I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”. Well, technically, this may be true. However, you can choose who you invite to be a part of your life. Some people happen to be very lucky and enjoy the relationships with their family while others may find it painstakingly difficult to be around them.
Just because you share the same bloodline, doesn’t mean that you are going to grow up and be the best of friends. As we develop into adults, people change, as do our relationships…. and for many different reasons. But the reasons don’t really matter. The point is, if the relationship becomes dysfunctional or toxic, then it becomes necessary to part ways. This may apply to a sibling, a child, an aunt, uncle, or cousin, or even a parent. And then you have members of your family where you don’t share the same genes, but perhaps they have become related through marriage, such as in-laws, (all the spouses of those previously mentioned) or even your spouse. The same also applies. I don’t believe that the definition of family necessarily means friends.
Nobody has the right to violate you, in any way. When this happens, you need to give yourself permission to walk away, without guilt, without hate, but with dignity and self-respect. You don’t need to pretend that their behavior is okay when it’s not. Learn to untangle yourself from the family drama. Learn to set boundaries. Know that just because they hold the title of family, doesn’t give them the right to be a part of your life. That is something that must be earned through mutual respect. The relationship must be a win-win for everyone, or it doesn’t work at all.
When you walk away, you may find that other relationships in your family may become strained, because of the choices you have made. Some may see you as ruthless, selfish, or uncaring, but it really doesn’t matter. What matters most is your well-being. They must learn to accept your decisions and respect your choices. Remember, what’s good for one is not always good for everyone.
Stay true to your core values and know that there are some relationships that can never be repaired or mended. The mere presence of some people is just not healthy for your state of mind. You can’t possibly place a value on your sanity.
It may take some time to heal from these separations. Surround yourself with positive people and with those who can share mutual love and respect. Recognize the signs and establish new personal boundaries. It’s your responsibility to protect your personal space, your world, and your well-being.
“Removing toxic people from your life is essential in maintaining a peaceful state of mind.”
~ Jill Lee ~