If it's causing you mental and emotional pain, it's not worth it!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 2, 2020. It has since been updated.
Cutting out people from life is never an easy decision. With it comes guilt, memories, questions, and judgments. But you know you have to take a call when their presence in your life disrupts the balance and your peace of mind. It need not involve drama and pointing fingers, but it will definitely help you heal and be at peace with yourself. Surrendering to social obligation has been ingrained in our DNA by none other than the people who raised us. So when it is time to let your choices determine the course of your life, you have to let them go.
Here are 11 things you will realize when you cut your toxic relatives out of your life.
It is important to surround yourself with people who help you grow, anything less than that will only bring your energy down and fill you up with negativity and irreversible self-doubt. "Visualize your boundaries, that protective territory between you and someone else. No one is entitled to occupy your space unless you invite them in," says Dr. Abigail Brenner M.D, on Psychology Today.
Despite the pain they caused you and the pang of guilt and doubt you carried, you still cared for them. This made the emotional baggage all the more overwhelming. So when you accept your decision of cutting them out, you will a sense of relief.
Whether it is an ex-partner, a parent, sibling, or friend, the emotional connection you felt for them won't magically disappear. Yet, you do what is right for you. Not everybody you love is a valuable addition to your life. More importantly, if they oscillate between positive and negative reinforcements, you must let them go. Due to this, you could never really know if they appreciate you or just like to slyly take on you with the cover of love and sugarcoated words.
It is okay to call out or stay away from people who judge you for deciding to let go of your family members or friends. They might even come up with excuses to have you apologize to the toxic person, but you don't owe anyone an apology under pressure. Nothing is more important than your mental health and peace of mind, and people who care for you will appreciate this.
When you cut ties, it creates a much-needed distance between you and the toxic person. This will help you see things objectively. They hurt you and you decided to stop being hurt. If you feel anything other than this, it is usually leftover guilt due to their manipulation. Wanting to take care of yourself is not selfish. Over the years, we have been conditioned to think that self-love is selfish. When you decide to put yourself forward, you need to gather the courage to defend your choice.
You don't need to explain to the toxic person how they have been damaging the relationship or how it is affecting your mental health. You cannot change other people, you can only take actions based on your experiences. When they have left no stone unturned to tear down your self-esteem through these years, no amount of discussion can change them now. Neither do you need to explain things to others.
A family that supports you, helps you grow as a person, heals and nourishes you. Not people who make you feel bad about yourself. You are absolutely free to choose another family, a family completely different than the one you feel an obligation towards.
When you cut a toxic family member from your life, chances are, you have already tried everything to draw a boundary, keep them at bay so that they couldn't directly reach you. But nothing works, they are everywhere. Their criticisms, opinions, and judgments will reach you one way or another. When communication becomes indirect, it affects other people too, people you care about. And watching your loved ones suffer with you is the last thing you would want.
After all, if it is a toxic parent, they are ones who have raised you. But reminding yourself that this is the right decision and that you are in a better and positive space without them, is the right thing to do. Every time you crave a conversation with them, remind yourself of the times when they left you feeling like the weakest and worst. You do not need anyone who does not nourish or enrich you.
When you cut a few relatives out of your life, it triggers a chain reaction. People who you like might also leave with them because they hold you accountable for ending the relationship. But this will only make you strong and help you evolve and grow.
When people turn toxic, loving them harder in hopes of seeing them change, will only hamper your mental health. Let them go, you can love them, but they do not need to have a say in your life.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights gathered from various sources. The views expressed belong to the writer.