Improving Relationship with Estranged Relatives

How do you get along with relatives when they make everything an opposite meaning of what you say to them. Since they misinterpret things I say they got angry and cut my family and I out of their life. They blocked e-mail accounts for revenge. It hurt my girls' feelings because they can't send mail to cousins. They don't care.

They say it's my fault, that I hurt their feelings because I "ran my mouth to them". I only gave them advice, recommendations, and opinions of my point of view. That's all.

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By Trudy from Trout Run, PA

March 20, 20100 found this helpful

I would leave them alone. I've been there, good luck.

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

Did they ask for this advice, recommendations, and points of view?

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with kffrmw88, I'd leave them alone. I have a mother and a sister who both act that way. What your relatives are doing to you is what is known as manipulative guilt. They make you look like the guilty party, and it's always your fault.

You would be better off with a nice circle of friends than to deal with dysfunctional relatives.

By the way, I have nothing to do with my mother and sister. I have peace of mind, and I'm not allowing them to drive me nuts.

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March 22, 20100 found this helpful

I understand the hurt. Although my brother and I was very very close until marriage our relationship is now almost non existent due to his wife of 28 years. No matter the circumstances she is "hurt". She is hurt because she was not emailed at the same time, hurt because he knew something she did not, hurt because we discussed elderly mom and did not include her, hurt because, well you name it she is "hurt". I have always tried to include her, tried to extent a hand of friendship but her jealously makes it hard on my brother.

After all of these years I do what they call "pass & re-pass". I'm sad about it but I realize that she is his wife and he is bound to her and I just don't need the friction. My children are not close to their cousins either because of this. They have a network of friends that although not biologic are family to them. I guess what I'm trying to say is so folks just gotta blame someone. Don't make yourself a target. I do have contact with my brother and sigh. I do copy his wife and call their home phone so she can listen I only talk about non controversial topic and if one heats up. I quickly have a reason I've gotta go.

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March 22, 20100 found this helpful

Oh my, this is a good one. Believe me when I say I have been there done that. I have learned through experience that sometimes a person is better off just avoiding people who cause trouble. You can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives. I tend to try and do what Thumper's father told him to do - "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." God Bless.

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

I am not in your particular situation but my sister and I have problems. No matter what subject you bring up, she has a better way of doing things and everything I do is wrong. I don't ask for her opinion, she just gives it. It is just easier not to communicate with her. If she would look around and ask why she has no friends and her children virtually ignore her, she would see that she has a problem. It just saves my sanity to not have any contact.

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

I've always been taught, "don't offer an opinion or advice unless someone asks you for it." This has kept me out of a lot of trouble. Good luck.

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

I just want to Thank all my cirlce of friends on Thrfityfun for supporting me, giving me advice, suggestions, their points of views, examples! I greatly appreciate everybody. It means ALOT to me! It really makes a big difference in me! I really try to have the will-power to achieve these challenges. I thought I was past the emotional stage but, with my GAD (general anxiety disoder) I'm mistaken. I am getting more beauty sleep with Zoloft,which is a plus . I keep busy as much as possible, still doesn't stop me from thinking about my sis. My husband told me a while ago to ignore them, don't allow them to get me all upset and don't play games. I know should listen to him . lol What bothers me the most is that they hurt my kids feelings. I need to get over it because they are. My sister and brother-in-law say I use my anxiety as excuses, which, isn't true. I even sent them the research info, before they blocked us against their e-mail accounts. I have been focusing on only on myself,both my kids, my husband and my pets. I should I contact my sister by postal mail or force myself to let things go? She'll be having a birthday party for my nephew in May. Because of our insane, crazy conflicts, They didn't welcome me to the other party in Feb. for my other nephew, but, I sent a gift along for him since he didn't do anything wrong.Please keep sending me feedback. I need all the help I can get. lol GOD BLESS YOU ALL!! PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL!!!

