Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful Ways to Deal With Them

Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful Ways to Deal With Them

Even if toxic people came with a warning tattooed on their skin, they might still be difficult to avoid. We can always decide who we allow close to us but it’s not always that easy to cut out the toxics from other parts of our lives. They might be colleagues, bosses, in-laws, step-someones, family, co-parents … and the list goes on.

We live our lives in groups and unless we’re willing to go it alone – work alone, live alone, be alone (which is sometimes tempting, but comes with its own costs) – we’re going to cross paths with those we would rather cross out.

With any discussion of toxic people, it’s important to understand that you can’t change anybody, so it’s best to stop trying. Save your energy for something easier, like world peace. Or landing on a star. The thing is though, when you do something differently, things can’t help but change for you. If it’s not the people in your radar, it will be their impact on you.

[bctt tweet=”Personal power is everything to do with what you believe – and nothing to do with what they think.”]

Co-existing with toxics means going around them to set your own rules, then accepting that you don’t need them to respect those rules to claim your power. Here are some powerful, practical ways to do that:

  1. Be empowered by your motives.

    Sometimes toxic people will trap you like a hunted thing – you know you don’t have to give in to them but you also know that there will be consequences if you don’t. The secret is to make your decision from a position of power, rather than feeling controlled. In the same way there is something they want from you, there will always be something you want from them (even if it is to avoid more of their toxicity). Decide that you’re doing what you’re doing to control them and their behaviour – not because you’re a victim of their manipulation. Personal power is everything to do with what you believe and nothing to do with what they think.

  2. Understand why they’re seeing what they see in you.

    Toxic people will always see in others what they don’t want to acknowledge about themselves. It’s called projection. You could be the kindest, most generous, hardest working person on the planet and toxic people will turn themselves inside out trying to convince you that you’re a liar, unfair, nasty or a slacker. See it for what it is. You know the truth, even if they never will.

  3. They might get worse before they leave you alone.

    Think of it like this. Take a little human who is throwing a tantrum. When you stand strong and don’t give in, they’ll go harder for a while. We all have a tendency to do that – when something we’re doing stops working, we’ll do it more before we stop. Toxic people are no different. If they’ve found a way to control and manipulate you and it stops working, they’ll do more of whatever used to work before they back off and find themselves another target. Don’t take their escalation as a stop sign. Take it as a sign that what you’re doing is teaching them that they’re old behaviour won’t work anymore. Keep going and give them time to be convinced that you’re not going around on that decision you’ve made to shut them down.

    [irp posts=”1086″ name=”Teaching Kids How To Set & Protect Their Boundaries (And Keep Toxic People Out)”]

  4.  Be clear about your boundaries.

    You can’t please everyone, but toxic people will have you believing that you can’t please anyone – so you try harder, work harder, compromise more. It’s exhausting. Toxic people will have your boundary torn down and buried before you even realise you had one there. By knowing exactly what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t – and why – you can decide how far you’re willing to let someone encroach on your boundaries before it’s just not worth it any more.  Be ready to listen to that voice inside you that lets you know when something isn’t right. It’s powerful and rarely wrong (if ever). Whether someone else thinks it’s right or wrong doesn’t matter. What matters is whether it’s right or wrong for you. Let that guide your response and when you can, who’s in and who’s out.

  5. You don’t have to help them through every crisis.

    The reason that toxic people are often in crisis is because they are masterful at creating them. It’s what they do – draw breath and create drama. You’ll be called on at any sign of a crisis for sympathy, attention and support, but you don’t have to run to their side. Teach them that you won’t be a part of the pity party by being unemotional, inattentive, and indifferent to the crisis. Don’t ask questions and don’t offer help. It might feel bad because it’s not your normal way, but remember that you’re not dealing with a normal person.

  6. You don’t need to explain.

    No is a complete sentence and one of the most powerful words in any language. You don’t need to explain, justify or make excuses. ‘No’ is the guardian at your front gate that makes sure the contamination from toxic people doesn’t get through to you. 

  7. Don’t judge.

    Be understanding, compassionate, kind and respectful – but be all of them to yourself first. You can reject behaviour, requests and people without turning yourself into someone you wouldn’t like to be with. Strength and compassion can exist beautifully together at the edge of your boundaries. It will be always easier to feel okay about putting up a boundary if you haven’t hurt someone else in the process.

  8. Own your strengths and your weaknesses.

    We are all a messy, beautiful, brilliant work in progress. Once you are aware of your flaws, nobody can use them against you. Toxic people will work hard to play up your flaws and play down your strengths – it’s how they get their power. If you’re able to own your strengths and weaknesses, what they think won’t matter – because you’ll know that your strengths are more than enough to make your flaws not matter, or at the very least, to make them yesterday’s news.

    [irp posts=”793″ name=”Toxic People: 12 Things They Do and How to Deal with Them”]


  9. Don’t expect change.

    You can’t reason with toxic people – you just can’t. That’s one of the things that makes them toxic. Decide where you stand, and then stand strong. You don’t need to do any more than that. They will try to make you bend, flex and break at the seams. Because you have an open heart, the thought that someone might misunderstand you, disapprove of you or dislike you might get to you, but remember that you’re not dealing with someone who is motivated by what’s good for you or your relationship. It’s always about them and it always will be. Decide that sometimes you’re going to make it about you. It’s what you deserve.

  10. Choose your battles wisely.

    Dealing with toxic people takes an enormous amount of energy. You don’t have to step up to every battle you’re called to. For many toxic people, conflict is the only way they can connect. It’s the way they feel alive, noticed and important. Save your energy for the people who matter.

  11. Don’t be the victim.

    People can be a pity sometimes, but you’re not one of those. Decide that you won’t be anyone’s victim. Instead, be the one with the boundaries, the strength, the smarts and the power to make the decisions that will help you to thrive. Even if they’re decisions you’d rather not be making, own that it’s a move you’ve made to get what you want, rather than to bend to someone else’s will. You’re amazing, you’re strong and you’re powerful – which is why you’re nobody’s victim. Nobody’s.

  12. Focus on the solution rather than the problem.

    Toxic people will have you bending over backwards and tied with a barbed wire ribbon to keep you there. What will keep you stuck is playing over and over in your head the vastness of their screwed up behaviour. It will keep you angry, sad and disempowered. If you have to make a decision that you’d rather not make, focus on the mess that’s it’s cleaning up, not the person who is making your life hell. Don’t focus on their negative behaviour – there’s just too much there to focus on and it will never make sense to you anyway.

  13. Surround yourself with people who will give as much as you do.

    You might not have as much freedom in certain parts of your life to decide who’s in and who’s out but when it comes to the ones you open your heart to, you absolutely have the choice. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid to let them know what they mean to you. 

  14. Forgive – but don’t forget.

    Forgiveness is about letting go of expecting things to be different. You’ll never be able to control the past but you can control how much power it has to impact your future. Forgiveness doesn’t mean accepting the behaviour or approving of it – it means that you’re not going to be controlled by it any more. It’s something done in strength and with an abundance of self-love. Don’t forget the way people treat you – for better or worse – and use that to help you live with clarity and resolve.

