Am I the toxic one in the family? 16 signs to look out for

We all have a toxic family member. It can be someone who can’t seem to stop complaining, or someone who always has something negative said about them.

But have you ever found yourself to be the toxic one in your family?

Yes, it’s true. Being a toxic person in your family can be hard to recognize.

We often get caught up in the day-to-day and let our family members’ toxicity slide without realizing it’s happening. It’s not until someone—a partner, friend, or coworker—points out that you might have a problem that you realize just how bad you’re really being.

Here are 23 signs to know if you’re a toxic person in your family.

1) You try to play the victim

If you’re a toxic person, you might have a tendency to play the victim in every situation.

It might be a bit hard to believe, but in fact, you do this for selfish reasons—to gain sympathy, attention, and care. Why is this so?

Well, it’s because you’re not comfortable with the idea of being seen as an equal. You’d rather be the one who’s taken care of, instead of doing that for someone else.

And that’s when you start playing the victim card. It’s a way for you to gain sympathy and attention, and it works like magic.

But don’t forget that you should never be doing this. Sure, there are real victims in the world who need our help and support. But you should never be one of them just to get what you want.

Admit that you might be playing the victim and stop doing it immediately! If someone is actually being abusive or treating you poorly, then address it with them directly without playing the victim yourself. This way, others will see

So, if you find yourself constantly playing the victim card in your family, you might want to stop and consider your actions. The truth is, no one wants a toxic person around—and this is especially true when it comes to family members.

2) You’re the one who manipulates family members emotionally

Have you ever noticed yourself trying to control your family members? Do you often try to manipulate them emotionally?

I know that’s not what you’re thinking, right? But in fact, you might be doing this without even realizing it.

The truth is, many toxic people manipulate their family members emotionally on purpose. They do so to control and dominate the situation, and for no other reason.

So, admit that you might be doing this. But don’t forget that manipulating other people is never okay. Instead, try to learn from this and move forward.

But I get it, letting those feelings out can be hard, especially if you’ve spent so long trying to stay in control of them.

If that’s the case, I highly recommend watching this free breathwork video, created by the shaman, Rudá Iandê.

Rudá isn’t another self-professed life coach. Through shamanism and his own life journey, he’s created a modern-day twist to ancient healing techniques.

The exercises in his invigorating video combine years of breathwork experience and ancient shamanic beliefs, designed to help you relax and check in with your body and soul.

After many years of suppressing my emotions, Rudá’s dynamic breathwork flow quite literally revived that connection.

And that’s what you need:

A spark to reconnect you with your feelings so that you can begin focussing on the most important relationship of all – the one you have with yourself.

So if you’re ready to take back control over your mind, body, and soul, if you’re ready to say goodbye to anxiety and stress, check out his genuine advice below.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

3) You have a hard time compromising

How many times have you found yourself compromising in a situation?

Be honest because if you’re a toxic person, you might have a hard time compromising.

You tend to stick to your guns and never give in. You do this because you’re afraid that if you do, someone else will take advantage of you or use it against you in the future.

So, while compromise can be beneficial in many ways—it can help relationships grow stronger, it helps us learn new things about each other, etc.—you refuse to budge on anything. But why?

Well, it’s because compromise means having to admit that you’re wrong. And that’s something you’d rather not do because it makes you feel weak and vulnerable.

And also, you’re not comfortable with the idea of being seen as an equal. You’d rather be the one who’s taken care of, instead of doing that for someone else.

As a result, your stubbornness can take many forms. You might be the kind of person who never gives in when it comes to money or chores around the house, for example. Or maybe you just never want to admit that someone else is right when they say something about politics or religion.

But don’t forget that compromise is important in any relationship, whether it be family-based or romantic. If you’re unable to compromise with others, then this might mean that there are serious problems in your relationship—and probably with your way of thinking as well.

4) You have a hard time giving others their space

Do you find yourself being over-protective of your family members? Do you call or text them multiple times a day just to check up on them?

If so, then you might be guilty of being a toxic person in your family. But why do so many people do this?

