How cutting off toxic family members will improve your mental health
Cutting off a toxic family member can be painful due to the emotional toes and history you have with the person, but it is often necessary and not so uncommon if they are causing you emotional, physical, financial, social, and/or psychological harm. 27% of Americans above the age of 18 have reported cutting ties with a family member for their personal well-being, according to a study conducted by Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., a Hazel E. Reed in 2020. You may have attempted multiple ways to resolve your issues with your family member and find it incredibly difficult to accept that they are causing you so much distress to the point where you need to cut them off for your mental health and safety. This article explores how going “no contact” with a family member can improve your mental health.
Being in constant contact with a toxic family member means you are exposed to a constant source of stress, anxiety, pain, and even fear. Cutting them off means that you restore happiness and peace in your life by removing the unhealthy relationship from your life and the negative emotions and thoughts that come with it. When you have tried tirelessly to repair your relationship and nothing seems to change it is important to recognize this and move forward in a way where you respect and nurture yourself by detaching yourself from the toxic relationship. Whether you choose to limit your contact with your toxic family member or completely cut them off it is bound to improve your mental health.
Cutting off a toxic family member or limiting your contact with them could give you the opportunity to heal from the trauma they have caused you. Being away from the source of distress to you gives you the time and space to recover from the trauma and to heal from it. Going no-contact with a toxic family member is wrongfully considered to be a spiteful thing when it is actually a form of self-care and a necessity for your mental well-being. You may use this time to seek therapy, go on an adventure to rediscover yourself, or journal to process your thoughts and feelings, and unlearn negative viewpoints imposed on you while you were in a relationship with a toxic family member.
Choosing between yourself and your family members could arguably be one of the most difficult things to do in life. When it comes to family, society holds you to a different standard when it comes to loyalty and love when your family member has been toxic or abusive. You may be overwhelmed with guilt or fear when making the decision to cut off your toxic family member because as much as you love and care for them it is not in your best interest to have a relationship with them. It is incredibly liberating if you choose to prioritize your well-being and love and care for your toxic family member at a distance.
As difficult as it is to cut off toxic family members it is a necessary thing to do. Remaining in a relationship with a toxic family member is harmful to your emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing and it is necessary to detach yourself from the toxicity and abuse to heal from the relationship and the trauma you have endured from them. Choosing to save yourself may not come naturally when you have been conditioned to think it is a selfish or evil thing to do, but it is yet another reason to do it.