Toxic families are like small islands that contain a home full of conflicts , of mandates, of dysfunctional dynamics that affect all its members.
We know, on the other hand, that the term “toxicity” is fashionable. We have all heard and used expressions such as “my relationship is toxic” or “in my work I have a” toxic “partner.
Well, it should be noted that this label does not respond to any clinical description, there is no psychological manual that defines it or pathology or disorder associated with that word.
However, its popular use perfectly collects a set of processes that fit very well with the word toxicity.
The reason? There are people who, because of their personality style, behavior or communication style, hurt, steal balance, motivation and self-esteem.
Also, a phenomenon that is not talked about too much is the one that happens in a home , in those four walls where families, those small social groups, relate and connect with each other to, supposedly, take care of themselves, love each other, educate their children and build a future in happiness.
However, this does not always follow a rule of three. The family is a very hermetic institution where events occur that are not always positive.
So much so that, undoubtedly, it would be necessary to go deeper into this topic, into the types of toxic families and their dynamics.
Types of toxic families
Psychologists and experts in family dynamics remind us that more than focusing on toxic families, we should talk about “toxic parents”.
Both the father and the mother hold that position of power in a family, where their personality style will impact in one way or another in the rest of the inhabitants of that home, whether the children and even relatives in charge such as grandparents .
Also, the focus of “toxicity” is not reduced to a single member.
Sometimes, the relationship between the couple impacts negatively on the environment , building an atmosphere charged with tensions, emotions on the surface and a high level of anxiety.
Let’s see now what are the types of toxic families.
Read also “signs that your partner is toxic”
Manipulative, narcissistic and low tolerance families
There are family environments where the dysfunctional focus is centered on a member with a narcissistic and manipulative profile.
- It is common for this type of personality to create situations where control is exercised, liberties and respect are restricted and, in addition, there is very little tolerance.
- Living in this way has a high cost. The children will not feel neither cared nor respected , and thus develop low self-esteem or even challenging behaviors when wanting to react to that figure of toxic and negative power.
Immature parents and children who care for their parents
Another type of toxic families are those where the parents, either one or both, are very immature at all levels.
- Low responsibility, lack of interest, carelessness or poor control of impulses make them unreliable people.
- It is common that, in these cases, the children assume adult responsibilities very early. Something that, on the other hand, is not adequate or healthy.
Children have their times, and it is not right to have to grow fast.
Parents who project their frustrations on others
There is no worse psychological weapon than frustration looking for victims. In fact, the frustrated father or mother who projects his guilt, his fears or failures in the children or in the couple is quite habitual and exhausting.
All these dynamics leave a mark. Thus, few things can be as exhausting as those children forced to fulfill the dreams of their parents or to be the target to vent their own dissatisfaction .
Parents who use their children to go against their spouses
There are times when a father or a mother can “instrumentalize” the children to attack the couple.
- These are situations that often occur in divorce proceedings, however, they also happen in the day to day, there to call the attention of children who join one side or another to get something.
- They are dynamics dominated by blackmail, very destructive in the child’s mind.
Causes that define toxic families
Knowing the origin of the problem of this toxic or dysfunctional family can undoubtedly serve as a starting point from which to promote changes and coping strategies to regain harmony, good dynamics.
However, it must be said that it is not always easy. The emotional cost is usually high.
In addition, changes do not appear from one day to the next if, for example, we have become accustomed to communicating in a certain way or even not communicating with ours.
However, every effort is little to promote better coexistence, respect and happiness of parents and children.
Let’s see now what processes are usually behind toxic families:
- Possible psychological disorder, disorder or problem of addiction of any member of the family.
- Abuse of power and an authoritarian style.
- Parents or absent mothers, who disregard their responsibilities.
- Lack of affection, little attachment.
- Possible abuses or physical or psychological abuse.
- Poor communication style, either due to lack of skill, personality style or disinterest.
- Lack of coherence, low reliability on the part of one of the parents.
- Low self-esteem in the father or in the mother.
- High level of demand and need for both the couple and children to live up to the expectations of the father or mother.
To conclude, it is very possible that some of us will be identified with many of these data.
Therefore, whenever possible, we will try to do our part to create a better environment, better relations .
However, if we are aware that the impact of this relationship on us is very high and negative, we must make other decisions to safeguard our emotional balance and dignity.