Author Topic: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!  (Read 12105 times)

LadyStache in Baja

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I have a brother that lives at home **rent and utility-free**with mom.  He's 26.  Works about 20 hours a week.  Is still on mom's cell phone plan and car insurance.  So has to pay mom those bills, and mom always has to ask for the money, which is awkward.  And then has the gall to say thing like, "It's all about the money.  Here you go, a whole day's pay.  You could make that in a couple of hours". 

Wants the world to be a hippie utopia, where everyone just shares and helps each other.  But doesn't see that in this case, mom is doing all the helping and brother is just mooching.

Doesn't seem to like being poor, and hasn't occurred to him to cut extras, but doesn't seem to want to work more because "I just want to help my community and this community isn't ready for my ideas yet".  In other words, none of the jobs are good enough.  Btw, he has his associates.  Mom has offered multiple times to pay for his bachelors and that offer is still open.

Heaven forbid mom talk about other cool jobs available that would be fun and would pay (a lot) more.  Because then you're judging him and you think he's a failure and it's not all about money.  It's about living in the moment and I'm not going to sell my soul to some job all day. 

Which is like, ok fine, if and when you can pay your bills, or get rid of all your bills, without mooching on those who have made other choices in life. 

But here's the thing.  I know it's about choices.  You know it's about choices.  My brother doesn't get that he has chosen his low-paying job.  He doesn't want to take responsibility for his life, he wants the rest of the world to be enlightened like he is.   

He has a major anger problem.  Anytime anyone talks to him, it blows up into a huge argument.  I think it's probably rooted in low self-worth.  I think he's not happy.  But he doesn't seem to think there's a problem.  Or he just needs more time to figure it out.  But I think he needs to be an adult and try to figure it out at the same time.  I'm worried he'll never learn.

So I know it's probably impossible to change someone's mindset.  But any advice for getting him to see that what's he's doing isn't "sharing", it's **mooching**?

I've told my mom to get him off her phone plan and car insurance plan.  Any other advice for her?
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 11:11:17 AM by LadyStache in Baja »

MsPeacock

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 07:16:09 PM »
It sounds like a problem your mom has to solve. If she wants him off her cell phone plan she can accomplish it in about 5 minutes. If/when she is ready, you can support her. IMHO you should stay out of it otherwise, as hard as that is to do, because it sounds like your involvement leads to frustration on everyone's part. Your mom has made a choice to tolerate and support your brother....

ender

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 07:17:03 PM »
Is it possible? Yes.

If he does get reformed, are you the person who is going to cause this? Probably not.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2016, 07:24:39 PM »
This scenario is not at all uncommon, at least in my experience, among upper-middle class families, especially boys.  One of my brothers was exactly like this.  The summer before he turned 30, he was in his 3rd or 4th stint of living at home with my parents and not having any job for over a year.  My parents ended up having a lot of things crash down on them all at once, resulting in joblessness, selling the family home, and divorce.  His gravy train (mostly) ended, and he started out on his path to supporting himself.  I think it's been about 4 years now, and he is making ends meet on his own and looking to his future with his girlfriend.  He still puts in the least effort possible to cover his needs/wants and has the mentality that mom and dad should always be there for him financially, but at least, for now, he is doing much better than before.  Essentially, what it takes is for the financial enablers to decide to put on the brakes and hold firm.  This is something for your mom to decide when she's ready, sadly, not for you to control, as painful as that can seem.

Lagom

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2016, 07:32:02 PM »
Agree with LeRainDrop. Every time I've seen a moocher "reform," it's always been because they were forced to when whoever was enabling them finally cut them off. Unpleasant for everyone, but the surest way to make it happen. Thankfully I have not had to deal with this in my family, but I have seen it several times with my friends and in-laws families.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 07:43:58 PM by Lagom »

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2016, 07:37:22 PM »
Yes, but in this case it will be painful.  It'll start with drawing clear lines/boundaries, and enforcing them.  That obviously won't endear you to him, especially given the described personality.
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pbkmaine

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 07:51:05 PM »
My oldest friend's brother lives with his Mom and stepdad. He's 57. They are in their mid 80s. He's not taking care of them. It goes on forever if you let it.

SwordGuy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 08:14:40 PM »
It is not possible to reform someone else who is a moocher.

