Toxic People in Your Stepfamily: Rethinking Your Relationships | It’s Never Too Late Coaching

Toxic People in Your Stepfamily: Rethinking Your Relationships

Draining, non-supportive, and difficult people are one of life’s most vexing challenges in stepfamily life.

You think, “These people are toxic.  Poison.”

You resent how they trigger your most painful thoughts and feelings.

Here’s what we typically believe about who we should let into our inner circle.

“I deserve to have people in my life who I enjoy spending time with, who support me, and who treat me with respect, appreciation and courtesy.”

But as part of a stepfamily, there are many relationships we would not necessarily ever choose but which we are expected to include in our lives.

What’s a toxic person anyway?

It’s not that the whole person is toxic. Rather, their behavior is toxic or your relationship with the person is toxic, said psychotherapist Jodie Gale, MA.

“Often the person is deeply wounded and for whatever reason, they are not yet able to take responsibility for their wounding, their feelings, their needs and their subsequent problems in life.”

They may over identify and act out the parts of who they are, such as the victim, bully, perfectionist or martyr, she said. “They act from these parts trying to get their needs met, albeit in an extremely unhealthy way.”

According to The Science of People, here’s a summary of common types:

#1:  Conversational Narcissist

Conversational narcissists LOVE to talk about themselves—or just hear themselves talk. They don’t ask you any questions, they don’t wait for your responses and they won’t shut up. In a relationship, these people will end up being completely self-centered and never be attentive to your needs.

#2: The Straight Jacket

The straight jacket is someone who wants to control everything and everyone around them. They want to be in charge of what you do, what you say, and even what you think. This person will nag you until you are in complete alignment with them.

#3: Emotional Moocher

They tend to suck the positivity out of you or bleed you emotionally dry. These are the kinds of people who always have something sad, negative or pessimistic to say. In conversations and relationships, they never can see the positive and tend to bring everyone down with them.

#4: Drama Magnet

They are magnets for drama. Something always is wrong. Once a problem is solved, another one emerges. And they only want your empathy, sympathy and support, not your advice. You offer help and solutions, but they never seem to want to fix anything. Instead, they complain and complain. In a relationship, drama magnets are victims and thrive in a crisis because it makes them feel important.

#5: A JJ

A JJ is a jealous-judgmental person. Jealous people are have so much internal self-hate that they can’t be happy for anyone around them. And typically, their jealousy comes out as judgment, criticism or gossip. According to them, everyone else is awful, uncool or lacking in some way. If someone starts jealously gossiping with you about other people, watch out. You never know what they say about you behind your back too.

#6: The Fibber

Liars, fibbers, exaggerators… it’s exhausting to have a toxic deceiver in your life. Whether they tell little falsehoods or major lies, it’s impossible to trust a liar in a relationship. Dishonesty drains us because we constantly are doubting their words.

#7: A Tank

A tank crushes everything in its path. A human tank is always right, doesn’t take anyone else’s feelings or ideas into account, and constantly puts themselves first. In a relationship, tanks are incredibly arrogant and see their personal opinions as facts. This is because they often think they are the smartest person in the room. So, they see every conversation and person as a challenge. They rarely see others as equals—and this can be challenging when trying to form a loving connection.

Is this how you feel in their company?

  • It’s your job to save these person and fix their problems
  • Seething with resentment for covering up or hiding something for them
  • Dread seeing them
  • Drained after being with them
  • Angry, sad or depressed when you are around them
  • Personally affected by their drama or problems bleeding into your life
  • They ignore your boundaries and can’t hear the word ‘no’

What if there’s no such thing as a toxic person?

Try thinking about toxicity like this:  Toxic means poisonous.

Unless you’re actually breathing in or ingesting another person, you are not consuming poison.

In reality, you’re just in the presence of a human being.  Being in the presence of a rattle snake doesn’t mean you’ve been poisoned by snake venom.

Thinking about someone as toxic or poisonous is not useful.  Not only does it not help you, it it’s frightening to think of a person that way.

It gives them so much power over you.

Certain people always trigger this negative thinking.

There are people who you believe bring out the worst in you.  You think they hurt your feelings.

But other people do not have the ability to bring out the worst in you or hurt your feelings without your permission.

YOU hurt your own feelings or bring out your worst behavior with your own thinking.

And this is actually the best news ever!

What really matters is how you choose to respond to other people’s behavior.

Human beings are allowed to do what they want.  This is crucial to understand.

It doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences, but we’re allowed to do what we want.  We have free will.

You are not responsible for how someone chooses to behave, feel or think.

When other people behave badly, it’s because of how they are thinking and feeling.

The sooner you decide to understand this, the happier you’ll be.

You get to decide what to think about it.  What to feel.  How to behave.

No where is it written that you have to spend time with anyone.

But, it’s not because they’re toxic.  It’s because you LIKE YOUR REASONS FOR YOUR DECISION.

They own their thoughts, feelings and actions.

You own yours.

The first step is to manage your own thoughts and feelings which drive your behaviors and create your results.

Sometimes setting clear boundaries is the next best step after that.

Sometimes limited engagement.  Sometimes complete disengagement.

Let’s have a conversation about the toxic people in your life and your next best steps.

Who’s driving you crazy?  What are your thoughts and feelings about them?

How can you manage your thinking to shift your perspective?

Need help?

Just let me know by clicking right here to schedule your free Strategy Call.

 

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Hello!

As a Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach, I’m excited to teach you the same skills and tools I used to lose 25 pounds and keep them off with ease. I made this my reality 15 years after menopause, while managing thyroid disease for over 25 years and with a level of self-confidence and motivation I never dreamed possible. No white knuckling or willpower required.

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Hello!

As a Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach, I’m excited to teach you the same skills and tools I used to lose 25 pounds and keep them off with ease. I made this my reality 15 years after menopause, while managing thyroid disease for over 25 years and with a level of self-confidence and motivation I never dreamed possible. No white knuckling or willpower required.

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