Removing toxic people from your life is sometimes essential in order to live healthier. When their actions are obviously unhealthy that makes it easier to do. But what about the relationships where it’s not always so obvious? Or if they’re family so you will always need them in your life in some way? That’s what I refer to as the Push-Pull.

Let’s say you’re now an adult, but you’re self-aware enough to know that you were the function in the dysfunction in your family growing up. You were how they all survived and got along because you were the one they identified as having the problem, the scapegoat. Then you grow up and move out. Now you have to navigate what it’s going to be like to have these family members in your life. So, you set healthy boundaries, for which you receive some pushback, but you know it’s for your own sanity. Then you feel guilty for separating yourself from them too much. This leads you to let down some of the limits you’ve set, only to be quickly reminded of why you set them in the first place.

Just as you push yourself away they find a way to pull you back in, and the cycle continues. It can become increasingly frustrating, but you learn to accept what they do have the capacity to offer, learn to compensate what you need from elsewhere, and let go of what negativity they might send your way.

If you need help navigating a healthy way through relationships in your life, or removing toxic people from your life, please call Specialized Therapy Associates at (201) 488-6678. Together we can end the cycle of dysfunction.