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20 Things You Need To Give Up If You Want To Be Truly Happy

20 Things You Need To Give Up If You Want To Be Truly Happy

The only thing standing in your way towards happiness is you; no one else is allowed to set up limits for you but you, nor there should be. No matter what kind of problems you’re dealing with, how old you are or where you live, you deserve to be happy – it’s as simple as that. It’s time to face the fact that you’re in control of your future, and finally do something about it!

1. Give up excuses

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    The easiest way to avoid something is to make up an excuse for it, and we all do it occasionally, like there’s not enough time during our busy day to join the gym, or it’s too late now to start learning a new language because we’re too old. I know there’s that silent voice in your head that says these things aren’t true, but you always find a way to ignore it somehow, don’t you? However, if you decide to work on your happiness, it’s time to stop being lazy! It’s never too late and you’re never too old to start something new and exciting.

    2. Give up unresolved relationships

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      Every person in the world has their past, and that’s something you can’t change. But, it’s not like you can’t deal with it and move on, right? A huge part of the past that’s dragging us down is usually related to romantic relationships. It’s hard on all of us to accept a certain fact, and stop wondering how all that effort has gone to waste. In order to make room for happiness in your life, you need to give up dwelling on the past, and start thinking about the bright future that’s in front of you.

      3. Give up stress

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        Stressing out is good for nothing; it doesn’t help in solving that certain problem bothering you, it decreases your productivity and it violates your health. The first step towards getting rid of stress once and for all is admitting you’re under it. It’s not that difficult after you confront this problem – you just need to find the perfect way to channel your thoughts, like meditation for example. The process of meditation will allow you to clear your head and cleanse your thoughts, and it’s good for your body as well, so why not give it a shot?

        4. Give up bad habits

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          You can’t really enjoy life if you have troubles with any kind of addiction, and it really doesn’t matter what kind of addiction it is – cigarettes or drugs – because both of them have a negative effect on your success. Like with the previous one, bad habits too require from you to admit them first. Also, you shouldn’t hesitate from asking for help, because there are people who are trained to show you how to stop consuming nasty substances and explain the process thoroughly.

          5. Give up hastily-made choices

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            You’re in no hurry. There’s enough time for everything, and nothing will pass you by if you stop and think for a second. Sure, it’s important to allow yourself to be spontaneous and crazy every now and then, but most of your decisions should have a clear process of thinking standing behind them, so you always know why you decided to do something and which consequences you may expect. Every time you’re faced with a choice, remember to breathe in and take some time to find out what option will be good for you.

            6. Give up regrets

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              The older we are, the smarter we get, right? Experience that we gather in time often has a way of showing us how bad some decisions in our past were. That’s obviously the price we pay for knowledge, and it’s not really pleasant, but it’s worth it. You need to face the fact that no one on this planet is perfect, and that we all make mistakes. The most important part about dealing with regrets is to find a way to forgive yourself first, and then ask for forgiveness from others. Don’t torture yourself any longer with things that simply can’t be fixed – well, not until they invent a time travel machine.

              7. Give up resentments

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                This is really a two-way street, you know – if you want from others to forgive you for your lousy choices in the past, you need to do the same. Nothing good can come out of blaming people and judging them for something that happened years ago. If you let go of your resentments, you’ll make room in your life for good things which don’t eat you up from the inside. Besides, those thoughts just burden your mind additionally, and giving them up will enable you to feel free and be open-minded once again.

                8. Give up trying to control the future

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                  Making smart decisions and reasonable plans is one thing, but trying to control how everything will turn out in the end is something else. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, no matter how hard we try, and there are good reasons why that’s a fact. Something unexpected is bound to happen and you can’t do a thing to prevent it. Facing this undeniable fact will make your life so much easier. Having high expectations has a nasty habit of ruining even the good things for us, so give it up, sit back and enjoy the ride.

                  9. Give up being irresponsible

                  9

                    On the other hand, things may not be working out for you because you don’t take them seriously. Whether we’re talking about work, family or love, the formula for success is pretty much the same for every aspect of your life – if you want things done in your life, it’s important to invest some hard work and devotion into them. You may not be aware that you’re feeling unfulfilled right now, but that tiny void can grow really fast, and develop quite quickly. So, get up and make things happen for you!

