Family – the relationships you don’t get to choose.

Dealing with family can be difficult. In fact, for some…it can become downright abusive.

For many people, dealing with family means dealing with control, emotional abuse, and constant criticism. Not all human beings are capable of exhibiting love in a way that makes another feel heard, respected, and cared for. When this happens, it’s important to know – it is NOT your fault. 

Knowing how to approach these delicate relationships, sometimes with the very people who raised you, can be really challenging and painful. But gaining an understanding about how your life can be distanced from theirs in a way that feels most supportive for you is important.

The truth is, You deserve to be happy.

And if your family is a major cause of your depression, self deprecation, or why you always feel stuck, it may be worth examining effective ways to deal with toxic members of your clan.

The most important rule to your personal happiness is to do whatever it takes to surround yourself with people who help you feel good. This may not always be people bonded to you by blood, even if they have raised you.

Here are some important things to remember when dealing with toxic family members:

  1. Self Care is your first priority. Your happiness is a personal declaration. You know what is best for your life, for your heart, and for your mental awareness. Make certain that self-care and self preservation come in high on your list and act in a way that continues to validate the thought ‘I deserve to be happy.’
  2. You are not responsible for their lives. You are not here to fix your family members. They are individuals capable of choosing their own path. You are not here to rectify someone else’s life. You are here to create personal freedom so you can feel your best and do your best. And your personal reactions and responses to toxic family are the only thing you are responsible for.
  3. Boundaries are your best friend. The quickest way to navigate the emotional road of toxic family relationships is to set boundaries for yourself. Becoming clear on how you are and are not willing to continue to communicate with people and sticking to your boundaries will set the new tone for your self preservation.
  4. Blood is not always thicker than water. The most important part of any relationship is the bond formed between two people. If the bond in your relationship to your family is damaged or broken, know that it is not always necessary for it to be mended.
  5. You can create a new family. You will never get another Mother of Father. And it’s not your fault if you didn’t get great ones.

But if it’s right for you, you can become a Mother or Father and experience family in a completely new way. You can choose love, openness, and acceptance. And this new creation..the family you choose..can begin to help heal the holes left by the first.

You can choose friends who become family. These relationships too can be committed by love, respect, and a desire for closeness.

You can create the family you choose. And you can choose to be bonded by unconditional love.

Remember, when it comes to your family – no one knows what you have experienced but you.

So no one gets to decide what and how it is best to interact with your family, but you.

You have one life to live and that life deserves happiness, joy, and love.

Take action to free yourself from family that no longer helps you move toward the goal of happiness.

Relinquish judgement of yourself and others.

And know that you are never alone.

At Inner Clarity our therapists are trained to help individuals navigate the intricacies of sticky family dynamics. These relationships can be emotional and difficult to untangle on one’s own. If you are looking for a supportive Therapist who can help you undo the web of a no-longer working family dynamic, schedule your appointment today. Gain Clarity HERE.