It can be very painful to confront, cut off, or cope with a cruel and negative family member. However, it is necessary for your mental wellness to find ways to deal with or remove their toxicity from your life. From assessing their behaviors to setting boundaries to knowing when to let go, these are a few ways to handle a toxic sibling.

Speak Up For Yourself

While confrontation is never easy, letting a sibling know that they are damaging to your wellbeing is an important place to start. Sometimes, they may simply not recognize the impacts of their negative behavior. Other times, they may simply need a nudge in the right direction to recognize the issues in your relationship and produce a change.

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Along with speaking up, setting healthy, strict boundaries is a way to prevent too much toxicity from leaking in. In talking to your sibling, make sure they understand your expectations and needs in terms of altering the dynamic of your relationship. Setting necessary boundaries, whether it’s involving time, money, affection, or otherwise, is a way to keep yourself protected and your sibling aware of their actions.

Know When To Let Go

As difficult as it can be to remove someone from your life who you care for, it can be essential to cut ties with toxic siblings until you can form a healthy, effective relationship. It doesn’t mean you don’t care for your sibling, but rather prevents you from experiencing the continual hurt of their actions, behaviors, and words. And fortunately, this estrangement doesn’t have to be permanent.

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After a period of independent healing, giving your sibling a second shot at a healthy relationship with you isn’t forbidden. However, it’s important to stay firm to your boundaries throughout this process to ensure their cycle of toxicity isn’t repeated or condoned. Making an effort to heal and worth on your relationship is healthy; allowing them to return to your life only to wreak the same havoc as before is not.

Work On Your Healing

During and after the trauma of dealing with a toxic sibling, it’s essential to get on a path of healing and recovery. This may include going to therapy to discuss the impacts of the relationship, preparing for your future with (or without) your sibling, or finding healthy ways to let go of the relationship.

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Ultimately, while dealing with a toxic sibling is distressing, there are a number of safe ways to reconcile, repair, or potentially remove the relationship. Your wellbeing must come first, and speaking up, setting healthy boundaries, recognizing when to let go, and focusing on your own healing can ultimately lead to fuller and healthier relationships moving forward.