you ever dated an asshole, you know that people are quick to tell you to “dump his sorry ass.” But if a family member is mistreating you, they say: “Just brush it off.”
It’s even worse when grandparents are involved. As a culture, we place great importance on having an extended family. Grandparents especially are viewed as harmless old folks who love and spoil their grandkids.
But toxic grandparents are not harmless. They are manipulative, controlling, self-serving individuals who can do a lot of damage if not kept in check. Here are 10 signs that you might be dealing with one.
1. Denying having made any mistakes as a parent
Whenever you bring up painful moments from your childhood that they were a part of, they gaslight you by saying: “I don’t remember that,” or “You always exaggerate!” People who can’t admit fault can’t learn from their mistakes. So they’ll be the same way as a grandparent.
2. Feeling entitled to time with the grandchildren
If, for whatever reason, a toxic grandparent is denied that time, they’ll accuse you of using your kid to hurt them. If you’re not bending to their will, they will go as far as demanding time with your kid ONLY, trying to bypass you and take control of the situation. If that doesn’t work, they’ll enlist relatives to harass you on their behalf.
3. Playing the victim
A toxic grandparent is someone with an overinflated ego and the lack of empathy for other people’s feelings. That makes them incapable of reflecting on their own flaws and wrongdoings. However, they are hyper aware of everyone else’s. Even the slightest offense can be perceived as an attack, and all of the sudden grandma is “sick,” or grandpa is having “chest pains.”
They act like they don’t want anyone to know, but this is very intentional. They aim to illicit sympathy and to remind everyone – kids and grandkids – that things need to be going their way, or else.