So the other day my mom asked me, “How can you expect people to value the community when they don’t even value their own families?” I was stumped. Families are breaking apart more and more these days. But we fail to realize that the great thing about family is you have a connection with them (a reason to be around them) and they can prepare you for things/people you’ll face in the real world. Even if you try to shun them, you’ll still have to deal with people like them in the long run.
How can you want to know your bloodline but deny ones that are living? Our descendants will be tracing their roots back to us one day. Don’t forget that.
We are so quick to disown a family member these days because they “wronged” us. And I’m not talking about serious things such as rape. I mean when we stop talking to each other because of an argument, a family scandal or something petty. These things may hurt; I know they do, but built up animosity doesn’t hurt them it hurts you and our next generation. Forgiveness is something we all need to learn to do more often. I can promise you you’ll feel so much better once you let all of those things go.
With help from my mother, we put together a list of different types of family members, how you can deal with them, and what they’ll prepare you for.
1.Negative Relatives – cover yourself spiritually before spending time so their vibrations won’t pull you down. Even if you are not spiritual you still have to mentally prepare yourself before spending time.
Helps to realize own negativity and change.
2.Bougie/Bratty Relatives – Ignore the bouginess, appreciate that some of them have strived to get where they are and feel that life owes them something. Remember you don’t have to be around them very long.
Helps with keeping patience and lets you see value in things other than material. Helps you to be humbler, set standards and exposes you to people who are working towards something (sometimes).
3. Needy/Complaining Relatives – Learn how to say no but offer suggestions which helps them more than a handout would.
Helps you to be more ok with saying no, helps you to be more self-reliant and figure out what you can do on your own before asking for help.
4. Hostile Relatives – Laugh it off, don’t take things they say seriously or personal.
Helps you build thicker skin. They sometimes make good points and opens you up for more self-reflection.
5. Vindictive/Spiteful Relatives – What they do comes from a place of insecurity and selfishness. Don’t share too much with them because they may try to use it against you.
They teach you real life tactics.You’ll be able to spot people like them more easily.
6. Wild &Rebellious Relatives – The cool ones; feels like they’re misunderstood & gets lost in the family. You hope they find who they are. Know your limits when you’re out with them.
They make you embrace your free spirit and find your creativity & inner child.
7. Easily Offended/Argumentative Relatives – They always have their guard up because they feel like they are constantly judged. Get them to let their guard down by being open and honest. Be a bit more transparent with personal things. If you can figure out how to tell them the truth in a loving way, they’ll come around.
Helps you to be vulnerable and open to receiving help, advice, love, etc.
8. Go-To Relatives –Viewed as the person who has it all together. Keep in mind that they are people with issues too and may have a lot more on their plate. Talk to them and ask them how they’re doing every now and then. Try to help them in situations where you feel you can intervene and let them know they are appreciated.
Shows you unconditional love, how to be less judgmental and how to handle multiple things at once.Watching them helps you value your alone time and independence.
9. Over-Religious Relatives –Preachy, judgmental, and over the top. Seems like it’s not coming from a place of love. They found something that works for them and their life which is fine. Try to treat them with the love and respect they think they’re trying to display. Sometimes you have to say, “Could you just put the book down and be real with me?”
Teaches you patience, how to find your own spirituality, and how to accept people where they are.They teach you loyalty to a cause and discipline.
10. Know-It-All Relatives – You can’t tell them anything but they can tell you everything. Realize they just want to help. It’s ok to listen and let them know that you appreciate their advice (even if you don’t take it).
Teaches patience and how to deal with people who have a superiority complex.Can teach problem-solving skills.
Family meetings are good as long as it’s mediated right. If not, someone always ends up talking more and other voices are left unheard. If you have a problem with a specific family member you should always talk it out but leave your ego at home. This is preparation for the real world (real life situations). Which is why they say it takes a village to raise a child. What do you want our descendants to look back on? Broken families?