Well, it’s because they love their family members and want to keep them safe at all costs—even if it means smothering them. Nobody wants to see their loved ones hurt or suffering, so they try to protect them from any kind of harm—whether physical or emotional.

But this can be a problem for a few reasons.

First of all, it can be incredibly annoying for the person who’s being smothered. You’re probably well aware of this if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of it before. It just feels like someone is constantly watching over your shoulder, even though you’d rather do things on your own and not be bothered by anyone else’s opinions or advice.

And secondly, smothering someone can make them feel trapped and unable to express themselves in any way—both physically and emotionally. This is the definition of toxic behavior and it’s not healthy for anyone involved.

If you think that this might be an issue in your family, then it might be time to change things up a bit. Allow your loved ones to do things on their own without constantly having to check in on them or give them advice.

And also remember that they’re adults who are capable of making their own decisions, even if you don’t agree with them at first glance.

5) You’re the one who makes jokes at other people’s expense

How often do you make jokes at other people’s expense? Is this something that makes you feel better about yourself or boosts your ego?

Admit it. You do it all the time, and you feel proud of it. But why is this? Why do you feel the need to bring other people down just to make yourself feel better?

Well, there are a few reasons for this. First of all, it’s because you want to be seen as an alpha male or alpha female who doesn’t care about anyone. You want to be viewed as someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind and tell people what they really think about them, even if that means hurting their feelings along the way.

And second, it’s because you want to feel better about yourself and your own life in general. You want to believe that you’re better than everyone else, so you make jokes at their expense to justify this belief.

But guess what?

If you’re the one who makes jokes at other people’s expense, then it’s time for a change. Stop making fun of others just to boost your own ego and feel better about yourself.

Instead, try to be a bit more compassionate and understanding towards others. Everyone has their own flaws and imperfections, so it’s not fair to make fun of them for their mistakes.

6) You’re the one who’s always rude to family members

pexels mental health america mha 5543250 Am I the toxic one in the family? 16 signs to look out for

Let me guess. You’re the one who’s always rude to family members, even if they’ve done nothing wrong. You say things that are hurtful and even cruel, and you know this.

Yet you continue to do it anyway because you feel like it gives you some kind of satisfaction.

But why do you feel this way? Why do you feel the need to be so mean and hurtful? Is it because you lack compassion for others? Or is it because of your own insecurities about yourself and your life?

It could be either one of these reasons or possibly both. But whatever the case, it’s clear that your rude behavior towards others is toxic behavior. And this needs to change before things get even worse in your life.

7) You’re the one who always has to be right

Here are some question for you:

If so, then maybe it’s time for a change.

To be honest, most people don’t like being around someone who is always right, especially when they know they’re wrong.

Does this sound familiar to you?

If you’re considering yourself the toxic one, I bet it does! And the same goes for someone who always has to be right.

It makes you seem arrogant, annoying, and even a little bit obnoxious. And this is not something that people like or want in their lives.

So, instead of being right all the time, try to be more understanding and compassionate toward others. Try to show them some compassion and support instead of making them feel small just because they disagree with your opinion.

8) You’re the one who’s always jealous of others

We’ve already talked about how toxic jealousy is in previous articles, but it’s worth mentioning here again because it fits perfectly into this article.

If you’re the kind of person who’s always jealous of others, then that’s toxic behavior for sure. It means you lack self-confidence and self-esteem, and you try to make up for this by being jealous of other people.

But honestly, what good does it do?

It doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. It doesn’t really hurt anyone else. And it certainly does not make your life any better or happier in any way.

So, if you’re someone who’s always jealous of others, then I recommend making a change right away. Because otherwise, you’re going to continue to be unhappy and insecure for the rest of your life.

9) You’re the one who tries to pick fights with other family members

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve witnessed this kind of behavior before. You know, the kind of person who tries to pick fights with other family members just because they can.

Maybe it’s an uncle who always has to be right and argue with everyone else at the table. Or maybe it’s an aunt who tries to make everyone feel bad about themselves just because they don’t agree with her.

If this sounds like you, you should definitely ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I feel the need to pick fights with other family members
  • What makes me think that’s OK?
  • Is it really worth it? Is it really worth ruining relationships just because I want to be right?

