Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Selfish Relatives: You Have to Come to My Event, You Have to Do This For Me

You have been there, a time when you were frustrated with a family member's repeated requests to come to a child's function, a family get-together, or some other family event and you really didn't want to go. A  family event seems to pop out of nowhere and someone in the group insists that everyone be there.  Now if you say, "No, I don't think I can make it..." you are suddenly marked as the one who doesn't want to be around your family and told that you are selfish.  What!?  The insults, speculations, and outright lying starts being whispered over phone lines, "So Tommy isn't going to be there?  What? It's probably his wife whose keeping him away...I never like that little...."

Whether it is a service or a get-together, you don't have to do anything with people you don't like or get along with just because someone said, "You ought better...that's your family!  It would mean so much to us if you would."  That all sounds rather pushy, controlling, doesn't it?  You have to wonder what is the real reason behind the reason as to why it is so important that everyone should be at a certain relative's event or do him or her a favor and help this person and/or family out.  This is key information you need that just might save you from a future argument with someone for not coming, being unecessarily inconvenienced by someone else's foolishness, and other things, and besides, if your heart isn't in it, why are you going?  Do you have selfish reasons too?

So what might be some things that these selfish, and sometimes controlling relatives, really have up their sleeves?

1.  They are looking to save some money, time, or face about something.  Depending on what role you typically play in the family (lender or borrower, peacemaker or fighter, generous or frugal, etc.) will determine why some will push your being at their home, party and elsewhere, while others will forget your invite or worse your existance!

2.  They know that they don't want any problems out of you, because they remember the last time and they know how you are.  Now this point doesn't apply to most readers, because you are probably one of the good guys or gals, but for some, they are not.  They know that if someone doesn't invite or get them involved in a family event/emergency/service/fight, there is hell to pay!

3.  They hope that you will contribute like you did in the past.  For some of you, you may have been that favored one who did much at the last event, so they are hoping that you will keep it up.  Cooking, cleaning, babysitting, errand running, maintenance work, yard work are all typical requests of needy relatives.

4.  They simply like you.  There are actually family members who mean you well and have no strings attached about inviting you to their celebrations, home, and other special occasions.

5.  They are expecting payment back in service or a gift since they did for you in the past, so this is a sneaky way to get you to give them.  Beware of relatives who boldly tell others of how they helped you and didn't expect anything in return.  What you may not know is that they just might be looking for some repayment (because it's just the right thing to do they reason) through a get-together or an opportunity to service them.  So don't be suprised when they say, "You know that money I gave you back when you were struggling, well do you think you have...or do you think you can help me with...?"  Sometimes it isn't a money repayment they are looking for but an offer from you to help them with something.  It is best to touchbase with these opportunists relatives before a family function establishing what you will and will not do for them and what you will and won't talk about.

Keep in mind, there are most likely many other reasons as to why a family member just feels like you just need to be around your family, even when you feel as if God or your own personal issues with them are keeping you from them (at least temporarily).  Be wise, not a fool in situations like this.  If you believe in a Creator, trust his leading and not your own or your relatives' pushy behaviors--always pray for them and seek God for answers.

Nicholl McGuire author and poet.  Check out her video projects on YouTube -

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media


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