Toxic families are like small islands made up of homes full of conflict. They have commandments and frustration, and the situation affects all members of the family.
We all know that the term “toxicity” is a very common and fashionable word in modern times. After all, we’ve heard and probably used phrases like that like “my relationship is toxic” and “I have a toxic colleague at work”.
However, it should be remembered that this designation does not correspond to any clinical description. Thus, there is no psychological guide to define it, and there is no disease or disorder that could be associated with this concept.
However, it is a very popular word and it perfectly describes the processes that are noticeable when something is wrong.
What are toxic families like?
Why is that then? Because there are people who, because of their personality, behavior, or communication style, offend, get angry, take away motivation, and damage another’s self-esteem.
Unfortunately, there is often no talk of what is happening at home among the small and intimate groups that families are. We often just assume that a home is a place full of love, comfort and support.
However, this is not always true. The family is a well-closed institution where things happen that are sometimes not good for the person.
This time we want to take a closer look at this problem as well as highlight the different types of toxic families and their properties. So keep reading and you will hear more about this interesting and important topic!
Different types of toxic families
Psychologists and experts in the field of family dynamics point out that instead of focusing on toxic families, one should talk about “toxic parents”.
Both father and mother are dominant in the family. Their personality types will affect other people living in the home, whether they are children or even older relatives such as grandparents.
In addition, no attempt is made to determine the cause of toxicity by pointing a finger at only one family member.
Sometimes the relationship between the parents has a bad effect on the conditions at home. Thus, there is a tense atmosphere with emotions on the surface and a large amount of anxiety.
Let’s then look at what types of toxic families exist.
Manipulative, narcissistic and intolerant families
These are families where inactivity is concentrated in one family member with a narcissistic and manipulative personality.
- It is common for such a person to create situations in which he exercises power, restricts freedoms, shows a lack of respect, and has very little acceptance.
- Living in this way has a very high price. Children will not feel cared for or respected. Thus, they will have low self-esteem or even difficult patterns of behavior if they try to react to the toxic and negative power that a parent has.
Immature parents as well as children who have to take care of them
Another type of toxic family is one in which the parents – either one or both – are very immature in every way.
Low responsibility, lack of interest, negligence, or poor impulse control make such people unreliable.
In this case, it is common for children to take on adult responsibilities at a very early stage. This is not acceptable, nor is it healthy.
Children need to be allowed to have children, and it is not right for them to be forced to grow up fast.
Parents who release their frustration with other family members
There is nothing worse than a psychological weapon than directing frustration so that one falls victim. A frustrated father or mother who directs their guilt, fear, or failure at their children or partner is a fairly common phenomenon that exhausts those who are subject to it.
All these dynamics leave their mark. Only a few things are as stressful for a child as forcing him or her to fulfill his or her parents ’own dreams or for him or her to be subject to parental dissatisfaction.
Parents who use their children against their partners
In addition, there are times when a mother or father can use their children as a weapon against their spouse.
These are often the kind of situations that come up in the context of divorce. However, they are also present in everyday life, where children are asked to go to either side so that the adult can get something.
These dynamics include, in particular, blackmail, which can be very destructive to a child’s mind.
How are toxic families born?
Identifying the cause of the problem in a toxic or dysfunctional family is undoubtedly a good starting point for changing things, developing adaptation strategies, and creating some harmony.
However, this is not easy and its price is usually very high here. The changes will not happen overnight either.
Nonetheless, even a small amount of effort helps to create better coexistence, respect, and happiness for both parents and children.
Let’s then look at the processes that are usually behind toxic families:
- possible psychological disorder or dependence on a family member
- abuse of power and dominant style
- absent mothers or fathers who fail to perform their duties
- lack of affection or low affection
- possible physical or psychological abuse or misconduct
- poor communication style, due to either lack of skills or interest or personality
- inconsistency or unreliability on the part of either parent
- low self-esteem in father or mother
- high expectations and need for both the couple and the children to meet them
Many of us are sure to identify our own families from several of these descriptions. That is why, whenever possible, we must do our part to create a better environment and better relationships in our families.
Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions in order to secure our own mental balance as well as our self-esteem.