It’s no secret that cutting a family member out of your life is not an easy decision to make. Severing ties with a friend or acquaintance can be hard enough, but a family member? This is one of those decisions that no adult wants to make. You might even make excuses for why you shouldn’t distance yourself from your kin.
There are a plethora of reasons you might have to make this difficult decision. But there is one sign that definitely signals it is time to cut off a family member.
For starters …
Truthfully, not all family members get along. That’s just a fact of life. Getting into a disagreement with a parent or cousin happens to just about everybody. In most cases, there are ways you can figure out how to get along better. In some cases, however, it could be better for you to cut the cord.
Next: The signs that might tip you off
These signs might tip you off
If a family member consistently makes trouble for you and the rest of the family, it could be a sign that you need to part ways. Unfortunately, some people thrive off drama and creating chaos, a personality trait that Psychology Today refers to as “crisis-prone.” This person jumps from one disaster to the next, whether they started the problem or feel the need to blow a situation out of proportion. It can be exhausting if you have a family member with this type of personality. If the roller coaster never ends, you might want to consider distancing yourself.
Next: This is a huge red flag
Not being able to trust a family member is a huge red flag. Perhaps you have an aunt who constantly gossips about you behind your back. Or maybe you have a sibling that has stolen money from you. Heck, maybe one of your parents is a perpetual liar.
Whatever it is that makes this family member untrustworthy, it puts a lot of pressure on you and your insecurities. What’s worse is that you can develop trust issues with everyone in your life. If the rest of your life is being impacted by this untrustworthy person, consider distancing yourself.
Next: The most disturbing sign to pay attention to
The most disturbing sign
But the most telling sign that it’s time to cut contact with a family member is if they harm you, or have the potential to do you harm. We aren’t talking about the friendly rough-housing that brothers often engage in. We’re talking about legitimate bullying, clear-cut violence, or verbal abuse that makes you feel unsafe.
BullyOnline explains that serial bullies within the family are masters “of manipulation, and are fond of manipulating people through their emotions … and through their beliefs, attitudes and perceptions.”
Next: How your health might be at risk
Maintaining this relationship puts your health at risk
This kind of toxic family relationship can manifest into a variety of health issues. Psychology Today explains that any type of toxic relationship “can turn into exactly that — a toxic internal environment that can lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and even medical problems.” One study even found that maintaining this relationship can negatively impact your heart health and put you at risk of cardiac arrest.
Next: It’s not easy, but …
We know it won’t be easy
As we stated in the beginning, cutting a family member out of your life is not an easy task to undertake. “When we cut out a key family relationship from our life, it takes quite a bit of energy to keep that emotional door closed,” GoodTherapy.org tells us. Although it is difficult, it is important to remember that severing ties could be better for everyone involved.
Next: Where to get help
When you need help
Hopefully other members of your family can come to your aid for support. (It’s possible that the rest of your family is having difficulty with this relative, and you all can support each other.) If relying on family isn’t an option, there are many other outlets that cater to victims of abuse and other family issues. DomesticShelters.org is just one example of a hub that can help when you need assistance cutting a family member out of your life.