Whatever the case, it’s clear that this is toxic behavior that needs to change. It doesn’t do anyone any good or make anyone happier or more satisfied in life.

I know you’ve heard the advice a million times, but it’s worth repeating: Be nice to others. Treat them with some respect and be compassionate toward them.

If you feel like picking a fight with someone, take some time for yourself instead. Go for a walk, read a book, or do something else that will make you feel better about yourself and your life. Why?

Because there’s nothing good about picking fights with other people, and it doesn’t help anyone. It only hurts you and the other person.

So if you’re someone like this, then please consider making a change for your own sake as well as for others around you. But before, just ask yourself:

What does it take to build a life filled with exciting opportunities and passion-fueled adventures?

Most of us hope for a life like that, but we feel stuck, unable to achieve the goals we wishfully set at the start of each year.

I felt the same way until I took part in Life Journal. Created by teacher and life coach Jeanette Brown, this was the ultimate wake-up call I needed to stop dreaming and start taking action.

Click here to find out more about Life Journal.

So what makes Jeneatte’s guidance more effective than other self-development programs?

It’s simple:

Jeanette’s created a unique way of putting YOU in control of your life.

She’s not interested in telling you how to live your life. Instead, she’ll give you lifelong tools that’ll help you achieve all your goals, keeping the focus on what you’re passionate about.

And that’s what makes Life Journal so powerful.

If you’re ready to start living the life you’ve always dreamt of, you need to check out Jeanette’s advice. Who knows, today could be the first day of your new life.

Here’s the link once again.

10) You’re the one who stirs up drama

Let’s face the truth.

You’re the one who is always stirring up drama. You’re the person who never has anything good to say about anyone else in your family. You love to make drama happen by starting arguments with others.

It’s not that you’re a bad person—you just can’t help it! You love to see tension and conflict in your family, no matter how much it might hurt someone else.

But don’t worry because we all know someone who does this.

They’re the kinds of people who are always stirring up drama in their lives and in the lives of others.

This can be at home, at work, or anywhere else. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. Men can do it just as easily as women can. And it’s always toxic behavior that needs to change. Why?

Because it’s not healthy behavior and it doesn’t do anyone any good at all. In fact, it only makes things worse and causes more problems and unhappiness in life, instead of making things better or happier for anyone involved.

So don’t be the kind of person who stirs up drama in your life or the lives of others because there’s no good reason to do so whatsoever, and you’ll regret that decision for the rest of your life if you continue on with this type of behavior for any length of time at all!

11) You’re the one who is always complaining about something

Don’t even try to deny it. You’re the one who is always complaining about something.

You’re the kind of person who is always looking for something to complain about.

You complain about your job, your boss, your coworkers, your customers, or just about anything else you can complain about.

And what’s worse, you can’t go a day without mentioning something negative about your life or your family members’. You have the habit of focusing on what’s wrong with everyone and everything around you, rather than what’s right or good.

But guess what?

This isn’t healthy behavior at all and it needs to stop now because this is not a good way to live life at all! In fact, it’s not a good way to be in life whatsoever.

12) You’re the one who enjoys making excuses for your bad behavior

You’re the kind of person who enjoys making excuses for your bad behavior. Deep down you know it’s true.

You never take responsibility for anything that you do wrong, and instead, you blame everyone else in your life for the mistakes you make.

Even if someone else was more responsible than you were for whatever happened. You still make excuses for what happened, as if it was all your fault and that’s why things happened the way they did.

This makes it easy to get away with things. And it also makes it easier to avoid having to change your ways or correct your bad behavior because no one ever knows what’s going on with you or why things are the way they are in your life.

I know the feeling. We’ve all been there. But guess what?

That’s not a good way to live life! It’s the easy way out. And you know it.

13) You can’t seem to keep a positive attitude around your family

pexels kindel media 8550724 Am I the toxic one in the family? 16 signs to look out for

You’re the kind of person who can’t seem to keep a positive attitude around your family and friends.

You’re always complaining about something or someone.

