I Don't Like Spending Time With My Family.

My family is really filled with good people, there is no doubt of that.  I don't want to paint a picture of them as a collection of monsters or crazies or otherwise relatively unenjoyable people.

In fact, they are great in many ways and many people love to be around them... but for me, they just stress me out.  Spending time with them is like work.  I feel obligated to make and keep everyone happy.  Clean up.  Cook.  Entertain.  Whatever the case may be and, as I don't see them often and I work (probably far too much), many of the times when I seem them it is also a bit of "vacation" time for me.  Except that it isn't.  I end up taking vacation to work some more.

I love my family.

But I really just don't enjoy being around them.  Next visit... I am staying in a hotel... in a neighboring town. ;)

EPjake EPjake
26-30, M
27 Responses Feb 8, 2010

Indeed. Who says you must spend time with them to show you love them, right? A lot of bullshit Asian cultures are like that. They always like to link 2 completely different things and reshape the definition of everything just to suit their bullshit tradition and culture. Be yourself and if you don't enjoy talking to them, don't do it. You can leave them anytime.

Reading the posts on here, despite the age of some of them, make me feel better about my own situation. Like several of the others, I'm middle-aged, and I don't spend time with most of my family for much of the same reasons. I tend to be somewhat socially awkward, especially in large crowds, and my family is huge. I have a younger brother and two younger sisters. All of them are either married and have kids, or have kids of their own... 43 of us in all, so family gatherings for me are a nightmare, and I'm always on my guard that I'll say something that offends someone. My stress is elevated, I don't enjoy the time around my relatives because of it, and it's gotten to the point over the last 4 years that I hardly show up for any family gatherings now.

Recently, I've decided that I want to move out of the states all together. Not because I'm running away from anything, but that I want a change in my life and a chance to find the things that I can't seem to find where I am now. I've told my family my plans, and despite the fact that I would only be back to visit once a year, they are good with it. But, some of my friends have really been laying a guilt trip on me because I'd be leaving my family behind.

I can't say that the comments didn't bother me; I have a conscious, and it isn't anything to do with my reluctance to visit with my family, but is it selfish to go after something you want, or are we all morally bound to give up on doing the things that we really want in this life because of the moral expectation that we're supposed to stay rooted in one spot for our entire lives just to be around for the rest of our families?

I have a good job that pays well. I have marketable skills that I can use anywhere in the world... but I'm not happy with being where I am and I don't think that I'll find what I want, especially if I stay here. Yet I have several people who aren't family who have been trying to guilt me into changing my mind. I can't blame them for wanting me to stay; everyone has wants and needs, and sometimes, we all tend to be selfish about the things that we want from life. But I believe that each of us should be free to make our own choices, and as long as those choices don't cause harm to anyone, then we should be free to make them if we feel they are the best decision for ourselves. Am I wrong to think this way? Would it be best that I cave to the desires of a few people, or follow my own path and do what I feel is best?

Despite the guilt trip I've been hit with, twice now from two different people, I'm still going through with it. Just curious what your viewpoints on this might be. Thanks everyone for your input.

I am so happy that I am not the only one.... I never knew where it came from.... I've always been a family person.... But my guess for not wanting to hang with my brother and going over his home for occasions is because we were on e close when we lived together as kids..... He was a teenager and I was 9 yrs younger like around 10 we split up.... I went to live with our mom a d be lived with his father so a good chunk of my life and growing in my teenage years has been alone.... I grew up as if I was an only child..... Right now I'm 25 yrs old and still live with he parents which drives me nuts everyday.... So everyday I try to get out.... I attend school looking for a job just have internship.... But for every occasion whether it be a birthday, Christmas, thanksgiving, it doesn't matter..... It's always held at my brothers...... And I always get upset knowing I'm going there.... I get stressed out just knowing I'm going as if I'm going to die as soon as I step foot through his front door and he has an amazing family.... I love my niece and two nephews....I never knew why I was like that..z but it does make sense my family always did stress me out.... They made me feel like an odd ball all th time.... And expect a lot from me.... That it makes sense that it feels like getting ready to go to work..... Plus I'm not my b of a kid person any more.... Because at one Time I used to have to live their in order for me to watch my niece.....because at that poi t my sis in law was working on her nurse degree..... So I guess now I just want freedom..... And my brother gets upset when I don't visit or call.... Meanwhile I just don't feel right I don't know.... I wish I wasn't like this but I can't quite help it

This time every year I feel the same way. Two of my sister's alternate hosting Thankgiving at their house and I dread seeing most of my family. I enjoy spending time with my parents and go out of my way to spend time with them. The majority of my family I see a couple of times a year and just don't enjoy being around them although they are good people.

