The keyword here is anymore—you don’t want to be around your family anymore. You may have thought about it. You may be expecting something to change but you just keep getting frustrated.
In this post I talk about 13 things you can do if you think you can’t stand being around your family anymore.
Although I talk about your immediate family, these can also apply to your extended family and distant relatives. These are also true whether you’re a teenager, a young adult, or a full-blown one. In some cases, these families aren’t necessarily biological. The one you were born into or raised in can, in a general sense, be considered family.
Family is the very first contact we had upon entering the world. Our lives are complexly intertwined with theirs—beautifully or otherwise.
Unfortunately, things can change for the worse, and you have to be prepared, or at least have an idea on how to move forward.
However, let’s try to answer a seemingly rhetorical question first…
Why don’t I want to be around my family anymore?
Most likely there’s some toxicness going on in your family—whether it’s subtle or glaringly obvious. There’s a reason you feel that way, even if you claim otherwise. Having nothing in common with them isn’t a reason, either—a good enough and loving family won’t make you feel that way or, at least, won’t try to.
You can’t say you don’t really have a reason—there must be one. Try to introspect about it. There might be some things you thought are normal but they’re creating some internal conflict, making you feel uneasy around your family.
At the end of the day, you likely have a toxic family, in one form or another.
Think about it, you may have a family whom you are totally opposite to, but as long as your relationship is grounded in love and respect, then everything should be just okay.
That you don’t want to be around them anymore means something is wrong. It’s either you know what that is or it’s so subtle that being around them somehow calls you to show a fake persona and it makes you sick.
Spend some time contemplating it.
I don’t want to be around my family anymore. (Here are 13 things you can do.)
1. Remind yourself that you are your own person and it’s okay to not want to be around your family anymore.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “Am I the problem in my family?” Is it even okay to feel that way in the first place?
But—especially if you’re a fully grown adult already—it’s okay to think and act the way you think is right for you. You have agency over your life. If your instincts tell you you shouldn’t be around your family anymore, then honor that and give yourself some time to think about it.
2. Tell them what you think and feel.
I’m a believer in diplomatic talks, whatever the problem is, big or small.
In talking, you can learn from the other side things that could debunk beliefs you’ve been holding on to for a long time.
And of course, you can let go of the what-ifs if you didn’t reach out to them.
3. Let go of the guilt.
You might think you’re the bad guy for not feeling the desire to be around them anymore, and that’s normal.
However, don’t let it eat at you. As I said, there’s a reason you’re feeling that way. You only want what’s best for you, and probably to some extent, what’s best for them.
Deciding to stay away from your family is a sad decision—who would ever want this? But reality can be different. So as long as the decision is good for you primarily, make peace with it.
4. Friends (and relatives) can be underrated.
I speak with the notion of isolation. Feeling isolated is a sign you come from a toxic family. From thinking you’re alone, to feeling that everyone out there is trying to get you, you’ve been holding on to destructive beliefs you could only learn from an unloving family.
This is why I encourage you to find your people, those who can support you, and to whom you can return the favor. You can choose your real family with whom you can share life and make it easier.
5. Be mindful of family members you care about.
You may consider only distancing yourself just so you can look out for family members you care about, or in some cases, family members you want to protect.
For example, you may have a niece who you feel needs some guidance in her toxic family. Or you have a cousin who’s also your best friend.
You may compromise so that you can minimize interactions with the toxic ones while still getting in touch with those you want to.
In all of this, make sure to prioritize yourself. You may want to help yourself first before helping others.
This is especially for if you’re still living with your family.
Do the work now so that it’s easier for you to move out when the time comes. Do well in school. Learn some profitable skill(s).
But until then, be a “good kid” at home. Avoid stirring up any drama. Avoid the spotlight. Be “invisible.” Keep your head down and do the work.
In case you’re feeling lonely, you may want to stay somewhere else, like at a friend’s.
Make plans for different scenarios, but ultimately you have to plan your way out of the household.
7. Set boundaries.
Acknowledge the things in your relationship that aren’t healthy for you anymore. Be aware of manipulative tactics your family might try on you. Would lying to them be justifiable?
It’s quite ironic but having no boundaries is probably a huge reason you don’t want to be around your family anymore. A lot can be said for so-called close ties, but boundaries are inevitably needed in any relationship!
You know what you need. Use these needs to identify the boundaries you need in place.
8. You may want to try out professional help.
Not wanting to be around your family anymore most probably means you need to work out some issues within yourself—especially if you strongly believe nothing’s wrong.
A professional, whether a psychologist or a therapist, can help you navigate your thoughts and emotions, as well as probe your history, and then help you decide on solutions you could try.
Look for one who is specialized in whatever you’re going through. Do you need someone with experience with trauma, some personality disorder, or some mental condition?
As a bonus, you could convince your family to get into therapy or counseling with you! Who knows how that would turn out?
9. You might want reconciliation in the future.
With a few things to consider, seeking reconciliation would mainly depend on you, of course.
After establishing the fact that you’re absolutely different from your family—and that they’re toxic—you may want to lay out some criteria for yourself just in case—if it happens at all—they would want reconciliation, too.
Maybe you want to give it some time, like a year or so. Or maybe you’d want to see some changes on their end, which, to be honest, is a tall order. Or, you want reconciliation simply because you think it’s the right “ending.”
However the journey goes, just keep this in mind.
10. Autonomy would be nice.
In toxic families there’s a culture of enmeshment in which you’ve likely lost your sense of autonomy. You couldn’t see yourself fully independent because, unfortunately, you haven’t learned basic skills when you were still home in the first place. Somehow you still depend on your family.
That’s just a sad truth for dysfunctional families. You now have to figure it out for yourself.
But on the brighter side, you can now learn how to survive and thrive on your own. It’s not that bad to be away from your family. A blessing in disguise? Sure. But you now have an avenue through which you can learn how to be on your own.
11. You can love your family while disliking them.
That’s kind of a tragedy, isn’t it? Loving someone you don’t like. But you know what? That’s normal and that’s okay.
No matter what you’ve gone through with your family, I can’t blame you if you still want to show them some love. It’s love, after all!
But you can love them from afar. Or when they need a hand. Or when they want to reach out and are being reasonable. I’m sure there are a bunch of ways you can love them without being around them.
Accept that you have different lives now, and nothing was ever wrong with that.
12. Don’t burn bridges if possible.
Be the bigger person. You don’t need any drama. You don’t even need to tell them everything you’re thinking if you don’t like it.
Even though your toxic family members are unlikely to change in the future, be open to some miracle when some of them might.
Remember, at some point you had no idea what was going on with you. Why you had behaviors that, in retrospect, you realize were just defense mechanisms triggered by some hurt you could not identify.
That could be the case for some toxic family members too—they just aren’t enlightened yet, still in their bubble of uncertainty and hurt, too.
Yes, people can be horrible, but I still believe in kindness—you may have no idea what these family members are going through.
13. On the other hand, you may consider cutting them off, too.
Yes, I just said don’t burn bridges, but this is for extreme cases. And if you’re going this route, I bet you have exhausted all your other options, tried them all out, and still got horribly heartbroken.
Sometimes you just have to accept that you are alone (family-wise) and that you really had no one to rely on but yourself. This could hurt in the short run, but I’m positive it will benefit you over the long haul.
You’ve had enough of everything you don’t deserve from your toxic family. It’s about time you said goodbye to this chapter of your life and embraced what’s to come.
You know what you need. You’ll be fine.
Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash