Losing contact with parents: How to distance yourself from your toxic relatives
Even before we can form friendships and thus put together our chosen family, we depend on the love and affection of our blood family. Starting with ours Parentswho are responsible in our early years of life for not accidentally eating anything that could possibly kill us, to siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins and many more. Ideally, we can learn a lot from them, count on their support and be inspired. Unfortunately, for many people this is not the reality. Family constellations can be incredibly variable, and in some cases, unfortunately, quite so toxic. And while it may seem harsh and overkill to some, there’s no escaping it Contact to the family cancel, to prioritize his own mental health and not (anymore) affect it. At which Red flags you could think about this step and how you can actually take it, we explain here.
Losing contact with parents: Very painful, but sometimes unfortunately necessary
Of course, cutting off contact with family is no picnic and should be well thought out. And some who grew up in a harmonious environment may not be able to understand this consideration so well. Unfortunately, the reality is a little different. Some of us grew up in quite toxic and negative circumstances and continue to struggle into adulthood as a result. So it is all the more positive to see that more and more attention is being paid to breaking off contact with family to protect one’s own health and as a kind of self-care. In general, toxic relationships – whether with others or with oneself – are reported much more. That’s why we now perceive our friendly and family environment in a completely different way and often sort them out when we realize that this person is simply not good for us. Of course, cutting people out of your life isn’t nice, but sometimes it’s a step you need to take to prioritize yourself.
3 reasons to cut ties with family
Each of us certainly has at least that one family member, whether parent or a little further afield, who asks these incredibly uncomfortable and abusive questions every time we meet. Even worse: if he:she actually knows that you are triggered by certain topics and still puts your finger in the wound. sensitivity? none. Maybe you are still unsure whether you should really take this step. We have summarized a few general reasons for which breaking off contact is definitely justified. In addition, there are of course many individual points that justify this consideration.
1. You are or have been exposed to psychological or physical violence
The most obvious point at the beginning: If you have suffered verbal or physical violence from this person, a break in contact is more than plausible. This crossing of boundaries is anything but normal or okay and should not be accepted as such. Even in the case of “small” assaults that others may find okay in the family context, your own feelings are required. If one of your personal limits has been exceeded and your psychological or physical well-being has been affected, this step is necessary.
2. He:she badmouths every step you take
Imagine this: You are excitedly telling your father, mother, uncle or aunt about your new job that you have been working toward for so long. Instead of being happy for you, he just turns up his nose and asks you why you don’t prefer to do this or that – after all, that would bring in more money. In one fell swoop, your euphoria is gone, and what remains is a sense of disappointment and self-doubt. Does that sound familiar in any way? Then you should consider whether you want to continue to tolerate the negative energy of this person in your life.
3. You are constantly being patronized
As an adult, there is hardly anything worse than not being seen at eye level by fellow human beings. This is the case in many families when relatives have known you since you were born and can never really get the picture of you as a child out of their heads. It also affects how they treat you. In their eyes you are not a responsible adult who makes his own decisions and also stands behind them when something doesn’t go as desired. Instead, they deny you all of this and treat you with a lack of respect. This is also a reason for wanting to break off contact with the family.
Here are some things to keep in mind when breaking off contact with your parents
Of course, breaking contact within one’s own family works very differently depending on the relationship to the person in question. Depending on how often you see each other or interact, it can be easier or more difficult to turn your back on someone. That’s why we’re giving you a few general tips on how best to proceed if you lose contact with specific family members.
1. Personal conversation or just ghosting?
This is a question that has to be answered differently from case to case. There is no general answer because every relationship is unique. It also plays a very important role, what is the reason for your desire to break off contact with this person. If some form of psychological or physical transgression has actually taken place, you absolutely have to listen to what your feelings are telling you. Don’t force yourself to face that family member again if you don’t feel able to – which is totally understandable.
In this case, until you have the strength for this type of confrontation, you can try to avoid this person. Whatever you have to consider, this person will probably not react too positively or understandingly to this message at first. As long as you don’t feel ready to withstand this headwind, feel free to take your time with it.
A letter can also be a good option. Unlike fast-moving text messages, this forces us to really take our time with what is written and deal with it.
2. Formulate clearly how you feel and what you wish for
No matter which way of communication you choose: avoid misunderstandings by clearly communicating what is going on. Put your cards on the table and prepare for a confrontation so that you stand your ground and don’t stumble. Prepare clear sentences, such as “I don’t want any more contact with you”, that are unmistakable. Very important: You don’t have to justify your decisions and feelings to anyone. Don’t be tempted by a family member asking you for a reason or challenging your reasoning. It is better to end the communication prematurely and remove yourself from the situation. As long as you have stated your desire to break off contact in a neutral manner, without being insulting or abusive, you have nothing more to add.
3. Get professional support to process the loss of contact
No offense, but unfortunately talking to the respective family member is not enough. Be prepared to struggle with guilt or other thoughts. Of course, that doesn’t have to happen, but it can happen. The good thing: There are actually some therapists or self-help groups that specialize in this, to help you cope better with the loss of a relative through a loss of contact. They can guide you through the entire process and give you the best possible support to put your mental health first again.
Dropping out of contact with parents: experiences
You never know what breaking off contact with your parents or other family members will look like. There are hundreds of different reasons why a child separates from the adults in their family. And maybe you don’t even know anyone from your environment who has taken this step. Then in January 2023 came the turn “37 degrees of life” of the ZDF a show about children who no longer have contact with their parents.
Here you can see the lives of three women who, for a wide variety of reasons, have broken off contact with their parents and thus usually all contact with their families. You can find out how they feel about it and whether they feel guilty or something like that in the 27-minute episode. “Breaking with the parents” is the name of the strong episode and is available in the ZDF media library.