It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us, the time for families to reunite and spend time together. But what if your family members are toxic to you? Here’s how to survive the holidays with toxic family members.
1. Don’t get roped into their drama
Toxic people both create and attract drama. Don’t get hooked into their drama, whatever you do! Stay neutral. Change the subject if need be, especially if someone is going on endlessly with some drama story. The way to remain at peace within is to exit from all drama.
2. Set boundaries and limits
Know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. If a family member crosses your boundaries, which toxic people often do, let them know. You don’t have to put up with the unacceptable, even from family members.
If what they have said or done is offensive, invasive of your privacy or overstepping the boundaries, either state it directly letting them know how you feel, or simply walk away from it. You don’t have to put up with it, even during the festive holiday season!
3. Ignore, dismiss and don’t take their negativity personally
If a toxic family member is being negative towards you, try not to take it inwardly or personally. Toxic people often are negative people and will try to bring others down with them. Most often those who are toxic are essentially unhappy people! So, view it this way. Unhappy people love to spread their misery and bring others down to their level. Don’t let this happen to you.
If you receive criticism or negative input, just rise above it and see it for what it is – an unhappy person talking!
4. Don’t feed into their gossip about other family members or friends
Toxic people typically love to gossip. Again, this is yet another negative trait speaking to their own unhappiness in life. People who gossip only feel good when they’re putting others down with criticism. Again, change the subject, distract yourself or simply walk away, but don’t engage. You will maintain a greater sense of peace if you avoid engaging in their negative talk.
5. Spend more time with other family members
Another method to deal with toxic family members is to engage more with those who are supportive of you, nurturing towards you and loving towards you. This will help to counteract any negativity coming from toxic family members.
6. Be cordial and polite, but don’t share too much
Often, toxic people will turn anything personal you share against you or will use it as gossip. So, don’t open up too much with a toxic family member. Be cordial and polite, but keep your cards close to you. You never know how sharing may come back to bite you.
7. Stay true to yourself
Most importantly, stay true to your own beliefs, values and standards. Don’t follow in their footsteps, as I’ve been outlining above. You don’t need to imitate a toxic family member’s behavior or engage with it. If you disagree, then that is perfectly fine. Just stay true to yourself.
So, there are some tips on how to survive the holidays with toxic family members. If you find yourself in such a position, I hope this helps! Here’s to your inner peace, your well-being and your happiness during this holiday season!