    [irp posts=”1021″ name=”The Rules for Being Human”]


  15. Understand the cycle.

    There is a pattern many toxic people follow. First they’re charming. This is when they’ll get you. They’ll be attentive, loving and impressive – but all of it will be to get you into position. Next, when they have your trust you’ll start to see the cracks. There will be mounting demands and a rising pull on your emotional resources. Then there will be the crisis – the test. You’ll feel stuck – whether or not you give them what they want, you’ll feel compromised. Finally, you’ll do what they want – because you don’t want to be ‘unreasonable’ or cause more drama – and then they’re back to charming you and giving you just enough of what you need to make you stay. The problem is that this never lasts for long and always comes at a cost. Be aware of the cycle and use it to build your boundaries on an even more solid foundation. If you can’t get out of the relationship, know that you’re not staying because you’ve allowed yourself to be fooled or blindsided, but because you have your eyes on something bigger that you need.

  16. You don’t need their approval. You really don’t.

    Don’t look for their approval or their appreciation – you won’t get it unless it comes with conditions, all of which will dampen you. You’ll constantly feel drained because they’ll draw on your open heart, your emotional generosity, your reasonableness, your compassion and your humanity – and they will give absolutely nothing back. Give what you need to, but don’t give any more than that in the hope of getting something back. There will never be any more than minimal, and even that will come with conditions. Whatever you do, know why you’re doing what you’re doing and make sure the reasons are good enough.

The world is full of people whose behaviour is breathtakingly damaging. That doesn’t mean that we have to open ourselves up to the damage. The secret to living well means living deliberately. Knowing the signs of toxic behaviour and responding deliberately and in full clarity to toxic people will reduce their impact and allow you to keep yourself whole and empowered – and you’ll always deserve that.



MY fiancé and I just got done fighting about what my sister in-law did to me a year ago. She was getting married and she didn’t want me to come to her wedding because she didn’t want a “stranger” to her wedding although her brother and I have been living together. She lied to me saying they were only inviting immediate families and no friends. My fiancé didn’t want to go but I forced him to go because he told me deep down he wanted to go hurt so he won’t be bombarded by guilt his sisters would throw at him in the future. So he went. When he got there, he saw lotsss of empty seats and children and friends of the groom. He was livid! He was grumpy the entire time and the sister made a comment about why show up if you’re going to be grumpy. Anyways, here we are 2020 and my fiancé still communicate with them knowing it hurts my feelings. It makes me angry because she never apologize because according to her she was not in the wrong. And everyone we ask, they always say that was the nastiest thing to do. And they won’t even do that to a co-worker or a stranger even. My question is, should I stop expecting an apology and move on, even when my fiancé is now going back to normalcy with his relationship with her? How can I ignore that fact that every time he does this, it’s an insult and a slap on my face? Please help.


Gigi, I hope I’m not to late to help. I’m 68 y.o. It took me until 4 years ago to figure out marriage and committed relationships are almost never going to last. Esp. when you have something going on like you do. You’re feeling disrespected and you’re becoming resentful because of it. In my experience, resentment is a destroyer of love.
I would move on and find someone who understands where you’re coming from.

Tracy R

I feel your pain, girl. Have been dealing with a similar situation with my sis in law. I have been married to my husband 38years this year. He has 3 sisters. 2 of which are loves. The 3rd however, has been hateful from the start. I have watched her (and been part of) her mistreatment of others for all of that time. And everyone else just wants to excuse her hurtful behavior (that’s just how she is) and because of this. She continues to behave badly, knowing she will face no retribution. Just gets her way. Bc no one wants to cause more drama. Finally after her latest “stunt”, we have cut them out of our lives deciding our relationship is more important than her own obvious issues, which are not going to change. It is difficult in our family setting as we do not want this issue to effect our relationships with the rest of the family. It’s sad, really. After almost 40 years its been like a death to me really and I’ve been grieving for the relationship I THOUGHT we had built with each other, albeit having been difficult and strained throughout the years. Think carefully about marrying into a family with this kind of relationship, because it will not change, and you may find yourself with little or no support from other family members. You will need to fortify yourself and protect your mental health, as your fiance seems to not want to “man up” and let his sister know, in no uncertain terms that her treatment of you is UNACCEPTABLE, and as your love partner, he will not tolerate it, now OR IN THE FUTURE. Nip it in the bud now, so it will not become an ongoing problem. Just know you are not alone and others really DO face these issues, as well. Good luck to you.

deborah d

Hi my son and his wife moved in with my hubby and i 5 years ago. his wife is bipoler and i think toxic to. we are supposed to keep her happy and not do anything to upset her. in the begining i could let it all go but i can,t anymore. My hubby has cancer i dealing with that right now there here to help but its one fight after another. my hubby is 82 years old he said i just want to live what time i have left. Daughter in law goes in to fits of rage wich i used to let roll off my shoulders but its getting hard to do that. there are things my hubby and i can,t do any more around the house so my son is here to do them. he used to do a lot around here even cook now he does not want to do anything she does nothing but home school my 16 teen year old granddaughter. she use to help a lot. i try to get through it day by day. this is very hard to get out. until i read this i thought it was me but its not all me. My son does not see it that way. its me never her. My granddaughter needs ink for printer and she told me she cancil it so i sign up for it and she and my son got mad at me. i did what i thought was right my granddaughter needs ink to print school work. My son came down on me wife can do know wrong i guess. when i read this paper my eyes opened. I printed it and i will read it againand again. Right now i have to be strong for my Hubby he needs me.

Jaqueline d

Hey guys!sometimes being with some family members is really discouraging,am passing through psychological torture ,my family members are giving me a hard time.i lost my precious dad some few months ago and since then everything has changed ,my external family members,keeps on bringing up different stories up about me.i have an aunt who has been pretending that she loves me whereas she says terrible and annoying lies about me,am confuse right now I have thoughts of killing myself ,I hate my family members I feel like they hate me and I don’t like them either,I pray I make it in life and prove to them that am not worthless


The shift I think I has to change within you and how you view yourself. I know this because I have suffered and struggled with the exact same problem my whole life. I have been in the exact same shoes as you and I still deal with it, the only thing that changed is how I allow these people to make me feel now… I don’t. I couldn’t understand why I felt so worthless when all I do is kind and caring things. The problem was that I constantly seek validation from toxic selfish family members that benefited more from putting me down so I could feel low enough about myself to want to please them 24/7. That was the problem. As the kind logical person that you are, you simply can’t expect these toxic people to see how much you are worth .. because the truth is they most definitely already do. which is why they feel so threatened by you that they can’t ever compliment you, they have to put you down to feel better about their horrible selves and so you won’t think as horribly about THEM. YOU CAN’T LET THEM WIN. I have strived to prove to my family my entire life when all they have done is talk bad about me. Even with my many successes and accomplishments that far exceeded theirs, I never got the validation I desperately craved. I’m realizing that I never will and now I simply don’t care for it because they are toxic people and it’s just not in them. Please do not harm yourself in the hopes that they will finally care for you because then they win, when they shouldn’t. We can’t let toxic manipulative family members win, it’s simply not fair to you or society. PLEASE stay strong and find your worth from within. Seek good people in your life and surround yourself with people that don’t find you a threat and see your worth already, without you having to convince them.

John B

Dear Jacqueline d,
Never think that you are worthless. Also, you have absolutely nothing to prove to any of your family. I spent a decade dealing with two toxic “friends” who put me down and belittled me constantly. It is hard dealing with that. I finally came to realize that I don’t owe them anything. Don’t let your toxic family make you a victim. It will be hard because you have spent your entire life being involved with them but you need to remove them from your life. Focus on yourself. This is a rough time for you – you just lost your Dad. You need time to process this. If you aren’t living at home, don’t visit the relatives you don’t like. If you are living at home, try to avoid the ones who put you down.
Always remember, you are worthwhile. People are putting you down in order to make themselves feel better – they aren’t worth the time to worry about. You don’t have to fix their lives and you are responsible for your own mental health first.


