Author Topic: How do I deal with my family  (Read 9321 times)

kander

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How do I deal with my family
« on: February 13, 2015, 05:34:02 AM »
Sometimes I feel so disconnected to my family. (My mother and sister, mostly). I don't know how to connect with them because they seem to be on a whole other "level" then where I am (nog saying that I am better, but just different!)

Some examples:
- One of their biggest hobby is to shop. When I refuse to go shopping, I don't see them much anymore. So when I want to see my sister I go "shopping" with her, which I don't like, but the other option (not seeing her often) I don't like either.
- They watch a lot of television and know all the commercials and talk about that stuff a lot
- When I talk about things that I find interesting, like psychology, feelings, etc. they don't like it and say that I'm acting like a "smartie-pants"
- Always the complaining about not having money, but spending like idiots

Today I had a great "fight" (don't know the right word) with my mother, when I told her I felt outclosed she told me that I wasn't sociable enough and was too serious. And though I like my life and the way I live it, I felt really hurt :( And sometimes I feel really lonely too, because I haven't found my "pack" yet :(

Can anyone relate to this and how have you dealed dealt with it?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 11:08:19 AM by kander »

Louisville

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 06:05:43 AM »
Can I ask how old you are? Do you still live with your mother and sister? Can you move out?
You can choose your friends. You can't choose your family. An often painful part of growing up is realizing that, if they weren't your family, you wouldn't seek them out as friends because you don't have anything in common. But, once you understand that's the way it is, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Love them and relate to them in the ways that you can, and try not to worry about the ways you don't mesh with them.

Louisville

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 06:06:24 AM »
And your English is just fine. Much better than many who grew up with it.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 06:09:22 AM »
I have basically given up trying to understand the way my sisters live their lives. I care about them and I like it when I see them, but I would lose my mind if I saw them all the time because their priorities make no sense.

I live halfway across the country from them, though, so that makes it easier.

ChaseJuggler

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 06:11:18 AM »
My dad and sister just got back from a 2 week vacation in Hawaii. I think I've heard 30 or so times how disappointed they are that I didn't join them. But I couldn't care less. Blowing $6000 going somewhere I'm not even interested in would sting about a thousand times more than their remarks.

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 06:14:25 AM »
@Louisville: I'm 29 years old and I'm married. But we live in the same town, and as a SAHM with not many friends in the neighboorhood I see them a lot.... Maybe also not fair to them, if I read that back....

KD

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 06:15:06 AM »
Yes I've experienced similar. 

This is just a basic personality and value difference. 

You might try scheduling a lunch date out with them at a mall or something and then leaving them to go on shopping w/o you.  I'm not a shopper either and I've went with them a few times, but it isn't fun for me and I didn't buy things unnecessary just for the privilege of hanging out with them.  Boring and wasteful to me.  I searched for other ways to connect with them and do have to be the initiator to get those in.  As I've aged I've come to realize that my needs and wants are different than theirs and that is more than okay.  I get my social interactions that feed my soul elsewhere but there were times before I found my tribe when I was very lonely and felt misunderstood before I learned to cope better with the situation.  Here's my take on it now...'their loss' not to know me better.  I still wish it were different, but it was unfruitful for me to stay worrying about it.  Find ways to make a connection with them in a way that satisfies your needs and possibly intersects with meeting theirs.  Let the rest go if you can.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 06:53:21 AM »
@Louisville: I'm 29 years old and I'm married. But we live in the same town, and as a SAHM with not many friends in the neighboorhood I see them a lot.... Maybe also not fair to them, if I read that back....

Are there social groups for SAHMs in your town? My wife had to go through a few when we moved before she found one she liked, but it helps her see people at least once a week.

J Boogie

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 07:15:14 AM »
Sometimes I feel so disconnected to (from) my family. (My mother and sister, mostly). I don't know how to connect with them because they seem to be on a whole other "level" then (than) where I am (nog saying that I am better, but just different!)

