If you display these 10 behaviors, you’re the toxic one in the family

Why don’t I get along with my family? It’s as if we’re always fighting, and nobody is ever on my side. 

Family dynamics can be extremely complicated, and there are times when we come into conflict with the people we love. 

But when your unsupportive behavior starts disrupting their lives, it’s a serious problem. They could start avoiding you or limit the time they spend with you because of your attitude or lack of support. 

Let’s look at the following 10 behaviors to help you determine whether you’re the toxic one in the family. 

1) You’re extremely critical 

Constant criticism is not a favorable trait. 

It’s a toxic one. 

You may find yourself judgmental or highly critical of things that you don’t agree with. There’s no real consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others. 

As a very judgmental person, you can be manipulative and controlling, which is not good for your or anyone else’s mental health. 

You’re not a bad person, but this type of constant criticism is not helpful for you or anyone else. 

It’s easy to judge. It’s not that easy to look within and take accountability for your actions. 

2) You believe that you’re the boss 

Order and organization are important to you, but you often run the household like a production line. 

“Do this, do that!” 

You want things done a certain way, but without considering how you come across. 

More often than not, we get so comfortable with our family that we forget our manners. We might ask a relative to do something without saying “please,” or we might give instructions with the expectation that someone does as they’re told. 

Making constant demands is a negative trait that is absolutely toxic

3) You’re overbearing 

We all want to know how things are going with our family, but it requires some tact and consideration. When you’re constantly checking in and not giving others their space, your behavior becomes overbearing. 

Is this what you do? 

  • You constantly want to know where someone is going by checking on them.
  • You want to know what they’re doing. 
  • You get involved in everyone’s conversations. 
  • You don’t give others space. 

If you only tend to focus on what you want for your future and find it hard to compromise, you have some of the traits of an overbearing person.

4) You can be manipulative 

You may have lied or misled your family to hide information or have something go your way. This doesn’t mean that you’re toxic.

Things change when you constantly lie, mislead, and try to control others because these are manipulative tactics

Consider this scenario: 

Your daughter and her fiance are getting married soon, and they’re discussing moving away. You really want her to reconsider moving, so you hint at how sad and lonely you’re going to be when she’s gone. You hope that your hints will get her to change her mind and stay.

To guilt-trip is a manipulative strategy that makes other people feel bad. They feel guilty and end up doing what you want them to.  

What about sarcasm? 

Other types of toxic behaviors include sarcasm and humiliation. You might think that it’s harmless fun, but it could be a sign of manipulation. 

When you deliberately make fun of a relative, they either let things slide to avoid conflict or they don’t say or do certain things to avoid becoming the target of your sarcasm. This way, you’re influencing their behavior to get your way. 

5) Forcing your views on others 

When you’re having a conversation with your relatives, do you get annoyed by their opinions? 

You want them to follow your lead when dealing with similar situations or experiences, and when they don’t, you get frustrated. 

The problem? 

Your way is the only way to do something. 

You might not be aware of it, but when you think that you’re right, you tend to force or influence others to commit to your way of doing things. Unfortunately, trying to force your perspective or solution on your family could come across as dismissive of their opinions and experiences. 

Every person has their own perspective or reality, and the best you can do is give them your support and advice. You can’t expect someone to agree with everything you say or make the same life choices. 

Here’s what you can do to encourage others:

Put yourself in their shoes. 

Rather than tell them what to do, think about how they feel and let them know that you’re there for them if they want to talk. 

6) You feel like nobody’s on your side 

Are there times when you feel like the black sheep in your family

Everyone keeps attacking your character, and they’re never on your side. 


Are they really attacking you and being unsupportive? 

Sometimes, we become the victim of our circumstances to avoid taking responsibility for our actions. 

When you tell yourself that you’ve been wronged, you avoid any accountability for the part you might have played in the situation. 

Think about it this way: 

When you face obstacles you believe that you can’t overcome, you feel that the world is against you. 

The truth? 

You’re not a victim of any circumstance. You have the power to change your thought processes and attitude. To quit feeling that you’re not good enough and to help you avoid toxicity in your family, focus on building your self-worth through positive affirmations. 

7) You’re quick to anger 

Do you find yourself snapping at your family when you get frustrated? Maybe you insult them without realizing it. 

Perhaps you’ve been called rude, unreasonable, or too harsh.

We all get angry or annoyed at some point, but is your anger justified? 

You might have noticed that some family members distance themselves from you or no longer confide in you. It’s not pleasant to be around someone who gets angry quickly. 

If you have a temper and tend to lash out at loved ones, it’s a sign that you need to find more constructive ways of coping with your emotions. 

8) You’re very defensive 

Don’t get me wrong; you should always stand up for yourself when you feel betrayed or belittled.


If you jump to conclusions before uncovering the truth, it’s time to look within. 

When someone close to you is being honest or giving you advice, you’ve got to ask yourself whether it comes from a good place. 

I remember when I started my first job. I’ll admit that I lived a little recklessly and didn’t save for a rainy day. My uncle called me aside one day while visiting and said, “Look, I want to be honest with you.” “You’ve got to start taking responsibility for yourself, and that includes your future.” 

Before he could continue, I jumped in and felt the need to defend myself. 

If I had just taken a moment to hear him out, I would’ve realized that he was concerned and not criticizing. 

Being defensive isn’t helpful. 

Hear someone out first, and then think about your response. 

9) You gossip

Every family has that one person who enjoys gossip, but when you talk about relatives behind their backs or spread a rumor, it’s definitely a toxic trait. 

Gossiping is harmful.

If a family member shares an experience with you in confidence, it’s important to respect their privacy. They’ve probably come to you for support because they trust you. 

When you catch yourself talking about them behind their backs, think of the implications of breaking their trust. What will you gain from your behavior? 

My advice? 

If you have nothing nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all. 

10) You’re always making fun of others 

When you’re in the presence of family, you feel comfortable, and it’s easy to crack a joke or two. When these jokes become hurtful and personal, it’s toxic behavior

A joke isn’t always funny or entertaining, especially when it’s at someone’s expense. 

Sharing jokes with your family is one thing, but poking fun and insulting someone is sure to harm your relationship with them. 

Think about what you say, and be mindful of the people you care about. 

What to do if you’re the toxic one in the family 

Recognizing that you could be a toxic member of your family is an important step to creating harmony and healthy relationships. 

It’s incredibly hard to admit to yourself that your behaviors could be negatively impacting the people you care about, but it’s a necessary step to help everyone live happier lives. 

This doesn’t mean that you simply overlook things. 

That’s a hard no. 

How you respond should always be within reason. 

Take a step back and think about how your actions affect others. Your toxic behavior could compromise the connections and relationships that you share with your family. 

Related articles: 

12 signs you’re in a relationship with the wrong person, even if you love them

If someone displays these 9 behaviors, they have low self-worth