This is a great article.Yes.I have found that truly toxic people,often engage in s vicious smear campaign.Whenever you see someone being viciously smeared,ask questions inside of yourself.Did the person being smeared stand up for themselves? Yes.That is why they’re being smeared.You can honestly say,”what are you going to do,to fix it? Be prepared for more wining about how they are the victim,that they are good and the person being smeared is bad,nasty,etc.Do your homework,maybe she left him,and went elsewhere, because he tried to kill her and is now trying to cover the tracks,by smearing her….
Also, the truly toxic person,will never ever take responsibility.The one who talks more ,with hate and bitterness,is the toxic one.They play victim.


Dear you are special. I hope you find inner peace and love and find a way to enjoy your life and not let those petty people get to you.

G man

I pray for you too, friend! Keep up the good work you are strong and completely whole just as you are

Angelique L

I am sorry you lost your beloved Dad and are dealing with toxic family members. My advice is:

1. Take all the time you need to mourn your dear father’s death.
Enjoy all the GOOD memories you have about him and your
time with him when he was alive.

You deserve time to mourn and express your grief.

3. Treat yourself to a “vacation” from your family.
DO NOT RESPOND to ANY communication from them–
by phone, text or email. Give yourself some needed SPACE
and QUIET TIME AWAY from toxic family members.
This gives you the opportunity to rebuild your self-esteem
and inner strength, without people tearing you down.

4. Remember that you are under NO OBLIGATION to be
around, or listen to, people who do not care about your feelings!
FAMILY, you re-affirm your own RIGHT TO BE TREATED
WITH KINDNESS, especially at a time of SORROW.

MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. Do you have a favorite hobby
or a place to visit that you enjoy? Now is a good time to
return to a place you enjoyed with your Dad, or return to
an activity you enjoyed before his passing.

6. Consider taking a class or learning a new skill. Maybe you
always wanted to study a new language; learn how to play
an instrument you always wanted to play; or meeting some
goal of physical fitness, like learning how to swim the
backstroke or taking up fencing or archery. THE TIME YOU

7. Finally, remember that GOD LOVES YOU and He did not
intend for ANYONE to sit around to be battered by toxic
family! Your toxic family CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be
allowed to destroy your life! If you take the time to mourn
your Dad’s passing and relive the GOOD memories you have,
you can also ENJOY your new life and ENJOY all the good
things you can do NOW. Have a BLESSED LIFE!

DIANA Laster

After my mom died my half brother’s true feelings came out. We have same mom. I knew he did not like me, but he played it cool until my mom and dad died. He is needy and a coward too. He has tried to bully me in the past as well, Him and my aunt team up against me. I am 65. I blocked both their numbers and never see them. My aunt says cutting remarks to me. It is not you. Be positive About YOU. Do not need or want ANYTHING from them. Hold a position of power because they are toxic and you have to rid yourself of their poison or you will suffer from it, I tried getting their approval but it never worked. I now believe in me and do not need anyone’s approval. Cut those cancers out of your life, and see how you feel then. I feel great!! They are gone!!Don’t let others treat you that way either. Do whatever it takes to cut them out of your life. You will feel wonderful afterwards.


Dear Jacqueline.
Please do not harm yourself. I NEVER write on things like this, but I want you to know that the world is a beautiful place. Avoid cynicism. And realize that people build themselves up by running others down. Anyone is capable of doing a negative critique. Most people fall into doing that very easily. Give thanks and gratitude. Do all you can to find the good in nature, art (music and physical–paintings, architecture, dance, etc.), and other people. If it’s not there, move on to where you do find it. Do no harm- to others, or yourself. Love to you! And comfort for the loss of your father. I’m sure he thought you were precious!


My daughter is in a toxic relationship that has ruined our household as he is staying with us. She has gone from a loving happy well groomed girl to a fat uncepet person that is always tired and not willing to talk. I am a stranger in my own house due to him with no friends or family visiting because he has burned all form of decency and respect towards any one. He listens to my conversations then twists it around and jab my daughter to the point that I am told to please be in my room when they or he wants to be in the kitchen or bathroom so he does not have to face me, in the meantime I am footing all the bills in the house and I live of a pension and he works for himself and earns well. Cannot deal with this anymore.But thankyou I now understand him.


Oh my… both need to get evicted, immediately. As in yesterday. Things will only worsen. It is YOUR home… not theirs. What is with all the ungrateful, disrespectful people these days?


How do you deal with a man who always ‘run’ to his mother whenever you have misunderstandings? You warned him but he can’t change.whatever you say whether good or bad he must tell her.he’s over 40.

Shanno G

I am in a very toxic family right now since I was born. There’s not a day that my mother and father wouldn’t fight. I also think that my father has mental issues just because of the way he reasons out and ofcourse from his background his family was always war. In our country even if you’re 19 years old you can’t be fully independent if you don’t finish your studies. Even if I wanted to get away from them I can’t do anything. I have nowhere else to go. I feel like this family is slowly making me crazy I am very worried ABOUT my brother. I really hope someone will help me.

Julie C

My abuser has lived in my house with me for 13 yrs. I have told him to leave and he says “make me” . I am trauma bonded. I love and hate him. If i give him 30 days notice it will be a terrible 30 days. Yes, better than 30 years, but he will further damage my house. He might even harm my pets. I won’t be able to pay the bills alone on my small soc sec disability check. Is it possible to break this bond while he’s living here?? I have no family, friends, or m9ney. I need help.


Wow Jennifer, ????
I didn’t know that anyone is going through similar events. It’s my sister, whom I love but now despise her presence in my space. Why, because she is very vulgar when speaking to me, do not help , playing the “ghosting” game of silence from sunrise to sunset. Just a 48 year old with her face buried towards social media screen, can’t ask anything, now I’m hiding in a closed room in my apartment, to get away from the stress. The pandemic has put me into a whirlwind of financial distress, but I have to share food, take the trash out alone, clean alone, and deal with eviction cause I’m still waiting on state funds. Dear God, help us in this decrepit life.


It’ll be over soon

Get yourself speakers – good speakers and listen to good music, like Stan Getz
and wireless headphones for when you make food. It’s helped me living with toxic housemate during Covid

Wishing everyone the best of luck


Evict him as soon as possible!!!! Tell her if she wants to go with him to go on. Don’t allow him to make her choose. If you have to get a protective order. Do not allow her to use you to help him. I will bet you do not have a strong man in your life. This guy is doing this b/cause he can. He is doing what is called triangularization. Take yourself out of that equasion and watch what happens, but do not allow him to contact you or come over to your house. Also you can still love your child but let her know he is not allowed in your presence. Same thing happened to me-now I am free.Go to a support group, church friends whatever it takes to help you.