That is something only the moocher can do.

You can, however, stop enabling the moocher to mooch.  If enough people do this, the moocher might choose to change.  Or not. 


LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2016, 08:14:58 PM »
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.  It really bugs her and she worries about him all the time, to me.  After our chat tonight, she says she's going to cut him off her plans.  I hope she follows through.  It's really hard for her because, let's face it, she's an enabler and doesn't want to upset him!  I say better upset him now than in 40 years when he's a total deadbeat. 

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2016, 08:17:09 PM »
Yes SwordGuy, you're absolutely right.  It's about boundaries.  He doesn't have any ownership of what is his.  And my poor mom is not exercising her boundaries.

The thing is, he talks a lot of philosophy.  I wish there were a way to come at it from his hippie commune perspective that would show him how he's not living communally because he's not contributing.  But maybe it's better to just stop talking and stop enabling.  He'll be upset, he won't understand (now), but after a few years of supporting himself maybe he'll get it.

Lagom

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 08:24:34 PM »
Yes SwordGuy, you're absolutely right.  It's about boundaries.  He doesn't have any ownership of what is his.  And my poor mom is not exercising her boundaries.

The thing is, he talks a lot of philosophy.  I wish there were a way to come at it from his hippie commune perspective that would show him how he's not living communally because he's not contributing.  But maybe it's better to just stop talking and stop enabling.  He'll be upset, he won't understand (now), but after a few years of supporting himself maybe he'll get it.

Or maybe he'll be embittered towards the family forever. Unfortunately that's a risk you have to take. Either way, both he and your mom will be better off.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2016, 06:16:41 AM »
Sounds Like an enablement issue.....the pussification of our society is incredible.

50 years ago, if you were a 26 year old living on mom and dad's dime you where likely mentally disabled or a complete deadbeat.

At 26 years old most men were married with families and responsibilities. Your mom needs to cut him off the cellphone and car insurance first. Then start charging close to market rent, especially if he doesn't do 50% of the chores and housework.......after that he should find a roommate or two and learn how to live on his own.

Tough love is the best course of action in situations like this.

plog

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2016, 06:49:39 AM »
Quote
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.

Sounds like you guys are enablers through and through.  Your mom enables your brother, you enable your mother's enabling.

My advice for you is to be done with it.  Tell your mom you no longer want to hear details of your brother's mooching.  You are no longer sympathetic to her for what she is allowing your brother to do.  Tell her you were on her side, but because she has allowed this to continue now has culpability in the situation.

tomatops

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2016, 06:57:04 AM »
My oldest friend's brother lives with his Mom and stepdad. He's 57. They are in their mid 80s. He's not taking care of them. It goes on forever if you let it.

I second this. My uncle is in his late 50s and my grandpa is close to 90. Uncle hasn't worked since he was in his late 30s.

He definitely still takes more than he gives.

DirtDiva

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2016, 06:57:31 AM »

  So has to pay mom those bills, and mom always has to ask for the money, which is awkward.  And then has the gall to say thing like, "It's all about the money.  Here you go, a whole day's pay.  You could make that in a couple of hours". 

He has a major anger problem.  Anytime anyone talks to him, it blows up into a huge argument. 


Trying to make Mom feel guilty and blowing up are forms of emotional manipulation.  He wants to avoid the subject of him paying his own way, and making it uncomfortable for anyone to raise that subject helps meet that goal.  When my son was a teenager he was a master of these behaviors.

justajane

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2016, 07:12:25 AM »
We have a close family member who keeps getting bailed out by other family members for entirely preventable reasons -- that is, if he actually didn't spend so much and make dumbass financial choices. When will he stop getting bailed out? When the family members who enable him stop writing the checks. But I don't see it as my responsibility to convince them to stop.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2016, 07:14:00 AM »
"I just want to help my community and this community isn't ready for my ideas yet". 

Anybody else think of Kanye West when you read this?

MrsDinero

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2016, 07:18:53 AM »
It is not possible to reform someone else.  True change will have to come from within each person. 

However there are some things that can be done the first one is for your mom to show some tough love and stick to it.  You should also talk to her about protecting her assets for her future and any future emergencies.

What can you do?  Nothing.

DeltaBond

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2016, 07:20:45 AM »
Quote
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.

