Sometimes the things within your control can only get you so far, and then you realize you’re turning into someone you loathe.
I’ll be talking about the benefits of cutting off toxic family. From the perspective of friends and strangers, this may make you look like a bad person, but really, what is up?
9 Benefits of Cutting Off Toxic Family
1. You open yourself to better relationships.
If you’re in a toxic family, you naturally absorb their toxic traits and, sadly, people from healthy families most likely detect them. And there you are, living with toxic traits passed on to you, being actively avoided by those people. The worst part is you don’t realize it.
After seeing through your family’s toxicity, cutting them off could immensely help you in looking for—and maintaining—more meaningful and long-lasting relationships.
2. You free yourself from never-ending drama.
Drama is fine. We are emotional creatures, after all. I would even recommend letting out your episode of drama once in a while just to make yourself feel better.
But a toxic family just never runs out of drama—it even seems they’re constantly creating it.
You could have something to celebrate—a raise, a relative graduated at the top of their class, or simply the fact that you’re feeling good—and you will get caught in some sort of emotionally draining drama that came out of nowhere.
3. No more grooming to be like them.
Some time ago maybe you looked up to a family member and thought, “I want to be just like him/her.” But then you realize how toxic they are, even if they are amazingly productive in their careers.
You realize you are sounding, acting, even walking, just like them. You begin getting feedback from your colleagues and friends about how terrible you’re treating them.
Cutting off toxic family members will set you free from this kind of invisible prison.
4. The lies you get on the regular will plummet.
I’m absolutely convinced that toxic people are strategic and casual liars, which makes them impossible to trust.
They lie for whatever reasons. But they eventually get exposed and at the core of it, they just want to:
- avoid responsibility
- preserve their “reputation”
- make things easier and more convenient
They want life easier at the expense of others’ trust.
Therefore, after cutting them off your life, you’ll find a life that’s more attractive to truth, living in truth. Some might be ugly truth, sure, but at least you see things as they are, and no one will try to distort them through lies.
5. You protect other loved ones.
By cutting off toxic family members, you can keep your other loved ones from having to interact with them.
Let’s say you have kids. After carefully deciding to cut off your toxic family, you now know that allowing your kids around them is a terrible idea, for you understand they could also get traumatized the way you were when you were just a helpless child.
This is also true for people with addiction problems or personality disorders—this would probably be fine if they are willing to help themselves and seek professional help. Otherwise, just think of the other people you love and care about.
6. You master setting your boundaries.
You learn all the ways your toxic family violated your boundaries, even in your toddler years when you barely formed your memories.
After cutting them off, they will not stop to prove this terrible behavior. They’ll keep contacting you or asking other relatives and friends in the hopes they’ll keep in touch with you again.
Keep your chin up and stand by your decision. This skill of setting boundaries will permeate through the other aspects of your life, which is always rewarding.
7. You heal “faster.”
Healing from the trauma brought about by your toxic family could be a lifelong process.
But the progress you make in healing after cutting off your toxic family becomes substantially faster. Especially if you do it with an empathetic professional mental health practitioner. Doing so will get you the best guide in moving forward while having no toxic family to interfere with it.
8. Emotional peace is everything.
Cutting toxic family off could give you exactly what you need to thrive.
You get the predictable calm state of mind you never had. When you reach this state, you can now get yourself the “next level” things you need. You’ll be able to think more clearly, finally without having to worry about unpredictable drama that only resulted in negative feelings.
This is especially true if you think you have developed some mental or emotional issues due to the way you were raised in a toxic family.
9. You’ll understand the true sense of the words “respect,” “love,” and “family.”
For many years (even perhaps decades) you had the wrong understanding of these sometimes misused words.
What does it mean to respect your elders? Do kids need respect too?
When you hear the words “I love you,” do they mean it or is it because other people are around?
Does family need to be related by blood? Can you form a family with friends (or even strangers) who genuinely care about you?
The meanings of these terms are often distorted and transactional in toxic families.
Is it healthy to cut off toxic family members?
Cutting off toxic family members would be considered healthy under the following circumstances:
- You have communicated all the things you need.
- A significantly long period has lapsed for you to see if compromises could work. This may take a couple of years.
- They show no signs of willingness to change.
- They keep manifesting the toxic behaviors that have been negatively affecting your life.
Cutting off important and influential people in your life is not a healthy thing per se. Humans are social creatures and arguably, your purpose in life is the relationships you form—quite literally, the relationships themselves are your purpose in life.
But, like most things, boundaries are a must.
Constantly putting up with your toxic family will most likely do you more harm than good. “Unhealthy” is almost the definition of toxic families.
And, as I would guess, it’s growth you’re after anyway, and if your family is keeping you from reaching exactly that, then cutting them off would be your best bet.
Is cutting off toxic family members the best choice?
Cutting off toxic family is not necessarily the best choice. It’s more of a last resort, which inevitably becomes the best one. This decision is born from many years, or even decades, of being maltreated by your family, and finally giving up and pulling the trigger to finally say, “I deserve better than this.”
Remember, at this point you have most likely tried everything to reconcile things between you and them, and failed. You tried to educate them about the consequences of their actions, about how they’re hurting and damaging the people around them.
The question is like asking yourself, “Is cutting off toxic family members the best choice for me or them?” You will know.
Is it going to be difficult after cutting off toxic family?
Unfortunately, yes, it’s probably going to be difficult for you, especially if you’ve considered your family as the closest people you have. You will have feelings of grief, guilt, and others you may not be able to explain. But these are natural reactions. Hold your head high and soldier on.
If you also depend on them for something like money, life for sure will be harder. This is the reality and perhaps the reason some victims can not leave their toxic homes.
On the other hand, these difficulties come with growth, self-love, boundaries—things you did not have the time and wits to nurture while you were still in contact with your toxic family.
You may feel like you’re back to zero, but now you are growing. I would take that anytime over subconsciously becoming toxic.
Cutting off toxic family will always be a difficult matter so I urge you to think about it well before going through with your plans.
Unfortunately toxic people are not likely to change, but sometimes you may miss them and decide to contact them once in a while. Your situation depends but I hope you can have all the confidence and know in your heart that whatever your decision, trust that it’s for the best.
Image Credits: Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash