150+ Toxic Family Quotes On Letting Go And Moving On

Not every person is blessed with a perfect family. This post brings you a collection of toxic family quotes that touch on negative energies and lost love. Reading them could help you figure out if you are in such a family and give you the strength to walk away to start life afresh.

A perfect family is one in which every member supports, protects, guides, and nurtures each other. But a toxic family is quite the opposite. Reading these quotes can help you purge yourself of the anger and frustration, while also giving you clarity and helping you leave the bad past behind.

In This Article

150+ Top Quotes About Toxic Family

Sometimes, reading a simple message or quote can also uplift the mood and divert your attention from situations that cause pain. Read these quotes about a toxic family to de-stress and channel your energies into a positive direction.

  1. “A child should never feel as if they need to earn a mother’s love.” – Sherrie Campbell
  2. “Humans can be so ugly sometimes that the ones you love the most would only love to see you fall. It’s a cruel world.” – Sidney Albury
  3. “Family or not, I will cut you off. That saying “but that’s family” means nothing if a family is toxic and means you no good.” – Morgan Sharee
  4. “The more dysfunctional, the more some family members seek to control the behavior of others.” –David W. Earle
  5. “You don’t let go of a bad relationship because you stop caring about them. You let go because you start caring about yourself.” – Charles Orlando
  1. “Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.” – Les Dawson
  2. “Let negative people live their negative lives with their negative minds.”― Moosa Rahat
  3. “You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” — Joel Osteen
  4. “Remember…Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.” —Ziad K. Abdelnour
  5. “Weeding out the harmful influences should become the norm, not the exception.” ― Carlos Wallace
  6. “Family is where you’re meant to be most free, don’t let blood chain you down.” — Michelle Meleen
  7. “Toxic family relationships spoil all other relationships unless you remove the poison before it’s too late.” — Unknown
  8. “When you walk away from a toxic family, you begin the journey of finding your true people.”— Anonymous
  9. “You may feel guilty for leaving your family behind, but you’ll never regret moving forward.” — Anonymous
  10. “Not everyone deserves full access to you, including toxic family members.”— Anonymous
  11. “You don’t have to prove your self-worth to receive love and respect. Toxic people will never see that.” — Unknown
  12. “Some people in your family will only love you if you fit into their mold. Don’t change who you are to please them.”— Unknown
  13. “There is healing in telling. There is healing in exposing abuse. There is healing in being truthful. There is healing in knowing you are not to blame. There is healing in standing up for yourself. There is healing in setting boundaries. There is healing in self-love. Hold onto hope that you will recover.”— Dana Arcuri
  14. A family can be the bane of one’s existence. A family can also be most of the meaning of one’s existence. I don’t know whether my family is bane or meaning, but they have surely gone away and left a large hole in my heart.”— Keri Hulme
  15. “This toxic pattern within the broken family system will continue from one generation to the next, until one brave survivor finally ends the cycle of abuse. The dysfunction, bullying, and abuse didn’t start with you, but it most certainly can end with you.”— Dana Arcuri

Mean Family Quotes

Families nurture us with unconditional love and care. If you feel otherwise, these mean family quotes are worth a read!

  1. “It’s not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” – Jonathan Schiller
It’s not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.

Image: IStock

  1. “If the family you chose before your birth no longer supports your path towards fulfilling your true destiny, it is never too late to find a new tribe.” – Anthon St. Maarten
  2. “Families and their problems go on and on, and they aren’t solved; they’re dealt with.” – Roger Ebert
  3. “Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.” – Queen Elizabeth II
  4. “Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children.” –Sam Levenson
  5. “All the men in my family were bearded and most of the women.” –C. Fields
  6. My friend, you are not alone. No matter what you’ve suffered, the abuse was not your fault. You didn’t cause someone to hurt you. Not as an innocent child, teenager, nor as an adult. Let that sink in. It’s not your fault.” — Dana Arcuri
  7. “If you can stand up to your family, you can stand up to anyone.” — Anonymous
  8. “Fear of breaking family loyalty is one of the greatest stumbling blockages to recovery. Yet, until we admit certain things we would rather excuse or deny, we cannot truly begin to put the past in the past and leave it there once and for all. Unless we do that, we cannot even begin to think of having a future that is fully ours, untethered to the past, and we will be destined to repeat it.”— Ronald Allen Schulz
  9. “Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as family.”— Steve Maraboli
  10. “People closest to us hurt us the most.” — Unknown
  11. Mean family members will gaslight you and make you question your reality.” — Unknown
  12. “How you choose to feel today should not be dependent on others.”— Anthon St. Maarten
  13. “See, I think there are roads that lead us to each other. But in my family, there were no roads – just underground tunnels. I think we all got lost in those underground tunnels. No, not lost. We just lived there.” — Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Unsupportive Family Quotes

If your family is constantly belittling or pulling you down, being unsupportive in times of need, and does not pay attention to your basic requirements, then it is vital for you to seek help.

