While blood is thicker than water, it is best to establish clear boundaries with a toxic family member when it comes to property matters
By Khalil Adis
Everyone has that one family member.
You know, that elephant in the room that nobody really wants to talk about.
That one who constantly argues and causes problems in the family. Yup, that one.
What complicates matter is when other family members try to intervene in the name of religion.
Most often than not, religion can blind everyone to the bullying and toxic behaviour this family member is doing.
Unfortunately, I have that one family member.
It all started rather harmlessly from that name-calling for getting good grades to pinching you till you are left bruised.
From emotional blackmail, gas-lighting to downright rude behaviour, all this was done as this family member was finding means and ways to wriggle her way out of paying the home mortgage when she is clearly the legal owner.
Their message is often typical - everyone else is the problem, except them.
Psychologist call this kind of behaviour projection where they will unconsciously project their innermost thoughts in their communication.
In my case, this family member was saying that I had planned to move overseas for good and abandon my responsibilities.
Well, guess what? That family member is the one who ended up uprooting herself overseas and is now no longer contactable.
The question is, should you as a family member, bail this person out from their mortgage responsibilities?
The answer is no. Here are three reasons why
#1: Recognise the problem is them, not you
Most often this comes up during arguments where they will project all their unconscious thoughts to you.
This person is only interested in their own point of view to make you feel guilty and bully you into admission so you will bail them out.
They are often emotionally manipulative to convince you that you are the problem.
When dealing with a toxic family member, it is best to walk out of the conversation as no amount of reasoning will make them see things your way.
#2: Legally speaking, you have no recourse
Unless you have a very good lawyer and documents to back up that you have been bailing this person out, your chances of getting your money back are close to zero.
Also, legally speaking, the one that will end up in trouble with the banks and income tax department is them, not you.
So save yourself the heartache.
You are better off saving that money for your own home.
#3: The family member needs to take responsibility
The reason this family member took out a home mortgage is precisely that - they made a commitment to buy a home.
If there are any changes in plans along the way, that family member needs to communicate that out in a healthy family discussion and not via threatening emails miles away in a foreign country.
Bailing this person out is not only unhealthy but enabling such bad behaviour.
Establish clear boundaries with such person that you will not tolerate their toxic behaviour and will only communicate with them when they treat everyone with respect.
If all else fail, cut off ties.
While this may seem taboo in a religious family setting, you will need to especially if the other person's behaviour is erratic and demands legal or police action.
Do it for the sake of your sanity and well-being.
You deserve so much better.
An independent analysis from yours truly