be useful to clarify one's ideas regarding this complicated decision.

Tags: FamilyPsychology
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