Toxic family members

Toxic family members are not a new thing in society. As human beings, our purpose is to serve and show compassion and the will to help, care and love others. It is from these natural traits that people get into relationships. As some relationships develop, the expectations and hopes fade into nothingness. What remains is the commitment and the material benefits, which are in most cases close to nothing. The most painful toxic relationship is that which occurs amongst family members. This is when relatives do not talk to each other, and they despise one another as if they are not of the same blood. Some even prefer to help strangers other than their own. The big question is on the causation of such behaviors amongst blood relations.

Through conversing with people from all walks of life, I have gathered information on the causes of toxic family relationships. Some attribute the conflicts that lead to toxicity to covetousness. As we all know, it’s very much common and possible that we all can never be equal despite being of the same blood. Social, financial and academic aspects of our lives differ from one family member to another. Whilst some have accepted this as the norm, some are finding it hard to accept this reality such that they end up being jealous of the ones ahead of them. Instead of being happy to see others level up and applauding for them, the raging spirit of jealousy envelops them. They begin to exude negative vibes that can result in them being toxic to their successful family members.

Not only do children inherit the good traits of their parents, but the same also happens with bad behaviors. Generations can pass down hatred when adults fail to teach the younglings to walk in love. There are cases where children inherit hatred from their parents. Instead of being taught to love Aunty Rose, they are warned to stay away from her because of so and so reasons. These situations are most evident when families gather for events such as weddings and funerals. Parental conflicts will lead to divisions which undoubtedly prompts their children to side with them naturally. Hatred is fed into the subconscious. The result is a toxic relationship that does not allow the young ones to acknowledge their elders. Rather, they meddle in issues that have nothing to do with them by developing the same habits and traits that their parents exhibit on the hated members. It’s not surprising that the children will not even be aware of what transpired. Some will eventually find out the whole truth and turn over a new leaf. Some do not hence the generational hatred placed on some family members.

Toxicity in families can also be caused by family members who undermine others just because they are successful. Instead of supporting those below their status or standards, some members habitually pull down others. The victims of this form of abuse are bound to react. Some can get angry, which result in conflicts. These conflicts, in turn, can be in the form of an exchange of words that are not desirable or rather damaging to the family. Assuming the affected has been keeping family secrets, they can disclose them in anger and the results—toxic. Toxic in the sense that communication lines between families are cut off, support systems are halted, which is not good. 

In light of that, these kinds of behaviors among family members have dire effects. Toxic relationships disrupt the normal and peaceful relationships amongst family members, including those who are toxic. The trust needed to bond the family is destroyed. These relationships tend to create unnecessary divisions among family members, resulting in poor support of each other financially, socially or emotionally.

The relationships are not in the best interest of children. They can grow up to be toxic due to copying toxic behaviour. We know that in most people, toxic people become stagnant in life due to negative assumptions. Attributable to African beliefs, sometimes they feel bewitched instead of being positive in life and improving themselves.

There is a need for broken families to be mended. Solutions are not easy as it is not easy to deal with human behavior, but some actions can be taken. Family therapy, which allows everyone to express their emotions, listen to each other and correct each other’s mistakes, is vital. Creating awareness of such behavior can also be a solution as people would know about the consequences of displaying such behavior towards one other. Educating the children on the effects of toxic behavior at a young age to break the chain and create a better future for the family can stop toxic family relationships.

In conclusion, united families can achieve a lot together as they can offer each other emotional, financial and social support. A family that is united can stand and attain the respect that they deserve. Pulling each other down and dragging one another into the mud will yield undesirable results; when divided, families fall. Their dignity is left for the vultures. On that note, if not careful, the next generations will live to suffer the repercussions of issues that could have been solved.

This week’s nugget: Never allow jealousy to hinder your judgement on what is right and wrong.