STOP STOP STOP!!! Shhhhhh..I know what you’re thinking. “My parents are not toxic, they love me, they care for me.” But hear me out, even the most loving, caring parents can have toxic traits.
With all due respect for my desi parents, uncles and aunties, I feel the need to shed some light in this topic. Just because we don’t talk about it does not mean the problem is not there. This question has been on my mind since past few weeks and I’ve finally decided to write about it. Can desi parents be toxic? While I was doing a research on toxic traits, surprisingly 10 out of 15 traits were common with the personalities of desi parents.
So here we are:
For example, sometimes our parents can come off as disrespectful with the things they do or say. They can be emotionally reactive which means they would overreact or be dramatic about certain things. Desi parents are definitely more controlling. They like to tell us what to do or how to do it. They want to have a say on everything from our clothes, food, friends, to choosing a life partner etc. Also, they can be passive-aggressive which means passing derogatory comments or remarks like “what will people say?” Also, using silent treatments when we act a certain way that they’re not comfortable with.
Desi parents are also highly critical of their children. They like finding faults and pointing out to us. A lot of things that we do are not good enough and we often get compared to Aunty’s perfect son or daughter. Parents also use manipulation and guilt to get what they want. As their children, we have been conditioned to feel guilty about not being the perfect son/daughter. They also like to blame things. You’d never hear a desi parents say “I apologize or I messed up.” They do not like to accept their own mistakes.
Another good example is that they’re very demanding which means when they need you, they expect you to drop everything to attend to their needs. Why? because they gave birth to you so you’re eternally grateful to them and that’s how you show it. They do not wish to understand your schedule or needs. Desi parents also does not understand boundaries which means they can easily intrude our personal space. They have difficulty accepting the fact that we are adults who are completely separate from them with different views on life. Lastly, casual conversations with desi parents usually turns into an argument or a prolonged lecture.
So, if you guys can relate to the facts that I have stated, then our parents or families definitely have toxic traits. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. Let’s start by acknowledging these problems so we can prevent ourselves from being the same toxic parents in the future.