Different people, and the life experiences they bring to the table fascinate me. They always have. I love learning about someone’s accomplishments, how he or she achieved them, and what they learned along the way. Throughout my life, I have spoken to hundreds if not thousands of people, and I have been passively learning through their experiences.
There is one pattern that has yet to be broken amongst the dozens upon dozens of people I have listened to and learned from – crazy families.
I have yet to meet a person who has unwavering support across the board. Every single person I have met has at least one family member who does not bolster them. This can range from a general lack of interest or support to actively bringing down their success through financial reliance and destructive behavior. I have spoken before about being ruthless with your circles and how important it is to only surround yourself with people who affect you positively, and that is why I struggle with the generally accepted idea that family members are exempt from those rules.
I would like to challenge people to recognize that familial obligation can be harmful.
I personally know a lot of people who continually subject themselves to negative influences in the form of family. I have seen otherwise focused and successful people-driven off-course by family members demanding time, effort, and money when my friends have received nothing in return. I understand that familial bonds can be strong, but does that absolutely preclude them from any kind of standard? I have seen people put up with behavior that they would never accept from friends or romantic partners, just because it is coming from a sibling, parent, or child. To me, it is like sticking your hand in a fire and then thinking “well, I am related to the fire so it isn’t that bad.”
Why does relation have to have anything to do with it? I personally surround myself with a chosen family – people who lift me up and challenge me to be better and better versions of myself. I could not have achieved the success I enjoy without them because they do not drag me down. I have carefully and surgically removed the people in my life who cause drama and stress – regardless of actual blood relation. I would encourage everyone else to do the same.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the other side of this coin. Loving and supportive family members can be incredible assets. If you feel supported and bolstered by your family, make sure you appreciate them. Support them, remind them of their value and importance, and look for ways to encourage them to become the best versions of who they already are.
It is important to celebrate the positive influences in your life, but it is ok to remove the negative ones…even if they are related to you.
Everyone has crazy in their family, but not everyone moves beyond it.