So sorry these things happen to kind people but toxic people take advantage of easy trustful people and usually only care about themselves and what they need they don’t care if you have shoes or food and are getting smarter more better at it. L sometimes they appear as angels at first but are devils in sheep clothing! I found out listen to your BB heart something is wrong don’t wait till it happens say something and don’t ignore or put up with these lieing hurtful people to hurt you more , make up excuses like headache, feel sick and don’t go around th when you have a bad feeling. Sometimes other women who seeem to be nice are the toxic ones who make you seem CB like the vilivan and the are!! Even fooling their husbands and friends and in laws!! That is why I don’t believe what people say about others !! If they are c nice to me I will be nice but please tell me snyway I will be more careful and it could save me from being hurt!! Family can be the most cruel when it comes to inheritance, land money do not trust anyone!! Be sure and you will feel better listen to your wife husband !! If someone asks you to sign a paper something is not yours or never was Do not sign any paper about land oil leases it is a trick!! If you need to sign not yours to a lawyer that means it is yours!! A trick must people don’t realize the lawyer is working for their lieing greedy client not Youyou!! And when diving up property be ther when server diving up property land, etc they will do what a greedy person wants so be there to make sure is fair and never allow a sibling or relative to be only executor over will most when they become executor can steal all the money!! And get away with it!!
Need to have 2 or more to watch everything is fair when one siblings says I will handle the affairs don’t trust that greedy person most likely. And even after all that the family in-laws can still try to break up marriages tell lies to try and be nice to one party and turn husbands CB or CB wives against each other to get your land house. And the will usually be too nice to the one who they think they can turn against you! And give you gifts to encourage you to believe them.

Sharon o

I am working at this demons house she is so toxic it’s making me sick sick your articles have help me so much!!! I still want to do body damage but I won’t thank you. Sharon


I have to admit reading these stories, I don’t feel so alone with the toxic situations with my family. I’ve separated myself from the remainder of the living in my family and my sister and brother poison the relatives against me with lies, they only heard one side of the smearing stories. And when I reached out and gave my phone number to relatives, nobody ever reached back . It’s hard not to grieve. But I really want move on and forget it all and them.


My “friend” that I’ve known for fifteen years is always saying something negative about someone I love. She doesn’t even know him but always keeps on judging his appearance and saying that he’s so ugly and stuff like that right infront of my face. It always hurts me a lot and it pisses me off and I don’t know what to do. That person is the most beautiful person inside and out I’ve ever met and he’s my everything. I would rather having her saying bad things about me than that. It hurts me so much I don’t know what to do. I want to make her understand that he’s such a nice guy but I can’t. Please someone tell me what to do I’m in this never ending cycle for a year

sloane c

Love this! It’s exactly what I needed to read tonight after yet ANOTHER abusive call from my adult son. He’s 29, baby on the way – and is explosive to me! His fiancé reaches out to me, only when they need something. Baby is due in May 2020 and I’m already being manipulated. My son wants nothing to do with me, he’s atrocious! The “baby mama” engages and keeps me updated with all of her problems with the pregnancy and her illnesses, which worry me to death! I’m lost, I’m hurt, I’m alone. I don’t know where to go or who to reach out to. My son is a violent drunk, who has threatened to kill me, burn my house down and so much more. A hateful, ungrateful, self-entitled drunken train wreck! I need help! My first grandson on the way is already being USED as a weapon and more TOXIC from my son is on the horizon. Thanks for reading and any help would be much appreciated.

Daniel B

The moment you stop thinking about what other people are doing wrong is the moment you become free


Thanks a lot. A very well written article. Helped me a lot to u derstand the fact that i have to make myself believe that the choices am making are the ones to empower me. Am not being controlled. I live with toxic in laws. Dont have any other way out bcz my spouce doesn’t take any step forward. Well, how can he be stronger when he has always been manipulated and put down constantly by his narcissistic family.

Rose 38

Reading this article really helped me a lot, unfortunately, I wished that I had read this about 19 years ago (if it was around at that time). But anyway, the toxic person in my life (not so much now, due to my boundaries that I have in place) is my sister, she’s two years younger, but has such a boorish behavior. Like you have to dance to her tune or something. This whole thing started when she hit puberty and has not stopped at all. I have never seen anyone who is as selfish, self-center, a liar, straight-up evil before, evER! She has accused me of helping my mom cheat, she has told lies about everyone in our family. Not only that, but her own husband (which by the way has put out to everyone that he is gay and that he has been messing with his own son, which was not even true) wanted to take there at the time 4 month old son to visit his dad, who was on his death bed, he wanted to see him his first grandson before passing away, don’t you know that TOXIC BEAST said NO! His dad later passed away a week later. Because of her outburst of lies, his family doesn’t really visit him that much. I swear, she does not know how to communicate with anyone. She has to be right, she can’t never be wrong, or own up to her part in anything, but yet she can remember what people has “supposedly” done to her…I have chosen to keep my distance, and just love her from afar, because being around her is just exhausting, its like whenever I do have to be around her, it feels like a dark cloud is forming up, like some kind of thunderstorm. I do have a brother who is a year older them me, and he thinks the world of me, we’re both a like in a lot of ways, like we’re both are humble, positive vibes, selfless, and generous in different ways, plus not only do we have genuine love for our Mother, but we also show it. I’ll never understand how people always want what they’re not willing to give in RESPECT!


I feel you on so much of this. My sister is also extremely toxic, and unfortunately I am often her target as the younger sister. Some days she says i am her best friend, some days she says I am rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate and dont love her. It has been the most difficult relationship in my life. She is constantly looking at the negative sides of things and thinks everyone is out to get her. She has threatened to kill me, told me i wanted to give oral sex to our dad, and every terrible thing you can imagine. I pray for the good days and get so hurt on the bad days. Even know when i moved to another country she harrasses me on facebook chat everyday – I respond and chat with her becaues i feel bad i know she has no friends. I cant seem to draw boundaries because i love her, and on her good days she can be so hilarious and kind. I have vowed to stop having a relationship with her a couple years back when things were really bad, this was in my early twenties and i was still living at home. She threatened me everytime i saw her to the point i had to go live out of my car in the mountains. Ive cried so many tears. I dont know how to manage this relationship. This article sheds light on so many things i am working on. Thanks

Merry M

To Rose 38. You really are in victim mode when you feel sorry for your toxic sister. Ive had a toxic sister for 50 years. Her malicious spite went to a whole new level when our Mom passed away. I finally dumped my sister 15 years was the most liberating thing Ive ever done! My brothers tried to persuade me to contact her, but they had to give up in the end. Stop the Facebook chat. Delete her from your life. You deserve better! My friends are my sisters.


Hi Rose, I just read your comment. I can relate, as I too have a toxic sister (older). Yes, mine also can’t own up and can’t remember etc and many other evil traits. Exactly the same. Toxic. Have you read up on narcissistic personality disorder? If not, please do as it will shed some light for you. Youtube is great too. Also, if you can talk to a psychologist, do! It is a work in progress controlling your emotions and setting boundaries to deal with toxic people. Professional advice is an absolute must. I am doing this and it is helping me hugely. I’m afraid she won’t change.


Family can be the most toxic. Majority of my life I have been independent. So you try to give a little kindness and support but end up your family taking advantage of you or don’t care. Majority of what I see is they take your hard earned money the slither away. It’s your money but they don’t want to discuss “YOUR MONEY” they borrowed. I had a dispute with my retired sister when I lived with her about a year. Between us we discussed to have a joint phone bill which included her adult daughter. So I am retired and paying the bill, her daughter buys $1,000 dog. This caused a major contention since I told her it was unfair for me to do payments and her daughter buys a high-end dog. She refused to address her daughter and I ended up moving out. When I come to think about our past history, I never had any support from my own sister. My retired brother was helping another sister, 70-year olds living on limited income paying for back rent, electricity cut off/reconnected, etc., and I was trying to maintain her neglected cat, which neither my sister or daughter didn’t care about. My 70-year old sister has a grown adult daughter that never offer to help pay for some of this debt incurred. The daughter slithered away when he said they could not afford any more expenses. So at this moment and time, my 60 year old sister try to shame me about this money scenario not to say anything but I don’t like people take constant advantage of good-hearted, kind, responsible people. So I decided to ask for reimbursement of half the money, if not, then we can go to small claims court. Advice to you people – only provide limited help to family members – seems like your worse offenders.