                    10. Give up chasing wrong people

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                      It doesn’t really matter if you’re chasing someone because you want to be their friend, or you want to get romantically involved with them, but you need to stop that right now. If a certain person doesn’t appreciate you and your efforts enough to give you a chance, things should be quite self-explicatory – they don’t deserve you! Sure, the situation is difficult to comprehend and it’s completely normal to feel disappointed, but you have done your best, and if that’s not enough, it’s simply not meant to be and you need to learn how to deal with it.

                      11. Give up trying to please everybody

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                        Was there a court that assigned a number of people you need to try and please all your life, before you were born, of course? I don’t think so. Making other people happy is a really great gesture, and there’s not a feeling like that sensation you get when you know you’re responsible for someone’s smile. However, if this at some point becomes unilaterally, and if the only effort invested into a certain relationship is yours, the smart thing to do is click the pause button and see what happens. Good relationships survive because both sides are ready to nurture that bond between you, so you can’t and shouldn’t even try to do the amount of work that’s intended for two persons.

                        12. Give up limitations you set by yourself

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                          Convincing yourself that there’s something you can’t or don’t know how to do will only create an illusion that the walls are coming closer around you, which definitely isn’t true. You never know what you’re capable of doing until you try. I’m sure there are at least of a couple things that you wanted to do your whole life but you were afraid to do them, so now is the perfect time to break those wrongfully made limits you set by yourself and finally do something exciting that makes you feel alive!

                          13. Give up disappointments

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                            Happy, determined people don’t really have enough time to feel down. Getting disappointed all the time is pointless and it won’t do you much good, you know. It’ll only make you feel bad about yourself and waste your time, the time you’d rather be spending on doing something that fulfills you. Therefore, the next time something disappointing happens, take some time to see what went wrong, and analyze the situation so you know better in the future and stop there. Even this kind of unfortunate turn of events can result in something good – constructive thinking can lead you to success, because having the ability to evaluate circumstances better will directly cause the number of situations that make you feel disappointed to decrease, right?

                            14. Give up feeling misunderstood

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                              A lot of people have troubles when it comes to finding their spot in the world. Not all of us are lucky to be born with amazing people skills, so we don’t have any trouble finding a group of people that will accept us immediately. You need to know that this isn’t a bad thing. The fact that finding your place in society takes more time only means that you’re not like most people around you – you are unique. Besides, things that need time and effort to find somehow make us appreciate them more, and not take them for granted. Once you find that comfortable little spot meant only for you, and you will, I’m sure you’ll consider it to be worth all the troubles you’ve been through while you felt like an outsider.

                              15. Give up trying to be someone you’re not

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                                On the other hand, you might be feeling miserable because you’re surrounded by people who think you’re someone you’re not. This may be the problem because you decided, sometime in the past, that it’s easier to act socially acceptable than to go through all the trouble and show people who you really are. Well, you can’t really expect for these things to stay inside your closet forever, can you? It’s hard and you’ll feel vulnerable, but if you want people to love the real you, you need to allow them to get to know you. Take baby steps, don’t give up and you’ll be just fine!

                                16. Give up trying to find the easy way out

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                                  You know that amazing feeling of satisfaction that comes after long hours and hard work which paid off in the end? You don’t? Well, if you don’t truly devote yourself and invest real effort into something, you never will. Chances are you won’t inherit a fortune from a cousin you didn’t know existed, and that you won’t win the lottery that will turn your life around, so it is time to face the fact that you need to roll up your sleeves and deserve good things. Finding the easy way out for everything won’t make you appreciate yourself and your skills, but hard work will.

                                  17. Give up old clothes

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                                    Our emotions have a way of attaching to random objects, clothes mostly – like an old t-shirt that reminds us of a former lover who you parted with in a not-so-pleasant way, a worn-out sweater that reminds you of a Christmas long ago when your parents went through a divorce or perhaps an old-fashioned bag which was a gift from your friend with whom you’re no longer in contact with. All memories worth remembering will stay in your mind, and if you keep on collecting garments and accessories this way, your closet will soon become a museum of your past, which is way worse than having actual skeletons. It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on branded items, you know. For example, instead of going for an overpriced clutch purse that can’t fit more than a smartphone, you should perhaps look for a quality messenger bag that you’ll actually find useful. The clothes you wear should be all about quality not quantity – that’s the only way you’ll feel good in them.

