January 21, 2014 at 1:08 am #49460
This is just a carry on from my last thread of sorts… I am having trouble dealing with my niece and to be honest i find it very hard to have her in my life.. she brings out many negative feelings and affects my daily life.. I have tried to be forgiving of her and to help her deal with her problems for the past 10 years, but to no avail she still treats everyone including me like dirt… I have come to the point of deciding to cut her out of my life… Is this the wrong thing to do, or is the right way to learn to deal with her.. To be honest i am a new follower of Buddhism so i do not have all the tools in place to deal with life as i should ( i am sure none of us have all of them) so i find it hard to KEEP forgiving her and KEEP ON being pleasent and trying to not let her upset me.. I am failing miserable.. the mention of her name sets off my blood pressure and makes me feel all the negative motions i have.. first anger, then rage, then disgust at her and me, then guilt and failure and sadness…. My sister who is her mother i see a lot which is bad enough as she comes up in the conversations… i can just about manage that but i cannot seems to stop these feelings when i see her.. I try to be nice to her.. i have talked to her honestly,,, telling her i am always there for her if she genuinely needs me but she then takes that as a green light to use us at will without any thought for others…Oh dear… I just hate the way she makes me feel…. See hate.. there it comes again… Why cant i get over it.. Would i be wrong to keep her out of my life or as i say is there another way…please help… this is such a huge hurdle for me.
Wishing you all a peaceful day xx
SarahJanuary 21, 2014 at 4:09 am #49461
thats a lot of negative feelings to deal with…
there is one advantage and hope thats true she isnt living with you is that correct? I think the first thing you need to do is BREATHE 🙂 … calm down… first for you right now is to take care of your own feelings … as in you yourself … it feels like you are so exhausted and the energies have been sucked out of you before anything… its all about finding that balance first .. practice Meditation.. once you have reconnected with yourself and gained that peace inside you will be able to sort of detach yourself from all of it and try to maybe look at it from a different perspective…
Remember she is 10 so there is alot of scope of improvement and growth for the child 🙂 … i think she simply is looking for attention and ways and the more you give in she will probably use it more… yes it is really hard but you need to deal with this slowly and softly… try to divert the focus maybe dont give her too much attention, if you dont want to meet her dont , its okay and maybe by being a little firm with urself and her it will help you … negative energies are definitely hard to deal with but nothing is impossible 🙂
Always remember its the thought that counts meaning the vibes and thoughts transfer alot faster than words … so, if you are at peace and balanced ull be able to deal with her in a more calmer way … you need to forgive yourself and then forgive her… as an aunt i think she just looks to you as a friend so sometimes it gets a little too much.. maybe for a little while try not meeting her so much or attending to her as much if its really affecting you and ur personal life… detaching always helps 🙂 hate is a strong word and best to say dislike… you dont want to transfer more negative vibes … care and love go a long way … with patience am sure you will find a way… dont cut her out completely, as a niece always needs her aunt and we want to make peace not war 🙂
hope this helps! if i said too much please forgive me 🙂January 21, 2014 at 4:20 am #49463LindsayParticipant
Wait, is your niece a child or an adult? I thought she was an adult, until I read Simran’s reply. That would change my answer 🙂January 21, 2014 at 5:14 am #49464
lol Lindsay ..okayyy did i get this wrong then 🙁 but some of my advice can still be relevant 🙂 thanksssJanuary 21, 2014 at 6:03 am #49465
Hi , sorry i didnt make it very clear.. She is 24 and has been trouble for a long time.. i have tried to help her over the past 10 years and have finally snapped really… But yes Simran a lot of what you say makes sense, i am going to keep some distance for a while and then when i have healed a little i will see how things sit then.. Thank you for your ideas , it really helps to hear others opinions x
SarahJanuary 21, 2014 at 7:20 am #49467Jenn-ayParticipant
I also agree it depends if the niece is a child or an adult and the approach that should be taken. I am assuming because the niece has been doing these behaviors for 10 years, she could be a teen or an adult.
But my advice would be, you need to develop boundaries, healthy ones. Both children and adults need them; it is the line you draw that protects you from negative behavior being done/continued in your presence or towards you. If there is a boundary in place, you and the other person have a guideline on how you/they want to be treated. if the boundary is crossed, it also gives, you and the other person, a consequence. Remember we teach people how to treat us. I have had to learn to build boundaries with people. One of my boundaries is no name-calling in an argument/discussion, if anyone does it, the conversation ends, and does not get continued until both parties are committed to talking to one another with respect.
I would suggest also start learning to say no, or be a little more discriminatory with your help. Everyone wants to be helpful nor do they want to see someone they love hurt, but if you are consistently feeling used, I would be reluctant of helping so freely. I am not suggesting you don’t help her at all, but I think it would be helpful for yourself, if you asked yourself a few questions. What is the best way to help her? Do I have what she needs, and can I afford to give it to her? What do I expect in return for my help? And if she doesn’t meet my expectation, how will it affect me and our relationship? I bring up expectations, because sometimes our own expectations of what we feel we should get in return fudges up the situation more than anything. Now, there is a difference if these expectations (and consequences of a failure to meet those expectations) are stated before the help is given, and also that they are reasonable both to you and the other person. If stated before the help is given, it also gives the other person a chance to negotiate with you to reach these reasonable expectations.
Another suggestion is to not cut your niece out of your life, but cut the amount of contact with her down. Deal with her when you know you can handle her. If she calls, let it go to voice mail, check to make sure it’s not an emergency, and if you are feeling ok, call her back, but don’t call her back if you are already in a funk. Less contact with certain individuals in my own life has helped me, and I only talk to them, if I am feeling ok, because I have learned that these certain people in my life can be triggers for me, especially if I am already feeling negative, their simple presence can be a catalyst for the feeling to get worse. I am responsible for how I act and respond, and if I am not in the right frame of mind at that moment, it could be detrimental for both of us. I have to own how I feel, and if my goal is to develop or have a relationship with this person, I have to accept what I know are my feelings/weaknesses/triggers and do what is right for both of us too.
Forgiveness and unconditional love are the ultimate goals, but so is being safe and secure within yourself. Forgiveness should not be handed out like candy to others, if we know we are allowing these trespasses to happen to us. We have to do right by ourselves too. There has to be a balance. You can forgive people for doing rotten things, but sometimes you do need to say, I love you, but I will not tolerate this behavior anymore.January 21, 2014 at 7:53 am #49469
Thank you Jenn ay… that is just what i was hoping to hear… My niece is 24 so an adult, but in her thinking and actions she is very immature.. My feelings have been very much as you stated towards the end.. I do not want to cut her off, but i will only deal with her when i am happy to and in the right circumstances… I will begin to do more for her when i feel she is starting to treat others with respect.. My sister has to be blunt spoilt her and this has lead to her daughter taking whatever she wants from anyone and if they do not give, being nasty behind their backs… she would never speak to me badly to my face it is all back biting.. so.. yes.. i am going to step back and try to calm my spirit before i take on any more and then it will be with boundaries which she is getting to learn already with me (shame no one else teaches her them).. it will lead to her either respecting me more or not, either way that is her choice… Thank you for the advice.. any more that is forthcoming is more than welcome..January 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm #49492
Hi Jenn ay what a wonderful and perfect advise! 🙂 i completely agree with you! again it always starts with us … if we cant take care of ourselves and our feelings and expectations then we cant take care of any one else 🙂 Cheers!