How do you deal with "that" family member?


#1

What are your strategies in dealing with a family member who you know you really just butt heads with?


#2

See them as little as possible. And when I have to, just avoid controversial topics and bite my tongue alot.


#3

I think it's a choice. No one puts a gun to your head to make you talk with them. See them, be cordial, grin and bare it. You don't have to play cribbage with them and tell them how beautiful they are. If you can't be nice, then ignore them.

Being nice to people you don't like isn't called being "fake" or "phony". It's really called, "I'm-a-grown-up-and-not-going-to-act-like-a-spolied-child"


#4

Google "how to deal with difficult people"
Some good guidelines out there in Internet land.
And Jesus' solution....pray for them...


#5

DON'T say anything to them that you know will make them mad or start a debate.


#6

I filed for divorce…


#7

Don’t.


#8

Oh snap! :rotfl: (to joan)


#9

[quote="DickVanDyke, post:8, topic:220610"]
Oh snap! :rotfl: (to joan)

[/quote]

I lost the house, the money, moved in with my parents, but I got my confidence back!!!


#10

[quote="joandarc2008, post:9, topic:220610"]
I lost the house, the money, moved in with my parents, but I got my confidence back!!!

[/quote]

:hug1:


#11

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:1, topic:220610"]
What are your strategies in dealing with a family member who you know you really just butt heads with?

[/quote]

Disarm them by showing them love and humility....pray for them too...offer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them.


#12

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:1, topic:220610"]
What are your strategies in dealing with a family member who you know you really just butt heads with?

[/quote]

don't allow myself to be manipulated, don't rise to the bait, smile and look stupid and say, have another celery stick.


#13

It depends very much on why I butt heads with them.

If it is because I can't accept something about them that is probably not going to change, then I need to work on that. I need to accept where they are as a long-term prospect, even it if it is not acceptable in an eternal sense. Sometimes, it is even possible to grow an affection for a person's foibles. If it is merely a morally-neutral eccentricity they have that I don't like, then I just get to live with it. Think Winnie the Pooh. Every character would be enough to drive you nuts, if you didn't decide to love them for what drives you nuts. But even if the person is doing something that is objectively immoral, such as being divorced and re-married without the benefit of a declaration of nullity, well, at some point they know what you think, but they're your relative, so you have a truce about it. Nobody takes it as a tacit approval when you consent to have Thanksgiving dinner with your rotten relative, even your "rotten relative". Maybe, when it is you that is rotten, they even return the favor. What goes around, comes around.

If it is because they like to pick fights, then I use humor, but I'm careful not to put them on the defensive with it. Maybe they like to pick fights about politics. If you treat it like a sporting event and not life-and-death, you can get past it. It may drive them nuts, but if you refuse to get hot under the collar about it, well, it takes two to have a decent fight. You can emerge with mutual affection intact, and sometimes even enhanced. There is a great sense of security in being loved by someone who has decided that blood is thicker than your politics or your whatever-it-is.

Sometimes, it is because once they get it in their heads to do things a certain way, they don't want to change. In that case, looking down the tracks at what they are going to want out of a situation and proposing a mutually-advantageous solution before they've had a chance to lock in on an idea often does the trick.

If it is addictive behavior, though, if they show up obviously using and suffering a loss in function, then there would need to be a calm refusal to go along. This one, I haven't had to implement, because we've been lucky that way in our family. There are alcoholics in the extended family, but not so close that I have had to deal with it at a family function. I guess I would follow the general rule of thumb that bad behavior is much easier to deal with if you expect that it will happen sometimes, and are ready to calmly do what you have to do about it. The expectation that nothing like that is ever going to happen can make a person too frustrated to cope rationally when the expectation is violated. That's something to get professional help with, even if it is a conversation or two with someone who knows how addicts operate.

Sometimes, there is this strain that you could cut with a knife and makes you feel like you have a band around your chest and weight on your shoulders. Ideally, the sun doesn't go down on your wrath, or theirs, but sometimes that is not the way it works. In that case, I think you do what you can to arrive as calm and rested as possible, grin and bear it during the function, just call it truce or let provocations to hash it out slide, and then have a plan for unwinding afterwards. There will be many Thanksgiving feasts consumed in the company of an elephant in the room. It is not the end of the world. You can take things for a day that you couldn't put up with every day of the year. You aren't alone.


#14

I would like to know and understand our obligations as Catholics to be thrown into the Lion's Den, so to speak, with the Holydays approaching. Daniel surely didn't want to go to the Lion's Den, but he trusted in God's help. Searching the Internet has many suggestions, including some faithful priests who state that we are not obligated to be doormats to toxic people, including relatives. My in-laws have become corrupted in Catholic Faith and morals, and my presence appears to be incendiary, throwing gasoline onto the fire. For at least 3 years, I have not responded to any personal attacks nor criticisms. My husband's feeling is that we just grin and bear it, as "that's the way they've always been" (personal attacks). They are estranged from most of their sibling families.

One faithful priest termed this relationship "trivial." This is a near occasion of sin for me, not to mention the physical repercussions from these get-togethers, and I've expressed my worries that these relationships could escalate into hate. Knowing I'm not immune from that mortal sin, I have chosen to stay away, including get-togethers that are not of a public nature (they behave differently in public). In this post, forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7285844#post7285844, the poster cites Fr. Groeschel's advice, for which I cannot find any source.

If anyone knows of this program or book by Fr. Groeschel, please post that information.
Oremus!


#15

[quote="pablope, post:11, topic:220610"]
Disarm them by showing them love and humility....pray for them too...offer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them.

[/quote]

Beautiful. I hope I can learn from your example.


#16

[quote="pablope, post:11, topic:220610"]
Disarm them by showing them love and humility....pray for them too...offer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

... and alcohol... that helps too.

Mimosa? :D


#17

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:16, topic:220610"]
:thumbsup:

... and alcohol... that helps too.

Mimosa? :D

[/quote]

OMGosh!! TOO FUNNY!! Love it!!!:D:p:D.........seriously though, I have an extremely toxic sil~I have had to forgive her for some really awful things...I wasnt sure how to handle family get togethers, so I asked my Priest how should I go about things and he told me that I have to forgive her BUT I dont have to be around her! Like it was stated before~God doesnt want us to be doormats! All I can say is forgive them and offer up prayers~tons of 'em...lol!:p


#18

[quote="joandarc2008, post:6, topic:220610"]
I filed for divorce........

[/quote]

I was about to ask "What if it's your husband?" :p


#19

After reading your posts, I guess I'm lucky that I get along with everybody in my family. :D


#20

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:16, topic:220610"]
:thumbsup:

... and alcohol... that helps too.

Mimosa? :D

[/quote]

in my family that is the cause not the solution to most of our interpersonal problems

a wise priest told me that Christian charity does not demand exposure to toxic situations or people, and he also told me to cease looking for someone to blame and simply deal with these people in forced encounters as I would a business client or someone else I have to treat civilly.


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