Why Cutting off Toxic Family Members Could Be Good for Your Mental Health


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If you’re contemplating cutting off toxic family members, chances are you have a big heart and a valuable amount of empathy for those around you. And while these are good values, there are people like your family who’ll take advantage of your kindness. 

It’s okay to set boundaries and go as far as cutting off toxic family members if they hurt or consistently make you unhappy. This process is more about your sanity and putting yourself first before others who manipulate, abuse, and emotionally oppress you.

In this article, we’ll discuss why cutting off toxic family members could be good for your mental health.

People Also Read: Childhood Trauma in Adulthood: 6 Signs That Could Affect You

What Makes a Toxic Family?

Toxic family members are relatives whose perceptions of you don’t align with how you truly see yourself. They’re always exhibiting negative energy and criticism, and they find satisfaction in finding everything wrong with what they do.

These could be your uncles, aunties, cousins, in-laws, or even your brothers, sisters, or parents. Toxic family members make you feel inferior to yourself and lose your self-esteem. Their behaviors are mostly out of envy, jealousy, unforgiveness, or simply nothing at all.

Here are signs of toxic family members:

  • They don’t take responsibility for their wrongdoings
  • Humiliate you with the least opportunity
  • Consistently criticise you
  • They engage in gaslighting and abusive behavior
  • Underestimate effective communication
  • They backbite, exhibit meanness, and blame you for their problems

Why Cutting off Toxic Family Members is Good for Your Mental Health

A happy young black woman. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
cutting off toxic family members
A happy young black woman. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Toxic family members can hinder your mental health and leave you stressed and anxious. Cutting toxic family members has numerous benefits. Below are the top 5. 

You Free Yourself from Toxic Drama

Toxic family members are deliberate in the way they negatively behave towards you. Since they’re not willing to listen or change their behavior, they’ll continue to frustrate you.

Cutting them off means you’re liberating yourself from constant drama. You’ll be free to go about your normal duties or choices without worrying about what they’ll say.

Gain the Ability to Set Healthy Boundaries

Another reason why cutting off toxic family members is beneficial to your mental health is that you learn to set healthy boundaries. Setting boundaries helps to decide who gets to get close to you, what you can and can’t discuss with them, and how you make yourself accessible.

Setting boundaries also helps you manage human relations, time, and your well-being and say no when you should. 


Trying to win a marathon amid people who constantly tell you you can’t do it is nearly impossible because your mindset is accustomed to failure. Research shows people who spend time with positive-minded people heal faster than people who are always surrounded by negative energy.

You’ll agree with me positive environments such as the beach, park, or art museums help you clear your mind. The same is true with cutting off toxic family members—which is a negative environment—and finding healing when you leave. 

Finding Peace

Peace is a valuable human need. Where there’s no peace, chaos exists. Staying around toxic family members is like staying in a house where the roof leaks anytime it rains. You’ll have no peace while sleeping. 

However, when you cut them off, you’ll find peace, happiness, and joy in your daily activities. 

Able to Protect Other Family Members

Most times, you may think toxic family members affect only you or just one person in the family. But the effects are greater. Cutting toxic family members benefits you and many other family members too. 

These other family members who are victims may see your actions as positive and do the right thing too.

Increase Self-Esteem

Toxic family members always undermine your abilities and confidence, belittle your thoughts, and compare you to others. 

This can affect your self-esteem and make you doubt your strengths. Cutting them off gives you the mental strength to build your self-esteem and regain your confidence. A healthy self-esteem improves your work output and relationships with others.

Tips for Cutting Off Toxic Family Members

Man arguing with a woman. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
cutting off toxic family members
Man arguing with a woman. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re considering cutting off some family members because of their negative criticism and behavior towards you, here are some coping tips you should consider.

Stop Asking for Their Opinion

Most times, you may innocently ask for the opinion of family members on projects you’re doing or a decision you want to make. Out of envy for your brilliance or ability, they may look down on your decisions. 

This behavior could go on for a while until you begin to consider your ideas a failure without implementing them. 

If you realize these patterns, stop sharing your ideas and asking for their opinion. These will help set healthy boundaries.

Understand Your Worth

It’s okay to doubt your beliefs in yourself sometimes. It means you’re logical and aware you can be right or wrong. However, understanding your worth as a person will help you not to consider every opinion from others, especially from a place of hostility.

You’ll need to work on yourself, read good books, value yourself,  surround yourself with good people, and choose who you share your most valuable resources with. You’re worth every good thing you could imagine or dream of!

Form Healthy Relationships Outside the Family

You can find good people in families who are related to you as friends. You may find them at schools, at events, on the bus, at restaurants, or even on social media. If you don’t have the opportunity to build healthy relationships at home, go out and build one.

You may go to places in groups and do activities of mutual interest. 

Seek Professional Counseling

If you can’t cope on your own, it’s okay to seek help. You can opt for professional counseling, which can help you navigate that phase of your life without hurting anyone or yourself. 

Stop Living In Fear

Cutting off toxic family members can be challenging, especially if they’re dear to you. You may wonder how you’ll cope without them or how other people will perceive your decisions. It’s okay to have these concerns but don’t let them stop you from taking a step that’ll improve your mental health

You can overcome your fears by spending time with people who love you genuinely and want the best for you. 

Practice Forgiveness

To heal from toxic relationships, it’s important to forgive toxic relatives, even if you’re no longer in direct contact with them. The goal here isn’t to condone their actions but to release the emotional grip they have on you.

People Also Read: 10 Remarkable Health Programs for African Americans

Toxic family members can suck your energy, drain your strength, and plant seeds of weakness in you. This constant pattern can distract your thoughts and take a toll on your mental health. 

Cutting off toxic family members is the best way to free your mind, build healthy relationships with others, and improve your mental health.

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.


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