Sounds like you guys are enablers through and through.  Your mom enables your brother, you enable your mother's enabling.

My advice for you is to be done with it.  Tell your mom you no longer want to hear details of your brother's mooching.  You are no longer sympathetic to her for what she is allowing your brother to do.  Tell her you were on her side, but because she has allowed this to continue now has culpability in the situation.

+1

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2016, 07:37:56 AM »
Quote
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.

Sounds like you guys are enablers through and through.  Your mom enables your brother, you enable your mother's enabling.

My advice for you is to be done with it.  Tell your mom you no longer want to hear details of your brother's mooching.  You are no longer sympathetic to her for what she is allowing your brother to do.  Tell her you were on her side, but because she has allowed this to continue now has culpability in the situation.

+1

Ha ha!  Yes I get that.  Even as I was writing that sentence I got it.  I'm reading Boundaries right now, and next on my list is Codependent No More.  I think it's going to help in my own parenting and marriage and friendships and relationships with my family. 

So yes, this is our issue.  My sister has this issue as well with her own relationships. 

Not my circus not my monkeys not my circus not my monkeys not my circus not my monkeys not my....

mjones1234

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2016, 07:50:39 AM »
Until your Mom tightens the reigns, nothing will change. I've seen dozens of examples like this and the person will mooch as long as the gravy train is flowing.
Sadly, I've seen it result in threats of violence when a parent tries to pull back. Especially, if the person has an anger management issue. So, it can be tricky to
cut the cord on someone who is feeding on this addiction. It would be good to have a candid conversation with your Mom to make sure she's not being threatened
in some way. If this is a possibility, it would be good to pull some family members together and confront him head on. If she's totally okay with it, and just
wants her "little" boy to stick around forever, there will be little you can do.

SunshineAZ

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2016, 08:05:23 AM »
Sadly, you have just, almost perfectly, described my 43 year old brother.  In his life he has probably spent less than 4 years total living somewhere other than my parent's house.  I wish I knew what to tell you.  I have been telling my mom to give him some tough love for over 20 years, but she just won't do it.  My mom is an enabler too, much like my grandmother who enabled my alcoholic grandfather.  They both died many years ago, or I am sure my brother would be mooching off my grandmother too. 

I deal with it by just staying away from my family (I live in AZ, they are in CA) and changing the subject when she complains about him.  I already told her that I will not be supporting him when she is gone.  The amount of money he has siphoned off of my parents makes me sad and angry.

Following this thread for hopefully some good ideas or good news. :)

ketchup

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2016, 08:08:38 AM »
I know someone like this.  She's always been a moocher.  It's not her parents' doing (her older sister is a saint).  She "moved out" for the first time about 4.5 years ago, and has since been kicked out of at least six living situations, and moved back in with her parents at least four times (most recently about six months ago, and she's still there).  Her living expenses have always been hilariously low (0 when living at home) , yet she's always blowing all her money on stupid shit and finding herself in shitloads of Stupid Debt no matter what.

She lived with my GF and I for about two weeks years ago before we couldn't stand it anymore.  She'd whine about having no money while drinking $60 of alcohol and not applying for jobs, watch Netflix and eat all our food (we seriously had to start hiding it), manipulate my GF into paying for things, sit on the couch she didn't pay for and complain about how uncomfortable it is, use (and fuck up) our computers without asking, "borrow" things without asking (and return them damaged), etc.

She's one of the most resistant-to-change, resistant-to-help people I've ever met that's needed the most change and help.  She also has issues related to depression and alcoholism, and she's falling apart physically (she's ~25 but doesn't take care of herself at all, so her legs and knees are giving out on her like she's 75).  She's not a pleasant person.

She likes to make big goals with no plan to follow through on them, then play the self-loathing game when things don't magically work out for her.  She's chronically unemployed (stays at a job for a few months at a time), and has an on-and-off freelance gig that she's pretty good at, but she has no sense of responsibility or professionalism and often ends up screwing her clients out of work they've paid for.

