Help Releasing Negative Emotions Around My Family

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 10 months, 1 week ago.

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    I am currently really struggling being around my family. I feel that when I spend too much time with my family, I start to not like myself and a very negative version of myself begins to show. I have been aware of this for a long time, but I have not spent enough time around my family for it to become a problem. We have been traveling around together for the past three days, and we have a few days left and I am definitely not my best self anymore. I tried hard to be my best self from the start, but prior/ current emotional upset made it difficult to keep up.

    I am very different from my family, I have different values and different interests. Although I can find many things to relate to them about, it does not help that we are so different. My parents and brother are good people, they are kind and they try to help me all the time, almost too much. Because I truly value independence and always strived to take care of myself, this can be hard on me, because they almost don't let me be independent. I think it has to do with cultural difference, I have American cultural values and my parents have Indian values. No matter how many times I try to explain this to my parents and in how many ever ways, they will not understand that I need independence, and they will always try to take care of me in every way they can. It is sooo sweet, but also very unhealthy for me. But luckily this is only a problem when I am very nearby to them.

    Also my family tends to speak in a manner where we are constantly make large generalizations about each others personality. In my family criticizing each other is an everyday occurrence. If someone does something that the other person does not like, they attribute that to be a negative quality in personality. For example I used to be impatient and easily frustrated when I was a teenager, because I was upset frequently as I was struggling with identity. But now, almost ten years later, anytime I get slightly frustrated or upset, maybe cause I am in a bad mood in that moment…my family says “I have a horrible attitude, I do this all the time, I am a red hot chili pepper, or that I am generally rude”. I usually say I am sorry  but still it really hurts me and makes it very hard for me to change around them. It hurts a lot that they have the wrong impression of me. I am never as emotionally stressed as I am with them, and yes I get more frustrated and annoyed more easily and I keep reminding myself to stop, but their bold and brisk aggressive comments about me as a person make it very hard.

    Also they are constantly trying to micro manage my life and always worried about me. I feel that they don't believe that I am 100% self sufficient and okay on my own, and this is the one thing I want them to realize so badly. It is soo sweet for them to gently guide me and worry sometimes about me, but I feel that the constant micro management and worry is overkill and it drives me insane. I am almost thirty years of age and my parents still worry that I am not getting enough food, or that I haven't done my laundry, or worry that I haven't taken care of my responsibilities. It hurts and is very annoying because I have lived on my own for so long, and taken care of myself, and shown them I am responsible, but when I am around them they seems to forget all that and resort to treating me like a child once again. It makes me feel horrible.

    I know there are parts of my emotions that I am not fully understanding when I am around my family and I understand that my emotions are most likely complex and it may take me a while to realize why I am feeling the way I do. But I would like any advice on how I may change my attitude around my family. I have tried to say the same things that I am writing in this post, over and over again, in different ways, to my family but they do not understand…so now I know that a change in attitude is the only thing that is going to resolve my emotional turmoil. I am sick of feeling frustrated, angry, and depressed around my family…I want to be forgiving, open, loving, caring, and awake and attentive with my family. Please any advice will help. I am hoping that just writing this has helped me. Okay thanks.



    Dear Aiman:

    In the beginning of your post you wrote: “I feel that when I spend too much time with my family, I start to not like myself”- I think it is because they don't like you. We all like to be liked, need to be liked. When they express their dislike of you, well, that is catching: you start to dislike yourself.

    What they are trying to give you (food, laundry…)- you don't need. What you do need (being liked, being approved of, being respected)- they don't give you.

    In the last part of your post you noted that you did your best to express to them what you expressed in this thread with no improvement in their behavior. You asked for advice about changing your attitude around them so that you are no longer distressed when in their company.

    My advice: spend as little time as possible with them (and it is possible to not spend any time at all with them, since it is not illegal…). If you spend time with them, make it so that it is short in duration so you hurt less. Other than that, I have no advice because when you are treated with disapproval, criticism and disrespect, you naturally get angry, you naturally feel distressed. I have no idea how to change what is a natural response on your part.






    In my childhood my father used to say ‘Donkey' to me. At that time I become irritated, but now I realise that ‘Donkey' is a title given by a beloved father in poor performing marks in study to his son. Also ‘Donkey' is very hard worker and honest living creature. Now I feel proud to this title.

    In India every 2nd person is poor. But we think in America, every man is rich, but in fact every 7th person in USA is also poor. Their media and Hollywood don't show these paucity and black or violence. I remembered that during Mars Orbital Mission, these media criticizing India and money spend on this mission. CNN and BBC world news' correspondence in India, showing slum colonies of Mumbai and saying it was wastage of money. We should built infrastructure, toilet, etc…
    USA and citizen have their own life and their own problems, culture and should not be compared with India.

    I have one little suggestion to you; to read books ‘How to win friends and influence people' & ‘How to stop worrying and start living', both these books can be freely download from Internet Archive DOT org website in legal manner.

    Quote: “A world without idiots is dull world indeed”.

    PS: Criticising on back is a characteristic feature of human, and it is not exclusively found in Indians, it is found in every corner, every nation. Also one more suggestion, log out to Facebook. This is irritating. You have right to turn off  your computer.

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