I have three brothers and four sisters. My older brother and I never got along but he stepped up' big time when I was hospitalized a couple of years ago. I was in a coma for three months and my ex couldn't be bothered so my brother became my guardian and custodian. I thank him for that, but two years later he fought me in court to stop my petition for "Restoration to Capacity." It cost me $1700 in lawyer fees, but I got my life back. Haven't talked to him since we left the courthouse. <br />
My eldest sister screwed me big time while I was in the army. I gave her power of attorney when I went to Vietnam and she let my father clean out my bank account. Never an apology from either of them. I don't speak to her either.<br />
No. 4 is another female, and I like her, but she got Lymes Disease a few years back and has a brain tumor. We can't talk. #7 is another brother who usually sides with older brother so he's also on my shitlist. #6 is a sister I like very much but her husband is a bigoted fool I can't tolerate so we don't socialize. #8, my baby sister. She's a lawyer down in Florida these days and has two beautiful daughters. Wish she lived closer as I really miss seeing her despite the large age difference.<br />
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I guess my point is, we didn't choose our relatives but we've got to live with them. I'm on speaking terms with three of my siblings, so I guess I'm batting .500. #8 is about 45 by now and the eldest is 62. We don't all get along, but we're there when we need to be.

hmm 21st century disease. It IS catching on. Be with people who make you happy. Period.

The night before a cousin's wedding, I am feeling the same way. I love spending time with my parents, grandparents and a select few other members of my family, but I generally end up sitting in a corner at family gatherings with my nose in a book. I can't bear small talk and being chided for not being around more often. I flew the coop for college and graduate school and found my own sense of family with my sorority sisters and cohort friends. I'm currently losing an internal battle because I already had plans for tomorrow before I knew the date of the wedding. Even though I'm attending the ceremony, that is not good enough for them and I know they will ridicule me for leaving. Sometimes I get worried that I don't relate to my family, and wonder if it will effect my future. I'm glad I'm not alone.

Wow - I am glad to know that I am not alone. Just spent Thanksgiving with my family and it was horrible. I am already trying to figure out how I can limit my time with them at Christmas. I adore my mother and love spending time with her. But, it's the other immediate family members I do not care to be around. I wish them well and hope they have wonderful lives, but I just don't care to spend time with them. Thanks to the previous posters for letting me know that what I am feeling is completely normal!

It sounds like no one else still lives with them...<br />
I have a whole year to get past with my parents.

i've always loved my family from "afar"... atleast the half that didnt hurt me... then when that half became "buddies" with my abusers, torturers and the ppl who locked me up in a room for 5 years as a child, I now hate every moment I remember how they demand me to forgive and forget and joing the "happy happy joy joy" illusion of a family they have.

i've always loved my family from "afar"... atleast the half that didnt hurt me... then when that half became "buddies" with my abusers, torturers and the ppl who locked me up in a room for 5 years as a child, I now hate every moment I remember how they demand me to forgive and forget and joing the "happy happy joy joy" illusion of a family they have.

As they say you can choose your friends but not your family. we dont always get on with them and sometimes mothers get on your nerves but when they are no longer around you wish you could have a minute of time back just to tell them you love them<br />
I'd take my last breathe to have 1 minute with my mum and stepdad again, my mum could try the patience of a saint and growning up with an Irish mum isnt always easy as they seem to be stricter than most but still I'd love to be able to argue with her right now

I completely understand how Jake feels. I just came back from a few days with my family. I'm not a kid. I'm a middle aged man with a serious job with many responsibilities. I live my life as an adult and come and go as I please, but 5 minutes with my family brings back all the feelings of growing up and the claustrophobia I felt around them. It wasn't pleasant then and it isn't pleasant now. As Jake said, they're not monsters or crazies, but I don't seem to fit into their particular jigsaw puzzle, partially by nature and largely by choice. I wish them well, but my visits now include my staying in a hotel nearby and having an equal amount of say in the visit. I'm using my vacation time and money (which they hardly, if ever, do) to visit. People keep saying that family is all we have; I respectfully do not agree. Unless by family we mean the people we're living our adult lives with. My significant other, my closest friends, a few co-workers. My life is full and we are all there for each other with very little judgment on anyone's part. I can't say that for my family. They have stopped growing, they have the same prejudices and lack of education. Self-education doesn't cost a thing. No, there is much more than our traditional biological families, I've found it and I love it.

Maybe thats coz you cannot feel you can be YOU when you with your family? Thats how I used to feel with my lot. Had to keep up this impression of the happy happy waltons - drove me bloody mad at times. I would not mind but my family issues were all 'swept under the carpet' and that used to annoy me more than anything. The most important thing for my family was to portray to people we were a 'happy' 'strong' 'united' family - but like thousands of other families we surely did have our problems and what used to irrirate me was the 'falseness' of it all.... people just should be themselves, accept each other for what we are and let life be.

Jake sometimes you have to think of ur own happiness, book that hotel next.