I don't know what the solution for someone like this is, but it's well above my pay-grade.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 08:13:54 AM by ketchup »

little_brown_dog

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2016, 08:10:47 AM »
No, there is no way to help “fix” a person like this. It appears as though your brother might be a narcissist. You know, those glorious people who believe everything is about them, and who are convinced they are great contributors to the world despite all evidence to the contrary. He sounds like someone who could really use a formal evaluation from a professional. His complete lack of appreciation for your mother, her financial support, etc is not normal. It is also very odd when people claim that the world isn't ready for them and their awesomeness yet. It is one thing to have big ideas, another to be delusional about how important you are.

From mayo clinic:

"DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
Requiring constant admiration
Having a sense of entitlement
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
Taking advantage of others to get what you want
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others and believing others envy you
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others."

Some narcissists are extremely successful, high flying, hyper independent people. Others are like your brother – moochers. It can be hard to tell the difference between a narcissist and someone who just has really low self esteem and who has adopted a bit of denial because of it. But it sounds like this is really a deep seeded issue as it really spans across his finances, career outlook, and relationships.

What your mom can do is cut him off or demand more from him. Kick him out, demand rent, make him pay for his own utilities, set a time limit on how long he can live there, etc. This probably will not adjust his self image and attitude if he does have an actual personality problem, but it will at least give your mom more control and she won't be a doormat. Narcissists only respond to firm strong boundaries. If you are overly generous with them, they won't think "Oh wow, how nice of them, I really appreciate it!" they will think "i'm so glad they appreciate me, I really deserve this!". As a result, they just keep taking and taking and taking. They just do not view generosity the same way.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 08:25:37 AM by little_brown_dog »

Gyosho

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2016, 08:20:23 AM »
I have one of these also. A half-brother who is 31, hasn't had a job in years, lets our father pay his rent, phone, car expenses.

My father keeps insisting that he's "helping", that he's "going to get X (brother) back on track"....

Sigh.

mskyle

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2016, 09:54:28 AM »
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.  It really bugs her and she worries about him all the time, to me.  After our chat tonight, she says she's going to cut him off her plans.  I hope she follows through.  It's really hard for her because, let's face it, she's an enabler and doesn't want to upset him!  I say better upset him now than in 40 years when he's a total deadbeat.

So basically your question is, "Is it possible to reform an enabler?" And the answer, again, is "probably not." When your mother complains about your brother, that's a good time to say, "Well, if you didn't do $X it would be a lot harder for him to get away with that," or just, "Mom, he's not going to change unless you do," or "Ma, I'm tired of hearing about your problems with Brother, let's talk about something else."

But don't expect much!

DeltaBond

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2016, 10:46:33 AM »
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.  It really bugs her and she worries about him all the time, to me.  After our chat tonight, she says she's going to cut him off her plans.  I hope she follows through.  It's really hard for her because, let's face it, she's an enabler and doesn't want to upset him!  I say better upset him now than in 40 years when he's a total deadbeat.

So basically your question is, "Is it possible to reform an enabler?" And the answer, again, is "probably not." When your mother complains about your brother, that's a good time to say, "Well, if you didn't do $X it would be a lot harder for him to get away with that," or just, "Mom, he's not going to change unless you do," or "Ma, I'm tired of hearing about your problems with Brother, let's talk about something else."

But don't expect much!

agreed

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2016, 11:24:06 AM »
Ok, I know I'm supposed to stay out of this.  But.....

It's so odd, because I really don't think he's mean-spirited, I think he's delusional.

Here's a text I just received from him.  He's trying to decide on if he should move to Mexico (where I am), because I told him about a job offer here.  We've been texting about it for about two weeks now.

"she got on my case about cell phone and car insurance and I got upset because I could tell she wasn't saying what was on her mind (per usual) so I pressed her to speak freely and then it was just about money... I'm sick of money ruling everything... she doesn't have an uncertain financial future right ? She's good isn't she ?

"I think I might [take the job and move to mexico]... I just dont know that leaving mother alone in the winter here is the best... but she just resents me for being here and living for free so I dunno what to do"

I said,

"Mom will be fine on her own. Shes an adult. She raised three kids.  That shouldn't enter into your decision.
Yeah and if she resents you you should definitely get out of there.
Obviously!  What an awful way to live! Don't put up with that!"

Ok, so obviously I'm playing double-agent here.  Do you see how he thinks he's responsible for her problems (helping her in the winter), and she's responsible for his problems (paying his bills).  He doesn't know about boundaries!!!  It's so interesting to see this play out, all while I'm reading some self-help books about maintaining my own boundaries. 