  1. “Unsupportive family is your weakness, so leave the ones that hurt you.” –Unknown
  2. “My family never supports my dreams. I feel like a broken piece of junk.”–Unknown
  3. “Not all blood relations are families. It is those who support and accept you for who you are that truly matter.” — Anonymous
  4. “Always stay up strong, even when you don’t get support from the family. To succeed in life, you need to leave behind the ones who hinder your progress.” –Unknown
  5. “I may be the black sheep of the family, but at least I am me and not a fictitious white sheep I am not.” –Samuel Zulu
  6. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” –Anne Lamott
  7. “When you notice someone​​ does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” –Shahida Arabi
  8. “You don’t have to leave your whole family in the past, but just those who don’t deserve a place in your future.”— Unknown
  9. “Toxic people condition you to believe that the problem isn’t the abuse itself, but instead your reactions to the abuse.”— Anonymous
  10. “You were being lied to so many times that you know who not to trust. That’s not trusting issues, that’s lessons learned.” — Anonymous
  11. “Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you have to tolerate their toxic behavior.” — Unknown
  12. “Toxic family members can drain you emotionally and make you doubt your own worth.” — Unknown
  13. “Some family members will only reach out when they need something, and then disappear when you need them.”— Unknown
  14. “It’s perplexing how family members claim their undying love for us. They can say whatever they choose, but their actions and behaviors don’t match their words. There is an imbalance in the relationships with distinct discrepancies, especially in who overpowers the scapegoat.”— Dana Arcuri
  15. “The fear of abandonment forced me to comply as a child, but I’m not forced to comply anymore. The key people in my life did reject me for telling the truth about my abuse, but I’m not alone. Even if the consequence for telling the truth is rejection from everyone I know, that’s not the same death threat that it was when I was a child. I’m a self-sufficient adult and abandonment no longer means the end of my life.”— Christina Enevoldsen

Dysfunctional Family Quotes

Growing up in a dysfunctional family can affect you for a long time. Emotional health and well-being are often ignored in such families, and there is a constant fear of families falling apart.

  1. “Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors.” –Gene Hackman
  2. “People talk about dysfunctional families; I’ve never seen any other kind.” – Sue Grafton
  3. “We all come from dysfunctional families, and these days I guess that’s pretty normal.” –Carnie Wilson
  4. “I come from a dysfunctional family, so my view of parents and parenting used to be highly mixed.” – Tamora Pierce
  1. “Weddings are never about the bride and groom. Weddings are public platforms for dysfunctional families.” – Lisa Kleypas
  2. “The current relationship between companies and the workforce is like marrying into a dysfunctional family. Only you don’t get to escape when the holiday meal is over.” – Bill Jensen
  3. “If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, then there is really no hope for you to have a good relationship. That is another myth that we have to throw off so that we can get into what I call Reality.” – Gary Chapman
  4. “In my family, as in all dysfunctional families, instead of parents who act as strong and nurturing role models for their children, you get these needy people who use their children. I was the kid who tried to take on the marriage.” – John Bradshaw
  5. “Your whole being is involved in taking care of someone else, worrying about what they think of you, how they treat you, how you can make them treat you better. Right now, everyone in the world seems to think that they are codependent and that they come from dysfunctional families. They call it codependency. I call it the human condition.” –Cynthia Heimel
  6. “Sometimes you need to give up on people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t.” — Unknown
  7. “You don’t get to choose your family, but you do get to choose how they’re allowed to treat you.”— Anonymous
  8. “A good family will see your boundaries and move around them, a toxic family won’t even realize they’re there.” — Anonymous
  9. “No matter how much you want people to be there for you, some are just not cut out for it.”— Unknown
  10. “A toxic family member can make you feel like you’re the problem when in reality, it’s their toxic behavior that’s causing the issues.”— Unknown
  11. “Fake family members will always put their interests above yours, even if it means hurting you in the process.”— Unknown
  12. “We arrive and depart this life alone. Every moment in-between is a unique opportunity to experience as much love and belonging as we can possibly muster. Instead we obsess over petty differences and turn our backs on those we are supposed to love.”— Anthon St. Maarten
  13. “I explain to my patients that abused children often find it hard to disentangle themselves from their dysfunctional families, whereas children grow away from good, loving parents with far less conflict. After all, isn’t that the task of a good parent, to enable the child to leave home?”— Irvin Yalom
  14. “The concrete can’t stop the separation of rotor from plane, the separation of father from daughter. There are crashes and then the walking away, the bleeding, and the shaky ride back.”— Tania Runyan

Bad Family Quotes

Bad families and their behavior can have adverse effects on children and adults alike. It is vital to address these issues as quickly as possible to mend the relationships.

