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Removing toxic people from your life

How do you go about removing a toxic family member from your life, especially when you are still in contact with other family members?
I don't want to see them, or even hear about them, but how do I go about this when there are family functions etc...


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Answers (11)

While you harbor these angry feelings it will consume you and drain all of your energy.
You don't have to like or be close to all your family but at least be civil at events.
It's not fair to expect others not to mention things that they want to talk about their lives just because you don't like something someone did.
If you keep going on about it people will get sick of being around you and your attitude.
You can't change whatever happened but you can forgive so you can find peace in yourself.

 Yep totally agree.
helpful (0) 

I say this as someone with two family members who don't talk to each other and dragged us all into it.

GROW THE F**K UP AND GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. We all hate having to arrange around people who can't just put their egos aside for one fu****g day every so often so we all can be together and not have to choose. You will put people in an awkward position because you can't grow up, say hi and go to other sides of the room. All you do is alienate your family from either you or the other person and do you know who that isn't fair on, the people who aren't in the middle of a beef. Just pull your big girl panties up and be civil. Don't drag others into your bullshit!

 I agree! And let's not forget that this kind of negative antisocial behaviour is not ideal for children within the family to see or pick up on negative vibes.
When people behave like this it destroys families!

helpful (2) 
 I have family members who are like this and I agree that it makes a huge hassle for everyone else and children miss out on time with their cousins. Depends on the reasons though, there are a couple of people who I know blocked family members and I dont blame them!
helpful (0) 

I feel you. Been there done that!
The priority for us was being civil if an event threw us together. Hello then moved away for entire event to other side of room.
We never involved anyone in it, didn't vent to anyone, didn't ask people to not share information.
If anyone asked us about it, we would be honest but civil and polite - "we no longer have a relationship with so and so. How's work going?"

The hardest part is a lot of people don't understand making this choice. Especially if they're doormats themselves to toxic peoples abuse, or have a supportive and loving family. They just don't get it.
So having a support network is really helpful even if it's an online group. There's lots out there for kids raised by narcs etc.

I wish you luck on your journey. It's hard but the reward of removing that rubbish from your life and keeping your kids safe from abuse is so worth it. X

I just don't participate in things I don't want to. I don't expect other people to cut contact but I won't be guilted into things either. If it was a family function you want to attend and it's unavoidable to see the person you want to avoid then I would keep it superficial and perfunctory and move on to speak with someone else quickly who isn't close to them.

It depends on the extent of their dysfunction. I have had to cut ties with my severally narcissistic mother

Don't drag other into it, other family members will have them in their lives. Either don't go to family events or just avoid them but always be polite. If you make other feel bad for having them in their lives or get upset when they are mentioned you may find you are the person being cut out.

Avoid events where you know they will be. Change the topic when someone talks about them.

You may choose to cut these people out but you need to be respectful of other peoples relationships.

helpful (0) 

I have the same problem. I chose to move out of home at 21 and was the worst person out. As my kids grew older she was doing the same to the kids as she did to me so after so many chances I had to cut her out of my life. If the kids wanted to have contact they could they did for a while but she(their grandmother) ended up missing birthdays etc till they heard nothing from her. For years I stayed away be as she tells everybody her story which is about 20% correct. We caught up with several reli's about 2years ago, one nearly fell off her seat as I walked in. I was polite to everyone. She even tried to talk over everyone to me, if they showed me a pic she had to show me more. Funny thing was when we were alone she never said boo to me. Just be polite to everyone. You don't have to have a full conversation and if it gets too bad excuse yourself. I missed out on spending so much time with the people I love because I was worried what she had told them. I did nothing wrong except stand up and say to her to either be a proper grandmother and stop picking out their weakness' and running with them or leave. She didn't so I chose.

My sister and I don't speak, mum took her side so I don't see much of her either. The family are divided because of this, generally I don't go to family things because I want to keep my kids out of it. I have started doing a family Christmas catch up and see my dad, brother, aunts, etc to keep in touch with them all. This it the best way to avoid the drama and it's a lot of fun, I have a BBQ and the kids swim in the pool I can have a family event without mum and my sister there. Once you cut someone out your life it can be very awkward to see them at events.

It's unfortunate when you need to distance yourself from family. Others get caught in the middle and you often end up alienating them, too. I have to keep SIL and my own mum at arm's length. I don't see them or speak to them. When we go to family gatherings I just sit away from the people I cannot tolerate. As far as them coming up in conversation, my siblings will keep me in the loop about major issues or warn me that we've both been invited to something. Occasionally someone will ask me why I don't associate with SIL. I'm clear but vague, "We don't agree in how one should treat family members," or, "it's easier to avoid each other than fight."