Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My loved one hates me. Should I worry?

My life became healthier after I stopped stressing over certain people

You've tried everything to make aunt Nancy like you, but it just seems she likes your sister (and everyone else) better.  Here's some reasons why.

  1. You remind them of someone.  If you remind "aunt Nancy" of your mother, her elder sister that she simply just can't stand, she'll likely save some of that hate for you. 

  1. You are more successful than they are. How dare you run your own business successfully.

  1. You are more successful than their offspring.  You were not supposed to turn out better than 'ole cousin Jessie.

  1. They cannot control you.  They are used to controlling everything and everyone they come in contact with, but somehow with you, they are unable to do this. You're too savvy for all that.

  1. They are intimidated by your education.  You have a graduate degree and they barely finished high school, so of course they hate to hear you talk about your college experiences or  share any knowledge gained.

  1. They are intimidated by your beauty or confidence.  They could definitely be in a place where their self-esteem is waning. You walking in looking strong, successful, and confident can be quite unnerving. 

  1. They want your attention. Them being mean to you is the only way you pay them some attention, so like a child they "act out" to get you to notice them. Negative attention is better to them than none at all.

  1. They are jealous of your relationship with someone they love/revere.  If Aunt Nancy feels her relationship with someone like her mother is being jeopardized by your meer presence, you could definitely see some push-back.  If you live out of town, and most of the family's attention shifts to you and your children when you visit, this might be a problem for an aunt that craves attention.  If you are willing to make a compromise, you can always include your aunt in conversations so that she won't feel left out.

  1. You actually did something to offend them.  In this case, talking with them would be most beneficial.  I happened to ask my family member and their reason was that I cut them off a couple years ago when we were talking.  We worked through the issue- but sometimes this is not really the reason why they find issue with you. They find a way to gripe at just about anything you do.  This may be due to there being an underlying reason behind their anger, which brings me to the last point.   People like this…
  2.  … Just can't be any better.  You've tried everything you could to smooth things over with them to no avail. They have personal issues and this is who they are going to be. 

So what can you do?
Well, first reach out to them to find out what exactly may be bothering them.  If they come right out with something specific, you know #9 applies.  Work to solve the issue, unless it requires you to do something or be someone totally out of your character.  You should never have to be completely silence yourself when you are around her or the family simply so that she can feel at ease.   But if they tell you something that you admittedly should apologize for, do so.  It may just be that simple.  Be cognizant of the fact she will be watching for any further infractions, so try not to make another mistake in that arena. 
If you remind them of someone, there is nothing you can do about that but to show that you are in fact a different person. I tried not to make aunt Nancy feel as if both I and my mom were ganging up on her.  If she had a disagreement with my mom, I made sure I refrained from offering my opinion, and only informed them that I supported both of them reconciling soon.  This may take a while to overcome, but is worth it if peace is something you're striving for.  If they are intimidated by your education, confidence or success, you should simply remind them that you are indeed the same person you were as a child. 
Offer to do something with them that you two enjoyed when relations were better; a card game, a movie, or open conversation about the latest reality show.  You can't change their insecurity- as this is an issue they have to tackle personally, but you can ease some of the symptoms.  This also gives them the attention they might be craving from you, just in case they are feeling a bit neglected by you lately.

It's imperative that you not allow your thoughts of this negativity to consume you. Making sure you’ve taken the steps to improve relations are integral to being able to move forward and distance yourself.  You've listened and implemented methods to acknowledge their complaints; you've tried your best, but it takes both parties compromising for a relationship to work. If the other party isn't willing to do their part, your next step is to allow them the space they need to re-evaluate the importance of your relationship.  At this point, know that you did your best and strive to retain your joy without the acknowledgement of this person.  Their opinion of you should not hold much weight anymore.  Be courteous but remove yourself from toxic people and environments.  This means keeping your distance from them, and not putting yourself in situations where they have the power to upset you. Don't go up to them repeatedly with desperate attempts to reconcile,; which may actually have a negative effect. Keeping your distance may remind your and Nancy how valuable your love and interactions are to her.  They could come around in time because they love you.  If not, then start focusing on those things that bring you joy instead.  Relationships help us improve our lives; healthy ones, that is.  Prioritizing unhealthy relationships can often hamper health and well-being.  The emotional pain it causes can manifest itself physcially - via conditions like high blood pressure and depression - and lay claim to your life as a result.  As a parent of a little one, you are needed to live a life of health and vitality to help suport your child's growth.  Use those beautiful smiling faces as your motivation to hierarchize your health.   

Until Later….be well.  

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