6 tell-tale traits of a toxic family and tips 

Playing favorites

Family conflict can become toxic when members cannot resolve differences or agree to disagree.


Some families have a designated "scapegoat" — a person to blame for everything that goes wrong. This is especially common in families with a narcissistic parent. 


This dynamic describes a role reversal, where children take on the roles of the parents.

Conditional love and affection

Maybe your parent only shows kindness and attention when you perform well in school, or your sibling only acknowledges you when they need something.

 Indirect communicationion

For instance, let's say your sister regularly tells you that your mother complains about you every time they talk on the phone.  You express anger about this, which your sister then reports back to your mother. 

Constant boundary violations

When you clearly and directly communicate your boundaries but family members continually ignore them, that's another sign of a toxic dynamic.

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