So I think in my family, love = rescuing.  I remember back in high school one night (maybe more, but one sticks in my memory), of my mom up late typing up a paper for him.  As in, he had written the rough draft on paper and needed to turn it in typed.  And she did that for him.  And that's still going on. 

And my brother is twisted in a way because of all of this, because now he's making decisions based on some weird thing he owes to her (mind you, not what she wants, for him to pay his bills, but out of a sense of obligation to help her at some point in the future--like if the driveway needs to be shoveled?). 

Thing is he doesn't actually help her.  He doesn't mow the lawn when she asks.  He doesn't install the wiper blades on the car if she asks.  She shovels the driveway herself most of the time.  He'll help some of the time, but not like in a gung-ho way.  Only after multiple asks.

 It's hard for be to believe he's manipulative because he talks a big game about love, family, community, and how it's not all about money, and everyone only cares about money and that's why they're all depressed.  But maybe he's not as innocent as I believe.  Maybe he's just lying to himself and making excuses for living at home.

Mskyle and others is right with their advice.  My mom is the only one who can stop enabling. 

Ok, one other significant factor is that our dad passed away of cancer last September.  Brother moved in a bit before that.  So we all kind of thought, well he's grieving, needs some time, but I don't believe that anymore.  It's been almost a year.  And now just about a month ago gf broke up with him.  Honestly having some real-world problems to worry about (rather than being rescued by mom) would help take his mind off these emotional problems.



rockstache

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2016, 11:45:03 AM »
I remember back in high school one night (maybe more, but one sticks in my memory), of my mom up late typing up a paper for him.  As in, he had written the rough draft on paper and needed to turn it in typed.  And she did that for him.  And that's still going on. 


That sticks in your mind because THAT IS CRAZY. My mom didn't know what my homework assignments were after middle school because I just came home and you know, did them. On time. Like a mini-adult in training.

What are your plans to protect the boundaries of yourself/your family if he does decide to move where you are? This is where your focus should be.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2016, 11:48:50 AM »
Ok, so obviously I'm playing double-agent here.

Alert!  You are in dangerous territory!  Been there, done that.

Quote
Do you see how he thinks he's responsible for her problems (helping her in the winter), and she's responsible for his problems (paying his bills).  He doesn't know about boundaries!!!  It's so interesting to see this play out, all while I'm reading some self-help books about maintaining my own boundaries.  So I think in my family, love = rescuing. . . .

Yeah, I can really relate to this all.  I'm glad to hear that you are reading up on healthy boundaries and co-dependency.  In the end, you will learn good strategies for helping your relationship with each of them.  Alas, as between the two of them, navigating their boundaries is something they will have to do on their own.  But, if you continue to play the mediator/interloper, well, then you need to repeat the steps of reading up about boundaries and co-dependency, as you are continuing to let yourself play the same old game.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2016, 12:06:42 PM »
... it was just about money... I'm sick of money ruling everything..."

This part would have been enough to piss me off. I am all for helping family but if that family member has this attitude while not doing anything at all to help themselves then nope! Your mom can do this in stages. She can let him know starting the month of august he will no longer be on her insurance or cell phone. Then tell him he will either have to pay rent or move out starting say November. Give him time to adjust but stay firm. I know it is easier said than done but your mom is not helping him at all.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2016, 12:15:47 PM »
What are your plans to protect the boundaries of yourself/your family if he does decide to move where you are? This is where your focus should be.

I had the same thought/question. He's not thinking he'll be able to move in with you "temporarily," is he?

kite

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2016, 12:49:53 PM »
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change....
Or if you're one of those who want to keep all AA or God references at a distance of a 10 foot pole, there is....
Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Take Mom's complaints like they are complaints about the weather, the traffic or the price of a steak dinner. Listen, empathize and share some of your own struggles, but don't think you are the savior.  It's difficult enough to fix your own self, let alone other people. 
This is a life skill.  From now until you are having a dirt nap people will mismanage their lives and complain to you about how it went down.  If you simply say "That sucks" while passing the ice cream, it is going to be better for both of you than a litany of shoulda/coulda/woulda.   And it leaves you free of resentment when they don't take your advice.  Just focus on being a good example and let your actions do the talking. 

geekinprogress

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2016, 01:25:30 PM »
It's hard for be to believe he's manipulative because he talks a big game about love, family, community, and how it's not all about money, and everyone only cares about money and that's why they're all depressed.  But maybe he's not as innocent as I believe.  Maybe he's just lying to himself and making excuses for living at home.

