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Friday, May 14, 2021

Art & Culture

How to Terminate Toxic Family Members and Relationships?

Successful Happy Businessman

“Man has three friends on whose company he relies. First, wealth which goes with him only while good fortune lasts. Second, his relatives; they go only as far as the grave, leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave.” —The Talmud

Everyone has a hidden story. Some celebrities including Steven Spielberg, Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, Ariel Winter, Macaulay Culkin, Angelina Jolie, and Drew Barrymore have toxic relationships with their parents. They became famous in the world despite hailing from toxic family backgrounds. Toxic families are a curse and toxic people are problematic who prevent you from leading a peaceful and happy life. There is a way out of it if you can identify and take appropriate precautions.

The toxic people are broken people filled with venom in their minds. They exploit the people who are open, honest, and straightforward. These honest people often think of reforming the toxic people but end up being targeted by toxic people. Therefore, honest people must terminate their relationships with the toxic people to keep themselves safe and use their precious time, money, energy and resources to serve their societies.

Stay away from Toxic People

Toxic individuals are injurious to your mental health. They hurt you. They humiliate you. They hit you below the belt. They badmouth and spread negativity about you with others. It is advisable to stay away from them whether they are your family members or outsiders. In fact, family members are more dangerous than outsiders because they know all your secrets, strategies, and challenges. So, you cannot cut them off forever quickly due to sentiments and social pressure.

When you want to live your life with peace and happiness, you must stay away from naysayers and toxic people especially your family members and relatives. They are a mental drain. They are like leeches who suck your blood silently in the pretext of helping you. Here are some ways to stay away from them. Avoid them. If you cannot avoid them due to social pressure, be brief and civil. Tell them not to interfere with your personal issues. Ask them to respect your privacy. Reform them, if possible. If you think that you cannot reform them due to their past perception toward you, stay away from them forever. Ignore them completely. Here are some situations you must consider terminating your toxic relationships. When you know that you are either used or abused mentally, emotionally, physically, verbally, or sexually. When you are sure that you will land in more emotional issues and abuse by associating with them.

Spend your precious time with positive people. Enjoy every moment of your life with great minds and inspiring people. You must live your life with celebration, not misery and heartbreaks. You know your worth more than anybody else in the world. So, move on with your life without any emotional baggage and regrets.

Your Family is Your Karma

Toxic families appear to be elegant externally but are rotten internally. They present a façade to the world and often talk about their families as better than other families. They are cunning, litigant, and manipulative who create a rift among the siblings to divide and rule to survive themselves. Unfortunately, they end up broke physically, mentally, and morally.

Poor parenting is different from toxic parenting. Poor parenting is the lack of adequate knowledge by parents in bringing up their children which is unintentional and unconscious while toxic parenting is bringing up their children in an unhealthy environment which is intentional and conscious.

Most children love their parents. What happens when parents are toxic and exploit their children for their selfish ends. We cannot imagine such kind of toxic families but it is a reality that some people cursed with toxic families who blackmail, exploit their children emotionally, and manipulate for their selfish ends. Toxic parents don’t make their children independent for fear of losing their importance and control over their children. They make their children as puppets and pull the strings of their children like puppeteers. They feel insecure due to their incompetence. They compare their children with relatives and neighbors. Here are some solutions to stay away from toxic parents. Write your bitter experiences with toxic parents in a journal to enable you to reflect and channel emotions. Share your unpleasant experiences with your trusted friends and relatives. Read good books. Write something useful and meaningful. Associate with positive friends. Excel as a healthy individual.

When you find that your toxic family members are frequently badmouthing about you with others, take precautions, and keep yourself at a safe distance with them. Instead of attacking them, guard yourself against them. Don’t suffer silently. Be assertive. Don’t let others drag you down in front of others. You must live your life with dignity and honor.

When romantic partners are toxic, they separate from each other. Similarly, when the family members are toxic, separate from them forever. Instead of interacting, staying together, and fighting, it is advisable to part away amicably before things become worse.

When parents are toxic the children are likely to become toxic. Therefore, the onus lies with parents to create a healthy family environment free from envy, negativity, rivalry, and venom to enable their children to grow as healthy individuals. If the children have better education and live in a healthy environment in later parts of their lives, they reinvent and excel as inspiring individuals despite hailing from toxic family backgrounds.

Being born in a good or a bad family is not in your hands. It is your karma. If you were born in a toxic family, don’t regret it because you have an option to evolve as a healthy individual. Instead of blaming your toxic family, inculcate a positive attitude to lead a healthy life, and set an example for others. Similarly, being born in a rich or a poor family is not in your hands. It is your karma. What is in your hands is to work smart and wise to become rich. If you end up poor in life, that is your mistake, not your parents’ mistake.

Avoid seeking approval and validation from toxic parents who are thankless and useless. Don’t oblige them. Avoid pleasing them especially when their expectations are unrealistic and demands are unreasonable. Remember that toxic parents will never be pleased with your kind gestures and monetary support. So, help the people around you and serve society. Be assertive and independent. Handle your toxic parents tactfully to avoid regrets on your deathbed.

You cannot change your toxic parents but you can change yourself by improving your attitude, personality, and behavior to excel as a healthy human being. Become a part of the solution, not the problem. Forgive your toxic parents and forget your unpleasant family environment. You have the freedom to choose your life the way you want. So, choose your life to lead with a positive, right, and strong attitude.

Make the Right Choices

Neither birth is your choice nor death is your choice but you have choices between your birth and death. So, make the right choices to lead your life with simplicity, humility, humanity, and hope. Life is short. Therefore, make it sweet. Leave no room for regrets on your deathbed.

The message is clear and crisp. Your life is in your hands. You can become the way you want to become. You have a choice. Remember that the lotus comes from the mud. Similarly, some of the great people came out from the mud of their toxic families, showed the light to the world, guided the world, and left this world as legends.


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Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning See the Light in You: Acquire Spiritual Powers to Achieve Mindfulness, Wellness, Happiness, and Success (Waterside Productions; January 16, 2020). He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030. He has the vision to share his knowledge freely with one billion people globally. He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe). He was ranked #1 Thought Leader and Influencer in HR globally by Thinkers360. He invests his time in authoring books and blogging on executive education, learning, and leadership. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs including Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders. He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic, and inspirational leadership speaker. Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.