These tips for toxic relatives will help you solve family problems. It’s important to remember that the right fixes for family problems are different for everybody…and finding the right solutions may require trying different things until you find what works for you.
“Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” ~ Charles Schulz. You may not know what gears will help you solve family problems, which is why you’re searching the internet for solutions for toxic relatives.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend is an excellent resource for solving family problems. You have to figure what is your responsibility and what is your family’s (those are your boundaries). Then, you need to be firm about sticking to your boundaries.
6 Tips for Solving Family Problems
1. Get in-person or online counseling support. I’m not a certified counselor or life coach, and I can’t offer online counseling here. But, there are hundreds of online counselors and psychologists who can help you solve your relationship and family problems – and I suspect there are many counselors, life coaches, and psychologists in your area. You don’t need to commit to years of therapy; sometimes all you need is a session or two to give you the guidance and support you need.
2. Find a support group. I’ve recently joined a “support group” (it’s more of a book club) of women who need to set and stick to healthy boundaries. Talking with people who have similar problems and experiences is a great way to find solutions! My support group is studying the Boundaries book, and we discuss both the book and our personal life experiences. A support group can help you solve problems and make you feel less alone.
3. Look for books that address your relationship or family problem. I’m a huge fan of reading books that directly relate to what I’m going through! My husband and I are dealing with infertility, and so we both read books on living a childless life. My mom is mentally ill, so I’ve read a ton of literature on how schizophrenia affects family life – and I even got a degree in Psychology! If you need to solve toxic family relationships, sometimes it’s most helpful to go the library and look for the right books.
4. Remove yourself from the situation – find ways to get unstuck. I often get comments and questions about bad breakups, unhealthy relationships, toxic parents, family problems, and other situations that I can’t provide adequate advice for. So many people say they’re “stuck”, they can’t get out, and they don’t know what to do. One possibility is to remove themselves from the situation – as difficult as it may be! That may mean letting go of someone you love because it’s a bad relationship. Or, it could mean changing the expectations you have of your loved ones. Sometimes the only solution for relationship and family problems is to take a step back and give yourself time to breathe and think. In the meantime, get in-person or online counseling help!
5. Talk to a marriage coach if you’re having relationship problems. I’ve heard nothing but good about marriage coach Mert Fertel, who helps couples rebuild unhappy relationships. If online marriage counseling doesn’t work for you, then talk to a life coach, your pastor, or even a wise trusted mentor. To solve your problems and achieve your goals, you need to find the right people who can help you!
6. Get as emotionally and physically healthy as possible – without trying to change other people. You can’t change your partners, friends, or family members. It’s futile to wish they were different or try to change them into different people. But, you can change your expectations, your responses, your attitudes, and your thoughts. And that’s where books like Boundaries are so important in solving family problems. Get your mind, heart, body, and souls as physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy as possible – without worrying about trying to solve all your relationship and family problems.
I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t give advice on solving family problems, but sometimes it helps just to write about how you feel.
If one of your family members is struggling with alcoholism, you may find 6 Ways to Help an Alcoholic Brother or Sister helpful.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.