                                    18. Give up junk food

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                                      That’s not real food and you know it. Your outer appearance will start to reflect the foods you intake the moment your organism slows down, which will surely happen, it’s just a matter of time. Enjoying delicious meals that actually have energetic value and which won’t make you gain weight is a privilege, and the only way to get it is to learn how to cook! Give some to get some, right? The truth is that absolutely anyone can do it, and all that is preventing you from preparing amazingly healthy meals is some practice. The obvious solution is to sign up for a class, but there are bunch of quite helpful tutorials and recipes written in detail online, so you don’t even need to leave your home. Watching someone who’s pretty great at what they do like Jamie Oliver can be really inspiring, which is a great place to start, as well.

                                      19. Give up feeling unsatisfied with your body

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                                        How dull our world would be if all people would look like if they were made according to some kind of pattern? The way you look is absolutely unique which makes it beautiful in its own way, and you shouldn’t spend one second being concerned about what the rest of the world thinks. It’s important to take good care of your body, exercise and nurture it – the rest is up to nature. A huge part of happiness is based on accepting yourself exactly the way you are. If you don’t, why should anyone else?

                                        20. Give up worrying about money

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                                          Money is probably your main source of stress. People are too worried about having enough money so that they can have pretty things, but while you’re doing that, your life is passing you buy. Starting now, you should look at money like if it were a task you need to complete in your office – do what needs to be done and leave it behind you. Managing money is something you learn, it’s practically a skill you develop, so if you have no previous experience except the one you were imposed to, you should read up more on the subject. Your life will be significantly easier and much happier when you learn to handle money. I truly hope you’ll find my article inspiring! Giving up all these things will surely make your life filled with happiness, so you should definitely consider giving them a shot. Let me know how it goes!

                                          Featured photo credit: Hipster by camper van at festival on a summers day via shutterstock.com

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                                          Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                          Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                          Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                          A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                                          You know how this looks:

                                          • Parents constantly comparing children.
                                          • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                                          • Domestic violence.
                                          • Adultery…
                                          • And many others.

                                          For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                                          Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                                          Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                                          This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                                          In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                                          If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                                          How to fix a dysfunctional family

                                          In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                                          And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                                          Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                                          It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                                          Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                                          Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                                          There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                                          Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                                          Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                                          The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                                          You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                                          A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                                          Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                                          Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                                          • Unrealistic expectations
                                          • Lack of interest and time spent together
                                          • Sexism
                                          • Utilitarianism
                                          • Lack of empathy
                                          • Unequal or unfair treatment
                                          • Disrespect towards boundaries
                                          • Control Issues
                                          • Jealousy
                                          • Verbal and physical abuse
                                          • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                                          You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                                          If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                                          Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                                          How to turn it around

                                          When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                                          But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                                          One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                                          We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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                                          As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                                          What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                                          Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                                          Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                                          Correction is possible

                                          In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                                          Verbalize it.

                                          All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                                          Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                                          This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                                          But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                                          So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                                          Putting it to work in real life

                                          In real life it would be something like this:

                                          “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                                          Or:

                                          “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                                          Or:

                                          “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                                          As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                                          This is what you have to remember:

                                          1-Stop.

                                          2-Why it’s wrong?

                                          3-What you need.

                                          And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                                          It’s a family thing

                                          A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                                          Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                                          In other words, you will need cooperation…

                                          So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                                          Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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                                          We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                                          You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                                          It’s not a free-for-all battle

                                          In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                                          No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                                          Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                                          And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                                          The method

                                          1. Drop the ego

                                          Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                                          You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                                          Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                                          What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                                          It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                                          After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                                          Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                                          Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                                          Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                                          And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                                          You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                                          2. Not blame, but responsibility

                                          When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                                          But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                                          When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                                          What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                                          Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                                          As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                                          You will do something like this:

                                          “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                                          I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                                          You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                                          I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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                                          It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                                          What happened here?

                                          We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                                          We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                                          We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                                          And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                                          You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                                          This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                                          3. Doing the work

                                          What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                                          This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                                          Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                                          If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                                          It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                                          “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                                          I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                                          But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                                          You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                                          Love is all you need

                                          You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                                          That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                                          And what happens if it simply is not there?

                                          What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                                          What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                                          There is only one thing you can do:

                                          To break away.

                                          Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                                          There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                                          “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                                          If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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                                          Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                                          You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                                          Putting distance

                                          So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                                          What do I mean?

                                          Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                                          Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                                          Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                                          Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                                          They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                                          Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                                          I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                                          I choose my peace of mind.

                                          And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                                          Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                                          Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                                          How to prevent it

                                          There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                                          • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                                          • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                                          Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                                          You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                                          Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                                          Priorities and clear thought

                                          You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                                          You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                                          You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                                          Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                                          If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                                          And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                                          Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                                          But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                                          Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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