10 Ways to Cope With Toxic Family Members

Toxic Family Members

Growing up I lived with a toxic family member.

I know this family member loved me, but they did not have some necessary life skills.

There were times of fun and joy, but there were also times I don’t like to remember. I experienced frequent harsh criticisms, name-calling, rejection, and was held to unreasonable expectations.

Shame and guilt were the motivating forces for me to behave, even though I often could not predict what would set off this family member’s temper. I endured explosive, sometimes violent, bursts of rage.

A significant amount of my childhood was confusing, sad, and frightening. It still affects me to this day. Unfortunately as a child, I did not know how inappropriate many of these actions were.

I also did not have the skills to deal with this unacceptable treatment. Now as an adult, the two of us have been able to somewhat repair our connection.

This did require time away from one another once I was able to move out. It also required that both of us implement changes in our own behavior.

We don’t always get along, and there are still hurtful remarks made sometimes, but I am now able to have a generally pleasant and mostly supportive relationship with this family member.

Your family is supposed to be an inherently safe and loving, but that’s not always the case. Some family members are destructive, difficult, and controlling. It can be made especially difficult if the toxic family member is a parent.

In any close relationship with another person, you’ll encounter some disagreements and challenges.

We all have family members we butt heads with over our taste in music, life choices, or politics. Typically we choose to put in the required effort to work through the problem or, depending on the issue, just smile politely and let it go.

A toxic relationship, however, is a relationship in which one person is emotionally and possibly physically damaging the other on a consistent basis.

Just because someone is a part of your family does not make this behavior acceptable.

Your top priority must be your own health and emotional well-being. If someone else is jeopardizing those, then you need to make changes to remedy the situation.

So how can you determine whether someone is toxic?

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Is A Narcissistic Personality Bullying You?

Narcissistic Personality

You might initially be attracted to his confidence.

There’s a part of you that feels excited, even lucky, to be in his presence.

His charm and charisma are intoxicating.

If you’re a caring, sensitive person, you don’t mind offering him praise, catering to his needs, and listening to his complaints. Little do you know that your highly sensitive nature is a magnet for a narcissist.

You are willing to give, give, give, and he (or sometimes she) is always ready to take, take, take.

It can take months, or even years to realize what’s happening and how this person you care about is slowly sucking you dry, manipulating you, and bullying you into doing his bidding.

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INFJ Relationships: 8 Reasons They Are Extraordinary And Powerful

INFJ Relationships

Are you an INFJ personality type?

If so, you are one of the rarest personality types of all. INFJs make up about one to three percent of the total population.

That means when someone becomes involved with you, they are connecting with a unique, perceptive, complex, and sometimes mysterious personality.

As an INFJ, relationships are especially important to you, so it’s essential that you understand yourself and what you need in a partner.

Your personality type definitely influences how you relate to other people, and understanding your type can make a huge difference in your choice of friends and romantic partners.

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How To Save Your Marriage

How to Save a Marriage

Let me state upfront that I wasn’t able to save mine.

After more than 20 years together, and with three amazing children, my former husband and I ended up apart.

Divorce is not a happy option most of the time. It is gut-wrenching and painful and should be entered into after serious and lengthy consideration and sincere efforts to work out whatever your issues might be.

Not every marriage can be saved, but many can be, even after some very difficult and divisive challenges. I’d like to share with you how you can save yours if you are considering ending it, or if it is really on the skids and you don’t know what to do.

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How To Fix A Relationship With A “Couple Bubble”

how to fix a relationship

Have you ever considered going to a relationship therapist to help you and your partner fix your relationship or work through conflict?

Frustration, fighting, and detachment are common problems in marriage or any intimate relationship, but when you learn how to create a “couple bubble,” you have a powerful platform for quickly regaining trust and building intimacy and happiness in your love relationship.

Amy and John have been married three years, and are frequently at odds. Amy is often frustrated with her husband’s seemingly detached attitude towards their relationship. She feels as though she takes second place to his work and hobbies, and while she appreciates – even admires – his independence, she can’t help feeling neglected sometimes.

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Vulnerability: The Secret To Close Relationships


Once when I was feeling particularly stressed and overwhelmed, my sister said to me, “Just fall back and let the universe catch you.”

When she said that, a feeling of peace washed over me. How lovely it would be to simply let go and feel completely safe, knowing that everything would be OK. That I was OK. The thought gave me a few moments of respite from my worries. I was free from the pain and pretense of trying to control everything.

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How To Apologize Sincerely

How to apologize

Sincerely apologizing is an advanced emotional skill.

It requires doing something most of us find extremely difficult — getting past the ego self.

The thought process leading to an apology is complex and involves pushing past many internal barriers. We must honestly examine ourselves, our behavior or words, the motivation behind the behavior or words, and the feelings of those we’ve injured or offended.

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How To Rekindle Your Relationship And Fall In Love Again

relationship problems

Stop reading for a moment, and think back to the first few weeks after you met your spouse or love partner.

Actually, try to visualize an early date where you were cuckoo for CoCo Puffs about this amazing person. And they felt the same about you.

Remember how it felt falling in love, how happily distracted you were, how you couldn’t wait to see her — how everything he said was interesting and funny.

Remember how you felt the two of you were special? Meant for each other. Destined to be together.

And now . . . not so much.

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