7 Harsh Signs It’s Time To Go No-Contact With Your Family Member

Yes, they are blood, but no, they don’t always deserve a space in your life.

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Lately, I’ve been going on Reddit to see what the major drama is for other peoples’ relationships. It’s where I get a lot of my inspiration as a writer, and it’s also a way to gauge where society is at this time. I mean, every time women’s rights get rolled back, I notice an uptick in DV posts.

Regardless, I noticed a lot of people talking about situations that were highly dysfunctional in their families.


Some involved a cheating parent, others involved a parent saying something jaw-droppingly hurtful, and still, more involved parents trapping their kids in a bad situation.

There’s a huge stigma against not talking to your biological family. We all hear people say, "But it's your family." 

But guess what? Blood doesn’t always entitle someone to your time. In fact, refusing to speak to your family can be an act of self-love.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like a lot of people need to hear that it’s okay to walk away from family members who aren’t good to you. If any of these warning signs fit you, you have my permission to walk away from your family.


Here are 7 harsh signs it's time to go no-contact with your family member:

1. Your relatives hit you, sexually abuse you or make you feel physically unsafe

It’s 2022. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I apparently have to. If you have to deal with family members who beat you, they are not your family.

Physical or sexual abuse is never okay.

Going no-contact is totally okay here because being assaulted is not acceptable.


If you want to reach out again after time has passed, that’s on you. Personally, I would think long and hard before that — and if I granted them that option, I’d probably warn them that the next time they hit me is their last.

On a similar note, if your relatives harmed your pets, call 911, consider a lawsuit and press charges. Cruelty to animals is never acceptable, nor is defending it.

RELATED: How To Use The 'No Contact Rule' And Why It's (Pretty Much) Guaranteed To Work

2. Your family member has stolen something very important or fleeced you out of money

As many of my readers know, I hang out in circles that have faced extreme poverty — like, starving dizzy due to lack of food, poverty. Even in these circles, there are a few things that you do not do under any circumstances. One of these is theft.


If you steal from people who are really poor, that’s generally an automatic ticket out of their clique. Moreover, it’s usually a sign that you’re going to get the snot kicked out of you.

Theft is a major no-no for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that it proves you don’t care about the people around you.

Since you don’t care that you hurt them by taking their s***, you can’t be trusted. Boom.

3. You’ve caught your family actively working against you having friends or supportive partners

True story, I personally had a relative who worked against me having friends growing up. This person would tell me that my friends aren’t actually my friends, would advise me on doing things that would alienate me, and would actively prevent me from having topics I could talk to them about.


Needless to say, I was messed up for decades.

This was one of the primary reasons I ended up having a meltdown at my college and why I ended up choosing to live in the streets. I couldn’t take the isolation anymore.

There were very long periods of time when I just didn’t talk to this person. Things are better between me and them now, but it’s something I’ll always remember them doing. If I didn’t go low- to no-contact, I probably would have died by my own hands as a teen.

With that said, I still view this kind of behavior as unforgivable.

Don’t feel bad if you have to flee a family who does this to you. I guarantee you that you’re going to be better off in the long run.


Don’t believe it? Check out Reddit’s r/JustNoMIL for stories about people who had to walk away.

4. It feels like your family is trying to force you to live a life that makes you miserable

I see this kind of stuff a lot with families who are hyper-conservative and want their daughters barefoot and pregnant, but it also comes in the form of parents who insist on sons being doctors or trying to put gay kids in conversion therapy.

Bottom line: a parent is supposed to accept you and want you to be happy.

Anyone who is part of your real family will let you be the real you. They will want to see you smile, even if what you decide to do with life isn’t what they expected.


I don’t understand how so many parents seem to want to break down their kids just to force them into a life they don’t want to live. That’s not parenting. That’s being vindictive and betraying the very child you’re supposed to love.

If you are this kid, please get away from your family. They’re toxic AF and you deserve a better life.

RELATED: Why Having 'No Contact' With Family Members Is Perfectly OK

5. Your family believes you should have no rights

I remember reading about a woman whose mother said that, if her 12-year-old sister was raped, she’d demand that the kid give birth to the rapist’s baby.

I don’t think that I need to tell you how horrible and appalling that is to hear.


There are many cases of parents who have forced their kids into conversion therapy, or who have even blocked kids from getting an education. In some cases, adult children had to choose between the right to marry their partners or their families.

If this sounds like your family, I’d suggest calling CPS (if it has the potential of doing something in your situation) and also suggest going no-contact as soon as possible.

6. You feel like their verbal punching bag

Verbal abuse is still abuse, and if you find yourself on the receiving end of a lot of hateful remarks, it’s time to rethink your relationship with the people around you.

Yes, they are your relatives, but no, no one gets to talk to you like that.


If you find yourself being berated, having talked about you behind your back, or just dealing with passive-aggressive behavior, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship with the people in your family.

You shouldn’t have to spend time with people who verbally attack you.

A good rule of thumb with your family is to ask how you feel about seeing them. If you get a sense of dread in the pit of your stomach, cutting ties (at least temporarily) may be a good choice.


RELATED: 10 Tragic-But-True Reasons People Cut Family Members Out Of Their Lives

7. Your family has undermined or exploited your professional or career life

I guarantee you that a lot of child stars have cut ties with their parents for this reason. But, you don’t have to be Britney Spears to realize that your family might be f***ing up your career.

I’ve seen this happen in a number of ways:

  • Emotionally blackmailing someone into leaving a job they adore and that pays well.
  • Breaking items needed to work.
  • Refusing to help fund new career opportunities despite having money to do so.
  • Calling employers to get people fired.
  • Demanding complete control of your money.

Not okay, by any means. Actually, depending on what they do, this could be a time to call the police and start a lawsuit. Either way, it’s time to run far away from people who do this to you.


Reminder: you can’t martyr yourself to keep your bullies happy.

Bullies can be anyone. It can be a kid in school that threw rocks at you. It could also be a coworker. Some of us were unlucky enough to end up having it be our family.

If that is what happened to you, don’t feel bad about walking away from your family.

Your family is who you choose them to be. Sometimes, that means your friends and lover become your family — and that’s okay.

RELATED: 12 Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Parent

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.