Welcome to our collection of 35 quotes about toxic family, each written by a soul with a unique insider’s perspective.
If you’re here, you can probably add to this list with insights of your own.
If you’re looking specifically for leaving toxic family quotes because you’re ready to go after a life of your choosing — or you’ve done precisely that — we’re confident you’ll find some new favorites here.
What Are Toxic Families?
If you grew up in a toxic family environment, one or more of the following is likely to sound familiar:
- You often suffered the consequences of not meeting unrealistic standards;
- You couldn’t trust your parents (or older siblings) to protect you;
- You were harshly criticized and learned to stay under the radar;
- You don’t remember why you don’t feel safe around them;
- You were shamed for changing—or for not changing fast enough;
- You were expected to put other people’s needs ahead of your own;
- Being invisible costs you less than asking for something you need.
35 Toxic Family Quotes
Read carefully through the following list of toxic family members quotes, which we’ve separated into a few more specific categories.
Make a note of the ones that stand out.
Toxic Bad Families Quotes
Some families leave deeper scars than others. If you’ve had to separate yourself from most of the people you grew up with to heal, the following quotes are for you.
1. “Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends and family.” — Unknown
2. “The more dysfunctional, the more some family members seek to control the behavior of others.” — David W. Earle
3. “A toxic family is even worse than a toxic relationship.” — Rohan Chouhan
5. “Love them from a distance. Pray for them, wish them well, but don’t allow them to abuse you.”– Kimber Waul
6. “I do not hate my toxic family members. I also do not need them.” — Sherrie Campbell
7. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy
8. “Just because they are your family doesn’t mean that they are your friends.”– Beverly Miller
9. “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw
10. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” – Iyanla Vanzant
11. “A narcissist can be your husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, neighbor, boss, church member, or anyone you come in contact with. There are endless possibilities of ‘who’ they can be. The important thing to remember is that the actions, behaviors are all very similar.” – Tracy Malone
13. “The quality of time our parents devote to us indicates the degree to which we believe we are valued.” ― Sherrie Campbell
14. “Blood doesn’t make you family. Some of the most demonic and demeaning people in your life share your DNA.”– Temi Ade
Letting Go of Toxic Family Quotes
If you’re thinking of cutting toxic family members out of your life—or you’re taking steps to do just that—we hope the following quotes help you in letting go and doing what’s best for yourself. You deserve to do that as much as anyone.
15. “You are not part of a toxic family if you walk away.” — Unknown
16. “It’s not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” — Jonathan Schiller
17. “Just because they are your family doesn’t mean that they know what’s best for you or your life.”– Samuel Zulu
18. “Family too can be cut off if it proves to be too toxic to be around.” — Samuel Zulu
19. “Refuse to inherit dysfunction. Learn new ways of living instead of repeating what you lived through.” – Thema Davis
20. “At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.” — Unknown
21. “If the family you chose before your birth no longer supports your path towards fulfilling your true destiny, it is never too late to find a new tribe.” ― Anthon St. Maarten
22. “You are born into your family, but as an adult, your life belongs to you. If your family doesn’t support the life you choose, then choose to distance yourself from them for your own mental health.” — Barrie Davenport
24. “Weeding out the harmful influences should become the norm not the exception.” ― Carlos Wallace
25. “If it’s hurting you more than it’s healing you, love yourself enough to let it go.” ― Sherrie Campbell
26. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.” — Mark Twain
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Toxic Sibling Quotes
Toxic siblings—like toxic parents—will hold onto you for as long as it serves them, no matter what it costs you. Let the following quotes inspire you to break free.
27. “Brother or sister has no meaning if they treat each other like worst enemies.” — Samuel Zulu
28. “I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance – waiting for the bathroom.”- Bob Hope
29. “Love is close to hate when it comes to sisters. You’re as close as two humans can be. You came from the same womb. The same background. Even if you’re poles apart, mentally. That’s why it hurts so much when your sister is unkind. It’s as though part of you is turning against yourself.” – Jane Corry
30. “With toxic siblings, your brother or sister is never wrong. They often have the mentality that nothing is their fault, and everyone else is wrong.” – Christene Lozano
31. “Nobody fights you like your own sister; nobody else knows the most vulnerable parts of you and will aim for them without mercy.” – Jojo Moyes
33. “At this point, none of us are sure why we fight. We’re sisters. We need no good reason to fight, even though we have plenty of them.” – Ken Wheaton
34. “The term brother or sister means nothing more than what you define it as.” – Anonymous
35. “The things that make a sibling toxic are the same things that make a friend toxic — only with a sibling, it’s even harder to separate yourself from the drama.” – Jill Whitney
Now that you’ve looked through all 35 toxic family quotes, which ones remind you most forcefully of your own situation? Or what would you add to any of them?
Take that as our invitation to use one or more of these quotes as a journaling prompt.
Then, rather than keeping those words to yourself, find someone—a therapist or close friend—willing to listen as you read them out loud.
You’re done hiding.