8 signs you’ve outgrown someone in your family (and it’s time to move on)

Remember the movie Matilda?

The movie about a brainy young girl with a flair for telekinesis?

Well, despite her young age, she is basically the ultimate poster child for outgrowing her family—and significantly improving her life in the process.

Let’s talk about the Wormwood family. Her parents are a real piece of work. 

Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood are all about cheating and being, well, not the best role models for a young child. 

Plus the family who couldn’t care less about Matilda’s deep love for books and learning. 

Fortunately, Matilda isn’t having any of it. While her family is pulling off scams, she’s got this sense of morality that’s well beyond her years. 

Have you ever felt like the odd one out, like Matilda?

If you’re contemplating your relationship with your family, or perhaps just one family member, this article is for you.

We’re diving into eight signs you’ve outgrown someone in your family, starting with vastly different values.

1) You no longer share the same morals and values

Maybe the Matilda movie strikes a chord with you—particularly when she realized her family wasn’t the best fit for her, because of their shaky ethics and values.

Maybe you’ve grown into this awesome, compassionate person with a set of morals that you’re proud of, and you notice that your family member is living in a completely different world.

It’s kind of like that “aha” moment.

It’s not about pointing fingers or assigning blame. It’s just about recognizing that you’re evolving into someone with your own set of principles, and they’re doing their thing too.

And hey, it’s all right! Life is about growth, right? 

After all, you need to surround yourself with people who get your vibe, share your values, and lift you up.

Remember Matilda’s journey? She found her place with Miss Honey, her kindred spirit. In other words, her happily ever after.

Similarly, as you move on from that particular family member, you open up space for connections that align with your updated lease on life.

Life is short, my friend… so surround yourself with those who celebrate the incredible person you’ve become!

2) They don’t make an effort for any of your milestones or achievements

You’ve just nailed that job interview, landed a promotion, or maybe you finally finished writing that play you’ve been working on for ages. Exciting, right? 

I mean, it’s the kind of stuff you want to share with the people who matter, like family, for instance. 

But what if, after all your hard work and accomplishments, your family member doesn’t even bat an eye? That can hurt.

Now, we’re not talking about throwing a grand celebration every time, but when the big moments in your life are met with nothing, it might be time to assess your family ties.

Your family is supposed to be your biggest cheerleader. They should be the ones popping the champagne when you hit a milestone.

But if they’re not even giving you a “Congratulations!” text, it could be a tell-tale sign.

Sure, life gets busy, and everyone has their own stuff going on. But come on, a quick call, a text, or even a shout-out on social media takes just a few minutes!

If they can’t spare that time for you, it might be an indicator that the relationship needs a bit of reassessment.

Besides, it’s not just about the lack of celebration. It goes much deeper than that. It’s a reflection of how much they value your journey, your growth, and you as a person.

Remember, you deserve a support system that genuinely cares about your victories, big or small.

3) They do not include you in family events

Do you often find yourself wondering: where’s my invite?

Your family appears to have, once again, not invited you to your cousin’s graduation dinner or your sister’s baby shower.

So you end up feeling like the last piece of the puzzle that never fits. 

You start questioning if you’ve outgrown the family dynamic, and you know what? It’s okay to admit it.

Life’s far too short to be stuck in a loop of being excluded.

4) Interacting with them leaves you feeling drained

And when you do get an invite? 

And those family gatherings, where you’re supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy, actually make you feel like you’ve run a long distance race?

Yeah, we’ve all been there. Let me tell you, if spending time with a family member leaves you more tired than a full day’s work, it might be an indicator that it’s time to rethink things.

Think about it. Family should be your sanctuary, your energy boost, not the reason you’re reaching out for another double espresso. 

If every interaction leaves you feeling drained, it could be a tell-tale sign you’ve outgrown that relationship.

Of course, I totally get it! Family ties can be strong, and cutting them off might feel like you’re losing a major part of yourself.

