7 Signs of a Toxic Family


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7 signs you’re in a toxic family.

pandemic. In many countries, people have been told to create social distance between themselves and other households, including family members who live elsewhere. Where the restrictions are being eased, the joy of seeing beloved parents, siblings, and children is evident—even where hugging isn’t yet allowed. I haven’t seen my adult son for over two months now and cannot wait for the day when we meet up again. (It’ll have to be when hugging is allowed because the temptation to grab him will be overwhelming.)
Despite the abundance of love which so many of us have towards family members, some of us have grown in families which are held together by a web of abusive, critical, and manipulative behaviours. A toxin is a poisonous substance—and the toxic family thrives on behaviours and relationships which permeate negativity into every part of your life.
How toxic is your family? Here are some potential factors to consider.
1. They gossip about you.
A supportive, loving family may discuss you when you’re not there—often to see how they can help you out. The toxic family spends time gossiping about you—and your other siblings. The gossip is often nasty in nature, aimed at bringing you (or your partner) down.

Being nasty about family members to other family members is at the heart of many toxic families.
2. They pick on your weaknesses.
Whether you’re a mother or a
, you’ll know other people in your family well enough to know how they tick—including their deepest vulnerabilities. Toxic family members will use what they know about your deepest vulnerabilities to make you feel bad about yourself and, potentially, to embarrass you in front of other people.
3. They won’t allow you to change.
Toxic families are restrictive families. Unless you’ve led a very restricted life, it’s very unlikely that your values as a 40-year-old are the same as they were when you were 18. Toxic families aren’t places of kindness and acceptance. Want to be openly different from what’s expected? Be ready to be ridiculed and put down.
4. There’s a lot of infighting.
Toxic families become so for a reason, and often that reason is down to a parent (or parents). If a parent treats all their children equally and dishes out love and affection without withholding or creating a situation where children have to act in a certain way to think they’re worthy of love, it’s a lot less likely that there will be sibling envy and

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