Letting Go of Family Problems
11:18:5 2024-05-18 144

1- Establish boundaries. If family members are toxic, and they are causing harm to you or constant drama in your life, there is nothing wrong with drawing boundaries and setting limits. In fact, this can be a healthy thing to do.

  • The question to ask yourself is whether the family member has brought negatives into your life, draining you emotionally, stealing from you financially, undermining you, or any number of bad behaviors.
  • You have a right to draw boundaries to protect yourself. For example, perhaps you still see the negative family member at family events, and you treat them with respect when you do. However, perhaps you have decided to never visit with them one-on-one or lend them money. This is within your right to do.
  • Explain the boundaries to the family member in a warm and loving manner. However, be firm. Perhaps you can't stay over at a family member's house because fights always occur when you visit, so you will stay at a nearby hotel instead.


2- Know when it’s time to step back. There are some family problems that simply cannot be fixed. Some family problems also take time to solve. You may realize it is truly healthier for you to cut the family member out of your life for now, sad as that might be to admit.

  • Some family problems, like grief over a loved one or a parents inability to accept you for who you are, may not have solutions. Instead, you may need to accept that you have tried your best to communicate and connect with your family, to no avail. You may then need to move on from the issue and try to live your life the best you can.

 

3- Seek counseling. It's not for everybody, but some family problems are so deeply felt and toxic that they can only be solved by a professional. It's worth a try if nothing else has worked, and there is nothing to be ashamed about by seeking help.

  • If the family member in question will not go to counseling, perhaps you could go on your own. A professional therapist can help you figure out how to deal with the family member and how to heal the rift. Reading books on relationships also can help some people, as can joining a support group.
  • If the family problem is rooted in issues like mental illness or substance abuse by you or another family member, a professional may be the only way for the family to start to heal. Some problems may be too complex for you to solve on your own.
  • A counselor can help by simply being a neutral, objective ear on the problem. The professional might offer suggestions that you didn't think of or perceive aspects of the conflict that you wouldn't because you are too close to it.

 

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