The hashtag, #ThingsWeShouldNormalize, has been trending on twitter for a hot minute. It’s only right to add a somewhat unpopular opinion. We should normalize cutting off relatives.
A great many things are done in the name of self-care, whether it’s doing face masks, drinking more water, going to therapy, or subtracting anything and anyone who adds no value to your life. We all strive for high vibrations and positivity in our lives and in order to do that, one must cut their losses.
Real talk: a relationship is a relationship, whether it be romantic, platonic, or familial. It’s a two way street of mutual love and respect. In some Black families, respect has a different meaning. It simply means recognizing the authority of one’s elders. It is not earned but it is expected to be given.
Furthermore, many of us have been labelled as disrespectful for either defending ourselves or making valid points. Whew, chile!
Now, to help you figure your way around relatives, we have compiled together signs of toxic relatives.
- They make cruel critical remarks: commenting on your weight every time they see you, exploit your insecurities or your financial or career struggles
- They compare you to your cousins or siblings: seriously, no one wants to be compared to anyone else, especially a sibling, ever.
- They spread your business: some adults let you confide in them, next thing you know, your entire extended family is talking about you.
- Your toxic sibling takes with your sibling parent: they adopt the behaviour and mannerisms of the toxic parent, or they stay silent when something clearly wrong is happening. If they choose to not take sides, they have already chosen. There comes a time when silence is a betrayal.
If you are trying to heal by cutting off certain relatives, here’s what to say when someone tries to gaslight you by spewing that ‘importance of family’ talk…you know, blood is thicker than water?
That phrase is tired y’all. The truth is, it has absolutely nothing to do with family…like, at all.
The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.
Put simply, relationships built by choice are stronger than any blood bond. Many of us have chosen families, and that too is okay.
To tell someone to respect their family, whether or not you know their history is damaging. It’s not good for mental health, which affects every fibre of one’s being. Moreover, not everyone comes from a happy home -not just referring to physical abuse for verbal and emotional are equally toxic and damaging.
If this is you, please keep in mind that not everyone wants that kumbaya business. If someone is ready to cut ties with their family, take into account that they’ve probably mourned their loss and that it’s not a decision taken lightly or made overnight.
However, don’t push your loved ones to cut people off if they are not ready. It’s hard to let go for various reasons:
1. Abusive behaviour is not recognized: From personal experience, I thought being spoken to in a certain language or constantly being denied certain things without explanation was normal…up until I saw my friends from functional homes interact with their parents. To this day, it’s still mindboggling that people have healthy family dynamics.
2. Guilt: Many feel that obligation or expectation to take care of their parents or caregivers, or whomever heavily, so they feel bad because it feels like a crime to act for oneself.
3. Loyalty: Apparently, once you leave the womb, not even knowing what you’re about to grow into. It’s ride or die until the very end.
4. Fear: Real talk, there’s something scary about walking away from all you’ve ever known, no matter how bad it was. The Unknown is a scary place so some people find it easier to stay in one place.
5. Love: Dysfunctional relationships with anyone are messy and come with mixed feelings because dysfunctional people are not always completely horrible. The good memories are great and come with the bad ones too so at times, people really do love the people who do them dirty.
Lastly, progress is progress so how one decides to move about their situation and set up boundaries is valid. Nothing in life is completely linear, do what you must. You are still valid if you choose to put yourself first for when one evolves, not everyone will align with who they are trying to be or even be close to being on their wavelength.
Bring peace to life however you choose, no one can wrong you for it, and if they do…remember that that is part of the reason why you are cutting them off in the first place.