Thank you for this article. #3 is something I have observed to a T. I actually think that this person is gonna falter and I feel someone in this huge family of in-law’s I’m in, someone is gonna see it and more light will be shed to others seeing how this person behaves (when I’m in the same room as toxic sis in law).


Looking for information to help a friend. Unfortunately the relationship isn’t just toxic, the person has a gun and has threatened my friend with it.
How does one get away from this situation when the person knows where you live?
Calling the police just escalates the situation, it doesn’t make my friend safe.

Michelle D.

Love, love love this article and just what I needed to read right now, thank you!

I finally kicked my husband’s toxic sister and her husband to the curb – for good! Five weeks after my beloved brother ended his life, I reluctantly hosted a birthday party for my MIL and invited my husband’s family. HUGE MISTAKE!!! I hadn’t seen any of them since my brother’s death and rather than giving me a hug or hearing a “Sorry for your loss” my very toxic BIL decides to break the ice by blurting out, “What do you think of Robin Williams and mental health?” Awkward and OUCH!!! That starts things off on a sour note and it gets worse. He then decides that starting a religious debate is wise as he’s an atheist and I’m Christian. I don’t take the bait but he goes on his stump speech about how there is no God, there are no miracles…” I am shell-shocked in disbelief from my brother’s death and he wants to discuss a taboo topic while I’m grieving?!!! Then he goes for the throat and criticizes Christians! In the meantime, nobody is saying anything and I’m furious inside! Not wanting to embarrass myself I say nothing (bad decision on my part but hey, I’m very vulnerable and fragile and couldn’t think straight) and my husband did nothing! These horrible people picked fights with me all afternoon and I tried to when I finally yelled at my SIL, she made a huge scene and screamed and ran away crying! I was so upset I got in my car and drove away and when I came back everyone was gone and my husband yelled at me! They blamed me for this problem although everyone should have seen their provocation and antagonism. Instead, my SIL received all the sympathy and if this had all played out as a movie in a foreign language it would look as though my SIL was the one that had lost HER brother!!! It took me days talking to my husband how outrageous these people were and how horrible they treated me and I will never forgive them. I have been furious over this for several months now and has definitely interfered with my grieving. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, should ever have to treated this badly, especially when they are raw with grief. They are out of my life FOREVER!

Rhonda G

This article was right on point.
I went no contact with toxic family who always oppressed and disrespected me, and betrayed me over and over again.
They would do better when I stayed away and used manipulative tricks
to get me back. I finally learned they hadn’t changed.

I decided to stop trying to gain their respect. This article has empowered me to continue to take care of myself.
Most of them are begging me to let them back into my life.

I hate to come across as stubborn, but
I have no respect for them and will never trust them with my heart again.

Thanks for such a great article.


My ex toxic partner stops out of the blue with his new girlfriend. I blocked them both on my social media, contacts, and other apps. And the gal stills seems to get through. I finally reported her to Google, TextNow, messenger, and other browsers. Once again I have asked her not to come over and here they come. Up my drive way. So this time I closed the blinds in front of their faces and headed to my back bedroom. 2 seconds later they were half way down the driveway. Thank Gosh. When they learn to treat me the way I want to be treated. Will I consider opening the lines of communication.
Sometimes you can’t run fast enough from toxic people that you get in your own way.
Loved the 411

Anne S

My yonger sister uses her adopted daughter as a pawn. She always has. my sister is a narcissist without a doubt and since I wont do what she wants she takes away my niece and wont let me see her. My husband and myself are the only family my niece has. We have not saw her since April My sister takes her away for months at a time. This makes 3 times she has taken her away. She is 11 years old. She this time told my niece a bunch of lies to turn her against us. We have always been good to her and haven’t as much as raised our voices to her. We miss her so much and I cant stop thinking about all the evil things my sister is and has done in front of my niece she is mentally and emotionally abusing her. How do I deal with this situation Please help


Hello Ann S, I am so sorry that you’re going through that with your younger sister, it is not fair and I hope for your niece sake, she will come to some realization soon. I can defiantly relate to what you’re experiencing though, and it’s not easy by no means. My younger sister is an extreme narcissist it seems, has a son and he’s the only grandchild thus far. She has lied on everyone, which is why she does not have many friends now, but maybe one (just barely). It seems like she is in competition with me or something because everyone respects me, and my actions shows that in return. But she has visit my home and did not say to her son, this is your Aunt, ya know, like introduce us, etc…like no big deal or something. I swear, she acts like her stuff don’t stink or something, as if she can’t do know wrong, she does anything for all the attention and when she does not get that, no one loves her or we’re all jealous of her, its so ridiculous and draining. which is why I have decided to just love her from afar, its better for my sanity, and much more peaceful, my brother also agree to do the same, until she matures in the mind…


I feel as though I’m in a toxic relationship now. I’m dealing with a addict that doesn’t stop and it had been 7 years of me giving giving giving and continuously given while he wouldn’t even take 2.00 and buy his own son a sandwich and fry from McDonald’s I’m tired of this shit I’m tired but why do I continuously listen to the lies that they. Continue to tell me my life is always better without them but I continue to keep dealing with the destruction. I’m tired I’m so tired I can’t fo this anymore I will do so much better without him. I know because I do. And whenever they are back my life gets worst i just want out i can’t do this anymore i need to let go. I don’t know how. Things are not going to get better things are just going to get manipulated to you thinking that it is and I’m the dumb nitch that keeps believing that it will and it wont.


It’s disappointing to read , especially when we feel we have been taken for a ride☹️ My bf of 9 months was so good to me , did and said everything right. Was always there for me , but overtime I started to see things, like him having a tantrum if things didn’t go his way or if I didn’t agree. He would get a thought in his mind and attack me , was always very random and usually after many of drinks but even if not drinking he came across as very did become exhausting . We all have things going on in our lives and it’s hard To find balance, so a bit of understanding is required But he over stepped a boundary one night when he said my daughter was controlling the night , like sabotaging us spending time together , he got very angry and up and left.. I was speechless , I tried to make him see sense but he carried on. Then the week after what I thought was a casual night of holding hands and watching tv , once we went to bed he mumbles something about no sexual passion.. he went and slept in the couch , this was happening way too often . I told him I felt like a stranger, I’m going home . He told me to take my things and then blocked me in every way . It’s confusing and obviously not a heathy relationship if you choose to cut all communication . Heart broken but trying to make sense of it all.


