Being in any toxic relations is always hard, but it's terrible when your parents are toxic. You want to feel love from your parents, but instead of it they make you feel shamed, invalidated and uncared. It's time to find out how to deal with toxic parents.
The term “toxic parents” was coined to describe parents whose negative behavior inflicts emotional damage to their children. The behavior of the parents may be characterized as selfishness, manipulation, insult, insecurity and threat. They spend all their life emotionally destroying their children, they are great manipulators and usually use the feel of guilt to get what they want. They know what buttons to push.
There are many reasons why parents become toxic to their children. Their behavior is usually influenced by the way their own parents treated them. Now your parents may follow the same pattern as they've seen during their childhood, and think that it's the way children should be treated.
How can you change the situation and start live the healthy life with your parents? Unfortunately, you can't change people, but you are able to change your own world and make the relations with your parents, let's say, less dangerous for you and your self-esteem.
Step 1: accept your parents the way they are. You want your parents to love and support you, but instead of it you feel like you irritate them. Don't think that it's all your fault and you're a bad daughter or son. It's only the fault of your parents and they don't see how they influence on you. And it's not your job to change your parents into what you'd like them to be. Accepting your toxic parents right now will help you move towards the healing.
Step 2: create a journal. Write down the situations when your parents mistreat you into a special journal. Also include your emotions and the way you cope with them. Think bout the source of the conflict and how you could prevent it in the future. It will help you understand the way you should behave with your parents in order to avoid undesirable situations or cope with them the next time, if they repeat. The more you write down, the more you understand how to handle situations without being upset.
Step 3: reach other family members or friends. It's good to have someone on your side and understand that you're loved. Talk to other family members about your parent or parents and ask them if they've noticed some signs of toxic relations. You might be very surprised with the answers. Spend more time with your family members, especially if you're not very close to each other.
If you don't have anyone from your family to contact, then talk to your friends. Asking third parties for advice is also great, you never know where the help might come from. If you're a student, then feel free to seek advice from a guidance counselor. Counseling services are available at many college campuses and they are offered at a discount rate and even for free for the students. During the counseling sessions be honest to tell what's your problem, and don't be afraid to express your emotions and ask the counselor for help.
Step 4: distance yourself. The best thing you can do is to distance yourself from your toxic parents. Limit the time for conversations or visits. Don't answer all of their calls, leave some of them for answering machine. Whenever you have to deal with a complicated situation involving your parent and you, and you see it's getting sour, then walk away. There is no need to add fuel to the fire.
Step 5: find new activities. Spend more time in healthy and fun activities, that will help you learn new skills and find peace in your life. Practice yoga, Pilates, dance and pick up new books to read. Spend more time with good and interesting people and try to establish relations with them. You will find support in them and it will decrease the harm your parents do to you.
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