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I want to build better relationships with my family

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 October 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 10 October 2017)
A male United Kingdom age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I have an unusual issue that I've not really heard of many people discussing on this site before, I've asked questions in the past and received good advice but never on this topic.

Basically, I feel like I don't really have a great relationship with any of my family. But this doesn't stretch across my entire life. I have a very good group of close friends that I am very social with and love spending time with and also a girl that I've been speaking to for almost 2 months now which is also looking very promising.

For example, I rarely tell my mum anything of what I'm up to. I just feel awkward bringing things up and making topics of conversation and I know she wants me to open up more but I have always been like this.

My brother has just had a baby with his GF and I'm trying my best to be supportive of him and send my best wishes to him but again I feel awkward. I have messaged him and scheduled to go and see his little girl but as you can probably imagine from what I've already said I'm useless with kids and and wondering how it's going to pan out.

I regularly visit my grandparents house and a lot of the time we spend time sitting in silence watching the television with brief chats in between.

I feel like I'm socially Awkward, but just with my family, the people you should feel most comfortable around. I'm about to turn 26 years old and I would like to build better relationships with everyone. I have said this to myself many times that I will make more effort but I never do and I think it's really odd to have this issue of feeling awkward around my own family. It just feels hard to just jump right in and become instantly chatty when I've never been like that. It feels stupid even having to ask for advice on this topic. I wish I could be the way I am around my friends but with my family and would appreciate any insights from people who have felt the same or could recommend ways to be more involved.

Thank you in advance

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (10 October 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntMy guess is that you feel self conscious around your family because they can see the real you and it makes you feel awkward. It is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, a lot of people are socially awkward around there own family. Take baby steps. Do something different each week that is usually out off your comfort zone. Taking your mum and the girl you are seeing for drinks and going to the hospital to see your niece are positives. So try and do something like this every week until you feel more comfortable. You need to reach outside off your comfort zone and push yourself to communicate better with your family. It might even be good to talk to your mum and tell her how you are feeling.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 October 2017):

I wish you the best! Unfortunately, not so many people will even try!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your answers.

I have organised to take my mum out for some drinks with the girl I'm seeing so they can get to know each other better, I think she will be happy with that.

I am also going to the hospital with my mum tonight to see my niece which I think will be good.

I'm really not sure why I feel this way I wish I could give an answer so that it would be easier to work on.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 October 2017):

You take small steps. Why don't you and your girlfriend buy your brother and his girlfriend a gift for their new baby? Just make it a brief stop. Not a lot of fanfare.

Call ahead and ask when it will be convenient to drop-by.

Buy a nice bouquet of flowers for your mother. Tell her how much you appreciate her, and fill her in on what's been happening in your life. Take her out to a nice restaurant to introduce her to your lady. I bet she'd like that. Then drop buy for a few minutes and offer run errands for her now and then. Go slow and steady.

You pushed your family away for your friends. So now you feel awkward. If they had pushed you away; I think that would have been the topic of a different post. What do you feel awkward about? They're your flesh and blood!

I think it's called "guilt," my friend. They love you, and awkwardness is your excuse for avoiding them even more.

Stop being such a tough-guy and love your folks. The awkward goes away! Love works that way!

You don't have to be a like a TV-family, all sappy and sweet. Treat them as you want to be treated. With love and respect. Why is that so hard? If you can do it for a bunch of people who don't even share your DNA? Why not your own folks?

Most people put distance between them and their families for two reasons. A history of dysfunction; or they are ashamed of their family.

Which is it for you?

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A female reader, Beach1908 United States +, writes (9 October 2017):

I feel when I read your post it was as if I was writing it. That is my story exactly and at the end of the day through therapy - you unfortunately cannot change or make ur family- I wish I could talk to them more or feel comfortable with my family - it's not going to happen ..god will find and award u people outside of ur family that will act like family sometimes if you don't have that.

My main question is what has caused this awkwardness? Are they judged mental like mine? Are they intraverted? Are they all up in ur business ? What is it that makes u more comfortable with other ppl than them

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