Feelings…..Nothing More Than Feelings (singing)

Do you ever find yourself not liking a family member?  How about a very close one, like your brother or aunt?  I had touched on this subject before, back in December in my The Snob Club post and I am further expanding it here.

I think everyone can truthfully say that ‘family’ get-together’s can be either fulfilling or daunting.  They can be a fun time or a very bad time.  It can be something to look forward to or something to dread.  I can be big or small.  Whatever your situation, there is no denying that in every family there is a member who just rubs you the wrong way.

I am part of one of those families and really, there are several people who rub me the wrong way and sometimes I just wish I didn’t have to see them at all.  It’s difficult, as these are not people I can just quit seeing, like a friend or boyfriend.  Can’t I chose not to show up at family events?  Well, sometimes, but not always.  More often than not family get-together’s happen mostly around the holidays but as it is in my case, there are about as many birthdays as there are days in the year, and that’s a lot, too many for my comfort.  Ah, what to do, what to do?

I don’t share anything important about me or my life.  Small talk, a seemingly innocent inquiry can lead to intimacies I’m not willing to get into and that is a trap that I’ve managed not to fall into, thus far.  I don’t like it when people try to trap me or trick me into giving them information about me or my immediate family just for the sake of gossip, as is the case with certain people in my life.  I know curiosity can get the better of someone but when it leads to gossip, that’s a no-no.  I find that when I listen and observe I get a lot of juicy information without asking a single question.

Tune out, tune out, tune out!  I cannot stand pretentious or conceited people or wanna be’s but sometimes you can’t help being in the same room with that undesirable person.  I don’t like to be rude but I don’t like to talk to people I don’t particularly want to have a conversation with.  I find that tuning them out works, especially if they have a little crowd and like being the center of attention.  Sometimes being part of that crowd can’t be helped, like me who makes the rounds with my husband at these events.

Spend as little time as possible with them.  I think this one is the best one that works for me, but unfortunately it doesn’t come across my table as often as I wish it would.  For example, last Thanksgiving, we were invited to celebrate the holiday with the very person I don’t want to be with!  At first the invitation was word of mouth so I didn’t think I had anything to worry about but then, she called me!  She left me a voicemail because I didn’t take her call (I do have to kids!) and she personally invited me and my family to her table.  Oh, how I dreaded having to maybe go!  I spent an entire week trying to figure out a way to get out of it without hurting my husband’s feelings and without depriving my children.  Well, count my lucky stars that the thought came to me to ask my father for dinner because he had never been to my house for Thanksgiving.  He prefers to stay home but I was so lucky and blessed when he accepted my invitation!  As I said, this opportunity doesn’t come by often.  Shucks!

Play nice!  What can I say?  I keep a calendar of all family events based on my years of marriage and the continuous, predictable occurrences of these happenings so I more or less know what is coming up.  This way I can detour our appearances and our time spent with family I’d rather not see.  There are some deep-seeded problems with these people who make me not want to be a participant because otherwise, I am a very social person.  I’m never rude and I don’t cause problems but I do avoid a lot of situations.  I just wish it was easier to write a big red X over their name and be done with it.  If only life was that simple!



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