How to Handle a Toxic Relationship With Your Parent

If your parents are toxic you might not know it. Why? Well, that is the very nature of their toxicity and the problem. You have grown so accustomed to that toxic behavior that you don’t even identify it as toxic. That, my friend, is not your fault. But when you do become aware of it, you have the power to change that dynamic.

You might struggle to because maybe you feel comfortable or like you don’t really have the power or ability to overcome the behavior. You might decide to keep your relationship the same and just sea with it. Sure, this aim might work at a distance, but even with that not confronting the situation truthfully, can effect your own energy flow and the power you feel in your life.

I wonder what would happen if you took these steps below, and how the picture of how you see and connect with these people would change:

1. Commit to Taking Space Away from the Toxic Person

Take literal space theory physical distance and a conversation freeze. You are just allowing yourself to see what happens. You are allowing new relationships and new boundaries and new connections into your life. You are giving your neurons the space to create new connections and new firings.

2. Express Your Emotions No Matter What They Are

During this space, work to become in touch with your emotions. If you’re feeling completely numb guess at it at first. Allow yourself to feel the smallest thing – and even if you feel nothing, acknowledge you feel nothing because that is something, that is an experience. Feel all that you hold and have the right to hold. It is your god given right. Express that emotion, do what you need to do to get it out and validate it.

3. Engage In New Dynamics

With this pause and some space, also try slowly engaging in some new environments, meeting different types of people and taking in new models of behavior. Watch these dynamics that are going on around you to see the different shades of behavior in people. Acknowledge the different flavors of character and integrity people have.

4. Invest In Yourself

All these things above are investing in yourself, but also more formal habitual patterns are helpful to creating space for yourself. Try talk therapy with a trauma informed lens, use apps like Simple Habit or Headspace that ease you into the mindfulness and meditation practice, or buy a new set of art supplies to go to when you want to just throw paint all over the place and let out your emotions.

5. Ground Yourself in Difficult Situations

With these new tools see if you can use difficult situations as ways to practice your communication with these moments. See if instead of over identifying with these difficult moments you can instead meet them with greater faith that you will be able to use the resources you have to fully experience them, process them, and come out on the other side stronger.

6. Respect Yourself First

Enacting some of this new behavior is challenging and even more so if you are in an environment that is challenging in itself. Try to respect yourself first by setting boundaries and checking in with your own heart first. If these boundaries include not talking to toxic parents, don’t allow others opinions to supersede your experience and well-being.

7. Take One Step at a Time

If you take these steps above, it can be tempting after taking space and grounding yourself to think everything is resolved. I don’t want to undermine that you might have done a lot of really good work, but don’t over rush the transition back to old toxic bonds. You can find yourself re-emerged and hurting again. Instead, take one step at a time to see what you can handle.

If you take a little step and it feels like too much, and you sit with that feeling and it still feels like too much, listen to your body and make the appropriate adjustment that puts the respect for your own well being first.

8. Remind Yourself What You’ve Done

You are reading this. You are making an effort. No, really, you are. I mean, come on, that’s awesome. That means you care. You care enough to do something. You care enough to make a difference. You care enough to search for something more resolved. That is all you. Give yourself credit. Be kind to yourself.

If you lead with love, if you give yourself space and grace, if you breathe and re-connect, I wonder how much power you would be reconnected with in your life.

All the empowerment you need truthfully lives within yourself. It is there. It is waiting for you. It wants you to connect with it and find the power that you have within yourself. You got this.

I hope this helped to fuel you and as always #letstalkaboutit