Wait! What? Toxic parents? But how to establish boundaries with toxic parents? How come parents become toxic for their children? It’s hard to believe that someone is going through emotional turmoil due to a toxic parenting style. No one discusses how to establish healthy boundaries with toxic parents, and they keep manipulating their children for their own purpose.
Parents provide the most unconditional love to their children and this creates confidence and trust in their personality. When you deeply want to connect to your parental figure but unable to do so, then it creates a cognitive dissonance, where you become flustered about your own action and then reaction. There is an innate need for attachment and connection with your parents or at least with the one who is providing you care and nurturance. When you want to establish that connection and it does not work the way you want then it becomes a problem.
Mostly, people are unable to establish boundaries in their relationship since they think that with these relationships, we do not have any boundary and our parents can treat us according to their will. And even if they show us the toxicity in their treatment, we digest it just because we have a parent-child relationship.
What is a relationship boundary?
The line in interpersonal relationships, where you know that how should you be treated by the person you are dealing with. You establish a thin glass wall, where you can see through the person but do not allow them to hurt you in any way, either mentally or physically. When that person tries to penetrate that wall and you let them do it, then it means you have weak or no relationship boundary. Any individual, other than you should maintain that boundary and respect your privacy, even if they are your parents.
Signs of Toxic Parenting
Let us explore toxic parenting and its signs.
Here are the questions that I am putting down for my readers, which will assist them to identify toxic parenting.
- Do you feel that your parents putting their demands in front of you without asking you?
- Do they intervene in your boundaries?
- Do they send you on a guilt trip when you ask something?
- Do they always criticize you instead of supporting?
- Do they compete with you?
- Do they play the victim cards with you?
- Do they manipulate the situation to gain your attention?
- Do they crack “toxic” jokes on you?
- Do they stop you from expressing any negative emotions?
- Do they give you the silent treatment when it’s important to talk?
If all the answers are “YES” then it implies the toxic pattern in the parenting style. Its high time to learn to establish boundaries with toxic parents. But the question is that how to do it as it is the trickiest part in maintaining any interpersonal relationship especially when they are your own biological parents. Here, our mind becomes perplexed due to the belief system in which we grew up, where it is incorporated in us that you cannot react back or maintain any boundary with your parents.
Ways to establish boundaries with Toxic Parents
Let us dive into the ways where you can learn how to establish healthy boundaries with toxic parents.
1- Stop being a pleaser, as it is hard to please them. Learn to change the belief about seeking validation from those who cannot provide you anything except hurt.
2- If you know already that you are dealing with toxic parents, still do not try to change them as it will make you more frustrated.
3- Think before sharing anything with them, as it can cost you another mental pain as they can use it later.
4- Try to explore your parents’ limitations and work accordingly as it is an effective strategy to avoid the worst behavior of them.
5- When they start penetrating your boundaries then it is better to learn the cue and go for an exit strategy where you leave the place for a while and can evade any heated arguments.
6- Do not provide any justification as it can only drain your energy and it will not be going to help you in any way since they do not like to know about rational reasoning.
7- Take care of your mental health as it is quite painful to deal with toxic parents.
8- Take a healthy diet, proper sleep, exercise daily.
9- Have a good social support system and connect with positive people.
10- Start enforcing the boundaries even if they do not respect that but you keep telling them that what is bearable and what is unendurable.
You cannot let anyone break that wall that you established just because you are dealing with your loved ones. You cannot let them make holes into that wall and make it porous to transmit their negative energy to you. toxic parenting
By Hina Rehan