Break Free From Toxic Family Members

Break Free From Toxic Family Members

With summer well underway, we are likely spending more time and/or vacationing with family. While family is supposed to be our safe haven, sometimes, unfortunately family is where we find the deepest heartache. Since our birth into this world, our relationship with our family is the closest bond we form in this lifetime. The foundation of our mental and emotional being is established within our family ties. 


Much of your relationship with yourself and others stems from your childhood. Being treated badly by someone is painful enough, but when you’re hurt by a family member, it can be especially hard to overcome. 


Almost every one of us knows and has a family member that just puts us on edge, is unpleasant to be around and may even put you down. You know who they are! When there is a family function you moan that you have to be in the same room with them. Or you feel attacked when they criticize your choices and how you live your life. I’ve got a few of those people in my life too!

While a good drama makes for some interesting conversation at the family BBQ, besides the leftovers, it’s better not to take that energy home with you!


How to deal with toxic energy:


1. Look at the big picture of your relationship with your family member. Their opinion is their opinion and does not dictate your way of being, ever. They have your “best interests” at heart but this doesn’t mean this relationship is in your best interests. Keep a healthy distance and set clear boundaries. NOT EASY, I know.


2. But their family….” Part of the reason that family relationships are so complicated is because of the number of people involved. You have every right to avoid being around anyone who makes you feel bad. This takes courage but stand your ground. Don’t make other family members have to choose sides. This is about you and what you need.


3. Beware of manipulation! Your family member may lash out at you for speaking your truth. They may spread rumors about you, try to get other family members not to speak to you, or try to manipulate you into repairing the relationship. Use this experience to teach you what you will and will not accept from the people in your life; be firm about your boundaries in the future.


4.  Limit your time. Do whatever it takes to limit the amount of time you have to spend with the toxic family/family member. Try to not allow yourself to get sucked back in. 


5. Learn ways to protect yourself. Practice meditation and learn to protect your energy field with energy work such as, Reiki.


Take charge of your life and your happiness. Don’t wait for others to give it to you.  Many of my clients are tied to the drama in their relationships that create emotional blockages and drain their vital energy.


So much release happens for my clients from just talking to me before we even begin the session! It is essential to seek guidance for yourself. Talk to someone, anyone who will listen and someone you feel comfortable with. Ask for help with change and with taking risks. Surround yourself with people that lift your spirits and support you. While we can’t choose our family, we can choose how we respond to them.


Even a family that looks “perfect” from the outside can have its own problems and drama. Cutting ties with a family member is the one of the hardest and best things you can do for your mental health! You take your power back by setting clear boundaries; you can begin to move on.


Dorothy Knight is a Reiki Master Teacher, Yoga Instructor and wholehearted writer. She currently practices Reiki in Mississauga. She is a certified Reiki Master in the Usui Method of Natural Healing. Her passion is to empower people to reach their greatest potential of health and wellness through Reiki healing methods.

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