The Power of Walking Away From Family
This post is about the power of walking away from family.
Having unfortunately personal experience in this, there are 5 important practical reasons why you should walk away from your toxic family members and cut ties altogether.
Life is so short.
And in case you did not realize that just look at the pandemic.
Suddenly, the world went into lockdown and people were either killed by the virus, or have lost their jobs, their homes etc.
Whilst behind the scenes it may have been bubbling up for years, life was already short, and the pandemic made it even shorter.
Unfortunately, I lost my father to the virus, and he is the reason I am writing this article about toxic family members.
He was a young healthy man, yet he was sadly taken from this earth.
Nobody knows, this is just how life is sadly.
But more importantly when tragedy hits or life happens to us all (which it will there is no avoiding it), we start to see the true depiction of people’s behaviours.
Aka, we see people’s true colours.
It is like if you held an orange in your hand, if you squeezed it you would be sure that orange juice would come out of it.
The same cannot be said of people.
When people are “squeezed” aka put under pressure or exposed, their true emotions and opinions come out.
That is a fantastic way to depict somebody’s true nature when their backs are against the walls and everything is going wrong.
It is easy for a person to appear cool and calm when everything is going well in their life.
What about when it is not?
Can you handle it?
Can they handle it?
Sadly, I learnt the hard way with my family members when my father passed, and perhaps if you have gone through similar yourself you will know exactly what I am talking about.
There are people that are there for you, and people who are not.
There are people that sink in the flood, and there are those who swim.
There are those who are compassionate, and those who are entitled and selfish.
If you are reading this you are most likely 50% there of realizing you may need to cut ties with toxic family members, and here are 5 reasons why you really should:
#1 – To Grow Up
Peter Pan is the ruler of Neverland and the king of the lost boys.
But who wants to be king of a place that does not exist and the head of a bunch of losers?
Nobody does …
That is why when we cut ties with toxic family members we are doing so to grow up.
Once you become an adult (which my father insisted to me was 18), you are essentially on your own in this world.
It is down to you what you go on to achieve and what mistakes you make.
Yet somehow over the age of 21 you may still be listening to the advice of family members.
Or perhaps you are doing things that make you feel uncomfortable.
Or they are ruling your life or stunting your growth.
If you are not careful, you will end up not growing at all.
You will end up being too reliant on these people, who really do not have your best interest at heart at all.
Most toxic family members including parents, uncles and aunts and cousins do not know what is best for you despite making out that they do.
They only know what is best for themselves.
When my friend wanted to go into business for himself instead of going to University he brought, and I quote “shame” upon his family.
“How dare he do this to us!” was what his toxic family said about him.
He was uninvited to dinner parties, he was snubbed at events, he was a bit of a low life in their eyes.
What did this guy end up doing?
He became a millionaire, and now he eats with his own family and the people who believed in him no matter what.
Another example was a woman I knew wanted to marry a guy who her entire family deemed to be “undesirable.”
She ignored them and 15 years later they are happily married, whereas two of the couples who insisted they do not marry are now divorced!
There are hundreds of similar examples.
But the point is you will never ever grow up if you keep associating with toxic family members all the time.
They will stunt your growth.
You will appear like an adult child, and forever be the king or queen of the lost boys/girls.
#2 – They Are Just People
If we take a step back and remove the rose-tinted glasses and enmeshed viewpoint of any toxic family member what do we see?
Do we see a parent?
Do we see an aunt/uncle?
Do we see a cousin?
Do we see a grandparent?
Do we see a relative of any kind?
All we see is a person.
Now what do I mean by all we see is just a person?
It is simple really; they are just people.
Now I do not know about you, but do you genuinely take what other people aka strangers tell you to be gospel and the truth?
If that were the case, I would have stopped this blog and YouTube channel in the first week.
My point is when you look at your parent’s friends or family members friends and they start to talk to you advising on how to live your life:
What do you do?
Do you take it on board?
Do you listen?
Or do you politely change the subject?
My point is your toxic family members are no different to their friends, aka they are just people!
So why would you not tarnish your toxic family members with the same brush?
Because you should.
As an adult you should not be listening to what somebody else is telling you to do to live your life and what choices to make.
But you are thinking, “isn’t that disrespectful to my elders?”
