Family should be the people we choose to spend time with. They should be the ones we want to go back to long after we’re grown. Family should be a support, but not be interfering. Family should be helpful, caring and interested.
Even through all my experiences, I still believe that underneath, family are well-intentioned. They may often mistake well-meaning for interfering. Many of us will spend a lifetime trying to adapt to that, and others trying to move the boundaries back in place.
There will be times too when we feel we’re back on track, only to find we’ve slipped back off again with something we’ve said, then it’s back to square one.
These would be my suggestions for coping with family:
- Put space between you and your family so you’re in control of how much time you spend with them;
- Don’t feel pressured to do what they want unless you’re happy to do what they ask;
- Make your own decisions;
- Always say what you feel but say it with tact and discretion and don’t hold back;
- Be prepared to move the boundaries back;
- Never leave family assuming; always go out of your way to make sure they know where you stand, because miscommunication can be detrimental.
If things don’t work out, it’s up to you to make a choice as to whether you put more space between you and the family or whether you choose to walk away completely.
Of course, if we had a perfect family we wouldn’t feel the need to do either.