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Question
Posted by: lee | 2012-02-16

family

I have a problem/guilt feeling about family. We stayed very far from all of our family for many many years and the relationships were always very good. Now we''ve moved (unavoidably) close to all family members. Since then its become terrible. Relationships are shaky and so so sensitive and I quite honestly wish I still lived a thousand kilometers away. Except for my darling mother, I most often don''t even feel like picking up the phone if its one of them and there are always insinuations being made about this and that which lead to my becoming upset and concerned that a fight is going to start. Whats the best way to distance yourself without putting yourself in the position of being targeted which would lead to a family feud. I also feel so guilty that I feel this way.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Interesting, isnt it, how its often much easier to feel close to and happy with people who are a long way away, and harder to like them when you see a lot more of them ?
Don't feel guilty, this is a common situation, and feelings of guilt dont help anyone. A counsellor could help you sort out what causes the friction with the various family members, and to work out ways of relationg more comfortably to each of them

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Our users say:
Posted by: lee | 2012-02-16

Thanks Cybershrink - " Interesting, isnt it, how its often much easier to feel close to and happy with people who are a long way away, and harder to like them when you see a lot more of them ?"  this comment is so true - OMW - I used to pine for them - no more I''m afraid. And to Lisa, many thanks for these tips which I''m going to use. You''re right about pushing the buttons - sometimes I''m so mad, hurt and upset I cant even sleep. Many thanks again

Reply to lee
Posted by: Liza | 2012-02-16

My guidelines for dealing with family:
- Don''t borrow them money unless you can afford to think of it as a gift instead of a loan.
- Be polite. Even when others are being unbearably rude towards you. That way they can''t point fingers at you later.
- Don''t gossip. And discourage other family members from passing gossip on to you by politely telling them that you disapprove of gossip whenever they try. That way you never have to choose sides when arguments threaten to divide the family!
- Be patient. Certain family members will always cause friction with other family members - no matter how hard you try to reduce conflict. Everyone has an opinion, but very few are actually open-minded enough to change their opinion when presented with new facts. This will not change. If you can agree that you disagree, it will reduce conflict a lot.
- Don''t take things too personally. Family members are usually the ones who know exactly which buttons to push to get the reaction they desire from you. This will not change. Learn how to spot these attempts at manipulation and it will be much easier to avoid!
- When dealing with a unreasonable family member, don''t try and engage them in a debate. Expecting someone unreasonable to see reason is futile. So don''t even try. It''s only going to give you a stomach ulcer!

And if all else fails, try and avoid them as far as possible!

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-02-16

Interesting, isnt it, how its often much easier to feel close to and happy with people who are a long way away, and harder to like them when you see a lot more of them ?
Don't feel guilty, this is a common situation, and feelings of guilt dont help anyone. A counsellor could help you sort out what causes the friction with the various family members, and to work out ways of relationg more comfortably to each of them

Reply to cybershrink

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