How To Deal With Toxic People After Marriage: 7 Calls To Action To Win You Peace Of Mind and Productivity

Posted: October 18, 2015

While some of us are lucky to be blessed with thoughtful in-laws and relatives, many women have to deal with difficult in-laws and relatives every day of their lives, post marriage. Here are 7 ways to deal with toxic people after marriage.

When a bunch of married women talk about their personal struggles, the response of men and sometimes unmarried women is usually derogatory. The married woman might simply be venting out her ordeal but her confessions are often looked upon as being the usual saas bahu bitching or gossiping.

Let’s face it. The day-to-day conflict with the in-laws, which is considered so trivial, is actually a major reason for depression and other psychosomatic illnesses in women.  The stress they face and the lack of acknowledgment of that stress drives many women over the edge.

Given the society that we live in, which considers the conflicts and negativity between a woman and her acquired family, a part and parcel of married life, it becomes all the more important for women to learn how to cope with the toxicity that is served to them. And honestly, it is no one but the woman who can rescue herself and come out a winner! Here are 7 calls to action on how to deal with toxic people after marriage, points that can help women manage and lessen the negativity in their lives.

1. Limit availability

People who cause stress should only be given access to you during a specific day or time. So instead of them ruling your schedule and making demands on it, the power should lie with you to dictate when you would like to interact with them. This works wonderfully for people who stay away from a toxic member but have to talk over the phone. There is absolutely no need to take that call every time the phone rings or to reply to messages instantly. In the beginning, the toxic member may feel angered, but over time they too will adjust to your new schedule.

2. Limit conversations

Many times after a long conversation with a toxic member, we feel emotionally drained and end up beating ourselves for talking or listening too much. Problems generally arise when conversations are prolonged. Before you know it, you are sucked into a conversation that had no connection with you in the first place. Therefore, it becomes really important to drive the conversation and steer away as soon as you sense that the conversation is getting diverted. Also, it is necessary to know how much to share, what to share and with whom. Not everything can be shared with everyone. Sharing your dreams with someone who enjoys ridiculing them is pointless. Or sharing your ideas with someone who does not match your life’s vision can be frustrating. For example, telling your mother-in-law that you plan to start a business when all she can see you as is a housewife, is a gross mismatch. Once you master the art of sharing, limiting conversations would instantly become easy!

3. Set goals

I read somewhere, that the best cure to worry is work. And believe me when I say this, having goals not only gives purpose to our lives but also keeps us away from negativity. When we are engaged in negativity, we do not realise how days turn into months and eventually our entire lives transform into a meaningless existence. But more important than having goals is to protect them fiercely. That may mean annoying some people, especially those who want you to give them company in their own mediocrity and negativity. However, by eventually being assertive and selfish (if you may call it that), you will see that you will earn peace of mind and a productive life.

4. Decide on your reaction

My friend’s sister-in-law always criticizes the gifts that my friend gives her and this makes my friend very upset and dejected. But what’s interesting is that most often, toxic people have very predictable behaviour. You can easily guess what they would say when you compliment or advice them. The trouble begins when we start expecting them to behave differently from how we know they will behave or react. Thus, the problem lies not in their behaviour (which is predictable therefore manageable) but in our reaction to their behaviour. Once we decide on our reactions and accept their behaviour, it becomes a lot easier to deal with almost any situation. And once the toxic member stops getting the pleasure out of your reactions, they will most certainly leave you alone for good.

5. Count your blessings

The best way to negate someone’s negativity is to focus on things that make you happy. For in life, the good and the bad both exist, though disproportionately. Our ability to focus on either one of them brings more of it into our lives. This is a proven law of attraction!

6. Take yourself seriously

So many times, we keep our work or dreams aside to give importance to someone else. We have all seen ourselves taking time off from work to take an ungrateful toxic member shopping or  generously giving our time to them. But sadly, nobody, least of all the toxic person, is going to take you seriously until you do so yourself. More than proving anything to them, it’s about being dedicated to your life goals with utmost focus. It may mean declining invitations, cutting conversations short or being protective about your time. Unless you do not mark boundaries and put your priorities ahead, you shall be forever trapped in the vicious cycle of expectation leading to disappointments!

Unless you do not mark boundaries and put your priorities ahead, you shall be forever trapped in the vicious cycle of expectation leading to disappointments!

7. Don’t seek acceptance 

Have you ever wondered why, in spite of past bitter experiences with a toxic member, we still end up in the whirlpool of their negativity? After much introspection, I have come to the conclusion that it is our need for acceptance that drives us to walk straight into their trap, EVERY TIME! Unless we accept the fact that no matter what we might do, some people may not like us the way we want them to, we will always be stuck in a status quo.  Abandoning this desire for acceptance is a difficult challenge but it is completely worth it, because in the end, it not only frees you of other people’s expectations but empowers you to embrace your true self.

Thus, the key to dealing with toxic member in your family is NOT to lose yourself in the drama that they weave for you but to have the mental strength to work steadfastly towards the life of your dreams!

Image via Shutterstock.

People Enthusiast/Writer/Trainer/Happy Soul

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Comments

11 Comments


  1. Thanks Gita. This write up is very helpful.

  2. That was so meaningful and have copied it so that I can read it whenever I feel like…!! Thankyou

  3. Thanks Gita,
    A very important and insightful article. Enjoyed and introspected….a lot.

  4. Radhika Mohan -

    Very nice article Have to save it and read it

  5. Just what I needed today.Thanks.

  6. Hi, ur article s very useful

  7. Thanx geeta!! Its really helpful…:)

  8. I tried almost 3-4 strategies, you mentioned. Still on a verge of ending my marriage. Lucky are those who are finding a difference after trying these points. It didn’t help in my case. Anyways, Thanks geeta, you have done a marvellous job.

    • Hello Farah, hope are doing good.I am sorry to know of your situation right now.This article talks of toxic relationships we inherit after marriage, however if the spouse is one, then the situation is totally different.However, if the partner is NOT causing any harassment then it is always a good idea to not let your marriage be affected.I do not know of what has led you to this difficult time, but I would like to say that sometimes people want married couples to fight, just to derive a sadistic pleasure.I have seen it happen a lot of times.And every time i have found that when married couples do not allow any third party to become a cause of arguments or quarrels between them, they live happily.
      I Hope this helps even if in some little way. My prayers and thoughts are with you, in this hard time.God bless!

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