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

Hello,

You need to let it go. I have been in your position and things I have said were twisted to suit their needs. I haven't spoken to my 2 younger brothers (for a very good reason) for over 5 years and I am at peace. I know it is sad but "I" need to take care of myself. Good luck

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

It's important to remember that unless they have specifically asked for the advice, recommendations and point of view you offer, judging from past reaction, it would be best not to offer them. Also sometimes people ask for all of those things just so you will agree with their advice, recommendation and point of view, not because they really want yours. They are looking for their own validation. I find if you say something like:"You know what will work best for you, so I think you should make up your own mind in this case."

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Anonymous Flag
March 23, 20100 found this helpful

You have been given lots of good advice here. Just let it go!

As for your children, if they are still bothered and hurt perhaps they could write, in their own writing including on the envelope, a short note simply stating they love and miss the person they are writing to and hope all is well for them. Keep it simple!

If they receive no response from the note then just explain to your children that there are so many other people out there who love them and that things in life like this happen and not to take it personally. IMHO if they don't respond to your children then your children are definitely better off without them!

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

First, I'm glad the Zoloft is helping you. You're the first person you need to take care of because when you're empty, you have nothing to offer even your most beloved.

I have ridiculous relatives, too - I'm choosing not to be in contact with a brother and sister because they were a toxic influence in my life. That doesn't mean I don't love them; I do. I simply choose not to allow their influence to poison my life.

That's why I'm thankful I have Facebook access. Even though my oldest sister and brother aren't people I choose to associate with, they have kids who are on my FB buddy list. When we want to keep in touch, we log in and check status updates. I find FB a great, non-invasive way to keep in touch.

The minimum age for Facebook is 13. You can monitor your kids' access and make sure they're not accessing inappropriate sites, etc. If you're among the "unplugged" or prefer to keep your kids away from social networking sites, standard mail works, too. Maybe your kids' cousins miss them, too.

Again, do what you must to keep in good emotional and spiritual health. I can't talk to a couple of my siblings, but I definitely pray for them! I know from my FB contact with my nieces and nephews, it works!

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May 31, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

How is it possible to be compatible with relatives who are impossible, unreasonable people? What's the secret?

By Trudy from in the Woods, PA

June 2, 20110 found this helpful

I would suggest, try to lower your expectations. Do not expect to be 'compatible' with them. When you think of them, instead of focusing on how crazy they make you, catch yourself, stop those thoughts, and turn your thoughts to something else, anything else, that you know will make you smile and will get your mind off of them. Above all, don't try to make them come around to your way of thinking, which they probably never will. Don't try to convince them of anything if you think they are wrong. And finally, when you are with them, or are thinking of them, it may help to say the Serenity Prayer over and over to yourself in your mind as a kind of a calming mantra: (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.)

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Anonymous Flag
June 3, 20110 found this helpful

Is it possible that you might be the person who is being unreasonable and that the secret is within you? Not trying to be mean but maybe, after other questions you've asked here in the past, that it might be time to look within yourself and not point fingers at others for the troubles?

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June 3, 20110 found this helpful

Try reading this book "In Sheep's Clothing" available from Amazon. Not all the good advice in the world or therapy either can help when the standpoint you start from is flawed. This book addresses that, and shows how the point of view needs to be changed. Much psychology today starts from the premiss that people are willing to change if only they can understand how. Not so. Some people are determined to have their own way, no matter what, and need to be confronted, challenged or even just manipulated back.(I can hear the howls of protest already!)

This is not a good synopsis of the book; do try it for yourself. It was a life-saver for me. It gives you solid ground to stand on when dealing with difficult people, and I can readily believe your family is like this - such traits run in families and are self-perpetuating. You need to protect yourself, and the fact that you have posted often before shows that you didn't have the right feedback. You're not the crazy one here, and don't let anyone put you down. Just buy the book and study it, it will revolutionise you life.

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June 5, 20110 found this helpful

Trudy, you're definitely in my prayers - especially because I have impossible, obnoxious family, too. Distance works for me. In other words, I make myself available when they want contact, but I don't pursue them. Several of us are Facebook friends, so we know what's going on in each other's lives even if we don't comment. Last but not least, I've done a lot of praying about the situation between my family and me. I'm discovering that God may or may not change them, maybe it's me He's changing. I know I'm the only one I can change, nothing but God can change someone else, no matter how much I may want them to change!

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October 8, 20120 found this helpful
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