How to manage toxic family members.

Toxic family members can cause a lot of problems in a family unit and it can be damaging to those around you too as they may find it hard to cope with the difficulties.

Toxic family members can cause a lot of problems in a family unit and it can be damaging to those around you too as they may find it hard to cope with the difficulties. If you have a toxic family member you may feel compelled to protect your children from this person, yet, they are at family events and are a part of your lives-like it or not! Managing it takes a lot on your part and here we have put some tips together to ensure it is a painless as possible for your sake and your family’s.
  • Prepare yourself- If you are going to have to see this person you should prepare yourself and perhaps your children too. If there is a bad atmosphere they may wonder why, so you should explain the situation as age appropriately as possible. You don’t have to go into the major issues but a rough breakdown to let them understand. Remind them to avoid this person if possible!
  • Avoid them if you can- This is probably the best thing you can do but in some cases, it is impossible. A toxic family member will usually sniff out trouble and if you are someone who doesn’t hold back they may come straight for you! However, make it your mission to avoid them!
  • Be calm and articulate if a disagreement arises- You don’t have to be aggressive if this person starts something, but you can be articulate and calm. If kids are present, they do not have to observe this dysfunctional situation and it isn’t fair to pop them into it. Be calm and walk away.
  • Don’t let yourself down- Remember that the problem lies with the person who is toxic and not you. They seek trouble and thrive on it. They may say terrible things but that doesn’t mean retaliating will help.
  • Surround yourself with positive people- If you are avoiding this person ask your friends or family to cover you! Get them to make it part of their mission that you avoid this person especially if they seem to take a personal issue with you for whatever reason. If you are surrounded by those you love and trust it will make the situation manageable.
  • Keep a level head- If the toxic person goes out of their way to cause trouble but doesn’t come for you personally, keep a level head and be calm. Try not to get involved unless you must and even then, avoid being the one who lost the head or screamed. It may be hard but take yourself away, go for a walk, leave with the kids or go to your partner-whatever but don’t be dragged into a toxic situation that you probably can’t win. As there is no point trying to talk around a toxic person anyway.
  • Be the better person- You are better, those who look for trouble are the ones who are silly and toxic. Remind yourself that you are better and though this situation is unattainable that you do yourself proud and stand firm but calm. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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