Congratulations. You we’re fortunate enough to get rid of a drunken creep. Don’t take him back and dump the next one that dates to treat you bad. Make sure they are stable and can afford to spend money on you. Dress up, do the eyebrows, the whole nine yards ,Google hair and make up lesson. Don’t put out unt or make any commitments until the man has invested 1000s into you the more the better


Omg Karen I’ve been dying to get the answer to dealing with toxic people and you did it! You brought the perfect answer, the ost complete easy to understand article that left me to think you’re my hero. Hats off to your professional and kind loving advice! Lots of love <3

" class="url" rel="ugc external nofollow">joyce p

HOPE I have a sister whom is older have been very abusive toward me for 51 years I have cried and tried to fine a law I could file to get her away from me she borrows money, I give it to her thinking maybe this will stop the bulling, the talking, the manipulation, abuse trying to get my checks cut off , trying to get me killed by various people by telling them I got them busted for selling drugs, telling my mother who is now deceased so many lies. I was not welcomed at her home. I was not welcomed at my uncles aunt houses, I kept telling them its not me it is her she is toxic toward me and they will finally find out. My Aunt is gone my Dad, Mom, and Brothers are all gone now but they did find out the type of person she is. Her and her Daughter got into a money problem and I ended up going to jail, If I don’t give her money she threatens me with the law if I asked her for my money she owes me she will call my P. O. and get me locked up. I lost a home behind her. I have a younger sister and brother who I am just getting to know as a sister and brother she kept us apart for so many years there is a god we do love each other. She don’t want me to come to none of the family functions without starting a fuss She has tried to destroy me my life, other family members say nothing because they don’t want her or her daughters to gang them make their life miserable. She has threaten to tell my Husband who is now deceased that I had a Boyfriend if I did not give her money, She has did so many terrible things I am so ashamed of them . She had Dad check cut off because he was not able to pay for her Lexus, She drained his bank account, She also had called the state agency so many times saying I was abusing Dad until they told her if she called again they would file charges on her. I know there is HOPE I jus want to be left alone but ther3e is no peace in Texas


I’m sorry to hear this. I often put other kids in the mix with mine to keep them from fighting. You may want to get counseling.


I don’t know whether I’m over sensitive or correct. we live in a joint family with my husband’s parents since almost an year now. I am facing such depression since last few months because I am not able to adjust with my mother in law. She takes me and my feelings for granted all the time. she has never fought with me or said bad words to me (except once or twice at which time, after confrontation with my husband, she took a complete U turn and said she never meant whatever she said). We have all our meals together, and when on the table, she asks everyone about what they ll eat, what more she can serve them and what not, EXCEPT me. I have told my husband that I mind it a lot and I feel hurt, he tries to help by asking me the same in front of her, but she pretends like nothing happened.She even greets me in the morning so sulkingly, with such indifference and when her children come, she hugs them and pampers them. its so hurtful. She only talks to me when she has some work with me, asks me for favours all the time, for small jobs which I have always done and helped with everytime. but when it comes to love, there is nothing. every meal of my day is spoilt because I get irritated and hurt every time. Everything is cooked and made according to my husband and sister in law. Once my husband spoke to her about this and told her to be a little caring towards me. She reacted so badly and didn’t speak to me for 15 days and later told me that I should have told her about it straight instead. but even after that, she is the same. Infact I feel, lately she has increased this habit and its messing with my head. I hate telling my husband about it again and again because its his mother, but I don’t know what to do. We have to live in this house and I don’t want fights and I’m a gentle and calm person otherwise. But I’m very unhappy and I miss my parents all the time. its like she feels I don’t need any love and its only her children that she pampers endlessly. I don’t know what to do,

susan r

Hi Cynthia, how unfortunate that this situation is making you depressed, I really feel for you. No your not over sensitive, and I think your husband does realize there is something not right here.I would suggest that you find a way to get a place for your husband and yourself. If not, go and spend some time with your parents and invite your husband to come and stay. He may see the different way your parents treat him. His mother may eventually realize that her behaviour just wont push you away but her son also.Also you could spend a couple of meals with your husband just with a picnic, or takeaway…change things a bit.


This is indeed one of the best articles I read on the topic of toxic people..hands down to the writer !!!


My younger sister and I used to have such a great relationship together. We would play, go outside, draw, laugh together and we did have our fair share of fights. But now my sister and I don’t have that kind of sisterly love anymore. She would constantly bring me down, talk bad about me, never appreciates me or let alone support me, she will verbally or physically abuse me every single day which makes my personal life and school life stressful and since I’m two years away from graduating and going to university, the stress and self doubt piles up. I try to stick up for myself, calmly talk to her or just walk away but it doesn’t work much. I’m just waiting to leave home for uni or after uni to cut ties with her/distance myself from her cause not being around her makes me feel better. But for now I don’t know what to do.


Hey I have same problem with my older sister and younger sister.
They used to be like my best friend now they bully me used me, I’m kind and good hearted that why it’s easy for them to hurt me. It’s hard to cut them out. Because I still feel love towards them, and I like to be there for them, but I see it not helping me be good person. They treat me like I’m the bad guy and I feel guilty . The best way is to cut them out, I did it to my older sister, I felt stress free.


Hi Jasmine- you are not alone. I’m not a perfect person by any means but I try to be kind and generous with people. I also have a sister (we are both in our 20’s)who I have done nothing but try to be kind/loving/generous towards but every time I see her I’m left questioning my sanity. She has nearly drained my savings account (thousands of dollars)promising me she would pay me back-years later and still owes me. Then she goes behind my back bad mouthing me saying things that are completely false and she knows nothing about because we live in different states and rarely see each other. Again I’m not perfect but I really do try to be a nice person. She is hands down the most manipulative two faced person I have ever known (and I’ve known many). She makes me feel like I’m some crazy witch that is unlovable when all I have done is be kind and loving and supportive to her. Here’s the thing. Your SISTER is the problem. Not you. Love her, try to be kind to her, but don’t spend a lot of time with her if you can help it. Surround yourself with people who love and support you and don’t cause you to feel bad about yourself. You are worthy of love!


I’m looking for advice. You’re article was great but I need a little bit more. I have a co-worker who I became close with. We were going through a lot of similar stuff at the time. She started dating a guy who I was Leary of at first but then my fiancé and I grew pretty close to him as well. My fiancé is from St Louis and still doesn’t know that many people up here so when he and this other guy bonded it was great! My co-worker and he broke it off and we’re cordial for a while but in the past few weeks he decided to cut of her off completely and now she’s in an out of control spiral. Just wanting to get back at him. Anyways we already invited them both to our wedding in July saying they are both welcome to bring a date. I’ve been hearing about her saying things behind our backs about how we shouldn’t invite him and she’s telling other coworkers they better not speak to him at the wedding and numerous other things. We have already told the guy if he or his guest starts drama they will be asked to leave. I’d like to say something similar to my co-worker but she’s super dramatic so I don’t know how that would play out. Any advice on how I can tell her to knock of her crap or she’ll be uninvited to our wedding?


Nice and insightful article, I needed to read it. I recently put together a list of toxic people in my mind. Family members and friends..

The most none toxic person is my girlfriend who helped me get a job I really wanted. These other people have been mentally taxing.

I got so tired and upset my mother by saying who’s been angering me. I finally said no I need my own time.

It was really reassuring reading this, thanks.


Great article.
Full of clear, precise, practical advice.
My new neighbor appears to want my attention whether it be positive or negative. I kinda lucked out because they told me a bunch of wild stories about the neighbor before me and gave me something I had to say “no” to early on. My gut was giving me a lot of information (like, just say “no” to their unreasonable request #6) but I needed a plan because their goal of getting me to think about them was working even tho I wasn’t responding to the stuff they’re doing to try and get my attention.

Reading this affirmed the decisions I’ve already made and helped me devise a strategy and mindset going forward.

Thank you!


