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How do I deal with toxic family members?

I have sisters that drag me down every left and right. They’re always trying to get me in trouble. It kind of just seems like they’re jealous of me because people seem to like me outside our home, Im athletic and skinny, whereas they dont diet, and Im fairly attractive. I went through a lot in my past, and ive made mistakes, but they dont even let me live that down. They call me unchristian and stab me in the back. I’ve apologized a couple times, even tried going out my way to be nice, but they throw it all in my face and pretty much hate me. Oh yeah, and they tell me im the one with the attitude. Im trying, but I really dont know how to cope. I try to stay out of their way and stopped going along with them because I know they dont want me there. My parents used to get mad at me and try to deal with me in various ways, but they realized why I act the way I do, and they started paying me more attention, even asked me what they should do about my sisters. My dad is nice to me now and I am trying really hard to respect my parents while my sisters act like brats towards them, and when my parents get mad at them and not me, they go haywire. Its like they live to hurt me. And they end up being mad when I dont care. Like, does my matured mindset get in the way of your pathetic attempts to drag me down? It disappoints you…? Im sorry, I´ll try harder next time smh. I really dont need my sisters to survive, they dont create my happiness, only take away from it. But im constantly scared they’re looking through my things, or plotting against me, i dont know. I know it’ll stop one day and it’ll get better, Im praying about it. I will be happy with or without them, they dont define my value. I love myself and im proud of myself for getting where I am. They arent. Any advise?

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confused.04,

This sucks. Sucks to feel like you have enemies in your own home. Like you’re just waiting to get cut down every day. Like when you succeed, you know there’s a storm waiting for you from the criticism or negativity of your sisters…brutal, man.

I had a weird situation in my life where I skipped a grade and became in the same high school class as my older brother, was in more advanced classes than him, and I made better grades. He was never outwardly diminishing of my success, but I felt that fear in the back of my mind that he did. I can only imagine how tough it must be to have those fears fully expressed on a daily basis from two siblings…

I think in general, you’re on the right track. You’re trying to focus on yourself, your own reaction, your own responses, and surrendering control over their choices…ultimately, you can’t change what they choose to do. You can change how you internalize it.

For example, instead of thinking this has something to do with how horrible of a person you are, you could realize that this is their woundedness, their fear of being insignificant compared to you, their fear of being unattractive compared to you, etc. If you understand that their actions are coming from a place of insecurity inside of themselves, it could help you access compassion. We all do crazy things when we’re insecure.

It could also help you from making agreements about what it means about you. Since you know it’s coming from a place of fear instead of truth in them, you can let go of any thoughts that says, “Maybe they’re right, maybe I’m unlovable, maybe I deserve this, etc”.

Also within your circle of influence (what you have the ability to do) is be kind to them. There’s this fun verse in the Bible:

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
-Proverbs 25:21-22

If you are kind to them in return to their evil to you, it will be like “heaping burning coals on their head”, hahaha. Kindness responding to evil is like searing pain to those who are trying to do evil to you. “Kill them with kindness”, as it goes.

But one of the things I’d be careful to focus on is to come from the right heart…I’d start by accessing compassion for them through understanding that they’re feeling unloved and insecure, and tapping into what that feels like for you…and from that place, offering them kindness as a response to their unkindness.

Anyways, I know that this whole thing is marked by unfairness…and I think that’s something that you have to surrender. It’s not going to be about getting even, or getting treated fairly, or anything like that…it’s an opportunity for you to grow – it’s not about how they’re acting, it’s about who you are becoming. And what an incredible chance to become someone who walks in compassion and kindness. If at the end of all of this, you became a more tender person who’s able to walk in love even in the midst of difficulty, that would be an incredible outcome.

Easier said than done, but awesome you’ve been given a shot to try.

-Nate

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I kind of understand. I am the youngest of four. The three like to team up on me and just make me feel horrible. They shoot me down and ignore me. They think I’m stupid and irritating. They make fun of my hair calling it really greasy. I also help out my mom quite a bit more than all of them combined but as I’m getting things out for them for dinner they are just sitting in their chairs and making fun of me. I completely agree with Nate Tries Again. One thing I do to soften the blow is pretend like you don’t care when they do something to you. When people do this all they want is a reaction. If you don’t give them the reaction they shut down. Not entirely though.

My situation isn’t as bad as yours but I hope you can be able to live your life without always having to worry about them stabbing you in the back.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such a way.

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Thank you so much, it means a lot.

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I once saw this quote that said , “Friends are the family you get to choose.”

You probably still live with your siblings and soon that time will end and the rest of your life you’ll get to choose who you are surrounded by.
Make sure those people You get to choose makes you feel the opposite of what you’re feeling today.

Now, to deal with the circumstance that you’re in now …my advice would be to just stay busy. Try to join as much things as possible and stay out of the house. Occupy yourself with being a better person because eventually the world will be yours to create a new life.
The best way to not become toxicity is to not be around it, so try to do things that has a positive benefit to your life.

As for your sisters… sometimes people become better and sometime they don’t. But, that has nothing to do with you, they’ll have to look in the mirror one day and change. Just as you are doing and forgiveness is key. Forgive them for yourself and when they come around to apologize you already moved forward because you had to forgive them for yourself.

As people get older we hope they get wiser but, this is not always the case. So, even if they don’t ever get the wisdom to apologize you had the wisdom to forgive.

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Wow, that changed my whole mindset. Seriously, thank you. Im genuinely trying to forgive, its definitely a process though.

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You’re welcome love. I’ve dealt with toxic people (including family) before and once you realize your in control of your own life. Things will get better. More smiles :slightly_smiling_face:, more laughter and happiness.

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