How to Deal with Toxic Parents?
Having toxic parents can be a difficult experience and one that is challenging to deal with. Toxic parents are those who purposely hurt their child or children through their actions. Often, parents who are toxic do not even realize it and may not notice the harm they have caused until later in life.
However, this does not mean you cannot forgive them or have a good relationship with them moving forward. Learn how you can deal with toxic parents so that your adult life is not negatively affected by the earlier experiences you had as a child.
Communicate your feelings with them and set boundaries
Communication is key in any relationship, even when it comes to dealing with toxic parents. If you have been holding in your feelings for years, now may be the best time to bring them up and communicate them with your parents. It can be scary to approach your parents about sensitive topics, especially if you were taught growing up to keep those feelings hidden, but communicating your feelings may help them see how they negatively affected you and set boundaries moving forward.
Communicating your feelings with your parents does not have to be an in-depth conversation. You can also approach the subject in letters, emails, or with the help of a therapist. Whatever method you choose, it is important to communicate your feelings so that you can set boundaries moving forward, especially if your parents are toxic.
Set healthy boundaries and do not feel guilty for doing so
Healthy boundaries are important when it comes to dealing with toxic parents. You may have had unhealthy boundaries growing up or never set boundaries with your parents because you felt guilty. When you have toxic parents, it can be extremely easy to fall into the habit of setting unhealthy boundaries, such as not speaking up for yourself or setting yourself up for self-sabotage. Healthy boundaries can help you to avoid this and help you to have a healthy relationship with yourself and others, even if you have toxic parents.
Create a support system outside of your relationship with your parents
It is important to have a strong support system during times when your parents are being toxic. Having a support system can also help you to avoid becoming isolated and help you to remain positive during difficult times. There are various ways to build a support system. You can join a club or a team, or you can join meet-up groups in your area. You can also become more social with your friends or coworkers. Invite people to do activities with you or ask your friends if they would like to get coffee or go on a walk with you. You can also connect with others online or use an app that can help you to make new friends.
Having toxic parents can be a difficult experience, but it does not have to define you. Communicate your feelings, set healthy boundaries, and create a support system outside of your relationship with your parents so that you can move past your toxic parents and have a better relationship with them moving forward. Having toxic parents does not mean that you cannot move past it and lead a happy life. In fact, it is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.
The author of this article is a therapist from the Sensera app. Sensera is a daily 10-minute self-therapy app. It’ll help you to cope with various mental problems (anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues). Feel better with CBT audio sessions and exercises. Download now to become happier!