5 Tips for Dealing with Toxic Family Members

If you’ve ever had to deal with a tense family situation, you know how stressful that can be. It  affects not only your relationship with the person in question, it affects how you interact with the others in your immediate household, too. 

Of  course, there’s  no  question  that  a  toxic  family member will bring  the most  stress  to  you,  your spouse, and kids. 

So what can you do? Here are some tips for dealing with toxic relatives: 

• Put things in perspective. Bestselling authors Dr. Dave Braun and Dr. Troy Amdahl, in their  book, Oola: Find  Balance in  an Unbalanced World, write  that,  “Powerful emotions  tend  to  drive  your  responses  and  decisions  the  closer  someone  is  to  you.” If  you  had  a  fight  with  your spouse this morning,  that's huge. But if you’ve just heard  that your sister-in-law’s ex 

aunt is divorcing . . . well, that’s not so troubling. Adjust your emotions to fit the event. 

• Calmly and responsibly process the junk that comes up. When confronted with  someone  else’s  emotional  outbursts,  wild  demands,  or  wayward  decisions,  what’s  the  most  loving  thing you can do? Have you thought about their motivation? Do you have all the facts? How  can  you  support  them,  guide  them,  and  love  them  unconditionally  even  though  they  just  delivered the emotional equivalent of a tsunami? 

• Set boundaries. If you have a spouse, adult child, in-law or some other family member who is hurtful, manipulative or abusive, it’s YOUR decision how much longer you’ll put up with the  disrespect, bullying, financial drain or emotional trauma. 

But realize that, as long as you fail  to act, it’s a good chance others in your family are being hurt besides you. Decide today to  respond  differently  to  toxic  family  members.  Build  healthy  boundaries.  Demand  to be  treated better.  Be specific about the new behavior you want. And if it’s physical abuse that’s  happening, get some distance . . . now. If you need help, get it—asking for help is not a sign  of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. 

• Don’t  let  the  needs  of  others affect  your  inner circle family.  Taking  in  a  nephew  who’s  addicted to meth, loaning out the upstairs room to a impoverished uncle, or even becoming  primary caregiver to an aging parent in your home . . . these decisions affect your inner circle family—including your marriage, your kids and your own equilibrium. Think carefully about  your decision and investigate the alternatives thoroughly.  

• Teach your kids to “suit up” for family gatherings. Just like firefighters and first responders  get in  and  out  of  toxic  environments  quickly,  you  can  teach  your  kids  to  be  prepared  for  family  barbecues, holidays  get-togethers,  and  other  events  where  you  know  toxic  family  members  will  be  attending.  Arrive  late,  leave  early,  and  teach  your  children  to  let nasty  comments and other bad behaviors roll off them without harm. You’re responsible to keep  them  safe  and  protected,  but  also  to  teach  them  how  to  handle  the  jerks,  gossips,  and  faultfinders of life. 

Of course, working on creating an amazing family unit is only a part of the process of creating  overall balance in your life. There’s also your finances, fitness, career, faith, friends and fun time  to  consider.

The  key  is  to  decide  what  you  want  in  these  areas,  make  some  goals,  and  stay  accountable  to taking action daily  to bring about  those goals. Working with a coach can help  keep you on track and accountable for results. And I’m here to help. 

Email me at hamanshomestead@gmail.com or message me  here- Contact Michelle and we can jump on a call to  chat about it. You can also go here to check out the Oola Coaching Program I deliver for clients  who  want  more  balance,  less  stress,  and  more  happiness  in  their  lives. 

Over just 10 weeks, with the OolaGuys as your instructors and mentors, you and I will work on every major area of your life including finances, fitness, family, field (career), faith, friends and  fun. 

Together  we’ll  face  what’s  not  working  for  you  and  create  a workable  plan  for  lowering  your stress,  creating  life  balance,  having  more  fun,  and  pursuing  major  life  goals  that  are  important to you. Ready to get your own Oola life? Contact me and let’s get started. 

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