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Pruning Your Family Tree

Family relationships can be very complicated. Most people experience a strong sense of guilt if they are seriously considering distancing themselves from a close family member, even if it’s for their well-being. But as tough as the choice is, there are a number of reasons that making that hard decision can end up being a good one for both parties.

You can’t choose the family you’re born into, but you certainly have the choice to distance yourself from them if they’re toxic and they’re only causing you pain. No doubt that it’s a difficult decision, but if it’s the only way to keep your sanity, then it might be the right way to handle the situation. Below are some reasons why it’s okay to distance yourself from a bad family relationship.

Top 5 Reasons to Cut Ties with Toxic Family Members:

1. They are only there for you when they need something

When you have a healthy relationship with your family, you will realize very early on in your life that they are there for you through thick and thin, richer or poorer. In fact, they are quick to jump in when you need their help and support. But if your family is only there for you because they need something in return, then it’s worth re-considering if you want them to be a part of your life. We call this conditional love. Seriously think if you want this type of family relationship in your life.

2. They judge you

This world is full of judgmental people, and it’s normal to face some form of judgment in your life but it should not come from within your family. If it’s constructive criticism, then that’s different because they want you to the best person you can be. But if your family judges you to the point of hurting your self-esteem and feelings while breaking your spirit, it’s best to walk away. The people that are supposed to be there for you should lift you up, and not tear you down. You deserve more than that.

3. They gossip about you

If your family treats you and your life like it’s a mini drama series to share with anyone and everyone they know, then it’s best not to tell them anything again. Better yet, maybe you should stay away from them entirely. When you share with your family your deepest troubles, and you’re in need of comfort, the least they can do is respect your vulnerability and privacy. Sharing your life with them is not a free pass to gossip about your life, and should not be tolerated.

4. They’re manipulative

If you notice that one day, your family insults you and the next day they treat you nicely, then that raises a red flag. A healthy relationship with family is supposed to be that: healthy. Manipulation happens when they notice that you start stepping away from them and to get you back, then begin to treat you better so they don’t lose control over you.

5. They gaslight you

Gaslighting is another manipulative tactic to make a victim feel powerless, and they question their own perception, memory, and even their sanity. If you witness your family do something wrong, but when they’re confronted, they deny it in an attempt to discredit you, then you’re being gaslighted. When this becomes a constant cycle of trying to make you feel powerless, then maybe it’s time you cut ties.

It’s easier said than done to cut the branches off your family tree. But if they are toxic to you, then maybe it’s best to leave and stay away from them in order for you to grow bigger and stronger than ever before.

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