I’ve written about some of my experiences in navigating friendships and determining when it’s time to let them go and when to continue to make an effort. I backed off of the subject for a while because well, I had come to a place of understanding what I needed to do uncomfortable friend situations.
But…and I’m sure you were expecting this…I eventually had an experience that called into question a relationship with FAMILY. Yes, I capitalized the word family. It’s still a bit alarming to me that I actually have something to write about when it comes to releasing some familial relationships. Please understand that I’m very aware of the fact that I’m engaged in a lot activity around who’s being “kicked off the island” and who’s alright to stick around. It’s not that I have a superiority complex, or that I feel like I’m better than the next at all, it’s just that I’m making some really risky moves these days and my personality dictates that I can’t be distracted by fear driven people. The truth is, I can lose myself in that fear and end up becoming so empathetic to their concern about me that I fall off of the path. These days, I won’t do that. It’s just not an option.
Just look at that title. Warning: I really don’t consider this person a hater. I just liked the title.
But I digress (per usual). I have one extremely close relative that I had purposely been keeping away from the things that I’m currently working on because she worries so much, that she creates things to be concerned about and sometimes, that’s distracting. Note: this is different from someone who gets worried and is on point with what they point out as a concern. My beloved family member is hardly ever correct about her assumptions. When I think about it, she’s never been right…strange how that works. Now that I give it some real thought, she ACTUALLY follows through on asserting her concerns, yet none have ever been accurate. Interestingly enough, she keeps offering her fears up on a platter. Even with that, I know she genuinely cares and I’d never want her to think I’m blind to that fact, and it’s a gift to have someone who cares.
Although I get can feel verklempt by the overindulgence in worry by this person, this post is less about a “hater” family member, or any family member in particular. It’s more about trying to understand what to do with family members that you just don’t vibe with. We all know the feeling…you have a familial counterpart that you like okay but the truth is, you probably wouldn’t hang out with them if you didn’t have to, yet they have access to different areas of your life by virtue of being close to one of your parents or even grandparents. I’m not referring to the family member you just flat out dislike (it happens), but the one you just don’t have anything in common with but they might be apart of your extended immediate family (think a first cousin by marriage, or that uncle or aunt that always has something to say).
You can’t exactly dump them (I’ve tried) because they ALWAYS come back. You can’t avoid them because they ALWAYS come back. What can you do?
Accept them. That’s what it comes down to. I learned the hard way that if you want to be accepted just as you are, you have to give people the benefit of the doubt. That’s not to say that you have to include them in things that are personal to you, or try to force a closeness that doesn’t exist. You just have to acknowledge who and what they are and leave it at that.
It’s one of the most excruciating things to do in this life, but it’s one of the things that just has to be. It becomes easier to do it when you learn to be present in your state of mind as much as possible. The difficult things to accept just bounce off of you when you stay present and focused enough that you filter it out almost as soon as you’re confronted with it. Staying away is a given, but sometimes it’s just not possible.
Acceptance as a solution to handling that “hater” family member may be cliche, but cliches are cliches because they tend to be true. Your definition of acceptance is what makes the difference. Mine is to recognize that people behave from what they know to be true, no matter what our truth is, and it’s okay. For me, it’s about what I do to protect myself.
So…I’m done lol. Tell me about your hater family member and what you’ve done to coexist with them. I’m listening.
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