Some of us are lucky enough to have been born into families that are built on love, compassion, and understanding. Others, however, weren't so lucky.
If you're one of those people who weren't so lucky, then you must know how it feels to absolutely dread family gatherings or any interactions with family for that matter.
Some of your family members might have said or done things that hurt you in ways that even they didn't expect them to.
Here are five clear signs that you have a toxic family.
Lack of Trust
Have you ever sought advice from a family member or even shared one of your deepest secrets with them, only to find out that the whole world now knows your secret?
If a family member you loved and thought you could trust has betrayed you at a time when you were most vulnerable, you may very well be part of a toxic family.
If that's the case, you should be very careful when sharing things with family.
They know everything but constructive criticism; they attack your self-confidence by judgemental words and degrading criticism.
Overly judgmental family members are definitely toxic and you should tune out their destructive criticisms as much as you can.
Sometimes, you feel as if your family is only there for you if it benefits them. As soon as they get what they want from you, they go back to distance themselves from you.
What if you needed their love and support? None of that matters if there's nothing in it for them.
Toxic parents won't see their children as people. They believe that their kids are only tools that are there to be manipulated and controlled.
Another form of emotional neglect is when your parents favor one or more of the kids over the others.
This is one of the worst things a parent could ever do to their child; it leaves the child hurt and their relationship damaged from a very early age.
Emotional neglect, therefore, is one of the very clear signs of a toxic household.
Everyone wants what's best for their loved ones.
Sometimes, however, you might feel that they really don't know what's best for you, or that they try to force you to have what they think is best for you.
Controlling behavior from family becomes even more unhealthy when it's done for selfish reasons.
Toxic families use emotional blackmail to control your behavior and make you do what they want, regardless of whether it's actually "for your own good".
Of all of the signs of a toxic family member, none is as clear as violence.
Violence doesn't stop at harmful physical abuse. It could also be abuse in its emotional, economic, psychological, or legal forms, and possibly even in its sexual form.
If one of your family members doesn't try to help the victim in any way, that in itself is considered part of the abuse.
This can cause all kinds of psychological issues, like depression, PTSD, and a tendency towards drug abuse.
If you can relate to any of these toxic patterns in your family, it's best to reach out to a therapist and surround yourself with positive people that'll help you lead a healthier, happier life.