That's what manipulative people do.  They talk a big game, it sounds good, and they know exactly which buttons to push to get what they want. 

Would your mom consider therapy?  It sounds like their relationship has some pretty well established patterns and sometimes the only way someone deeply enmeshed in something like that can see it is to talk to a third party.  It also sounds like your family has been through a LOT in the past couple years. 

Captain FIRE

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2016, 01:28:09 PM »
My mom helped me type one paper in high school, but that was because our Apple IIe died just as I was finishing it up, so I was having to redo a huge part of it (my recollection is I hadn't printed, or at least certainly not a final draft - and as the computer was dead, it was totally lost so I had to redo it).  She felt guilty re the computer.  She and I both discussed how this was basically the only circumstance under which she would help (something totally out of my control).  It was a late night, but it got done.

However, I'd be careful re playing both sides.  It doesn't sound like you're sending the message that he ought to pay his own way, so that can add to his sense of entitlement.  Maybe lay things out for him a bit more explicitly.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2016, 02:35:19 PM »
Well said kite.  "That sucks" and pass the ice cream!  Love it.  I'll do that!

Captain Fire, yeah, obviously I think he should pay his own way, but since he doesn't care about money because he wants to build a new world (be the change!  build utopia!  money sucks!  consumers suck!  its about experiences, and people!) I thought I should avoid that angle because as soon as I say "money", he'll just shut down.  So I thought I'd try to go about it a different way.  Try to get him to see (ok, irony coming up) that he can't change her or her values on money, he can only change himself, that maybe that would be a better way to get him out on his own. 

Regarding him coming here....yeah, he's made no effort to find housing here (which would involve just putting an ad in an online forum here), and yes, he's expecting to be able to stay here "until he finds a place".  I never agreed to that.  But I'm seeing now that I'll have to proactively not allow that. 

It's just so sad to me that he doesn't think "I better put an ad in the forum to see if I can find housing".  It's so easy. 

Letting go, letting go, letting go.

ender

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2016, 02:41:39 PM »
I find it interesting your way to help him not be a moocher is to tell him about jobs.

Have your mom writeup a formal document with a date he will move out on (maybe 3 months from now?).  Have both of them sign it, be really great if you get it notarized if you have this convenient. Or otherwise convey the "this is actually serious" nature. If he hasn't moved out by that date, tell her to call the police and explain the situation, tell them you've given him 3 months advanced warning and he is now trespassing.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2016, 02:57:29 PM »
ender isn't getting a job the best way to not be a moocher?  also it would involve him moving to another country, thereby getting out on his own. 

People are weird.  It sucks when its one's own brother.  Because you want to have an awesome relationship with your brother, and be proud of each other, and root for each other.  But it's just so hard because all I see is the stuff he's not doing.  Like getting a second part time job.  Or one full-time job.  Those would be easy steps. 

He always plays the victim.  He always always has hated his landlords and his bosses.  Because, get this, his bosses are always about the money.  lol.  Yeah Bro, it's a business, not a hobby.  That he has a narcissistic personality might be just about right.

arebelspy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2016, 05:13:45 PM »
It's only about the money when you aren't doing what you're supposed to with money.

If you handle money responsibly (pay for things on time, etc.), and do your obligations, money isn't even brought up.

It only becomes about the money because of YOU, and you not doing what you're supposed to.

The funny part is, it sounds like if he was actually in a hippy commune, where there's no money, just working together, he'd slack off on his job (say, weeding the garden, or whatever), and then complain "it's all about the work--why can't we just chill and have fun?"

He turns it to "it's all about X" but X is just a placeholder for the thing he's responsible for but doesn't want to take care of.  In this case, it's money, but it doesn't seem like it's due to him actually being for free sharing/community, so much as him being lazy.

