Toxic Family: 10 Signs To Identify If You Are In A Bad Environment

What is a toxic family? How to detect it? What consequences does it entail? Discover the most common signs to identify a toxic family and the consequences of these environments.

What is a toxic family like?

Toxic relationships can occur in any type of relationship. One of the most hidden by people who suffer from them is when there are toxic family members who cause them some type of harm. In the case of having a toxic family, the situation is much more complicated to control than in any other case. When we encounter toxic people on our path, we have the option to let go of them, since friendships are optional. But, when the toxic people are siblings or parents, things change. Family is not chosen, which is why it is very difficult to maintain the relationship when it is toxic.

What is a toxic family?

A family can be considered toxic when there are patterns of behavior that cause emotional problems in one or both members of the system or when the roles in the family are different from how they should be.

In a loving and healthy family, each member knows how to handle conflicts that may arise between them. In this way, unlike a toxic family, in these environments there is respect, trust and an open mind is sought. When these types of families exist, children and parents feel able to express their own thoughts, speak and live their lives with their own ideals. On the other hand, relations with toxic or toxic family members The repression, control and submission of some of the members is sought.

The first step to untangling yourself from your toxic family It is being aware of what it really means to have a toxic family and recognizing the particular ways in which families can be dysfunctional and emotionally unhealthy.

How to identify a toxic family?

The first step to leave this behind type of toxic relationships is to identify if you are really in one of them. Sometimes we can misinterpret the actions of others due to pessimistic thinking. It is for this reason that here we will show you the most common attitudes of toxic families. For a family to be considered toxic, one of these factors must occur:

  1. Communication problems: In these toxic families, communication is conspicuous by its absence. Each member goes their own way and function as independent people who share common spaces. People tend to be very self-sufficient but lacking emotional ties. In this way, there is no toxic brother or sister or toxic parents but rather everyone is guilty of putting distance in their relationships.
  2. Emotional manipulation: Family environments where to achieve affection, emotional blackmail, deception or manipulation is used. For example, cases of parental alienation, where the father or mother speaks badly of the other parent with the aim of making an alliance against the other person. Sometimes we can see this type of attitude in toxic grandparents or grandmothers who take the side of their son or daughter to make the couple look bad in front of their grandchildren.
  3. Emotional distancing: There are families where parents cover the basic needs of their children very well. They will never lack food, books or even the whims they desire, but nevertheless, the emotional relationship will be cold. There will be no hugs, kisses or gestures of affection, support or understanding, so children grow up without a secure attachment figure. They feel invalidated as children and even as people. This toxic family It creates a feeling of disability in children who suffer from it.
  4. Constant conflicts: In these environments, lack of respect or even physical or verbal violence often appears quite commonly. Whether between parents, or from a parent to a child, or between siblings, constant conflicts can end up turning children into relatives in toxic
  5. Mixing or exchanging family roles: There are times when parents behave in a more immature and childish way than their children and they end up setting limits for their parents. In other cases it happens that one of the children makes an alliance with one of the parents and ends up acting as if, instead of being the child, they were the father or mother’s partner (this is what we call triangulation). In these cases, the consequences for the victim of this family psychology can be devastating both for their self-esteem and for their mental health.
  6. You are expected to meet unrealistic goals: Sometimes relationships in a toxic family They happen due to the expectation on the part of parents for a child to meet all the objectives they have in mind. In many cases these parental figures are trying to achieve their goals through their children. On the other hand, they can also occur in environments where too much discipline is exercised by parents. Signs that you are in a toxic family
  7. Very harsh criticism: On some occasions parents may criticize their children’s attitudes. But when these comments are continuous and are also not at all constructive, perhaps it is that he is in a toxic family relationship This type of criticism can also come from toxic sisters or brothers or even from children to parents.
  8. Excess control: Controlling children excessively can be a clear sign that there is a toxic relationship in the family. So much so that on many occasions, the toxic family members They use manipulation to try to control aspects of the victim, whether personal or professional issues.
  9. Substance abuse: Many toxic family relationships They are caused by substance abuse on the part of one of the members. In this way, the person who is addicted ends up having a very compulsive behavior with which he interacts with all members.
  10. There are verbal, physical or emotional abuse: In cases where physical or verbal abuse is constant, it is clearly a toxic family situation In these cases it is vital to tell it, either to another close family member (such as grandparents or uncles) or to someone in the school environment.
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These are some of the main signs that allow us to detect if we are in a toxic family. In each of the examples we have seen of toxic families There are many consequences for children who receive this type of environment for their physical and mental development. This is why action must be taken in time to neutralize a toxic family member or even an entire toxic family to prevent havoc on the mental health of one of the members.

What are the consequences of living in a toxic family?

There are many consequences of being in a constant toxic environment Whether the victim is children, siblings or parents, the effects of being in toxic families can be the following.

  • Feelings of loneliness: Family is one of the most important pillars to feel safe and mentally stable. Therefore, when you are in toxic families Affected people may feel alone. Furthermore, on many occasions, people who suffer because of these relationships with toxic or toxic family members end up isolating themselves due to their tendency to negative thoughts or even because they are depressed.
  • Low self-esteem: When you live in an environment with a toxic family It is very likely that you will end up having low self-esteem problems. The reason is that when someone constantly treats you badly, you end up perceiving yourself as they have marked you.
  • Problematic relationships: By growing up in a bad environment, whether due to bad relationship with a toxic brother or sister or by receiving abuse from parents, it is very likely that patterns will be learned in the relationships that have been had in these environments. For this reason, people can behave badly with other relationships, replicating the attitude of their toxic family.
  • Chronic feelings of guilt or worthlessness: When there is a toxic person in the family or one part of the family has toxic behaviors, they end up harming the others’ mental health. So much so that the person may end up feeling guilty for the mistreatment he receives from the other members.
  • Psychological problems: Surrounding yourself with a negative environment, as well as receiving mistreatment from toxic family members can lead to the development of mental illness. So much so that on many occasions, people can end up in depression or suffer from post-traumatic stress due to the abuse received from their family members.
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In this way, it is quite common for personality disorders or any other type of psychological disorder to appear in people who live in toxic environments The most common thing is to develop low self-esteem, feelings of inferiority, not feeling desirable or loved by others, not knowing how to resolve conflicts, avoiding affection or developing emotional dependence, among many other problems.

What are the consequences of being in a toxic family?

What can I do if I am part of a toxic family?

The first step is to realize it. Once you have done this, I think it is quite important that you seek professional (psychological) help, especially from a psychologist specializing in systemic therapy. Systemic psychologists specialize in family therapies and can help you resolve both interpersonal and individual conflicts. It can help you see what is happening in your family system, what you can do to improve your situation, perform family therapy in case others agree (rare), or even help you separate yourself from your family if necessary. Finally, if you can’t do anything to improve the situation, it is vital that you know how to get out of a situation. toxic family and leave all this bad treatment behind.

Live next to one toxic family It will not help you have a good quality of life, so try to solve it to lead a fuller life, accepting those who are in it and if it is not possible, distancing yourself a little from that environment.