Not everyone was lucky with relatives. It happens that communication exhausts and leaves you devastated. It seems that you should not take everything to heart, you can tolerate, it's the same sister, aunt, grandmother - underline what is needed. In some cases, you can really overcome yourself and keep silent - when you meet three times a year on holidays. But sometimes you need to give up communication.
We will tell you when to limit communication with relatives and how not to feel guilty. Sometimes such a “quarantine” is simply necessary, but not everyone can competently carry it out. Armed with our advice, you can get rid of the intrusive attention of relatives.
How to understand when to restrict communication with relatives
You should stop communicating if you notice at least one of these symptoms:
You are being blackmailed. Very often grandmothers pull you out of their personal lives, because "I will bequeath to you an apartment, you cannot even bring bread." At the same time, they need everything instantly. They do not understand that you can only after work or after two hours. They need here, now, immediately. As a result, all relatives will know how ungrateful you are.
Love is extorted from you. You can respect, admire or sympathize with a relative, but you are not required to love. Kindred feelings are not the default option. No one can make you fall in love, because "I’m everything to you, but you don’t love me." Love is unconditional, therefore it does not always require reciprocity. Reduce communication to the maximum so that your conscience is calm and your guilt does not grow.
Use you - they call you only when relatives have problems. If your family helps you out during the times of your adversity, then you have family partnerships, do not interrupt them. But when you are frankly being used for your own purposes, it’s worth stopping.
You are endlessly condemned. You can achieve career heights, be successful in marriage, but relatives will still find what to blame you for. Condemnation negatively affects self-esteem and causes guilt. Limit communication with such relatives.
Why is communication important to a minimum?
Negative contact with relatives greatly affects your mental and physical health. From the point of view of psychosomatics, every negative feeling can cause some kind of physical illness. Feeling guilty can lead to injuries, pain in the spine and even ingrown nails. Most often, this feeling is imposed on us from the outside, by someone’s opinion or condemnation. The same relatives, for example.
Communication with relatives can disrupt the climate in the family. It often happens that after meeting with relatives you break down at your husband or children. Your mood and condition is projected onto loved ones, they feel your tension and irritation. If you closely take unfounded criticism, then there is a chance that you will take such communication for granted and behave the same in your family.
It is very important to decide and set clear boundaries for yourself that no one will violate. Otherwise, you will simply plague yourself and your loved ones.
How to set boundaries and explain it to relatives
Your relatives are not used to the fact that you refuse, and, of course, they can be offended. It is worth gradually accustoming to the fact that sometimes you can not run at their first call. Try to refuse small requests.
For example, you are asked to come and meet a plumber, and you have a movie trip planned. Tell me honestly that you cannot, because the tickets were bought a week before the session. But make it clear that you will not always refuse. Please note that if you are warned in advance, then you will agree.
Of course, you need to distinguish between emergency cases in which your help is really needed. If your grandmother was hospitalized with a heart attack, and there is no one to bring medicine besides you, then you need to do this and transfer the trip to a cafe or a meeting with friends. Be smart about situations, then it's easier to set boundaries.
Feel free to refuse if you are uncomfortable. First of all, think about your mental comfort. No matter how trite it may sound, but this is your life, in which psychological comfort is important and necessary. People with guilt and low self-esteem very often become categorical and implacable in their family, destroying it.
Polite phrases to refuse to annoying relatives
If in doubt, select words for refusal for a long time, then relatives will feel your weakness and continue to put pressure on you. We have prepared several universal phrases that will help defend the boundaries:
Sorry, but I can’t, I have long had plans for this day.
Sorry, but I’m not comfortable doing this - it will negatively affect me, but I don’t want it.
I can’t help this time, but next time I’ll do my best.
I really want to help, but I don’t have the opportunity right now. As soon as it appears, I will definitely help.
Sorry, but I don't like your conviction. I believe that she’s already old enough to make decisions on her own.
Thanks for the opinion, I will take into account.
Thank you for your interest, but it's hard for me to discuss this topic now.
You can adapt these phrases to any situation. They do not seem to work, but they are not. In fact, provocateurs do not expect a condescending and polite response. They subconsciously want to get emotions from you. Such phrases will disarm your annoying relatives, and they will stop trying to hurt you or violate your boundaries.
Remember that your primary task is to take care of your well-being and peace of mind. Often people who restrict contact with relatives suffer from guilt: “These are my parents, how can I do this to them?” Society can also put pressure on you, calling it a “bad child”. Keep in mind that you are an adult who takes responsibility for your life and condition. And your parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents are also adults. You should not communicate with them or provide assistance if this brings you problems and suffering.
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1. Make a deal
You already know that you are going to where your uncle-bruise or father-in-law will be. Reconcile with this and tell yourself in advance that the meeting will not drag on for long. Treat her as a job where you need to keep your face and politely respond to customer attacks. Even if relatives start attacking you (for example, unceremoniously asking when you will have children or find a job), try not to argue with them. This will only aggravate the situation. Translate the conversation, respond neutrally, behave calmly and benevolently.
2. Have your own dignity
Many people do not develop self-esteem and are highly dependent on the opinions of others. Therefore, the seemingly innocuous statement of the older generation about children, a wedding or work can unsettle them and even make them depressed. You can’t ignore your own needs, trying to match other people's ideas about your own life. Do not let anyone, even relatives, blame you and try to change your life. You have the strength to solve problems yourself.
3. Do not try to solve family problems
You have already left the family nest, so do not try to solve the problems of relatives unless they ask you to. Expect the same from them. The more confident a person behaves, the less relatives worry about him. Try to behave as a confident and prosperous person: you will have fewer questions, and they will give you less “valuable” advice.
4. Remember that you don’t have to agree with your family
To be a family does not mean to share the same political views or even enjoy each other's company. Even with the closest relatives, sometimes we feel constrained, unlike talking with good friends. Nevertheless, you are bound by blood ties, and you're just not on the same wavelength. The reason for this is different generations, different upbringing and education, different interests and goals in life. If you have few common topics for a neutral conversation, be sure to look for what you can discuss without further skirmishing and accusations of ingratitude.
Be that as it may, to distance oneself from the family is not a good idea, even if one of the relatives bothers you very much. Communicate with them and be kind and respectful, but do not neglect your own interests. Do not keep your opinion to yourself, even if you are afraid that someone will laugh at him or challenge him.