(Disclaimer: All I know of him is from what you've posted.  I can't judge him, personally, because I don't know enough.  But if this were a character in a story, that's the impression I'd have gotten of their character.)
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2016, 05:17:31 PM »
yes arebelspy I can absolutely see him not wanting to weed the garden and say "its all about the work, can't we just chill and have fun".  I love the first few sentences of your response as well.  I think I'll try that on him next time it comes up in conversation.
 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 05:25:54 PM by LadyStache in Baja »

Josiecat

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2016, 06:22:13 PM »
OK LadyStache, I'm going to be honest with you.  Those texts that you replied with are enabling in nature.  Why?  Because you need to be telling him things like, 'Well, you do know you should be paying for your own cell and insurance.'  'Mom can't afford to be paying your bills any longer.' Stuff like that.  I don't care if he 'shuts down' or not.  That's total bullshit.  He's a dayum adult and needs to start acting like one. He needs a severe ass kicking wake up call. 

Your family has enabled him long enough.  STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Also, I have the feeling you're going to get a big surprise when he moves to Mexico for the 'job'.  He will stay with you and you will never be able to get rid of him.

BE VERY, VERY clear with him.  If he moves there, he can stay with you a few nights, but he cannot live there.  No, you are not paying any bills.  Text him, 'How is the apartment hunt going?'  Make it very clear that you don't have room for him and he is NOT living there with your family. 

Jeez, I can't believe this guys is 26 years old. 

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2016, 07:16:14 PM »
Josiecat! yes, i love your honesty!  I really had to think about it for a bit to see your point.  Enablers through and through over here. 

So just got off the phone with mom, giving her a pep talk.  She's kind of in shock that she has to do anything, since my sister and I turned out fine, independent.  She's just been waiting for him to spread his wings on his own.  I think I got through to her that he'll need a kick and it can only come from her.  She's going to read some of the books I've been reading. 

Sadly, she's really worried that he'll blow up and never speak to her again.  So yeah, textbook emotional manipulation right there.  I told her that if she had a friend with a husband that treated her that way, she would advise her to get out of that situation.  Hopefully she sees how wrong it is that she's letting fear of her son withholding love dictate her actions.

So yeah, she's got some work to do.  Hopefully she'll read some of these books, see that she's not crazy, see that others have done this hard work before, and that it is necessary.  I feel I've done my part.  I'll have to continue reading up on enabling, codependency, and boundaries to be sure I'm not enabling her enabling!

Ladychips

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2016, 07:43:43 PM »
I have no words of advice but as a recovering enabler, I will tell you it feels better (at some point in the future) when you stop.  Eventually, you figure out you aren't really helping anyone,.  All my relationships improved when I stopped enabling...but like many bad behaviors, you have to be ever vigilant. Good luck to you.

Josiecat

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2016, 07:48:11 PM »
Good!  Let him blow up.  He needs to stop acting like a baby. He needs to leave her house and then she should immediately change the locks. 

A question for you and your mom to ponder.  Can she really afford to continue supporting this man child?  Really, can she?  She needs to take care of herself financially. In his texts, he seems to think she is wealthy, but what is the real story? Don't commiserate with him.  Stick up for your mom and tell him to get the hell out of her house.

sonjak

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2016, 07:49:56 PM »
I just finished reading this book: https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Woods-Unexpected-Hippie-Commune/dp/087071807X  It was interesting and it SO reminds me of your brother.  The only thing most of the community (particularly the men) took seriously after establishing shelter was growing/smoking pot.  They were able to live as long as they did by living on government and other handouts and because one of the members bought them land.  They "grew up" when the land was no longer available to them and the other resources were insufficient. 

IMO, he's looking at Mexico specifically because you are there and giving him sympathy - no other draw to Mexico, which is why he's not looking for housing, plans on living with you and hasn't found a job.  The fact that you "never agreed to that" will not keep him from moving in with you and mooching off you.  I imagine he didn't ask your mom if he could stay there for X years doing nothing, paying her nothing - he's just doing it because she's letting him.

Take the "love" out of it and what benefit are either of you getting from him being in your life?  (There probably is something and it just hasn't been mentioned.)  Is that worth what he's taking from you (both)?  If he gets angry and won't speak to you anymore, what have you lost?  (From an outside perspective, this reminds me of the Roommate Rant thread that GrimSqueaker and others have made so entertaining.)  He seems to just be taking which isn't love.  Definitely encourage you to read Codependent No More asap (and when you're done read it again).  Also, there is an affirmations companion book that goes with it that I found really helpful.  (Yes, I'm speaking from experience.)