  1. “It always amazes me how swiftly problems can be solved, once you start cutting things off people.” – Joe Abercrombie
  2. “Love them from a distance. Pray for them, wish them well, but don’t allow them to abuse you.” –Kimber Waul
  3. “Family too can be cut off if it proves to be too toxic to be around.” –Samuel Zulu
  4. “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.” –Cary Grant
Insanity runs in my family

Image: IStock

  1. “We don’t get to choose our family, but we can choose our friends. With courage, we can weed out narcissistic people. We can focus on those who do appreciate us, love us, and treat us with respect.” ―Dana Arcuri
  2. “My encouragement: delete the energy vampires from your life, clean out all complexity, build a team around you that frees you to fly, remove anything toxic, and cherish simplicity. Because that’s where genius lives.” — Robin S. Sharma
  3. “No matter how much you love the person, you cannot change them. You may influence them, but at the end of the day, they must decide for themselves.” — Robert E. Baines Jr.
  4. “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.” —Goi Nasu
  5. “The path to freedom is illuminated by the bridges you have burned, adorned by the ties you have cut, and cleared by the drama you have left behind. Let go. Be free.” — Steve Maraboli
  6. “Toxic mothers are image-oriented rather than love-oriented.” — Sherrie Campbell
  7. “Sometimes you have to accept the fact that some people can’t handle you doing well, having the peace they don’t, or knowing how to receive kindness. Let them go.” — Lavon Fr
  8. “A toxic family member can be worse than a poison in your life.”— Unknown
  9. “Toxic family members will always find a way to bring you down. Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you.” — Unknown
  10. “It’s better to have a small, supportive family than a large, toxic one full of fake people.”— Unknown
  11. “What the toxic family unit has lost sight of is the positive traits of the innocent person who was manipulated into being the scapegoat. The scapegoat can feel the acute injustice that leaves a psychological scar. Although nobody would willingly choose to be a scapegoat, this person has countless wonderful strengths, characteristics, and accomplishments.”— Dana Arcuri
  12. “Adults who were hurt as children inevitably exhibit a peculiar strength, a profound inner wisdom, and a remarkable creativity and insight. Deep within them – just beneath the wound – lies a profound spiritual vitality, a quiet knowing, a way of perceiving what is beautiful, right, and true. Since their early experiences were so dark and painful, they have spent much of their lives in search of the gentleness, love, and peace they have only imagined in the privacy of their own hearts.” — Wayne Muller

Toxic Family Members Quotes

Whether it is one person in the family who is toxic or more, the relationships are impacted to a large extent. Read these quotes to understand more about toxic family members.

  1. “A toxic mother talks but never listens, and she gives advice but never takes any.” – Sherrie Campbell
  2. “A toxic family is even worse than a toxic relationship.” – Rohan Chouhan
  1. “Let’s get out of the habit of telling people that’s still your mom, your dad, or your sister. Toxic is toxic. You are allowed to walk away from people that constantly hurt you.” – Bynnada
  2. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” – Deborah Reber
  3. “Just because they are your family doesn’t mean that they know what’s best for you or your life.” –Samuel Zulu
  4. “As important as it is to learn how to deal with different kinds of people, truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy – and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.” — Travis Bradberry
  5. “Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.” – Hussein Nishah
  6. “Sometimes the poison stems from the family and the only antidote is to remove yourself from it.” —Anonymous
  7. “Handling toxic people is not an art; they will be the victim of their own toxicity” ―S. Jagadeesh Kumar
  8. “Maturity is understanding when and how to draw boundaries with toxic family members.” — Anonymous
  9. “It’s okay to cut ties with toxic friends and family you’ve got to prioritize your own well-being.” — Brenden Dilley
  10. “You are allowed to terminate your relationship with toxic family members. You are allowed to walk away from people who hurt you. You are allowed to be angry, selfish, and unforgiving. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of you.”— Anonymous
  11. “Blood may be thicker than water, but sometimes, water is all you need to survive.” — Anonymous
  12. “When toxic people can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you.”— Unknown
  13. “Some family members are like two-faced snakes, they’ll pretend to love you to your face and then stab you in the back.” — Unknown
  14. “Fake family members will smile in your face and then spread lies about you behind your back.”— Unknown
  15. “Her father is a burden she shouldn’t have to carry, but she does. He had made her feel unsafe in the world when his one job was to make her feel protected.”— Krystalle Bianca
  16. “Along with the trust issues, one of the hardest parts to deal with is the feeling of not being believed or supported, especially by your own grandparents and extended family.”— Erin Merryn

Negative Family Quotes

Sometimes family members can be hurtful and hostile towards others. It may take some courage, but when your family has been consistently negative in their approach, walking away might be a solution you can try. And, it is vital that you give importance to your mental health.

