“You can’t force someone to value you, respect you, understand you, and support you, but you can choose to spend time around them.” ~ Lori Deshen
I always felt different from my family.
I didn’t have a bad childhood. Certainly loved, cared for and cared for. But despite having two brothers, a mother, and a stepfather (who raised me), I rarely felt a sense of belonging. I felt very alone.
Even as an adult, I never really understood what was different, but I knew that I was different. I knew I didn’t see the world the way my family saw it. I analyzed everything on a deeper level. I saw things differently and many of my interests were different from my family.
Late last year, I had just returned from a long weekend of family vacations and was relieved to be home. I was very tired during the weekend and couldn’t wait for the weekend to end. I contacted my friend and told him about the weekend.
“It sounds like you’ve grown up with your family.”
I stopped thinking about this word. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote an article about an ever-growing friendship. It never crossed my mind that we could grow beyond our own family.
I mean, it’s impossible for us to go beyond family, right? At best, they are our protectors and providers. They love us unconditionally, including our imperfections, and are our biggest supporters. We are connected and bonded by blood and DNA.
I sat and thought about this for several days. If you can go beyond your friends and partners, you can go beyond your family.
Over the last 10 years, I have put a lot of effort into myself. I was passionate about self-improvement, never perfect, but I actively tried to be the best version of myself and tried to pull something back out of every difficult situation I faced.
This inner effort allowed me to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but on the other hand, I realized that my family was stuck out of their ways and that the world around me We believed we were ignorant of the fact that as we change, so must our thinking.
As I did my inner work, I realized that I increasingly disagreed with what my family said and did. The decisions they made and the actions they demonstrated were often not right for me. I am changing and becoming further and further away from my family. The connections we once had were starting to tear at the seams and I was desperate for them to “catch up.”
The problem is that it can get complicated when you have more family members. For example, when you outgrow your friends, you’re usually ready to go your separate ways and openly accept people into your life who match who you are at the time. But when it comes to families, it’s not always easy, and it’s not always the right thing to do.
Here are some things you can do to maintain healthy relationships with your loved ones as your family grows.
1. Stop trying to change people who don’t want to change.
Every time I had the courage to disagree with my family, I spent a good deal of time persuading them to have a different perspective. This means that things aren’t always black and white, and sometimes there are gray areas. .
Indeed, I often try to encourage personal growth and healing, hoping that they see the world as I do, and that we can connect on the same level we once did. there was. This only created tension, frustration and conflict.
As I reflect on this, I realize that while I had my own opinions on how my family should behave, not everyone should think the same way I do. Also, that you should never preach or impose your way of life on others, especially since everyone is on his or her own journey and path of self-discovery, you always know best. I also noticed that it’s not.
Everyone is responsible for themselves. You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. Like me, your family probably doesn’t feel the need to change. When that happens, you are fighting a losing battle. You can’t change anyone and they can’t change you.
2. If you disagree, do not hesitate to let us know.
Sometimes I disagreed with their family’s decisions, opinions, and choices, but there were times when I agreed with them, even at the cost of being true to myself, to keep the peace or please them.
So I always felt deeply uncomfortable when I had to pretend to be on their side on an issue. My reality and my spirituality were at odds with each other, and I always felt like I was a traitor to myself.
In retrospect, I realized that this had nothing to do with them and nothing to do with me. I didn’t want to disappoint my family with a dissenting opinion, and I was afraid of how they would react if I shared my true opinion.
I was also afraid that I would be rejected, and I was afraid that disagreements would lead to conflict.
Please understand that you are your own person. You may share blood and DNA, but you’re on your own journey, and you may have morals and values that don’t align with your family, and that’s okay.
I was worried that being honest would hurt my relationship with my family, but even if I didn’t tell them honestly, it could be just as damaging if they found out how I really felt. I also learned that I have sex.
You are entitled to your own opinions and views, and even if family and friends accuse you of disagreeing, that is their problem, not yours. They should try to understand that our differences make us diverse and unique.
Now I can confidently and respectfully disagree with my family when I need to without fear of consequences.
3. Be considerate.
I have spent a significant amount of time healing old wounds and past traumas in order to grow spiritually, emotionally and spiritually, but not everyone in my family has been able to do so.
Everyone has their own struggles and battles, and we should be compassionate towards them and their struggles rather than judging or condemning them.
4. Establish new boundaries.
Establishing boundaries is a solid foundation for a healthy relationship. Setting boundaries helps you have a clear understanding of what is expected of each other.
Boundaries bring many benefits to our relationships. They are more respectful, less contentious, and more likely to be peaceful.
Maybe there are some topics that you feel uncomfortable talking about with your family, or some behaviors that you just can’t forgive. Identify your own limits and set those boundaries so everyone has clear expectations.
5. Realize that “continuing to grow” does not mean “getting better.”
I have avoided using the term ‘stop growing’ to my family because it is a bad word. I feared that doing so would make my family feel inferior to me. But I’m not better than my family, and they’re not better than me.
Just because your family has grown up doesn’t mean your life is better than theirs, and your view of the world is more valuable than their view of the world.
Growing up in the family simply means that your values, morals, opinions and views may change and conflict with each other. It means that you are no longer aligned with the people you once were.
Something has changed, and that something is you (or them), and that’s okay. Change is natural and fundamental to progress in life. When you change, relationship dynamics can change, sometimes for the better, and sadly, sometimes for the worse.
6. Learn conflict resolution.
No one has a perfect family. Conflicts will always arise. However, this can become even more common if you feel that your family has grown up, as disagreements and intolerable behavior can increase.
The ability to deal with conflict can be a salvation for severe discord and family dysfunction. This includes:
- Dealing with problems
- find a solution to the problem
- Agree with objections without hostility
- Use good communication skills.For example, actively listening
- don’t ignore conflict
7. Distancing if necessary.
Just because you’re family doesn’t mean you’re obligated to put up with unpleasantness, harmful behavior, or abuse. So if you need to distance yourself or disconnect from your family to protect your own peace and mental health, it’s within your rights to do so.