SunshineAZ

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #45 on: July 19, 2016, 09:09:51 PM »
Another book recommendation:  Emotional Blackmail: When the people in your life use fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate you by Susan Forward.  It has been a while since I read it, but I remember that it really hit the mark for a lot of my family dynamics. https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blackmail-People-Obligation-Manipulate/dp/0060928972/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468984122&sr=1-1&keywords=emotional+blackmail

ender

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #46 on: July 19, 2016, 09:52:02 PM »
ender isn't getting a job the best way to not be a moocher?  also it would involve him moving to another country, thereby getting out on his own. 

People are weird.  It sucks when its one's own brother.  Because you want to have an awesome relationship with your brother, and be proud of each other, and root for each other.  But it's just so hard because all I see is the stuff he's not doing.  Like getting a second part time job.  Or one full-time job.  Those would be easy steps. 

He always plays the victim.  He always always has hated his landlords and his bosses.  Because, get this, his bosses are always about the money.  lol.  Yeah Bro, it's a business, not a hobby.  That he has a narcissistic personality might be just about right.

The problem is that:

  • Yes, the best way is for him to get a job. But you are giving him a job - he's not getting a job.
  • He will want to move in with you when the job doesn't work out and he's out of luck - how prepared to deal with this are you?

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #47 on: July 19, 2016, 10:20:00 PM »
Wow, so just doing some more research.  Thanks to SunshineAZ's link to Emotional Blackmail, I noticed a similar title and the intro fits him perfectly:

"People with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorders have a serious mental illness that primarily affects their intimate, personal, and family relationships. Often they appear to be normally functioning at work and in public interactions, and Narcissists may even be highly effective, in the short term, in some work or social situations. However, in intimate relationships, they can be emotional, aggressive, demeaning, illogical, paranoid, accusing, and controlling—in the extreme. Their ability to function normally or pleasantly can suddenly change in an instant, like flipping a switch. These negative behaviors don’t happen once in a while, they happen almost continuously in their intimate relationships and most often, and especially with their Caretaker family member."

I mean perfectly.  He's only crazy with my mom.  He's totally illogical.  I've gotten texts from her back before we ever really talked about it just saying "he's crazy" and I thought she was over-exaggerating, but I see now.

Yes touche Ender, I'm now going to not help him come here and talk to the job people to urge them to find someone else!

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #48 on: July 20, 2016, 08:54:36 AM »
"People with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorders have a serious mental illness that primarily affects their intimate, personal, and family relationships. Often they appear to be normally functioning at work and in public interactions, and Narcissists may even be highly effective, in the short term, in some work or social situations. However, in intimate relationships, they can be emotional, aggressive, demeaning, illogical, paranoid, accusing, and controlling—in the extreme. Their ability to function normally or pleasantly can suddenly change in an instant, like flipping a switch. These negative behaviors don’t happen once in a while, they happen almost continuously in their intimate relationships and most often, and especially with their Caretaker family member."

If you want to read up about narcissism and managing your relationship with a narcissist, I highly recommend the book Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss.  My therapist suggested it to me when I was going through a really rough period dealing with a family member and one of the partners at work, and it was very enlightening to me.  Here's the Amazon summary:

"In this groundbreaking book -- the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade -- clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give-and-take that sustains healthy relationships. Exploring how individuals come to have this shortcoming, why you get drawn into their perilous orbit, and what you can do to break free, Hotchkiss describes the "Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" and their origins. You will learn to recognize these hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism -- Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, Bad Boundaries -- and to understand the roles that parenting and culture play in their creation.

Whether the narcissist in question is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, Why Is It Always About You? provides abundant practical advice for anyone struggling to break narcissism's insidious spread to the next generation, and for anyone who encounters narcissists in everyday life."

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2016, 09:07:19 AM »

The brother you are describing is -- in essence -- my sister.  Warning: She's almost 60.  The earlier the enabling ends, the likelier he will become an adult. 

As has been said: You (and your mother) cannot fix him.  All you can do is to stop being part of the problem.  From my experience, "tough love" doesn't work with everyone.  All you can do sometimes is be polite, succinct and disengage.

It's none of my business... but curious because of the similarities with my sis... Is he a substance abuser as well?