“The only way to win with a toxic person is to not play.”
When involved in a relationship — any type of relationship — with a toxic person, it does feel like you are a playing a game. And that is because they are playing a game. Whether they are conscious of this behavior or not, there is a game being played and it is one that you cannot win if you continue to be a chess piece. The only way to win is to quit the game. The only way to win with a toxic person is to leave.
We have all been told that if we find ourselves in an intimate relationship with a toxic person, or even find ourselves in a friendship with a toxic person, that we should leave. People encourage us to remove ourselves from those relationships because they are not healthy. And while that is true, there is one type of relationship that people usually don’t tell us to leave: Family.
When it comes to family, we all tend to believe that the rules change. Sure, our family member may be playing the game, they may be emotionally draining us, lowering our self-esteem, and negatively impacting various parts of our lives, but you don’t get to choose your family right?
We cannot change who we are blood-related to, but simply because we share the same DNA does not mean we have to maintain a relationship.
Although it is important to always love one another as Jesus has commanded us to, it is possible to love from a distance. And sometimes that is what we have to do. Sometimes our family members are so unhealthy for us that we cannot risk putting ourselves near them — sometimes we must love them from a distance.
So, if you find yourself around toxic family members, do not let anyone tell you to stay simply because they are family. They may be family, but they are still toxic. If this family member was a spouse or a friend people would tell you to be running for the hills. Just because you are blood-related does not change the fact that people can be unhealthy for you.
Just because someone is related to you does not mean that they get a free pass to treat you poorly.