It’s one thing to cut off ties with toxic friendships, but it’s another thing to navigate relationships with family members who are a bit toxic. Family is, well family, and we can’t really escape them, or pretend they do not exist all together.  We need to use wisdom when it comes to maintain healthy boundaries. Boundaries that both protect you and the relationship. This is by no means an easy feat!

Signs of a toxic family member

  • They constantly make you feel down and bad about who you are.
  • They constantly make you feel drained and take from you emotionally.
  • They manipulate you into feeling and doing certain things.
  • They often make you feel guilty.
  • They speak down on you, and do not value your opinions.
  • They try to control you or the relationship and want it only on their terms.

Dealing with toxic family members

If it becomes abusive – seek help ASAP!

  • If a family member is completely abusive whether it’s physical, emotional or mental – you need to speak to a counselor as a means of helping you to establish healthy boundaries within your personal space. This could mean cutting off of those family members. Your health – mentally, emotionally and physically – is far too important to risk!

Filter their opinions

  • If it’s a relationship dynamic with a sibling or parent that is unhealthy remember to filter what they say around you, and do not let their words or opinions dictate and decide who you are.

Create healthy boundaries

  • Create boundaries. In that way you are encourage self-respect within your own life, and you are letting them know that they cannot invade that space without your permission.


  • If you feel that they are open to hearing you share or confront them with what you feel, then by all means speak with them. Maybe they aren’t even aware of their behaviour. The confrontation could help enlighten them and encourage them to change, as a means of salvaging the relationship.

Use wisdom

  • Use wisdom when it comes to the amount of time you spend with them. If you feel that they completely drain you and demand a lot from you emotionally without giving anything back in return, know to use your time and emotional space wisely.

Just know

  • Creating boundaries within your personal life places respect and value on your life. You can’t let people make you feel anything without your permission. Just know and remember that who you are is amazing and special, do not let anyone make you think otherwise.
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