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How Do I Create More Boundaries Around my Toxic Family Members?

Welcome back and Happy New Year!!

Darci Lang Q&A Time! Question 3

To recap, in November, I started a Q&A to answer the five most popular questions I am asked during an event. If you missed the first two questions (How can you maintain self-care for the long haul? & What do you do to turn a bad day at work into a good day?), make sure you read those on my blog page! 

Here we go with Question Number 3!

How do I create more boundaries around my toxic family members?

Family. Oi… we all know we can’t choose our family, right? There are so many questions about whether we love them unconditionally, whether we tolerate them, separate from them, whether it is seasonal love or simply tough love. There is no quick medicinal answer to this, lol… and every family is different with unique dynamics. 

As people make their way through life, we learn that, as hard as it may be, moving on from people who are not a positive influence in life can do wonders for self-care. As much as we try hard to love and accept people, we sometimes need to leave to heal and protect our hearts. Recite “I forgive” whenever that person or situation pops into your mind. It helps you to move from thinking about them to forgiveness. I love the quote, “When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow.”

When asked this question, I asked them to run two scenarios. The first scenario is: They are in your life. The second one is: They are out of your life.

First scenario: They are in your life and making your life miserable. Make a 90% list of what is good about having them in your life and a 10% list of what is bad about having them in your life.

Second scenario: They are not in your life. Or at least not in your life very often. You have tried three times, you didn’t judge, you built your armour, you used your voice, you have accepted, and now you have chosen not to have them rent space in your head, and now they are OUT of your life. Make a 90% list of what is good about them not being in your life. Now make a 10% list of them not in your life.

Which list is longer? Is guilt really the reason to allow them to rent space, affect your self-esteem and your family? When guilt creeps back in, review your lists and remind yourself of the pain they can cause in your life. Recite again, “I forgive.”

I will be so upset if I look back at my life and I spend any more than three times trying to help the 10% of people. If we continue to let toxic people win, we will regret it. They will steal joy from our lives. They make you question your goodness. You are good; don’t let them win. If you find that your life is more positive without the toxic member(s) in your life, start detaching from them. Limit your physical contact, less verbal engagement with them during outings, reduce their access to you on social platforms, and create an army of support to act as a buffer! The bottom line is don’t do anything to contribute to fuelling the fire. 

In my last blog on self-care, I highlight the importance of doing things that contribute to your well-being or stop investing in them. This is a perfect example. Remember, a big part of self-care is being selfish and doing what works best for you. Toxic people rarely change how they engage; they are wired for war lol… So, if all else fails, move on. It’s okay to end contact with the toxic person to protect you. 

In my Living the 90% book, I dedicate a whole chapter to Dealing with Negative People and provide 9 ways to help you resolve this exact issue. A chapter snapshot is below to get you started; start with the one idea that resonates the most with you, then focus forward.

Toxic Family 1 to 10
Toxic People and focus on good people

Tune in next week for question 4, which is one of my favourites.

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Darci Lang

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