To encourage you to keep going.
To remind you to be strong.

Published on May 17, 2018 in Blog1, Picture Quotes, Revive


‘Enough is enough’: when it’s okay to cut family members out of your life

Being the tribal creatures that we are, we crave acceptance and belonging. For most people since the dawn of our species, this has come primarily in the form of a family. The family is the fundamental social group, the bedrock upon which we build and base all of the relationships that we develop throughout our lives. Losing these relationships, be it through bereavement, arguments and feuds or through cutting people off, is extremely difficult for any of us. This means that when a relationship with a family member is unhealthy and toxic, it is one of the hardest things for us to do to sever the tie and go our separate ways in life.

Toxic relationships – it’s okay to let go

You should never keep toxic people or people with whom your relationship is toxic in your life. Focusing on growth and surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people is the best way forward – not holding onto remnants of your past with people that do not lift you up and root for you, but instead bring you down. This includes family members. Abusive parents, narcissistic siblings, it doesn’t matter. If the relationship is toxic and there’s no room for compromise or any way they could change for the better, let them go. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and the people who really care about you. It’s not pretty, but sometimes it has to be done.

How to know if a relationship with a family member is toxic – five red flags to watch out for

There are a few ways of identifying whether or not a particular relationship in your life is toxic.


  • They only speak to you when they need you


A healthy relationship with any person in life requires give and take. When someone in your close family only ever contacts you when they need you, whether it be to use your truck to help them move, or emotional support in times of crisis, but isn’t there for you in turn when the chips are down, it’s pretty clear that they don’t actually value your relationship too much. They’re using you when they need you and then distancing themselves afterwards.


  • They feed off of drama


People obsessed by, and thriving off of drama tend to nearly always be toxic influences in your life. They live for the rush of adrenalin, the gossip, the heated arguments. When these people are your family members, it means you’re always involved or dragged into it to some extent, even if just by association. Make no mistake, people that feed off of drama are hurtful to your life and your physical and mental wellbeing.


  • You can’t trust them


A horrible symptom of a toxic family member is an inability to trust them. Your family should love and respect you, and that includes having the presence of mind and integrity to keep your secrets and always look out for you and have your back. If you have a family member who you can’t trust, they’re a toxic influence on your life.


  • They’re quick to judge


Everyone makes mistakes, everyone needs (constructive) criticism. However, when the family member in question is quick to criticise with a constant stream of degrading comments and makes it all about how terrible you are and how bad you should feel, rather than how to learn from it and move on, they’re toxic.


  • They manipulate you


Manipulation is one of the bigger (and often harder to identify) signs that someone in your life or family is toxic. Manipulators will use a variety of tactics to keep you under their control, from gaslighting (making you doubt your own memory or sanity) and denial of something you have conclusive proof of to changing their behaviour from sweet to angry and unpredictable when something doesn’t go their way.

Cutting off toxic family members

Following through and cutting off a family member once you’ve identified them as being a toxic person is extremely difficult, but often necessary. Toxicity stems from immaturity, from a lack of self-awareness and knowledge of what is really important in life. As a result, this behaviour is difficult to correct. A person will only change on their own, of their own volition and in their own time. Some people never will. It’s not up to you to try to change their behaviour or personality. If they do so of their own accord, either after you’ve cut them off as a wake-up call or in the course of their own path in life, brilliant. The vast majority of the time, however, a toxic person at adulthood will be toxic for most of their life.

You owe it to yourself and the people that really care about you to surround yourself with positive people you can trust. Focus on doing this, and you’ll find it easier and easier to avoid toxic influences in your life and become a more fulfilled person.

Written by Maverick
Lessons Learned In Life Inc., Staff Writter


  1. Tina May 17, 2018 Reply

    It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done
    I had to cut all ties with my sons . It was hard to read about some toxic people don’t change. I feel that my sons won’t and I’ll never see or talk to them again . I can’t get passed this!

    • vivien stewart May 18, 2018 Reply

      Don’t give up, Tina. Just have faith that in time God will change hearts and minds and there might be a way forward for you and your sons. Don’t stop believing it’s a possibility!!

  2. Sharon L Popa May 17, 2018 Reply

    Spot on! So many people I encounter don’t understand this. We are hard wired to from the womb to say “family first” but I know first hand how many hours, days, years of my life I put into “family first” only to one day, (not that long ago) realize, ‘those’ family members, have NO clue about the concept. Once I accepted I can choose the people to call family and it has nothing to do with blood.

  3. vivien stewart May 17, 2018 Reply

    Sounds good…. but too simplistic when dealing with a family member with mental health problems…. believe me, I’ve been there and thought of doing what you suggest…. but it’s just not credible given some of the struggles people face to just get through another day. So I would say to people…… don’t give up on your family, on those you love, on those who love you ( even if it may not be obvious)…. you do not know the day or the hour that love will be needed

  4. Herman May 18, 2018 Reply

    I got a mother who have a habit of swearing at her own children when we were very young.Whatever she had sworn have come true.An older sister whose husband are involve in black magic and never provide enough money to spend for my sister and beat her quite often when he get mad.Now they are trying to shoo me away from the house that i am currently living with my mom with the use of whitchraft.A cursed older brother whose in and out of prison for theft and illegal drug usage plus he is never employed thanks to my mom who likes to compare him to my useless uncle who seldom goes to work and often ask for money from my grandma.Haha wtf im going crazy living like shit for more than a decade.Ohh God plz help!!!

  5. Louann May 19, 2018 Reply

    Maybe someone could give me 14 year old grandson wrote me a letter saying for years he’s hated me and he went on to call me names.and he wants me to know he’s a atheist. Now I’ve never wrote back .but I did tell my son how his son talked to son says aww teenagers.i wish I could tell you folks there’s big hidden secrets but no.ive always loved this child very much.but I have othergrandkids who live closer to me that I do see all the yes I believe there is some jealousy there.but do I just disown this grandchild? Or act as all is well? I do believe he’s being fed a lot from his mother who I thought was my friend ,

    • Author
      Brigitte May 19, 2018 Reply

      I usually never offer my opion but I would like to say to you I’m really sorry this is happening to you, to both of you. Please do no such thing as disown this grandchild of yours. Never give up on him. Even if he doesn’t want to see you now, Love him from afar. When you do communicate with him, tell him you love him, and ” I will always be here for you if you need me”. Don’t argue with him. He has a lot of life and growing up to do. You never know what is going to happen in 5- 10 years from now when his life and mind belong to him.He will always remember your loving words and say to himself, my grandma always said she loved me no matter how awful I was to her. She is pretty awesome. Some day he will reach out to you. If not, (worse case scenario) at least you will know, in your own heart, you did the best you could and you extended out your love.

  6. Petya May 20, 2018 Reply

    No, no cutting off.This is blood.You have to treat your family members equally.What you do gives then the unique chance to disturb your level of relation to others.You have to lead them.Doe people get lost on the inside.You are their blood.You are the only one they can relate to, even if its frightening at first.Its worth , I promise.

  7. Too Loyal May 29, 2018 Reply

    I consider myself too loyal. I go above and beyond not to prove anything because I genuinely want to help people. My family doesn’t seem to admire this about me. I’m called names, told I think I’m too good. I don’t think I’m in a healthy space, Im often disconnected from family and others. People are constantly looking for me to be different, or suggest I’m just not someone they want to be around. Even my Mom and I had an argument, I think she gives me more grief than my sibling who’s always doing the wrong thing. It’s confusing and gaslighting. I didn’t want to completely cut ties but I have to. As this says they’re quick to judge and feed off drama. All I want is a peaceful, happy coexistence. Thanks for posting.

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