This is a discussion on Do you feel uncomfortable around your relatives? within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; I'm just sort of awkward and uncomfortable with any group of people, period. Regarding family, it's less so with distant ...
I'm just sort of awkward and uncomfortable with any group of people, period. Regarding family, it's less so with distant relatives, as I'm not expected to talk to them at all at large family gatherings. I'm fine with immediate relatives, as, well, I've lived with them for most of my life. It's when I'm interacting with the "in-betweeners" that the situation becomes viscerally awkward and I start looking for an escape route. They're close enough to approach me, awkwardly try to hug me and half-heartedly ask about school and work, but not close enough to care what my response is, instead asking out of a sense of "you're my family, so I'm supposed to be interested in your life." I dread family gatherings for this reason. It's obvious that no one actually gives a shit, but you still feel compelled to participate in the "How's school? Oooh, that's great." song and dance. I was relieved when I was finally old enough to decide for myself if and when I would attend family parties.
Last edited by phoelomek; 12-01-2010 at 11:33 AM.
I don't feel uncomfortable at all, just bored.
I would much prefer to be alone with my own thoughts. The house becomes so energised and noisy (with a lot of S too) I can't enjoy it as much as I like. Leaving the house to be alone is considered rude too. But it's a necessary evil I suppose unless I want to be out on the street.
Occasionally they bring around my second cousins who are all little kids. They can annoy me because whenever I try and find some alone time they come in and bug me again. They all seem to like me much more than my siblings, to the point where my parents say I should become a teacher. But I suppose they aren't all bad, I can relate to them a little (here's me thinking I'm now a mature adult )
I feel a lot of guilt because of this. I know I should love them and I should want to talk with them but they're so distant and I rarely had the chance to visit. The only relative I enjoy being around is my great aunt with whom I spent 2 weeks in Vienna and I spent several long-ish periods at her apartment. We bonded over opera, art, and history. I'm not awkward because I know her and understand her. Everyone else ... not so much.
Generally, I make them uncomfortable.
I love a few of my relatives, completely and in every way imaginable, and the question of discomfort doesn't arise. We understand and respect each other, make each other laugh, and so on. The rest are made uncomfortable by my mere presence. I challenge them openly and couldn't care less about what they think of me/my lifestyle/my belief system and so on. It's an antagonistic relationship, and it leaves me unaffected but makes them all uneasy.
The only people in my family I willingly spend time with, are my two sisters. I recorded a video of them two days ago talking about why they hate family get together's at Christmas. It was so raw and honest; I was filled with an immense sense of awe that these two 12 year olds could talk with such clarity and critical thinking. I was actually moved by their perspective of family get togethers in an "adults world". How they were isolated, talked down to, and were observers of the bullshit social niceties between people even they at a young age can see through. And how they didn't want to play the game. Their observations were so poignant and right on the mark. I felt like I was watching their innocence unraveling right there. You could see it in their anger and despair.
Whenever i'm at a family event (I don't turn up to many, because I don't enjoy having to fake enjoyment being around people I don't even know) I hang around with the kids. It's amazing how lonely they often feel at such events. You can tell by their body language.
My sisters and I feel quite estranged by our parents. I respect them and what they've done for me, but I don't know them and they don't know me. I don't feel comfortable around them. I feel separated from them, and any attempt at playing happy families seems forced.
That's the problem with a large family, quantity != quality.
I was adopted by my parents so there is no genetic match between me and my family. And because I am an N with ADD to boot and they are all S types I have very little in common with most of them. All that we share is smalltalk and I hate smalltalk.
The one big exception was my late uncle from my mothers' side who was very much on my frequency.
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