Tell-Tale Signs of Toxic Grandparents

Tell-Tale Signs of Toxic GrandparentsFeel uncomfortable around your grandparents but don’t know why? Chances are they are toxic. Read this article to know the signs of toxic grandparents.

When you are in a toxic romantic relationship, you can cut ties and break up with your partner. The scenario is tougher if your family members are toxic. It is a difficult pill to swallow when you realize your grandparents are toxic.

The elderly seem harmless. Their problematic actions are often brushed off. After all, they are known to have more experience than you and thereby are seen as wise people – to be respected.

However, respect is a two-way street, regardless of age, gender, and experience. It is a basic human principle to respect the boundaries of any individual. Toxic grandparents are in no way harmless. They are entitled individuals who are incredibly controlling, manipulative, and self-absorbed.

Plus, unfortunately, toxic grandparents can have a negative impact on your mental health – and on all your loved ones.

As you might know I’m a bestselling author on the topic of toxic relationships. I have a book loved by Oprah called Prince Harming Syndrome.

Plus I have a groundbreaking video course on managing and disarming toxic people of all kinds – called Manage and Avoid Drama Llamas.

I’m committed to helping people to protect themselves from high conflict people – by developing and maintaining stronger boundaries. With this in mind, I put together this short guide all about the tell tale signs of toxic grandparents – and what to do about this challenging situation.

5 Signs of Toxic Grandparents

Here are some tell-tale signs that you might be dealing with a toxic grandmom or grandad.

1. Denying Any Mistakes They’ve Made

It is a narcissistic trait to not take any accountability for mistakes. And toxic grandparents are known for trying to gaslight you and deny their mistakes. They are people who cannot learn from their mistakes. Basically, they cannot admit their mistakes or faults. When you shed light on any challenging situations (calmly and politely),  they will deny it or they won’t take it seriously. Well… this is toxic behavior.

If you are constantly shutting down when try to talk about their problematic behavior, they will likely shift the blame on you.

They’ll say things like:

  • “This is all in your head.”
  • “I don’t remember that”
  • “You always overreact.”
  • “You are so sensitive”

These statements are the ultimate weapons toxic grandparents use.

Moreover, they will use the ploy that you turned out fine when they exerted the same toxic behavior on you. They’ll also take pride and claim such a controversial upbringing made you the person you are today. They imply that you are great because of them.

2. Pick On Your Child’s Insecurities

Many old people impose their backdated views on young children. This has a negative impact on the child’s overall well-being, and insecurities are typically rooted in such enforced views. There are some elderly who comment on the young one’s weight, complexion, and lifestyle they lead.

When requested to stop making such hurtful comments, they will again deny and will try to convince you that it was well-intended and not at all harmful. Chances are they will be incredibly stubborn and will again gaslight you. They will undermine your parenting style and will claim that you are being a snowflake.

Children who are picked on by their family members for being themselves will develop insecurities and low self-esteem issues. Building their confidence in a positive environment will be next to impossible if their toxic grandparents are around them.

3. Plays the Victim

This trait is very common amongst pernicious people. Their overinflated ego makes them unable to bear the brunt of their mistake, and as a reflex, they play the victim card. The situation is more frustrating when they will feel attacked or feel “sick” all of a sudden, especially whenever you try to set some boundaries.

They pretend to act like they don’t want anyone to know, but their act is very intentional and not very subtle. They want to elicit sympathy and ensure everything goes their way. They will also use the card that they will not live long, so the least you can do is abide by their ridiculous views.

For instance, they will suddenly have chest pains when they learn that your child has come out of the closet and does not want to lead the typical heteronormative lifestyle.

They will berate you and your child for defying God, claiming that they will be dragged to hell because of this. Sounds preposterous, right? This is a very common scenario in many households, especially in South Asian families.

4. Goes Berserk When Boundaries Are Set

Toxic elderly want relationships and most of the things on their terms. The dynamic is maintained when they get to choose their limits, and everyone around them should respect them automatically. However, when it is the other way around where you set the boundaries, they often get hysterical, act confused, devastated, and sometimes even aggressive.

Struggling with boundaries is common. Anyone can feel flustered by them initially. However, healthy people understand the need for the limits. They can respect them even when they are struggling with them. On the other hand, toxic people perceive such boundaries as a personal attack and become offended.

There are also other scenarios where these vain narcissists will use other manipulative tactics instead of arguing. They will make remarks to make you feel bad and guilty for establishing healthy limits.

The most common tactics:

  • claiming how they will be left to die alone as no one loves them
  • reminding you that they have a short time left to live

5. Play Favorites

Many toxic grandparents keep on comparing different grandchildren. It is a common nature of entitled dysfunctional people and narcissists to assign roles like “golden child.” They will incessantly praise the child, often at the expense of other children and people.

The child who has been put on a pedestal will soon feel immense pressure to succeed. This contributes to the development of severe anxiety and self-worth issues. People who are raised this way have a belief that their worth comes from their external successes. Any mistake they will make, no matter how small and insignificant, they will feel that they lose the affection, support, and respect they garnered.

Moreover, the other children will feel left out and insignificant. They will have this notion that their grandparent does not like them because they are incapable of something.

Final Words on Signs of Toxic Grandparents

Grandparents play a key role in the upbringing of your children. Loving grandparents will love your child unconditionally. They will understand any boundaries you have set. If your grandparents are toxic, it is best to minimize any form of interaction and connection with them.

This applies to your children as well. Your child’s emotional health and mental well-being will improve if they are kept at a distance from toxic grandparents.

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