Reasons to love your parents are aplenty, but is it okay to not love them? We’re a country deeply rooted in culture, tradition, and manner; and one of the most important aspects of this culture is that we consider it disrespectful to talk bad about our elders, especially our parents. But, what if you have toxic parents? For that, let us first understand what kind of people can be termed as ‘toxic’.
To put it simply, these are the kind of people who always try to bring you down, if not directly then indirectly. They demean you and your work, always create a drama about something or the other, complain about life being unfair to them and always want to be the focus of every interaction. If these are traits your parents possess, then they are toxic parents. As much as you may respect them, you may find yourself not being to love them, because of these traits. Hence, here are some reasons it’s okay not to love them and some ways on how to and deal with it.
Reasons why it’s okay not to love toxic parents.
1. The guilt-trip
Toxic people always put you on a guilt-trip. They make you feel bad about your actions or try to hold you responsible for anything bad that happens in their life. It might be possible that some of it was your doing, but you don’t need a guilt-trip every now and then. So even if there are many other reasons to love them, this one makes it okay for you to not love them.
2. Inferiority complex
They make you feel bad about yourself or doubt your abilities at every point. They may also be criticizing you for the same. As parents, they should be supportive and encouraging and where that may be one of the reasons to love them, such constant critiquing is a good enough reason for you to not love them.
3. Accountable and answerable for everything
Every action or decision of yours becomes questionable or accountable, making you tread carefully on every path and doubtful about everything. While that is unfair on you, it is also understandable if you don’t love your parents.
4. No respect, no love
Irrespective of the age difference between you and your parents, if they are unable to respect you because of their toxic nature, it is okay to not give them respect in return as well. And if you do respect them despite this, it is definitely okay to not love them.
5. You are incapable of making your own choices
The most common trait of toxic people, especially that of toxic parents is that they make all your decisions for you, thinking that they know better about you than you do. While this may be true, it incapacitates your abilities to stand on your own or figure out what you really want to do. So, if they make you capable it may be one of the reasons to love them but incapacitating you in this manner would be a good reason to not love them.
6. Anxiety, depression and all other mental disorders
Surrounding yourself with toxic people has been known to lead to all kinds of mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, etc. If your parents are toxic, it is likely they have caused these or are likely to cause these in the future. So not loving them because you are looking out for yourself is acceptable.
7. They are taking advantage of you
Most Indians believe that family and especially parents have the right over anything and everything you own. While that be what they believe, if they do it despite your not being ‘okay’ with it, it is quite reasonable to hold it against them or making it a reason to distance yourself or even not love them.
If that didn’t feel convincing, or makes you feel guilty. Here are some tips to help you deal with such parents as well. Tips on how to deal with toxic parents.
1. Keep a journal
Dealing with toxic parents on a daily basis can be tough. One proven way of coping with difficult situations with your parents is to keep a journal where you can vent out your feelings. This way, you don’t end up saying something awful to them and can even curb the feelings of animosity towards them.
2. Talk to a friend and trusted family members
You may not be comfortable talking to a professional counselor about such a thing, but seeking help or advice from trusted family and friends is always therapeutic. This way you always have someone you can rely on when things get out of hand.
3. Distance yourself or create your own safe space
While it may look ‘rude’ or ‘inappropriate’, it is better to look out for yourself when you have toxic parents. Their behaviour might rub-off on you so try to distance yourself from them. Limit your conversations with them so as not to give them or yourself the opportunity to get into unpleasant situations and confrontations.
4. Seek Therapy
If not for yourself to learn how to cope with toxic parents, you can try and convince them to get professional help as well. Such toxic behaviour affects their as well as your health, so why not seek help when it is so easily available these days?
5. Set boundaries
Whether it be financial matters, your relationships with friends, your job, or anything, if you feel they are interfering, ask them why. If you still feel their insecurities are uncalled for, set boundaries on how much you need to tell them or whether or not they should get involved with certain choices you make.
6. Read about it
Try to understand and incorporate what experts (or people who have dealt with toxic people) have to about toxic parents and how to deal with them. Despite what you may think, there are several others who too have toxic parents and have lived through it. There are many books out there which provide tips and help. So read up!
7. Limit or define your expectations from the relationship
Parents are bound to have expectations from their children, but it is the other way round too. So try to understand or limit what you want from your parents. This will help to love and accept them as they are, despite them being toxic parents.
8. Learn to identify the triggers
After a certain period, you might learn what ticks off your toxic parents. An easy way to not be disappointed with them or to love them would be to avoid such conversations or actions which trigger them off.
You deserve the best of everything so if your parents are incapable of understanding that, it’s okay for you to not love them.