Family: Enjoy Them- Even If You Don’t Like Them!

Family creates the foundation for who we are. We can never fully deny them because they make us who we are- whether through birth or love. So, what’s the best way to handle family we may not actually want to be around?

  1. Family is Foundation. Each of us is built by our family- genetic and not genetically related. We are both physical and spiritual beings. So the better we understand where we come from, the better we know ourselves and where we want to go.
  2. Stay in Touch. So much of who we are in life is a reflection of the family we come from. Even with the cousin we never met, we share a common grandparent who raised our parents. The ways we think, our strengths and weaknesses are more alike than we could imagine.
  3. Blood Is Thicker Than Water? We are truly blessed in our life if we can find even a handful of friends who are as good as good family. So, try to make it work with who you have.
  4. Develop Your Own Relationships. It’s easy to rely on parents, siblings or cousins to be the link to the rest of the family. Go that extra step to develop your own relationships and connections within the family tree.
  5. Just Invite Them. If you are having celebrations, invite the family- even if they don’t come, even if they give a bad gift. Family is part of the fiber of who we are. Excluding family, cuts off a piece of ourselves. Exception- if they cause major scenes … not if they are just rude to you.
  6. Don’t Judge Your Siblings On Childhood. We all grow and change. Give siblings a second chance and treat them with fresh eyes each time you see them. Even if they are the same as when they were children, you are not.
  7. Don’t Feel Judged. Face it- not everyone moves on. Family may repeat the same story of when you failed every time they see you. It’s their way of connecting (and possible jealousy). If it makes you feel horrible, say something; joke about it, shrug it off. If it still bothers you… distance yourself emotionally and physically but never cut yourself off.
  8. Have Humor. Humor sweetens life and forces us to look at things from another perspective… something we need in life and with family.
  9. Let Things Go. Assume good intentions, even if they are not there.
  10. Enjoy Them. Absent abuse, family loves you and supported you from the start. Take the effort to find that common fun ground and enjoy… after all, that’s what life is about.