I came across this information after hitting rock bottom with my daughter & her “TOXIC” husband a week ago. It feels like it was an answer to my prayers as I was grasping for something. Anything to help put this horrible situation in some sort of perspective. My 32 yr. old daughter has never been the kind, soft hearted type and for yr.s we struggled to keep our relationship on a healthy level. Since the day she met her, now husband, he has brought her to a low I didn’t know existed. Prior to meeting/marrying him, I was her “Rock”, everything good in her was because of me, she couldn’t have asked for a better mother or childhood (even though I was a single mom) and she hoped she would be half the mom I’d been. In just 3 short years, he has opened her eyes to the fact that none of that about me is true. I am a horrible mother, every mistake or screwed up choice she’s made, can be traced back to me failing to be a good enough parent so it’s all my fault for not having set a good enough example. The level of disrespect is at such a high, heaped on me with no warning, for no reason that I’m aware of, my 9 yr. old granddaughter has left the room crying. She’s told me many times that she doesn’t know why they are so mean to me for no reason. I’d always attempt to smooth things over for my granddaughters sake before leaving & always while hiding the emotional toll their treatment took on me, then I’d explain to her that I didn’t know either, but even when someone is having a bad day, it’s never okay to treat someone you claim to love and care about, disrespectfully or cruelly. Their switch turns on or off instantly depending on what they want or need from me. If I shed a single tear from their emotion cruelty, it infuriates them to no end. The very last straw was them threatening me with physical harm and calling me the worst name you can imagine (in front of my granddaughter). I’d had enough and decided to leave and keep my distance until there is a noticable, long term change. I have since been informed that I am not allowed to see, talk to or visit my granddaughter, they have told her that my only reason for visiting them was to start trouble between them & disrupt their family and that she needed to accept the fact that I was no longer part of their family and never would be again. This information has described them to a “T”. How can “Good, Loving Parents” justify doing that and not care that it hurts my granddaughter, who is clearly devastated? I am hopeful that in the length of time
necessary for me to keep my distance, she won’t be poisoned against me. I know it would only be to keep her mother from being angry with her for continuing to love her nana. I could never blame her for wanting to please her mother at any cost, since that’s what children forced into these situations do. The fault lies with the parent who put them there to begin with for their own selfish gain. It is most unfair for any adult to use their child as a pawn between individuals they love, to get (what they feel is) the upper hand in a situation. I have no intention of forcing my way into their lives, but they will NOT keep me from my granddaughter, come hell or high water. Fortunately, her biological father lives an hour away and he will do anything he can for me to maintain my relationship with my granddaughter. After all, she is his daughter too. I can’t thank you enough for such helpful information. I feel like I can breathe a bit.

Alice U

After reading your article, I believe my husband and I is in a toxic relationship. Whenever we get in an argument, if it leads to him realizing he is unreasonable or wrong, he will call me names such as asshole, parasite or idiot etc. just to silence me. I am always furious. I always wonder how could I get worked up so easily. I quitter my job to stay home and take care of our children. I only work on Saturdays which won’t be enough to support myself and three children if I choose to get a divorce. I will try your ways. It’s not easy but I will try. Thanks for the article.

Lorraine Stammer

Its been lovely to see all the lovely comments on this website and has made me feel a lot better.
I have a ex family who are toxic, lie and cause nothing but trouble I really cant deal with it anymore. My son is part of this and blames me for things I have not done and always causes upset it doesn’t matter what I do nothing seems to make things better


I’m dealing with the same thing but with my sister. She is living with her boyfriend and his mom. He dont have a job and she hasnt had a job in like 4 or 5 months. She had a car and insurance that is in my dads name, hes paying for both which for both is 7 to 8oo dollars alongside gas. Shes not quick to getting a job. And on top of that mad that my life is in the opposite with a car I pay and insurance and a boy friend who works. Gets mad that everyone asks how come shes with her boyfriend when he has no job. Shes 24. All when she takes money from my parents my mom works Saturdays now just to have enough money, my dad is retired and my mom is working herself dead to supply my sisters life.


Sounds like my sister.she lost her house and boyfriend because she didnt take anybody our advice about getting an appartment instead because they were testing out living together and could barely afford it. We tried to help them work out their relationship together and I listened when she needed it. She cant keep friends because she has a horrible attitude and she trys to make me feel guilty she has no friends and i do so she wants to hang out with out friends that cant stand her winy attitude. She yells at my kids and bosses them and me around.she gets mad when I stand up for them. She just moved in with my mom and lost all her friends because she bosses them around and uses them to clean her house and thinks they should be at her back and call.i have friends over every Saturday night and she is constantly trying to guilt me until canceling every weekend or joining us because of a crisis she is always going though.we have let her before and she embarrased us by telling whole time or just ditching us for her friend.she does stuff for me I ask her not to because it always comes with a price. I feel like her making me a vinyl is selling my soul.i hate being around her because all she does in complain and I’m scared shes going to be offended by something I say or my kids will be too hyper or loud for her. If I say anything that makes her a little mad even though I try not to while on phone she hangs up on me.she kicked me off of fb and is blasting me all over it with just calling me family because I spent Saturday night with friends after spending all friday night and most of Saturday until 7 with her.i even told her we could hang out sunday. She tool my autistic teen driving at night and video taped it and she doesnt have the driving permit knowing i would be mad.if i ever try to do something that doesnt involve her she makes my life a living hell

Rhonda G

Im glad to read that Im not the only one dealing with family like the one you described.
My siblings have tried to turn everyone in my life againt me.
They came between my daughter and me and now is working on my granddaughter.
They are no good and I dont trust them.


I’ve stumbled upon this site as I lay here asking for answers. Am I overeacting or do my feelings matter? Maybe someone out there is dealing with similar issues as me.. I’ve been with my fiance now 6 years and I honestly can’t bear the thought of living my life with his family. They are the type that suck every ounce of energy out of your body. They constantly call asking for money, they live in a shelter but are over every weekend destroying my house with their kids. They store their broke down vehicles in my yard and my fiance does nothing about it. We are now in financial debt because of the doings of his family and the accounts he has allowed to be put in his name that have gone delinquent. I’ve reached out to him several times about my feelings and the boundaries I want to set, but nothing seems to get through to him and he makes me out to be the evil witch. Honestly how could I start a life with a man who doesnt see the fact that I’m unhappy? I’m trying to build a future with this man because I love him but his family is always there and it’s suffocating me. So really all you can do is speak your voice and if the effort isn’t made and nothing changes then maybe it’s time to go it alone?


Your situation will not get any better. I would move on before your credit is destroyed. The problem is with your fiancée and he doesn’t set boundaries. Certainly you can do better than a guy who had no boundaries (and no money) and allows his children to destroy and impede on his life. This man should make your life better, not worse. Make s list of advantages and disadvantages of being with him. I think you’ll find the disadvantages outweigh anything else.


This is only the beginning.I spent 22 years in a relationship like this only to find out my spouse was colluding with them
You will meet someone else.


To Faith – April 7 2019
This is a tough situation you are in. The reality, the destructive drama you are getting sucked into is just normal for your husband. It will not stop. You will not stop it. This is his deep family legacy and your husband is choosing to be part of it. He does not respect himself enough to create healthy boundaries and cannot do it for the love of you either. Love has nothing to do with this. Trust me, I have been where you are. If you do not want a life of hell, then for your own self preservation and happiness leave, run, escape. Find a co-dependency group or support program and save yourself before it is too late. My life is wonderful now 20 years later – my toxic ex husband (who I believed was the love of my life) is still living in the same toxic family mess I left him for. I thank God every day I am not with him.


I am telling you from a lifetime (66 and female) that as difficult and heartbreaking leaving your fiancé may be, you will NEVER escape all that you are living with now.

