Sunday, January 25, 2009

I thought I was the only one who had a family member like this

Right after Christmas, a family friend came into our business to ask me if I had written to Dear Amy recently. I was flabbergasted. He knows that un-named family member is not on my nice list. Well here is the article. I had to chuckle because it sounds just like un-named family member.

Sour relative won't apologize
Sour relative won't apologize Amy Dickinson Ask Amy
December 31, 2008
Dear Amy: A close relative has a miserable disposition with family but is the life of the party with everyone else. Everyone in the family has been repeatedly hurt by her behavior after bending over backward to make her happy. Nothing is ever good enough. When confronted with how I feel about her treatment of me, she "apologized" by saying, "I'm sorry you're feeling that way." She has never actually apologized for the way she has acted. I don't know how to handle this lack of acknowledgment.I continue building up more resentment toward my family member. As she ages and needs more care, I don't want to do anything for her. Is there any way to make her see she has never apologized for anything, and that I've never forgiven her for anything?
—Angry Family Member

Honestly, I really did not write it. I agree it does detail my un-named family member to a tee.
Here is her response.

Dear Angry: People sometimes manage to squeak around an actual apology by only acknowledging the other person's feelings, i.e., "I'm sorry you feel the way you feel." Unfortunately, this is the Nerf ball of acknowledgments. It is soft and squishy and doesn't travel very far.You need to realize, however, that your feelings and reactions are your own responsibility. You can ask your family member for an actual apology, but before you do you need to ask yourself what you will do when this apology either doesn't come or is inadequate.You may then get to the point where you realize that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. To forgive is to release resentment and anger––to detach.When you detach, you understand that she is who she is and you can't change her. You can only control your own reactions. You can declare that you expect to be treated with respect and say what the consequences will be if this doesn't happen. So you say, "You need to treat me decently. If you don't, I won't be able to spend time with you."

I was glad to see I was not the only one who had a family member like this. I just wanted to share with you that after some of my previous posts, really I did not send in this column. I am innocent, really. Oh ,I do not like some of the advice either but that is another topic.

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