Toxic family members and friends can have an effect on a person’s well-being. Over time, I have dealt with several toxic family members and friends and it makes me sad to think about the situation. Many arguments and words were exchanged that cannot be taken back. It hurts more when you fight with a family member rather than a friend because family should always have your back and should understand you. When arguing with a family member, I’ve often been seen as the aggressor, not the victim. These things make you feel as if your feelings are invalid and do not matter. Once my friend got into an argument with her mom because she didn’t want to give her mom her paycheck. Her mom thought my friend was disrespecting her by keeping her money. Her mom acted like the victim when in reality she attacked my friend.
Toxic friends are a problem, as well. Friends are often the ones you may feel the most comfortable around because you share your secrets and daily thoughts with them. Interactions with these toxic friends have caused me to have situational depression for days or weeks at a time and caused me to have anxiety. I’ve come to terms with the fact that these particular situations were in fact, not my fault, but the toxic person’s fault. It takes a lot to come to that realization, especially after being blamed for almost everything by the toxic person.
You know that your family members may or may not be toxic due to their actions and the way you feel about them. These toxic family members can make you feel drained, and as if you are less than worthy. It may be a scary experience to be around them because you’re scared that you will upset them. Toxic family members may hold their authority over you and treat you like a child. They can make threats by taking advantage of your insecurities or taking away something that is important to you to get what they want. Your feelings may be dismissed every time you talk to them, and they could act as if you are attacking them and they are the victim. This topic matters deeply because it not only affects our generation but the generations to come. Many kids my age seem to have at least one or two toxic people in their lives. This can affect our mental health, as well as the way we view things. We could be scared to open up to our parents, talk about our feelings or be ourselves.
In the teenage community, parents often create this toxic relationship dynamic when we disagree with them and try to defend ourselves. However, this argument seems to go in one ear and out the other, as the teen is seen as being disrespectful for trying to get their parents to see their side and own up to their mistakes. It’s a sad feeling when we want to distance ourselves from our parents to be better as a person, but we wouldn’t know how to feel without them being in our lives.
This issue is not talked about enough. Parents or friends often take it as you being "sensitive," but that's not the case because if it hurts you, then it hurts you. There's never a moment where you're too "sensitive." It’s so much easier to avoid the toxic friends, but harder to avoid the toxic family. Since they are your family, you may see them all the time and it could be hard for you to protect your own space when around them.
We can make this better by making sure that we don’t carry toxic relationships over to the coming generations. As people, we can change how we speak about things, how we carry ourselves and how we approach certain topics. When a toxic person can no longer control you, then they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation may feel weird or unfair, but trust that other people will eventually see the truth. Being more positive and not thinking about how that person makes you feel can make you a better person. Not only will you be in a positive space but you will also be free to express your ideas or use this space to get better and grow without that person.