I have lots of experience with this. I try to practice detaching with love. I don't think anyone is inherently toxic. In my experience most relationships that reach "toxic" levels are because there are unspoken expectations that the other party feels guilty about not meeting which creates a dynamic of resentment and obligation. If I draw clear boundaries, stick to them and am 100% honest about what is and isn't working for me in the relationship / situation, the "toxins" dissipate. Often times there is strong reaction to boundaries (esp with family) that may create a distance but ultimately if you keep the focus on yourself and act with integrity, you've done all that you can. All relationships are 50/50 and sometimes we don't have a choice on who we engage with. We don't all have the same goals and intentions so exposing that can be freeing.
Alternatively, if you are interested in "removing" them, it's always an option. If I nourish the relationships that move me fwd and put less energy into the ones that don't work for me or am honest about why they aren't working, they either adapt or fade away.
This book Crucial Accountability http://amzn.to/1nwYG2C might help too. They also wrote a book Crucial Conversations. Hope that helps, happy to chat more if you need more specific advice.
or bathe with baking soda
run and run as quickly as possible
the world is so big, stay away from
the strange-eg social deviant
depress all the time
The first strategy is to acknowledge that no family is perfect. No matter how Leave It To Beaver or The Cosby Show a family looks on the outside, there are always conflicts, differences, rivalries, competitions, comparisons and yes, past stucknesses that are common. If you understand it, it gives you a different perspective on your own.
Secondly, I would suggest to you is to look within. When a good friend of mine perceived an intensity around something with a family member that was disproportionate, she asked me, "What pain/memory inside of you has Life come to heal?" What is unresolved inside of you that this family member is stirring up? Are you holding on to something you need to let go? A memory. A feeling. An event. What is it?
And please understand, it might be an ideal that you are holding on to. Taking a page from my own life, my dad taught us girls to stick together no matter what. However, some of the choices that we made made it impossible. The discomfort that we experienced was when one or all of us kept trying to uphold my dad's belief and force the other siblings to do the same. When I surrendered the need for things to be different--which really is the definition for forgiveness--I could choose who to be around and when. When I surrendered the need for my sister(s) to be different, I took better care of my emotional health - putting it first - and chose not to go to certain family events or, if I did, limit my exposure to them. This removed me emotionally making it impossible for toxicity to find a reservoir.
Lastly, I cultivated an open and willing spirit so that, should a change of heart happen in my sister(s), I would welcome them without trepidation. The key here however is change of heart. If someone is stuck in a reality of you that makes it impossible for them to see you beyond it, there is no reconciliation.
These are the strategies and insight I offer to you. If you need more help, I provide relationship coaching as part of my life coaching suite of services and would be happy to be of further assistance.
Same as you would anyone else, just stop interacting with them. If they ask why, let them know what they did, how you feel, and that they need to respect your boundaries. Also be okay with not having these people in your life after those conversations. People tend to become very defensive so prepare yourself to be okay with actually severing the relationships. If you’re not okay with that, then you’ll have to learn to set boundaries, and accept people for who they are, and learn to not let them affect you! Your power lies in your response. Good luck friend! 🐾