By Leina Ussin
We’ve all at some point in our lives heard the phrase, “That’s still your mom,” or, “You know how ya cousin is, they’re still family though!”
Normally, these comments are said after a rude or uncomfortable altercation has taken place, and it’s usually supposed to make you feel better. To completely forget what just happened, and accept that it just comes with being related to this person. It’s supposed to be a way to prepare you for any future issues that may occur, and remind you that no matter how offended you may feel, it’s something you have to accept.
Now, if what you just read doesn’t sit right with you, I am here to tell you that it is perfectly OK!
One thing we need to work on, for ourselves, is the belief that we have to accept disrespect because it comes from family members. We do not!
Passively dismissing negative comments and behaviours only create an image that this is OK, and is something you will allow. It’s enabling this kind of conduct to continue because it’s something you won’t respond to.
And I know, many of you are probably thinking, “But it’s my mom/dad/grandma/aunt, etc.” and believe me, I understand that too! I will never tell you to disrespect our check your elder family members. I want you to keep all your teeth!
But, there are ways of handling it calmly if you decide you want to speak up. Try pulling this person aside and having a conversation with them and seeing how it goes from there. You can’t penalize a person’s behaviour if you’ve never given them the opportunity to change it.
However, if they don’t, you have the right to distance yourself from this person. Yes, there’s a chance you’ll get backlash from other family members, but they need to understand your mental health comes first! Being around, and hearing negativity, can and will eventually take its toll on you. You have a right to protect your energy and your peace of mind by any means necessary! And anyone who can’t understand that, that’s their issue to bear, not yours!
Now, this applies to siblings, children, and close friends.
We often focus on the relationships we’re supposed to have with certain people based upon the title they have in our lives.
“That’s my daughter, I can’t turn my back on her,” or, “That’s my son, I’ll always be here for them!”
And as I parent, I will never argue or downplay the love we have for our kids. But, if the love you’re dishing out for your child is causing yourself mental harm, you have the right to distance yourself from this!
We are here to raise our kids, provide for our kids, and make sure they have everything they need! Once our kids reach a certain age, yes we want to catch them when they fall, but not at the risk of falling with them!
You’re no good to anyone, not even your child, if the relationship between the two of you is literally draining you, and bringing nothing but negativity into your life. Before you became a parent, you were responsible for you! And if you would’ve never become a parent, guess who you still would’ve been responsible for?
Friendships that we’ve held on to because we’ve known someone for x amount of years, that we know are toxic, cut it off! If this friendship is causing you to walk on eggshells, or you find yourself dodging social settings because this person’s energy is harmful to yours let it go!
I will continue to emphasise what we’re not going to do in 2020, and one of those things is using love as a reason to hold on to a toxic relationship; family or friends.
Just because you make the brave decision to put some distance between you and this negative person, doesn’t mean your love for them is any less. It’s simply making a statement that you’re loving who matters most, more!