I am not telling you to swear and argue with them.
I am insisting you to move on from them and treat them like you treat a person on the street.
Because that is all they are just people.
Remove the family title from their names and look at them from the outside perspective.
You would not listen to the 65-year-old cranky old geezer down the street how to live your life, so why listen to your cranky old toxic uncle?
#3 – No Reasoning
Like narcissists, toxic people especially family members have no reasoning.
Aka they are so entitled and wrapped up in their own drama and social bubbles that they stubbornly refuse to see the world from a different perspective.
I know a guy who is so addicted to gambling that the family allow him to do it because there is no reasoning with this guy.
Meanwhile he is:
Deeply in debt
Lost all of his children’s inheritance
So rather than dealing with the problem or forcing him to, they allow him to get away with financial murder.
What good is that exactly?
The same can apply to you.
Perhaps you want to do any of the following:
Start a business
Need emotional support
Need financial support
And what are your toxic family members doing in regards to your goals and ambitions?
They either ridicule you, do not listen, or worst of all they completely dismiss you.
How respectful of them right?
You do have a voice, you do have an opinion, you have a right to stand up for yourself.
But as I have said like narcissists, getting to convince someone who is toxic into your way of thinking is like talking to a brick wall.
You are better to do the following working in silence, do not share your ideas, and plans and go out there and do what your heart tells you to do.
If I listened to my toxic family members I would have gotten nowhere in my life.
#4 – Only Negative Experiences
Are you finding your overall experiences and interactions with your toxic family members to be incredibly stressful and negative?
Is there constant drama?
Are there always arguments?
Is there a feeling in your gut telling you something feels wrong?
Are you always unhappy around them?
A great exercise you can do is get a journal and write down the incidents that occur when you associate with toxic family.
It is possible that you know these things already in the back of your mind but writing them down will help you more because you will document what is going on.
And by doing this you will see what you should and should not be tolerating.
I did exactly this myself.
There were family members we met who no matter what and when would always criticise me and my immediate family.
It did not matter where and how; the subject would always come back to us.
They would usually say the following:
“You should do this more.”
“Your parents made a mistake not doing this.”
“You need to try doing this.
“You are not correct about this.
“Your family have not done enough.”
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this post life is short.
AND IT HAS GOTTEN EVEN SHORTER!
Do I want to hear some idiots talking rubbish about my family?
Do I want to hear some morons openly criticize me on my weekends and days off when I want to relax and unwind?
So, I have walked away from them and guess what happened?
My life is more positive now, there are fewer negative experiences, because in simple terms I am not associating with toxic and negative people.
There is no pleasing some, and if your overall time spent with them is one that is negative you need to really take a step back and ask yourself:
“Why am I wasting my time with such toxic and negative people?”
Do not feel guilty about this, your life depends on it.
#5 – Associate with Good Healthy People
Relating back to my previous point, remove the negative people and replace them with positive people.
I am sure there are good healthy and positive people in your life who do not happen to be your family members.
And if you have not found them you will, trust me.
Make friends with people who want the best for you.
If your toxic family members wanted the best for you genuinely, they would not be suffocating you with drama, and negativity.
Aka they would not be toxic family members!
When you walk away do it for peace of mind.
Enjoy the tranquillity, enjoy the ability for possibly the first time in your life to start thinking for yourself and take pride in that.
Stand tall and realize that you are enough.
Be confident that you can cope with life.
You are not a child, and if you have read this post up until the end, I can pretty much guarantee you that you are intelligent enough to go out there and survive.
Sure, life will send inevitable curve balls your way.
Sure, you will be made to feel immensely guilty for walking away from your toxic family members.
But give it a bit of time and space and you will see how you have gained some much-needed self-respect and confidence to become a better person.
And one day you will be sat round a dinner table and I want you to look at who surrounds you that moment.
It may not be your toxic family; you may never see them ever again.
But it is who you associate with that wants the best for you that will elevate your life to brand new heights.
I think Tupac said it best:
“Just because you lost me as a friend, doesn’t mean you gained me as an enemy. I’m bigger then that, I still wanna see you eat, just not at my table.”
In summary on why you should walk away from toxic family:
- To grow up
- They are just people
- No reasoning with them
- Only negative experiences with them
- To associate with better people