Some examples:
- One of their biggest hobby (hobbies... since you said one of) is to shop. When I refuse to go shopping, I don't see them much anymore. So when I want to see my sister I go "shopping" with her, which I don't like, but the other option (not seeing her often) I don't like either.
- They watch a lot of television and know all the commercials and talk about that stuff a lot
- When I talk about things that I find interesting, like psychology, feelings, etc. they don't like it and say that I'm acting like a "smartie-pants"
- Always the complaining about not having money, but spending like idiots

Today I had a great "fight" (don't know the right word) with my mother, when I told her I felt outclosed (not sure if this is a word, but we understand what you mean.  You could say outcast, shut out, closed out, etc)  she told me that I wasn't sociable enough and was too serious. And though I like my life and the way I live it, I felt really hurt :( And sometimes I feel really lonely too, because I haven't found my "pack" yet :(

Can anyone relate to this and how have you dealed (dealt) with it?

I offer those corrections based on what your signature says.  Like another poster said your english is really really good and I did not know you were a non-native speaker until I saw the signature.

As far as advice goes, be patient and try to meet them halfway.  Everyone in my family is pretty well-read and thoughtful (4 master's degrees between my 3 brothers) but one of them is a writer that is constantly thinking philosophical thoughts and enjoys sharing them.

One of his techniques to relating to everyone else is being a good listener and finding interesting topics or viewpoints that arise from what they say.  Granted, there is nothing too interesting that can arise from talking about shopping (unless you get into a critique of consumer culture, which probably wouldn't go over well) but you can find something true and beautiful in their interests if you really look closely.  They will appreciate your efforts in coming down from your intellectual castle. 

Another thing my brother does is gift books.  He gives us books based on what our interests are and takes it in a very deep direction, gets us thinking.  In case you were wondering, yes, he's the one with 2 master's degrees.

Best of luck.


KD

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2015, 07:31:19 AM »
Another thought Kander, threesomes can be difficult no matter if it's family or not.  Can you make plans to meet up with each on a one-to-one basis?  Lunch with Mom.  Bowling with sister?  ...or something of that sort?

Magic Mocha

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2015, 09:29:23 AM »
Quote
One of their biggest hobby is to shop. When I refuse to go shopping, I don't see them much anymore. So when I want to see my sister I go "shopping" with her, which I don't like, but the other option (not seeing her often) I don't like either.

How would you feel about going shopping with them, but not spending anything yourself? Just hang out with them, help them pick out clothes or gadgets, and show you're interested in them, even if you don't like shopping for yourself. Same for TV shows. You don't have to watch them, but ask them questions about it. "What shows are you watching now? What do you like about them?"

If you refuse to go shopping with them and participate in their hobbies, they are less likely to talk with you about yours. But if you show that you care about them more than the hobby, they may do the same for you.

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 09:36:56 AM »
Quote
One of their biggest hobby is to shop. When I refuse to go shopping, I don't see them much anymore. So when I want to see my sister I go "shopping" with her, which I don't like, but the other option (not seeing her often) I don't like either.

How would you feel about going shopping with them, but not spending anything yourself? Just hang out with them, help them pick out clothes or gadgets, and show you're interested in them, even if you don't like shopping for yourself. Same for TV shows. You don't have to watch them, but ask them questions about it. "What shows are you watching now? What do you like about them?"

If you refuse to go shopping with them and participate in their hobbies, they are less likely to talk with you about yours. But if you show that you care about them more than the hobby, they may do the same for you.

Thanks, I'll try that :)

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 09:41:40 AM »
@Louisville: I'm 29 years old and I'm married. But we live in the same town, and as a SAHM with not many friends in the neighboorhood I see them a lot.... Maybe also not fair to them, if I read that back....

Are there social groups for SAHMs in your town? My wife had to go through a few when we moved before she found one she liked, but it helps her see people at least once a week.