  1. “You can miss a person every day and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.” – Tara Westover
  2. “Blood doesn’t make you family. Some of the most demonic and demeaning people in your life share your DNA.” – Temi Ade
  3. “It’s okay to cut ties with toxic friends and family; you’ve got to prioritize your own well-being.” – Brenden Dilley
  4. “If you attach to the negative behavior of others, it brings you down to their level.” – Guru Singh
Toxic family quotes

Image: IStock

  1. “You create more space in your life when you turn your excess baggage to garbage.” ― Chinonye J. Chidolue
  2. “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” — Robert Tew
  3. “It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around when you remove toxic people from your life.” — Robert Tew
  4. “When people pressure you to engage in negative decisions and actions, look at them boldly in the eyes and dare them to do good.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
  5. “If a negative viewer looks at you with an ugly fiendish eye, find a way and pluck off his eyes, or better still, protect your good image.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson
  6. “Every day, you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly.” — Leon Brown
  7. “Avoid negative people, for they are the greatest destroyers of self-confidence and self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you!” –Auliq Ice
  8. “Surrounding yourself with negative people will only block your way forward. So take those hard decisions and always choose you.” — Anonymous
  9. “Family or not I will cut you off. That saying “but that’s family” means nothing if a family is toxic and means you no good.”— Morgan Sharee
  10. “If it’s hurting you more than it’s healing you, love yourself enough to let it go.”— Sherrie Campbell
  11. “The hardest part about walking away from a toxic family member is the guilt that comes with it.”— Unknown
  12. “It’s hard to trust anyone when even your own family can be two-faced and fake.”— Unknown
  13. “Toxic family members will try to control your life and make decisions for you, even if it’s not what’s best for you.” — Unknown
  14. “The tradition of passing trauma from generation to generation like a family heirloom stops with you its final inheritor determined to lay it to rest.”— Zara Bas
  15. “The happy family is a myth for many.” — Carolyn Spring

‘When Family Members Hurt You’ Quotes

When someone in the family has hurt you intentionally or unintentionally, you may slip into a spiral of emotions. Talking to the family and expressing how you feel might offer some relief.

  1. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place we find the deepest heartache.” – Lyanla Vansant
  2. “In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
  3. “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” –George Bernard Shaw
  4. “Making amends is not only saying the words but also being willing to listen to how your behavior caused another’s pain, and then the really hard part, changing behavior.” – David W. Earle
  5. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” — Michael Jordan
  6. ‘’People who try to bring you down every day aren’t important in your life, so you better treat their opinions as such.” –Terry Mark
  7. “It’s okay to cut toxic family members out of your life. Blood ain’t thicker than peace of mind.”— Anonymous
  8. “Cutting toxic people off doesn’t make you a bad person, selfish, or weak. Cutting toxic people off means you value your integrity over what other people think about you.”— Unknown
  9. “Biology shouldn’t be destiny.” — Anonymous
  10. “Toxic people are like cancer, they will eat away at you until there’s nothing left.”— Unknown
  11. “Toxic family members will smile to your face and then gossip about you behind your back.” — Unknown
  12. “Some family members will only love you if you fit into their definition of ‘normal’. Don’t let them define who you are.”— Unknown
  13. “All my life you’ve done nothing but look at me with disregard. As if I was a stranger who came into your house and pooped on your carpet.”— Egle Nutautaite
  14. “When faced with choosing between attributing their pain to “being crazy” and having had abusive parents, clients will choose “crazy” most of the time.”— Lisa Ferentz

Quotes On Family Relationships Gone Bad

If your family’s relationships are affected due to certain fights, arguments, or contradicting thoughts, then confronting each other may help in fixing the critical situation. These quotes can motivate you to release negative thoughts and frustration.