WOw, I always felt guilty for the very same feelings. They call and I avoid them for weeks, putting on my do not disturb (on phone) just to Not hear their voice...feeling guilty. I never go around, and even tell lies (I have a virus) to avoid holidays.<br />
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They are big lovers of hugs...kind to all...many spend hours upon hours helping others...etc<br />
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But, I hate spending time with them. At the end of the day, I know my feelings stem from my depression and anxiety disorder. I guess I feel awkward when I'm talking...prob pretty inadequate compared to them since I am not very active any more. I feel like I can't distribute that same Big Love. Maybe I am afraid of it....I don't know the whole answer. <br />
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But, I know I am missing out, and it's a catch 22...I avoid them due to the negative feelings (my own), yet they would more than likely help me deal with many of those feelings.<br />
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Peace&Respect 2 U

correct me if i'm wrong but no one really likes spending too much time with their familes. i personaly hate it! and i'm 12! its so aqward because i am so different from them. or i feel obliged to clean up and to babysit. its not that i mind it but they make me do it.

At 12 I didn't feel that way -- but, I also didn't knew exactly what was different about my family. It wans't until I got married, then had a baby, and then a few other key adult experiences that revealed what makes sense as to the problem my family has (and the inevitable reason I don't like being around them) My family has no boundary issues, very deomineering females, love to get the last word in, NEVER show emotional support of any kind -- forget not ever hearing "I love you" even one time growoing up (love, mom) in a card does not count. My sister didn't even tellme I looked beautiful on my wedding day. My mom though I did (I think), but only said "yes" to a cousin asking her to acknowledge how beautiful I looked. My family doesn't know how to show support. real support. they are very judgmental and then defend themselves by saying you are the wrong with the emotional problem for letting it bother you so much. My parents are divorced. I don't know my dad even though he lives withthn 20 min of me. Not possible to know him as he would like beucase we have entered the world of having pre-teens...and my life is too busy ... PLUS...I resent my parents' divorce but even more so their inability to ensure the kids were put first. They didn't stay on speaking terms. It wasn't until I had kids that I realized just how mad I was -- mad at what other people had & what I had to act like I had but didn't. NOw, as my kids gets, I don't want to even be near these people. I'm especially like this on Holidays. I don't want to see them on special occasions -- my dad because we don't know him & I just feel it's too late. My mom because she annoys me & I realize how much of my upbringing was under the personality I see she has. It makes me mad. I should have run away as fast as I could after high school -- but, I didn't. I didn't know we would now have 2 generations of dysfunctional sibling realationships. But, we do. My mom disapproves and just is not interested in her younger sister (my aunt). And, my sister treats me the same way. I got fed up one day & decided I would not be reaching out to her again.....(or technically maybe she did the same because she never called)...but, I'm tired of family who do not respect me or know me and think they are always right. So, I skip holiday events with them all the time.

It is a good secret to keep. You don't want to purposely hurt anyone's feelings. I'm willing to bet that if you feel that way there are others in your family who feel the same way to. It might be helpful to look for allies. As a few others have stated it may be beneficial for you to really analyze whether you are doing things because you want to or because you are expected to. That might help you decide how you want to interact on your next visit, to please yourself or to meet other's expectations. Overall, family can be a blessing or a giant pain in the pa-toot but in the long run they are still family and they will be there when you need them. If that's not the case in your family you need to assess that accordingly and do what's good for you. Don't burn your bridges, but try to figure out how to enjoy family even if it's only in small doses.

Sounds like stressful and hard work and you just don't need that in vacation time at all. Or at any time. Its like spinning plates!!! Something's going to fall some time. I like your idea of staying in a hotel. <br />
I know what it feels like... *sigh*

I love my family, but they're scattered to the four winds and never keep in touch.

I love my family and dislike being around them at the same time.

Trust me, you rather have good and productive people in your family than have moochers, loosers, addicts, convicts, or just plain old bums who do nothing for themselves but complain about everything and everyone else. As long as they know and accept you for you and your lifestyle then you don't have put up a front to please them or anyone else for that matter. Be respectful, help out with the dishes, cook, and clean are what good family members do when they get together but you don't have to go out of your way to please anyone. Maybe you feel insecure because you are not as successful or don't have as much money as some of them but that's your own insecurity not because they make you feel that way, right? Be true to yourself and with ones you love, then it will work out at the end. Maybe, the pressure that you're feeling are much of your own doing when you're with your own family. You just need be honest with them in a respectful way of how you feel when you're home then if they are truely accept you for you, they'll understand. Mabybe then, you'll feel stress free and be able to enjoy spending time with them more. <br />
My best always....................

Indeed, Jake....I always say....I love my family, they're just easier to love from afar!!

Are you really being forced to do all these things, or have you just taken it upon yourself?<br />
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If it's your own choice to cook and clean, then who's fault is it that you don't enjoy their company?

I understand just how you feel. Hugs

I do that too. I also take my laptop with me and I tell them I have lots of work to get done while I am there but I go and sign in on EP and play while they are all chaotic around me. I block them out totally lol.

lol i can sympathize...my mother is the sweetest thing this side of sugar, but she's a lot of work to be around.

I feel the same about my mom. So emotional it just drains me :(