And no matter what anyone says to you, you always find a way to find fault with it and make it seem like whatever they said is not good enough for you

So what’s the problem? Why can’t you keep a positive attitude around those who care about you the most?

Well, I think it’s because, deep down inside, you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to have a good life. You don’t believe that your life is worth being happy in and enjoying yourself in. You don’t believe that anything good will come into your life anytime soon, or ever for that matter!

This is why when someone says something nice or does something nice for you, you can never accept it as a compliment or even just as an act of kindness from another human being.

14) You’re the one who always tries to be better than everyone else

I get it, I do. We all want to be better than others in some way or another. But some people take this to a whole new level, and it’s not healthy behavior at all.

But believe me, it’s not healthy behavior because it’s toxic to yourself and others around you.

You see, when you’re the kind of person who tries to be better than everyone else, then that means you lack self-confidence and self-esteem in yourself.

So what do you do?

Instead of working on yourself, you try to make up for this by being better than everyone else around you.

But honestly, what good does that do? Being better than others doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, nor does it make you any happier or more satisfied in life. And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t be the kind of person who tries to be better than everyone else.

Instead, just think about it. But what if you could stop competing with others and start competing with yourself?

The truth is, most of us never realize how much power and potential lies within us.

We become bogged down by continuous conditioning from society, the media, our education system and more.

The result?

The reality we create becomes detached from the reality that lives within our consciousness.

I learned this (and much more) from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandé. In this excellent free video, Rudá explains how you can lift the mental chains and get back to the core of your being.

A word of caution – Rudá isn’t your typical shaman.

He doesn’t paint a pretty picture or sprout toxic positivity like so many other gurus do.

Instead, he’s going to force you to look inwards and confront the demons within. It’s a powerful approach, but one that works.

So if you’re ready to take this first step and align your dreams with your reality, there’s no better place to start than with Rudá’s unique technique

Here’s a link to the free video again.

15) You’re trying hard to fix everything (and sometimes, everyone too)

Imagine this. You’re out with your family at a restaurant, and you’re trying to enjoy your meal. But unfortunately, the waiter is being rude to you.

It’s not your fault that the waiter is being rude to you, and it’s not your responsibility to fix whatever it is that’s wrong with him.

And yet, because you have this need to fix things in your life, especially when they involve other people who are not behaving in the way that they should be behaving, you end up making things worse by trying to fix something that isn’t even broken!

I know how it feels. I’ve been there before too!

But guess what? It’s not worth it! There are much more important things in life than being nice or fixing someone else who is acting badly toward you for no apparent reason.

So if someone does something bad or mean towards you and it makes you angry, why don’t you just let it go and forget about it?

After all, you can’t change other people. No matter how hard you try, you can’t change what’s in your head or heart. They have to want to change themselves for the better. You can’t make them change. So why not just let them be who they want to be, and let them do whatever they want to do?

16) You’re constantly trying to point out others’ flaws

We’ve talked about this before, but let’s talk about it again.

If you’re always pointing out flaws in others, then why do you think they’re going to like you?

You see, when you point out other people’s flaws or mistakes to them or to other people, it’s a sign that you don’t really like yourself. It’s a sign that deep down inside of you, there are many things wrong with your life and with your personality and character as well.

So why do you think people are going to like you or be attracted to you if you’re always pointing out flaws in others?

It’s because they can sense that you’re a fake, phony, insecure, and unhappy person.

And what’s worse is that the more you point out other people’s flaws and mistakes, the more of those same flaws and mistakes will start showing up in your life as well!

Final thoughts

All in all, if you feel like you’re the only one who sometimes feels like a black sheep in your family, there may be some truth to those feelings.

You may feel that no one understands how you feel, or that people don’t care about your feelings. You might often find yourself being the scapegoat for whatever is going on in your family.

But whether or not it has come to light yet, most toxic relationships are created by a power struggle between two or more people.

So, even if you feel like no one cares about how you feel or what’s going on in your life, it’s time to take a step back and realize that everyone has their own struggles.

It’s important to remember that life isn’t perfect and it never will be. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from being happy.

Picture of Nato Lagidze

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

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