  1. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy
  2. “When you don’t come from a healthy family, you do your best to ensure a healthy one comes from you.” – Steve Maraboli
  3. “Do not be waylaid by a toxic family Whatsapp group. You fought hard to emerge as your own person in real life. Do not succumb to this new medium that replicates all the sad, toxic hierarchies of broken families. Walkout. Do it now.” – Itayi Garande
  1. “Don’t let toxic people infect you with the fear of giving and receiving one of the most powerful forces in this world… LOVE!”― Yvonne Pierre
  2. “Life is short. Don’t waste it on negative people.” — Unknown
Don’t waste your life on negative people

Image: IStock

  1. “Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” ― John Mark Green
  2. “Until you let go of all the toxic people in your life, you will never be able to grow into your fullest potential. Let them go, so you can grow.” – DLQ
  3. “Sometimes it’s better to end something & try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible.” – Karen Salmansohn
  4. “I have found the best way to deal with a toxic person is to not respond in any other way than monotone voice and a businesslike manner.” ― Jen Grice
  5. “No one forces a person to be negative, and no one forces anyone to be positive. The choice is up to an individual and that person alone.” — Byron Pulsifer
  6. “Poisonous relationships can alter our perception. You can spend many years thinking you’re worthless. But you’re not worthless. You’re underappreciated.” — Steve Maraboli
  7. “Families are homes built on a foundation of trust and love. A toxic family can never be home because the foundation doesn’t exist.”— Anonymous
  8. “Toxic family members will see expressions of forgiveness as weaknesses to exploit. Don’t give in to their tactics this way. If you need to forgive them for your own healing, then do it, but keep it to yourself.”— Sherrie Campbell
  9. “When we are raised in toxic families, we often go through a time period, and for some of us, a lifetime of repeating the toxic patterns we were raised in with other people in our lives. We do this until we decide we’ve had enough pain and choose to genuinely examine our patterns and stop the craziness for good.”— Sherrie Campbell
  10. “Wherever there is a major deficit in parental love, the child will—in all likelihood—respond to the deficit by assuming itself to be the cause of the deficit, thereby developing an unrealistically negative self-image.” — Sherrie Campbell
  11. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven, but sometimes it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” — Iyanla Vanzant
  12. “Fake family members will try to make you feel guilty for setting boundaries and prioritizing your well-being.” — Unknown
  13. “Fake family members will act as if they care, but their actions will always reveal their true intentions.” — Unknown
  14. “Never venture near the toxic family war zone without your security detail of angels, spirit guides, and ancestors by your side.”— Anthon St. Maarten
  15. “Another thing I learned in therapy?” Angie said. “The kids in dysfunctional families who act out and rebel are the ones who are the healthiest mentally. They’re the ones who see that something’s wrong. That’s why they act out, because they see the house is burning down, and they’re screaming for help. That was you.”— Meg Shaffer
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the signs of a toxic family?

Often, the signs of a toxic family are not readily recognizable. Still, there are some red flags. Constantly criticizing, belittling, or demeaning each other, disregarding each other’s emotional and physical boundaries, and blaming one family member for the family’s problems are clear signs of a toxic family environment.

2. What are the effects of growing up in a toxic family?

Growing up in a toxic family can cause people to suffer from heightened stress and anxiety. They can have difficulty trusting others and have lower self-esteem. Since toxic families often indulge in emotional manipulation and blame games, individuals growing up in these families can have a poor self-image, pushing them into isolation. With no support to navigate complex emotions, such individuals can develop negative coping mechanisms, threatening their overall health.

3. Is it OK to leave a toxic family?

Leaving one’s family isn’t easy. However, prioritizing your physical and mental safety and well-being is essential. Living with a toxic family can cause emotional distress and lower your self-esteem. It can push an individual into isolation and adversely affect their overall well-being. Hence, leaving a toxic family and focusing on personal growth and happiness is perfectly okay.

Being in a toxic family may lead to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. However, taking care of your physical and mental health should be your top priority. Here are some thoughtful and inspirational toxic family quotes that may give you the courage to deal with adversities. Also, talk with a trusted friend or relative about your concerns and find out ways to care for yourself. If you cannot handle the situation alone, you may seek help from a professional counselor.

Infographic: Thriving In A Toxic Family

Toxic families fail at nurturing relationships, leading to instability, fear, and frustration among the members. If you are a part of a toxic family, you may want to learn a few ways to cope with it. This infographic sheds light on valuable tips to deal with a toxic family and emerge a winner.

7 ways to handle a toxic family (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


Feeling overwhelmed by toxic family members? Check out this video for inspiring quotes to help you cope!

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Loic Ekinga is a writer from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the author of the poetry collection How To Wake A Butterfly (Odyssey Books, 2021). His works of fiction and poetry have appeared in Agbowò, Type/Cast Magazine, Salamander Ink,  Ja.

Read full bio of Loic Ekinga