Yes, there is a playgroup for toddlers in our town. I've tried it once, but our son couldn't walk then so he couldn't play along. Maybe it's time to give it a second try

Retire-Canada

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 09:41:57 AM »
If it was me I'd decide on how much time I wanted to spend with them. Then I would go shopping with them for that amount of time. Not only would I go shopping I'd get everyone pumped up for a trip to the mall. I would gush about all the crap they want to buy and support all their purchases with positive comments.

I would buy not one thing. If I needed something I would make a separate trip to get it. If they asked me why I wasn't buying anything I'd only say "I don't see anything here I need!" I wouldn't get any deeper than that at the mall.

You'll get to hang with them and be part of the club. You won't make them feel bad about anything or push your lifestyle on them, but at the same time you'll give them an example of what it looks like not to consume despite being in a consumer culture. Just don't judge them or say anything negative about what they are doing while at the mall.

If they want to have a deeper talk about why you aren't buying anything only have that away from the mall.

I'm a fight without fighting sort of person. Plus to be honest you can get most of the enjoyment of the consumer lifestyle by hanging out with people shopping/buying and it's free!

-- Vik
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 09:43:57 AM by Vikb »

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 09:44:53 AM »
Another thought Kander, threesomes can be difficult no matter if it's family or not.  Can you make plans to meet up with each on a one-to-one basis?  Lunch with Mom.  Bowling with sister?  ...or something of that sort?

By chance I made an appointment with my mother, without my sister. We'll go to the movies (Into the woods)

Avidconsumer

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2015, 10:16:50 AM »
A spendy family cost you money and I'm ok with that. I would go with them to shop to hang out, because that's what makes them happy. You shouldn't judge other people for how they spend their money, as it may be the one thing that makes them happy. Usually we will plan to go eat somewhere, while we're out shopping or grab a coffee, which makes me happy. A few bucks wont hurt you on food and you'll get to hang out with them.

mozar

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2015, 07:01:19 PM »
What I do is read in depth psychological analysis about whatever tv shows are on. So when my family starts talking about a tv show I know all about it, and maybe more than them. That way we can talk about pop culture, even though we are coming from different places.

With shopping I had to give up on that, because shopping bothers me so.

WhoopWhoop

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2015, 08:15:14 PM »
I think you need to start feeling like an adult. You are 29. You gave birth for Christ's sake! You are now entitled to being treated like an adult (not nitpicked like a child for "personality flaws" such as being "unsociable"). It feels like you're still being spoken to like you're a child. Sadly, this is something you have to work on, not her. As soon as you start feeling confident about yourself and realizing how ridiculous it would be to be spoken to like a child, your mother will instinctively stop that nonsense.

Next, if you are determined to keep cordial contact, you just have to realize that your mother and sister are doing the BEST THEY CAN. They may never be capable of relating to someone so different from themselves. They may never see how silly it is to only communicate with you on their terms. They are doing the best they can.

The last thing I want to mention is that the reason why this is an issue in the first place is because you don't have your own "tribe" of friends. As soon as you have a group of people that you enjoy the company of and trust, your mother and sister being so different won't really matter anymore. Just keep that in mind. Obviously, there's no quick fix for that. I am in a similar situation and I'm just trying to be more "open."

Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 08:17:20 PM by WhoopWhoop »

kathrynd

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2015, 09:01:09 PM »
Maybe try to find something that you and your family have in common?

Cookies?
I've heard of friends getting together, to make their own cookie recipe, and then they share, so they all have a can of different cookies.

I also hate shopping, but my 31 yr old daughter loves it. So we do a compromise.
We go to a cheap cafe and split a meal (we are small eaters) and then we do the rounds to the local thrift shops.
One place has a 'fill a bag for $2" which we both love.

I admit, I do love TV, I find it relaxing, and I like to be entertained.
I think many conversations may start off talking about the characters or plots from a show, but usually they progress to how you view similar circumstances in life. Similar to talking about what you read or watched in the news.

I like that you and your mom, are doing something together, without the sister.
Next time, maybe you and your sister can do something alone.
Because they are more similar to each other, you will probably always feel like the fifth wheel when you are with them.

