Family Dynamics

I find the relationships we have with our family really interesting, and perhaps a little curious. We seem to simultaneously expect higher standards from them than from others whilst also forgiving things we would never let an acquaintance get away with.

What I mean is, if a family member is having a bit of a bad day and is acting a bit moody or stroppy, we call them out on it, or we think it’s personal against us, or it’s something we did. If we came across this same behaviour from the person behind the till in a shop we’d just shrug it off, but it really hits home when it comes to family. We expect things from family, and it feels crap when they let us down.

I saw a really great piece of advice somewhere this week – if someone does something that irritates you, inconveniences you, or somehow impacts your plans and pisses you off, think up the most positive towards that person explanation you can think of, and choose to believe that is the truth until proven otherwise. It doesn’t change the fact they have let you down in some way, but it removes your anger about it and allows you some compassion towards them, which will make your day much easier.

I think we also get repeatedly disappointed by the expectations we have about how our family members should behave towards us. Perhaps they aren’t as visibly excited about your good news as you’d like, and you feel disappointed every time you share something. Wouldn’t it be easier to accept that’s just how they are? They don’t show excitement in the way you’d like them to, and that’s fine. It’s not really them that is disappointing you, its your expectation of them, which you can change.

Remember that no one, not even your family, can read your mind.

If you’d like them to respond in a different way than they do, tell them! They maybe don’t realise that the way they think is different to you, they haven’t considered there is another approach, they don’t know they are crossing your boundaries. Have the conversation, even if it makes you feel a bit awkward. Give them a little bit of grace if they don’t get it right every time straight away, but do keep gently reminding them if they are putting the effort in for the most part.

It’s different if someone knows they are consistently pushing your buttons and they do it on purpose, even when you ask them repeatedly to stop. That kind of disrespect is something to walk away from.

I don’t believe that sharing DNA with someone is enough to keep them a part of your life if there is no kindness or respect between you. We have to continuously earn the right to be part of someone life by showing up, respecting boundaries and being a positive presence, physically or emotionally. 

About Anxiety

Anxiety affects everyone in different ways. Whether its general anxiety, phobias, addictions, habits, weight issues or anything else you do it your own way. So, it stands to reason that the solution should be as individual as you are. I use a range of techniques, such as Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, EFT, Reiki and many other tools I’ve picked up along the way to work with YOU to find the best fit. We can work online from the comfort of your own home, or you can arrange to come to my private therapy room near Carlisle, Cumbria.

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