Dealing with negative family members

There are some family members who are very controlling and negative towards everything…it causes the others to withdraw and feel very depressed…how to deal with this situation


Hi @Pennywise10

Thank you for sharing with us on this platform, and I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this challenging situation with the family. Coping with controlling and negative family members can be tough to handle, but I’d like to find out more about the situation:

Here are some questions:

  1. Have you identified specific behaviors that make family members seem controlling or negative? How do these behaviors impact your well-being and that of others in the family?
  2. Have you tried expressing your feelings and concerns to the family members involved? Is there an opportunity for a family discussion to address these issues openly?
  3. Do you have a support system outside the family, such as friends or other relatives, with whom you can share your feelings?

I also would like to encourage you that you’re not alone in this situation. There are many people who face similar challenges with family dynamics, and it is okay to take small steps towards a positive family situation. Even setting boundaries or expressing your feelings can be a positive step in the right direction. For starters, I encourage you to try having a conversation with the family member - you can use this tool to learn how to have that conversation.

Please do also prioritize your self-care, whether it’s spending time doing activities you enjoy or seeking moments of relaxation, taking care of yourself is very important.

Here are some strategies to help you cope for the moment:

Establish Boundaries:

  • Clearly define your boundaries and communicate them calmly. Let family members know what behaviors are unacceptable.

Seek Professional Help:

  • Consider family counseling or therapy to address deep-rooted issues. A neutral third party can provide guidance and support. You can try out the nearest Family Service Centre, or talk to a mental health professional online too:
  1. Limitless : Talk To Someone - Limitless
  2. CPH chat :
  3. IMH CHAT : Home - CHAT
  4. :

Remember, it’s a gradual process, and change may not happen overnight. I hope you will also share with us how you would like us to support you further, and if you have more questions we’ll be happy to help.

Hear from you soon.


Hi @Pennywise10

Thanks for sharing what you’re going through in your family. Your post caught my attention because I relate to what you’re sharing. Personally I have very strict and religious parents and even at my age I am still succumbed to their controls. :skull_and_crossbones: Most times conflict between us arises due to a mismatch in expectations or pace. Was this something that you noticed in your family as well? I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it.

I can see that you deeply care about the dynamic in your family and you genuinely want the situation at home to improve. Perhaps you can start by identifying what your current role is. Were you the one who was withdrawing or were you a third party who was not involved in the conflict?

If you were the former, I want to affirm you that it is okay to create some space, especially after receiving negative and (possibly) unfair remarks. :smiling_face_with_tear: It would be better to take time to process all the different feelings and identify what may still be within your control and focus on that.

If you were the latter, then I would recommend trying to understand both parties. You may first check in with the family member who was withdrawing and try to show them empathy, remind them that they’re not alone and you understand how they feel. The biggest challenge might be finding the root cause of why some family members are very negative. Was it due to fear or a lack of understanding? Could you identify what was the intention for exerting control? If you manage to find the answers to these questions, you may consider playing the role of a facilitator, to help both parties reach a common understanding and compromise. :handshake:t2:

Nevertheless, I understand that it is easier said than done. Should you need any support, I hope you would find your way to the platform. We’ll be there to offer a listening ear :yellow_heart:


Thank you for your feedback.

There are issues in the family but I am more disturbed by the fact that between the fight and flight response I am expected to take the flight response even though I do not have any financial support, by my kids…they feel wronged and to some extend they blame me for not parting ways with my husband,knowing they feel very frustrated living in this toxic environment. I don’t know how to explain to my kids that I cannot take such a big step without having any financial means because I do not have a job/ house. Their point of view is too idealistic…we can live with less but they don’t understand how difficult it is to do so because they have been well provided for all their life so far.
I am very disturbed because unintentionally I have also become someone who has kind of failed them by not taking a stronger stand.
Please let me know how you think about this situation after reading these details


Hello @Pennywise10

Thank you for being open to share more details with us. It definitely helped us better understand what you’re going through. I really cannot imagine how long you have been dealing with these feelings and not knowing what’s the best next course of action that you could take.

Given that you have valid concerns on your financial capabilities, perhaps you may try engaging the Family Service Centre that @cottonsoul suggested. Maybe they would be able to better advise you on what government support schemes that are available and that you might be eligible for.

I hope that with better understanding on the support available for your situation, you can have more clarity on what might be your options. Meanwhile, just want to send you a virtual hug :white_heart: I really admire the sacrifices that you’ve made to ensure that your children can live without worrying about finances. From my perspective, it seems like you did the best you could for them and you did not fail them at all.

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