7 ways to deal with poisonous family members

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I visited a friend of mine, a senior manager, who has a three-year old daughter. He was shining with happiness that he had time to be with her. He was playing with her in the garden when suddenly – there was a silence – exhausted, he had fallen fast asleep on the lawn.

As I was drinking my virgin mojito with his wife in the conservatory I saw the little girl cover her father with her blanket, take off his shoes and give him a gentle kiss on his cheek all without saying anything. Exactly as he does every evening when putting her to bed.

It is incredible how closely our children watch us and learn from our own behaviour…

Family. It is supposed to be our sanctuary, our salvation. But sometimes it is a place where we experience the most painful stabs to our hearts.

Let’s imagine that you are in a regiment marching against an enemy. What attack will surprise and hurt you the most?

You are right! The one from the rear. We simply do not protect our back. We rely on our belief that the people walking next to us or behind us will not betray us. But what if they do?

If our boss, colleague or even a friend hurts us we can leave. But how can we cut our family out from our life? Not everybody has the possibility of leaving the place they share with their parents or partner, although they feel that that is exactly what they should do, that it is the only right thing…

“Don’t do it… You won’t make it… You’re nothing… You’re going to live as I say, in a different way…”

How does one come to terms with family “commitments”, with psychological and physical abuse from our closest ones, with low tricks, discouragement, and distrust –with all the poisonous stuff that our family in particular is supposed to protect us from?

First of all you need to realize that…

… not all families are so healthy that one can rely on everyone, call someone when in need, confide in someone. Not everyone is able to show respect, to love, to support. Sometimes family relationships are only about sharing blood, nothing else. It is the same within the wider population – some people are builders, others are destroyers.

… a family member full of negativity is not necessarily a bad person, they may just be going through a complicated period of life. They might be suffering from some chronic fears that they cannot deal with positively or they might be lacking love and emotional support. These people tend to be negative because they do not recharge positive energy. Moreover, some people have such a character that they protect themselves by being aggressive.

How we treat the people we cannot cut out differs from person to person. However, there are 7 universal principles that can be applied to anybody – provided we care about our journey and want to be happy even though our environment makes it hard.

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