I know I’m not alone when I say, “MY FAMILY DRIVES ME CRAZY!” The thing is, I’ve gone through too many situations to share something of significance or anything that actually goes with the title.
When I share my stories, my friends usually top it with their own experiences and personal stories about THEIR families. I bet you’re reading this, thinking about the many ways your own family gets under your skin.
Why do family opinions matter so much to us?
think know the reason family members can have such a significant impact on our lives is because we have different expectations of who, what and how they should be to us. For many people, family members are believed to have a more solid tie to us than any others.
I’ve learned recently that many cultures believe family members should be there for each other no matter what. Parents should take care of their kids the best way possible so they can some day get the favor returned. For many people, that level of responsibility is passed on regardless of whether or not the family member receiving the gesture deserves it.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about children to parents and parents to grandparents and so on. I know I worry about my parents, naturally, because sometimes I feel they’ve made very bad decisions and feel they could possibly continue to go through this bad path without the necessary preparations for their future. They are, after all, nearly ready to retire and are nowhere near being able to do so.
I haven’t always gotten along with my parents, but I feel my heart would break if something terrible happened to them. I don’t know whether my parents expect me to take care of them or not, but naturally I would do it, simply because I love them dearly. So if the expectations are there, it’s masked with my feelings of love for them.
I have to admit, spending time with my extended family, especially my parents can be exhausting. Sometimes I feel I would rather hang out (or even spend the dreaded holidays) with perfect strangers. At least with them, I know I have the ability to shield myself from lowly remarks, looks of disappointment and all the other wonderful feelings I would normally get.
Can you add to this list?
If you don’t think you ever go through enough family drama to experience any of the above feelings, then you are among the lucky ones. For those of you who go through it constantly, there are two ways to handle it:
- Ignore and don’t retaliate
- Spend less time together
Sometimes silence speaks louder than words. If you really want someone to see a different side of you and perhaps hear what you truly have to say, keep quiet. This could drive anyone crazy, especially if they’re used to hearing you voice your opinions.
Silence, time and space will help with many heated scenarios. It is very difficult to try to change another person, if that’s ever your goal. However, working on your relationship with them can create a positive impact on your life, especially if this person means a lot to you.
If you’ve just gone through a heated conversation, the best way to go about it is to say nothing, step away, and give yourself enough time to gather your thoughts in the most effective way possible. Without hearing what you think can drive others crazy, while it gives you the perfect chance to take it in so you can rationally deal with the situation.
Once you’ve gathered your thoughts, you can choose to convey your message(s) without anger the best way possible. If you’re able to send a strong message without anger, then you would most likely have found a way to get the other person to listen to your side of a story with a little respect to go with it.
It can be very difficult to avoid family members. However, if someone is constantly making you feel bad or has the ability to send you negative energy every time you’re around them, then perhaps it’s time to distance yourself.
I really love my parents, but to be honest, it used to ruin my day whenever we fought about anything, which was more often than I really wanted. It breaks my heart to think I’m actually spending less time with them, but I needed to find a way to keep my sanity for the sake of my husband and my son.
Staying away from my parents didn’t change our relationship by any means, but it did help me focus more on my immediate family. I also have more happy days and have someone made peace with my mom and dad’s attitudes.
Don’t get me wrong, because I do love my parents and the rest of my family. However, I too, am a parent and being a good one means being able to focus on my son’s needs more, and showing him what unconditional love truly means.