However, moving on doesn’t mean you stop caring entirely. It means you care enough about your mental health to step away from negativity.

It’s like pruning a plant to help it grow better. You’re not cutting off the whole tree—you’re just removing a few branches.

Be sure to surround yourself with those who lift you up, make you laugh, and leave you feeling recharged. 

5) They judge you and criticize you

pic1973 8 signs you've outgrown someone in your family (and it's time to move on)

Ever found yourself surrounded by someone who can’t resist playing the critic? 

Every move you make, every decision you take, it feels like they’re there with a magnifying glass, ready to dissect and pass judgment.

Now, we all know a bit of constructive criticism can be good for personal growth. But when it starts feeling like a constant rain of negativity, that’s when you need to ask yourself: Have I outgrown this family member?

A healthy, loving relationship involves support, understanding, and encouragement. 

If your interactions with this person feel more like a courtroom drama than a heart-to-heart, it might be a sign that you’ve evolved beyond these toxic vibes.

Why let someone hold you back with their judgments? Food for thought.

6) You cannot be your authentic self around them

This one leads on from the previous one, particularly when it comes to the ability to be yourself around them.

Do you feel like you’re tiptoeing around, trying not to be too loud or too “you”, around a certain family member?

It just doesn’t work, and you end up feeling all sorts of uncomfortable.

Imagine being with someone who embraces the real you. No masks, no pretenses—just genuine connection. It’s like taking a breath of fresh air. Isn’t that the kind of relationship you’d want?

If you’re finding it super hard to be your true self around a family member, it could well be a sign that you’ve outgrown that relationship.

It’s time to embrace the real you and let those who appreciate your true self shine in your life.

7) Communication with them mainly involves conflict

Is every conversation with a certain family member like stepping into a verbal boxing ring? 

Ding, ding, ding—it’s conflict time! 

If your chats are becoming more about heated arguments, it might be indicative that the dynamics need a bit of a reevaluation.

Of course, disagreements do happen. In fact, conflict is a natural and normal part of family life. It stems from differences in personalities, values, expectations, and needs among the family unit.

But there is a line. If every interaction feels like you’re preparing for a debate, it’s time to consider: Are you really connecting, or are you just stuck in a never-ending loop of conflict?

You should be having conversations that lift you up, not ones that leave you emotionally bruised.

8) They are abusive towards you

Do you deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and basic human decency? 

Absolutely. We all do. 

If someone close to you, a family member even, is crossing those boundaries and being outright abusive—well, that’s not a small thing.

Abuse is never okay, and it’s crucial to emphasize this. Beyond any moral or ethical considerations, it’s essential to see the profound impact that abuse can have on us.

Abuse not only inflicts physical harm but also causes emotional scars that may last a lifetime. In a compassionate context, one can highlight the importance of treating others with kindness, empathy, and respect.

Each and every one of us is deserving of dignity and understanding, and resorting to abuse is a betrayal of those basic principles.

By fostering a culture of compassion and support, we can contribute to a world where everyone feels safe, valued, and able to thrive emotionally and physically.

There’s no denying family bonds might be strong, but when someone starts becoming abusive towards you, it’s a hint that you’ve well outgrown that relationship.

Remember, letting go of this person doesn’t mean you’re giving up on family. 

It simply means that you’re choosing to prioritize your well-being—and there is nothing more important than that.

Final thoughts

As you reflect on your unique family situation, remember that life, like Matilda’s journey, is all about growth and finding your place. 

And that road isn’t always a straightforward one.

If you’ve identified with some or many of these signs—diverging values, exclusion from events, draining interactions, constant criticism, inability to be your authentic self, conflict, or outright abuse—it may be time to reassess the relationship.

Much like Matilda forging a healthy bond with Miss Honey, moving on from toxic dynamics creates space for connections aligned with your evolving self.

Life is short, and surrounding yourself with those who genuinely celebrate your journey is key. 

Remember to try and consider your mental health—this should be your number one priority.

Picture of Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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