Your fiancé is not supporting your feelings now, what in the world makes you think he will start miraculously any time soon.

You are here looking for answers, you are unhappy and in a black hole.
Swim up to the sunlight and imagine a more peaceful life on your own terms.

No offense intended, but I WAS as you appear to be co-dependent. You are worth such a better life, even if living on your own, on your own terms. Trust me on this.
For me Lakia Crawford and Merideth Miller (on youtube) saved my life. They speak from experience and gave me strength to see what I was blind to. I experienced a wonderful liberation that saved me. All you have to do is listen. Please try.

Your man I’m so sorry to tell you is not the man for you. If you decide to finally set firm boundaries, make your plans quietly, privately, and do NOT be swayed or charmed back.

I recognize myself in you. 6 years is a long investment into a man who doesn’t stand up for you. But a lifetime will be sure misery.
20 years for me, it never changed, until I said to myself – enough.

Good luck. You are worth it.
Of course, dear, you should follow your inner voice.

Liz W

Hello Faith,

How’s it going? It’s been a while since you posted and I’ve just read about your problems and hope there’s been a positive change since. I think the biggest curse about being a woman is that you love and care more than a man so you tend to do a lot before you resolve to leave the relationship. As I say I hope things have changed for the better and yeah I hope you’ve left him, especially with the bad debts being run up in his name as you’ll get stuck with that once you marry unfortunately. A hard line but like the article says, their problems are not your problems and he should be looking at it like he has a responsibility to foster your relationship, and really this should be easy for him as he should enjoy being in it with you. All due respect to men this is what they don’t u defat and and come at it like it’s the woman’s responsibility to make them happy. A dullard’s view and a sign of low imagination if I’m honest. I’ve been caught in that trap twice and learned the hard way, lost years but never again. Life isn’t about grief and pain and yeah we all take for granted the fact that we avoid it so to encourage happiness, so why forget that notion now? I hope all is well with you 🙂



Faith…run far and run fast. Get this man out of your life. You marry him you marry his family. Be true to your name. Have faith, go it on your own, things will be ok.


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The need to feel connected to, and seen by our people is instinctive. 

THE FIX: Add in micro-connections to let them feel you seeing them, loving them, connecting with them, enjoying them:

‘I love being your mum.’
‘I love being your dad.’
‘I missed you today.’
‘I can’t wait to hang out with you at bedtime 
and read a story together.’

Or smiling at them, playing with them, 
sharing something funny, noticing something about them, ‘remembering when...’ with them.

And our adult loves need the same, as we need the same from them.♥️
Our kids need the same thing we do: to feel safe and loved through all feelings not just the convenient ones.

Gosh it’s hard though. I’ve never lost my (thinking) mind as much at anyone as I have with the people I love most in this world.

We’re human, not bricks, and even though we’re parents we still feel it big sometimes. Sometimes these feelings make it hard for us to be the people we want to be for our loves.

That’s the truth of it, and that’s the duality of being a parent. We love and we fury. We want to connect and we want to pull away. We hold it all together and sometimes we can’t.

None of this is about perfection. It’s about being human, and the best humans feel, argue, fight, reconnect, own our ‘stuff’. We keep working on growing and being more of our everythingness, just in kinder ways.

If we get it wrong, which we will, that’s okay. What’s important is the repair - as soon as we can and not selling it as their fault. Our reaction is our responsibility, not theirs. This might sound like, ‘I’m really sorry I yelled. You didn’t deserve that. I really want to hear what you have to say. Can we try again?’

Of course, none of this means ‘no boundaries’. What it means is adding warmth to the boundary. One without the other will feel unsafe - for them, us, and others.

This means making sure that we’ve claimed responsibility- the ability to respond to what’s happening. It doesn’t mean blame. It means recognising that when a young person is feeling big, they don’t have the resources to lead out of the turmoil, so we have to lead them out - not push them out.

Rather than focusing on what we want them to do, shift the focus to what we can do to bring felt safety and calm back into the space.

THEN when they’re calm talk about what’s happened, the repair, and what to do next time.

Discipline means ‘to teach’, not to punish. They will learn best when they are connected to you. Maybe there is a need for consequences, but these must be about repair and restoration. Punishment is pointless, harmful, and outdated.

Hold the boundary, add warmth. Don’t ask them to do WHEN they can’t do. Wait until they can hear you and work on what’s needed. There’s no hurry.♥️
Recently I chatted with @rebeccasparrow72 , host of ABC Listen’s brilliant podcast, ‘Parental as Anything: Teens’. I loved this chat. Bec asked all the questions that let us crack the topic right open. Our conversation was in response to a listener’s question, that I expect will be familiar to many parents in many homes. Have a listen here:
School refusal is escalating. Something that’s troubling me is the use of the word ‘school can’t’ when talking about kids.

Stay with me.

First, let’s be clear: school refusal isn’t about won’t. It’s about can’t. Not truly can’t but felt can’t. It’s about anxiety making school feel so unsafe for a child, avoidance feels like the only option.

Here’s the problem. Language is powerful, and when we put ‘can’t’ onto a child, it tells a deficiency story about the child.

But school refusal isn’t about the child.
It’s about the environment not feeling safe enough right now, or separation from a parent not feeling safe enough right now. The ‘can’t’ isn’t about the child. It’s about an environment that can’t support the need for felt safety - yet.

This can happen in even the most loving, supportive schools. All schools are full of anxiety triggers. They need to be because anything new, hard, brave, growthful will always come with potential threats - maybe failure, judgement, shame. Even if these are so unlikely, the brain won’t care. All it will read is ‘danger’.

Of course sometimes school actually isn’t safe. Maybe peer relationships are tricky. Maybe teachers are shouty and still using outdated ways to manage behaviour. Maybe sensory needs aren’t met.

Most of the time though it’s not actual threat but ’felt threat’.

The deficiency isn’t with the child. It’s with the environment. The question isn’t how do we get rid of their anxiety. It’s how do we make the environment feel safe enough so they can feel supported enough to handle the discomfort of their anxiety.

We can throw all the resources we want at the child, but:

- if the parent doesn’t believe the child is safe enough, cared for enough, capable enough; or

- if school can’t provide enough felt safety for the child (sensory accommodations, safe peer relationships, at least one predictable adult the child feels safe with and cared for by),

that child will not feel safe enough.

To help kids feel safe and happy at school, we have to recognise that it’s the environment that needs changing, not the child. This doesn’t mean the environment is wrong. It’s about making it feel more right for this child.♥️
Such a beautiful 60 second wrap of my night with parents and carers in Hastings, New Zealand talking about building courage and resilience in young people. Because that’s how courage happens - it builds, little bit by little bit, and never feeling like ‘brave’ but as anxiety. Thank you @healhealthandwellbeing for bringing us together happen.♥️


Original post by @healhealthandwellbeing:
🌟 Thank You for Your Support! 🌟

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the "Building Courage and Resilience" talk with the amazing  Karen Young - Hey Sigmund. Your support for Heal, our new charity focused on community health and wellbeing, means the world to us!

It was incredible to see so many of you come together while at the same time being able to support this cause and help us build a stronger, more resilient community.

A special shoutout to Anna Catley from Anna Cudby Videography for creating some fantastic footage Your work has captured the essence of this event perfectly ! To the team Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre thank you for always making things so easy ❤️ 

Follow @healhealthandwellbeing for updates and news of events. Much more to come!

#Heal #CommunityHealth #CourageAndResilience #KarenYoung #ThankYou

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