We've all heard this term at some time. Toxic personalities represent the people with whom it is problematic to interact, due to their standards of behavior and their demands on us. But what's to be done, when these people are part of our family circle?
Family is where we are embraced, where our key experiences occur, where we strengthen ourselves...Throughout life, it's the place where we can return when the world becomes hostile or very simply where we choose to recharge our energies! And it is comforting to think it is so and will always be!
We know family coexistence involves several emotional dynamics, not always easy.Difficulties arise for the most varied reasons. We've all reacted badly to criticism from a parent or sibling, when we don't recognize their right to do so. Our mothers have exhausted their patience many times when we don't act according to their wise and sage guidance...In all families, conflicts arise from everyday living. But they are easily overcome by the love that unites its members, and it dissolves any heartache.
But there are families whose relationships are just too difficult, with too much suffering.Composed of one or more disagreeable, critical and demanding members, often manipulative. Where tension and emotional suffering persist in being a constant. The restorative image of family disappears and in its place all that remains is emotional and dysfunctional chaos, which attacks and disorients. A stage of conflicting feelings, it is likely we are facing a toxic family.
Contrary to friends, we do not select our family. Family is forever. This is what we retain and impart. It is problematic to sever ties with a parent, sibling or a cousin on the grounds that they are difficult to deal with. When done it's usually accompanied by a stubborn sense of guilt.
However, when relationships are terribly problematic, they call into question our individual and family balance. It is imperative to assess whether we can deal with the situation in a healthful way, or whether to consider a more radical attitude. Withdrawal.
Yes, sporadically withdrawal is considered, because the consequences are grave. From psychological problems such as stress, anxiety and depression to personality disorders, low self-esteem, difficulty in resolving conflicts, inferiority complex... The list is long.
"Disturbing emotions and toxic relationships have been identified as risk factors that favor the appearance of some diseases." - Daniel Goleman.
These relationships weaken us.They break down the healthy, but feed the toxic individual. When you become aware, that your family include these characteristics, it is important to seek help. A friend or a professional (psychologist, family therapist) to learn how to confront conflicts and improve the way you react.
- Increase assertiveness.
- Develop patience.
- Avoid rash actions.
- Express empathy (put yourself in the place of the other).
- Respect privacy and space that each person occupies within the family.
- Reflect before expressing certain opinions or comments that could cause conflict.
Whenever possible, one should try getting family members to accept psychological help, individually or in a group setting. It will not be a straightforward task. As we know, there are extraordinarily complex situations and therefore it is necessary to be mindful of the limits, both mental and physical that should be unsurpassed.
Above all, it is essential to choose to be happy.
Yes being happy is a choice.
A choice that helps to highlight,
to indulge, to be more flexible in
relationships with difficult people.
Behavior generates behavior.
We can only change ours!
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