How to deal with toxic family relationships | Johnson Chong

How to deal with toxic family relationships | Johnson Chong

Is blood really thicker than water? Is being family enough to outweigh the toxicity of an unhealthy relationship? Over 1 in 4 American adults have experienced family estrangement, be it from one, or both parents, a sibling or a relative. The main causes are emotional abuse, personality and value clashes, mismatched expectations and possible physical/sexual trauma. Johnson Chong poses the idea that toxic family relationships are similar to unspoken one-sided contracts that are full of expectations and obligations that keep us from unapologetically living the life we deserve to live. He asks the question, “if we can negotiate legal contracts, then why not toxic family ones?” As a gay man, he feared disappointing his traditional Chinese parents who were freedom swimmers, a movement of asylum seekers who risked their lives swimming across the Southern Sea from China to Hong Kong to escape Communist rule in the mid-20th century. Johnson has had to break free from the traditional pressures of what his parents expected of him – to be a hetero-normative son abiding to traditional Chinese customs. And as is the case with many bi-cultural immigrant families, he straddled the fence for a while until he dared to break up with these imposed values that were not in alignment with who he truly is. Hashtags: #johnsonchong #relatinoships #breakup #family #toxicrelationships #authenticity #familyestrangement #toxicfamily #estrangedfamily Johnson Chong is the best-selling and award-winning author of Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma. He is a shaman and the founder of Sage Sapien Soul Academy where he trains aspiring meditation and breathwork teachers. Through the synthesis of the most applicable teachings of yoga, meditation, breathwork, coaching and shamanic healing, his trainings are designed to help people quiet the mind, awaken the heart and free themselves of the roadblocks that keep them from living more authentically and joyfully. He has spoken and led workshops at companies like Unilever, Facebook, Nike, Macquarie, Insight Timer, UBS, UOB and more. Johnson is a native New Yorker, and has lived on 3 continents, currently based in Sydney, Australia. To connect more with Johnson to see what offerings and programs he is currently running, follow him on facebook and Instagram: @johnsonchongsagesapien, or visit him at This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

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