If you display these 6 behaviors, you’re the toxic one in the family

Ever felt like connecting with your family is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded? You might have even thrown around labels like “insensitive,” “manipulative,” or even “toxic” at them.

But here’s the reality check: for every finger pointing at them, there are four pointing right back at you.

If you catch yourself doing the following 6 behaviors, you might be the one bringing some toxicity to the family feast. 

1) You criticize everyone and everything

If you’re the one shining a spotlight on everyone’s flaws or mistakes without any constructive feedback, chances are you’re responsible for creating an air of negativity whenever you’re present with family. 

Your family members might start tiptoeing around you, afraid to be themselves, fearing a critique session every time you interact with them.

Or, and let’s hope not, they might catch the criticism bug from you. Suddenly, they’re tearing down other family members or, worse, adopting your critical ways. That’s when home starts feeling like a minefield – everyone walking on eggshells, and no one feeling comfy in their own space. 

So, if you’re considered a naysayer and you don’t hold back around your family, then don’t be too surprised if they aren’t as cheery and excited around you.

2) You always play the victim

Being close to your family means there will be times when the stress levels are high, causing misunderstandings to brew and tough exchanges to be made.

That applies to everyone.

So, if your default mode is playing the eternal victim card, painting a constant ‘me against the world’ picture, that’s heading into toxic territory.

However, through open communication, a sense of reality can prevail, and serenity can be regained. This can be achieved through a sincere apology, a gesture of kindness, or simply by sharing thoughts and feelings openly.

Sure, the family might dish out some tough love, but don’t blame every hiccup in your life on them. Sometimes, you have to loosen your grip on things. 

For example, maybe your cousin gave you a hard time about your career choice, but consider the advice they’re dropping instead of turning it into a family feud.

If you’re always playing the blame game, it’s like putting up a “Do Not Approach” sign. You miss out on the constructive criticism that could actually nudge you toward growth.

3) You group up against a family member

So, you have a tiff with a family member, and instead of hashing it out, you take the drama public, giving them the villain edit and turning the whole family into your personal jury.

This approach can lead to one of the worst feelings a person can experience: feeling alone with their family or within their own home. 

Now, I get it, sometimes you need a referee. Bring in a mediator, someone unbiased who can help navigate the rough patch. Or, after a good old argument where you’ve both hit a roadblock, get a fresh perspective.

But seriously, the golden rule?

Keep the feud between the feuding parties.

Don’t let the whole family interfere and heaven forbid, pick sides. It will only increase tension and deepen emotional wounds.

4) You don’t give them privacy

pic1926 If you display these 6 behaviors, you’re the toxic one in the family

Your sibling is going through a breakup and needs a moment to process emotions. Instead of giving them the space they need, you keep poking around, asking questions, and even snooping through their messages.

Experiencing a breach of trust from those closest to them leaves individuals feeling violated and erodes their trust in you as a confidant for their thoughts and feelings when they need support.

Everyone deserves their safe space to deal with things on their terms, and being the privacy intruder won’t win you any family awards except being the most toxic one.

5) You’re manipulative

Trust is the glue that keeps our relationships, especially with family, strong and healthy.

Ever catch yourself playing mind games, guilt-tripping, or bending the truth? Well, those tricks can seriously mess with the trust you’ve built up with your loved ones.

It’s like calling a little lie a “white lie” – it’s still a lie. The same goes for manipulation; people might slap on different labels to make it sound less shady, but it’s still manipulation deep down.

But here’s the thing: our family sets the tone for how we approach relationships in the future. 

Discovering that you’re the manipulator in the family can be a startling realization, leading to a profound and uncomfortable confrontation with the reality of your own behavior. 

I have learned that the hard way after months of therapy. 

I grew up thinking guilt-tripping was the magic trick to get people to do what you want and express your feelings simultaneously.

Recognizing that manipulation was not a healthy approach, I set out to model open, honest, and authentic communication, emphasizing the importance of these values.

This shift aimed not only to mend my own behavior but also to establish a healthier and more genuine dynamic within the family unit.

6) You have anger issues

Harboring anger can unleash a storm of unhealthy habits in any person.

When you’re rocking anger issues, everyone would be approaching you with extreme caution. Family members might need you, but if you’re a walking rage volcano, you become as approachable as a porcupine.

Plus, being unreliable becomes your middle name. If a family crisis hits, and everyone needs a calm head but you can’t keep your cool in those crucial moments. You’ll be the shaky foundation nobody can count on.

And let’s not forget the aftermath; you end up saying some hurtful words that may leave your loved ones bruised and bitter.

Bottom line: anger issues aren’t just a flaw; they’re a one-way ticket to toxicity in the family circle.

Final thoughts

If you’re not big on self-reflection, you could unintentionally be dropping toxicity bombs in your relationships, especially with the family. 

So, take a moment to self-reflect on the nature of your dynamics with those closest to you before you unintentionally wreck the bonds. 

Breaking habits can be challenging, but with the right mindset, unconditional love, and mindful practice, getting rid of toxic behavior is possible.

Picture of Lily Gareth

Lily Gareth

Beirut-based writer with a flair for all that is artistic. Follow her on Instagram: @raysofdisarrays

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