Dealing with family drama can be stressful and infuriating. Here are five quick thoughts that will make you more patient with them.
1) Stick to your values
You call your brother and tell him you will be over at 7pm as planned with the kids and that you are going to stop and get grandpa along the way. You already told grandpa that you would be picking him up on this evening. Your brother is angry with granddad for some reason and tells you not to bring him.
How do you handle being in the middle like this?
You stick to your values and be honest and nice to your brother when you break him the news, that’s how.
“I’m sorry bro – I know you have a reasonable beef with grandpa, but I already told him that I would be picking him up tonight. I’m just not comfortable with cancelling. If you don’t mind swallowing your pride for my sake tonight and seeing him, I’ll go take him to dinner and see you another night. Thanks for you understanding, lova ya bro”.
As long as you stick to good values, such as honesty, caring, integrity with your plans, etc, then no one will have a legitimate beef with you. You can solve nearly every “family-plans-drama” with this simple approach.
If you have to schedule things separately to see certain family members, that’s fine, but you do not have to disrespect anyone or compromise on decent values along the way.
2) “Shut it” to be more patient with family
Just shut it already. You do not need to provide your opinion on everything.
When a family member starts or end a sentence with “someone has to say it”, almost always, no one has to say it and it should not be said!
This also goes for ending a sentence with “just saying”.
No, you’re not “just saying”.
You’re probably hurting someone’s feelings and it’s going to lead to an issue at some point. I understand that you have family members that do some really stupid things and have some incredibly dumb habits or outlooks on life.
Let it go.
Thy are free to make their own mistakes and live their lives as stupid as they may seem to you.
3) Don’t “grade yourself” on becoming impatient with family
It’s totally OK to be really angry, impatient, or frustrated by the actions of others – your job is not to FEEL BAD about how much it bothers you.
Of course it bothers you.
It’s totally OK, normal, and understandable and this tension does NOT make you a lesser person. Don’t be hard on yourself for reacting (inwardly) to their dumb-ass crap.
Instead, simply hide your frustration until you feel better and let that frustration fade into a better mood. “This too shall pass.”
4) Grade yourself at how quickly you can change your mood
Yeah, yeah – your family member is dumb-as-a-stump, someone should bitch-slap-them-immediately. It’s really getting on your nerves, yada, yada, yada.
That’s cool – I get it.
Like I was saying – that’s totally normal and it does not make you a lesser person to be offended by by them.
I’m really on your side here.
But the faster you can let it go, the better. YOU and only you have the choice to sit and stew for a few hours or to let the pain slip away quickly.
And I mean like in 5 minutes quickly.
Hey, it’s your blood pressure and future heart attack at risk here. You are going to die soon (we all are). Don’t lose a few hours of your life (or a few months!) by making yourself miserable as you sulk about one of these issues. Be self aware and swerve to the nearest exit off of frustration freeway, even if you have to come form the far left lane.
5) Remember what they did for you and give them a pass
Even if you had “bad” parents they still brought you into this world, put a roof over your head, and put food into your mouth. They cared for you at some point.
If they did a poor job elsewhere in raising you, it wasn’t intentional. If you were born with their genes and had been raised in their environment, you would have done the exact same thing.
The same goes for your siblings and or cousins. If you dig deep into memory, there had to be sometime in which they had shared something with you, helped you out in some way, or stood up for you. Maybe they still would do these things in your honor.
Give them a pass.
They deserve it – at least a little bit.
Don’t get me wrong, there are truly terrible and evil people in this world and you might be related to one or more of them. If this is the case, it’s probably best just to steer very clear of those persons. You do not owe them your presence, regardless of your family relationship with them.
But in most cases, your family members will not be evil, just annoying as all bloody hell. Give them a pass.