Maybe find a new hobby, and ask if they would be to join you.
Making jams or preserves.
Making your own laundry detergent etc.

good luck

lifejoy

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2015, 09:33:32 PM »
+1 to thrift shopping! Just call it vintage ;)

pbkmaine

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2015, 08:28:31 PM »
I started watching Project Runway because my stepdaughters were watching it and it was fun to discuss it with them. Turns out I enjoyed it. Then my niece came to stay for a summer and we watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians together. I had not realized it was a comedy. Sometimes you have to watch things and do things to bond with people. I agree with the suggestion to go thrifting and find things that look good on you and your family members. I would prefer to discuss books, myself, but most of my family is not into that. So I do a few things they like and they, in turn, accept my eccentricities. 

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2015, 12:06:52 AM »
The "problem" is that they don't watch it together, they discuss it at a later time. Everyone watches it at their own house ;) We are planning to cut the cable, so this won't work for us...

But maybe I can watch pretty little liars on Netflix, so I can talk with my sister about that :)

Setters-r-Better

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2015, 05:42:43 AM »
@Louisville: I'm 29 years old and I'm married. But we live in the same town, and as a SAHM with not many friends in the neighboorhood I see them a lot.... Maybe also not fair to them, if I read that back....

Are there social groups for SAHMs in your town? My wife had to go through a few when we moved before she found one she liked, but it helps her see people at least once a week.

Yes, there is a playgroup for toddlers in our town. I've tried it once, but our son couldn't walk then so he couldn't play along. Maybe it's time to give it a second try

Yes, try again.  Try multiple groups if possible.  Unfortunately,  this can really be a lot of work,  but eventually you will make friends. 

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2015, 05:49:10 AM »
Today I went to the thrift shop with my mother

Yesterday I went to a farm for children (I don't know if there's an English word, but it's a farm that has a educational purpose for children to see different kind of farm animals like cows, sheeps etc.) and a playground with my son and sister.

It's great to find new ways to do things together instead of shopping...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2015, 06:51:47 AM »
Today I went to the thrift shop with my mother

Yesterday I went to a farm for children (I don't know if there's an English word, but it's a farm that has a educational purpose for children to see different kind of farm animals like cows, sheeps etc.) and a playground with my son and sister.

It's great to find new ways to do things together instead of shopping...

Petting zoo. Helping your sister and son connect will have long-term benefits for your son as well, giving him another supportive adult, so that's a great avenue.

kathrynd

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2015, 06:57:05 AM »
Kander,
I hope everyone had a great time?

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2015, 07:23:15 AM »
Today I went to the thrift shop with my mother

Yesterday I went to a farm for children (I don't know if there's an English word, but it's a farm that has a educational purpose for children to see different kind of farm animals like cows, sheeps etc.) and a playground with my son and sister.

It's great to find new ways to do things together instead of shopping...

Petting zoo. Helping your sister and son connect will have long-term benefits for your son as well, giving him another supportive adult, so that's a great avenue.

That's true!
And also she and her friend are his guardians. If something happens to me and my husband, he will live with them untill he's old enough to live on his own. So it's very important to me that they spend time together and that he feels save with her.

tlars699

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2015, 10:29:45 AM »
Today I went to the thrift shop with my mother

Yesterday I went to a farm for children (I don't know if there's an English word, but it's a farm that has a educational purpose for children to see different kind of farm animals like cows, sheeps etc.) and a playground with my son and sister.

It's great to find new ways to do things together instead of shopping...

Petting zoo. Helping your sister and son connect will have long-term benefits for your son as well, giving him another supportive adult, so that's a great avenue.

That's true!
And also she and her friend are his guardians. If something happens to me and my husband, he will live with them untill he's old enough to live on his own. So it's very important to me that they spend time together and that he feels save with her.

This sounds wonderful! Congratulations on finding safe ways to hang out with your family!

kander

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Re: How do I deal with my family
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2015, 10:52:00 AM »
Kander,
I hope everyone had a great time?

Yes, it was great! :D What I liked most was the playground with my sister. We had so much fun together! :D