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Old 05-21-2014, 07:16 PM
 
Location: California
4,536 posts, read 5,439,586 times
Reputation: 9558

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Have you looked into AA? I think they have a related group for families of addicts, al anon, or something like that. Addicts will use guilt and every trick in the book to get what they want. If your cousin lost her money, that was her choice, just like it is your choice to work and be financially responsible. You can continue to love your cousin and not buy into her problems by keeping your distance until she has her life in order. The more you enable her the more she will use you. Guilt is not a good basis for any relationship.

Glad you enjoyed the other thread, I too was glad to know that other seniors who have lost so many friends through death and distance have shared their experience.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,874 posts, read 17,184,050 times
Reputation: 40736
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
She screwed up and she knows it.

Ignore her and she'll come crawling back.

Don't even ATTEMPT to help her with her problems. She's an addict, she'll lie, cheat, and steal to get her way.
You can be a friend or a sounding board to your cousin but never give her money. It would be like giving bottles of alcohol to an alcoholic and thinking that it will turn out well.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:09 AM
 
Location: City of the Angels
2,222 posts, read 1,652,353 times
Reputation: 5376
Why do you give this person so much power over your life in your pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness ?
That's why you're so nice !
Own it !
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:33 AM
 
7,496 posts, read 9,712,487 times
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Don't bother "biting back". The kind of people who act like this will never take it well anyway. They want the status quo, or you laying back and taking it. The best thing to do is distance yourself unless either it's out of character for them to act like that, or you value these relationships enough otherwise in other ways.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,632 posts, read 4,754,707 times
Reputation: 18851
I understand how you are feeling. I am a "people pleaser" too and I hate to say no to people or to have to put my foot down until I am pushed too far, and then it's an ugly scene.

I think you just have to practice the following phrase: "I'm sorry you feel that way". Just like the word "No", this is a complete sentence and can be said anytime she tries to manipulate you or shame you or guilt you into giving her money.

You won't give her what she wants right now, so you are useless to her in the blindness of her addiction. When everyone refuses, she will be forced to face her problem and that would be better sooner than later, right? So when she asks why you won't help her, you can honestly say that you ARE helping her. Just not in the way she wants you to.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,801 posts, read 3,024,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
I've actually been losing sleep over all this, and feeling sick to my stomach. SHE is the one who got rude first; why do I feel like I have to be extra nice and FIX everything? Sometimes I just wish I could "bite back." I find myself wondering, if I could respond back showing more backbone, assertiveness, and appropriate anger in situations like this, would the other person back down, realize she was wrongly rude, and the onus would be on HER to reconcile?....or would the problem and anger just escalate, and the door for reconciliation slam shut? That is, I believe, what I am afraid of in this kind of situation.
You should be assertive but being angry isn't natural to you. A naturally angry person wouldn't lose sleep after being nasty with someone. So in your case, even if you did unleash on her, you would feel much worse about it afterwards than she did, gaining you nothing.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:22 AM
 
26,313 posts, read 24,404,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
I'm "nice." Too nice. I was raised to be nice to everyone, to "answer angry words with kind ones." (direct quote that was one of those "words to live by" that was drilled into my head and my heart). For decades I didn't really think about it; it's just who I am.

Only in the past several years have I begun to realize that sometimes being the "nice" person makes me the target for other people's crap. I've done a lot of soul-searching, read books about assertiveness and people-pleasing personalities, and have tried grasping that I don't ALWAYS have to be nice. But change comes hard.

Here is just one example, out of many in my life:
I had a situation last week, where a cousin with whom I've always been close, called me requesting a favor that I did not feel comfortable saying yes to. Actually, I KNOW I did the right thing to say no, and although that phone conversation seemed to go fine (she didn't sound angry when I told her no), she sent a nasty text message a few days later, and has now "unfriended" me and my husband on Facebook.

I am sick about this. I don't want our relationship to be permanently severed. Part of me wants to send a nasty response back, to stand up for myself and my decision, to "give her a taste of her own medicine," because the things she wrote were rude and hurtful. Another part of me wants to be my usual sweet self, try to gently explain why I made my decision, and try to "win back" our love and friendship.

I've actually been losing sleep over all this, and feeling sick to my stomach. SHE is the one who got rude first; why do I feel like I have to be extra nice and FIX everything? Sometimes I just wish I could "bite back." I find myself wondering, if I could respond back showing more backbone, assertiveness, and appropriate anger in situations like this, would the other person back down, realize she was wrongly rude, and the onus would be on HER to reconcile?....or would the problem and anger just escalate, and the door for reconciliation slam shut? That is, I believe, what I am afraid of in this kind of situation.
I know when your young, rejection like this hurts, but believe me, better to know now. I used to feel and be the same as you, until about 8 years ago, a very good friend asked me, "Why do you allow people to use you for a door mat". Slowly but surely, she made me realize, if people are going to reject me, b/c I say no, or disagree with them, then so be it, they were never friends any way. Same for people who call you and only want to talk with you about themselves, or use you. Honestly, I have a friend like this, she was raised the same as you, and even her children take advantage of her. Makes me really sick. But, she enables them to do so. Last week, I told her, "we're going back to my home afterwards, and we're going to practice saying no". She is literally killing herself, trying to please everyone else, and I mean literally, b/c she is so tired. There is nothing we can say or do to make her understand, she is harming herself. So, believe me, if this cousin is going to stop being friends with you b/c you felt uncomfortable doing something she wanted you to do, say, Good bye cuz its time for her to move on.

I wouldn't make any kind of contact....you have your husband, your family, friends, etc. If you make contact with her and try to talk to her, about this...she won't change. She made the mistake, she dropped you as friends, if you accept her back it will be under her terms, meanting she will not change. She has got to be the one to not only contact you, but say she is sorry....which means, your friendship means more to her then being right. That is the way it's supposed to be.

If you continue this, you enable people to take advantage of you. Be confident in your own personal constitution and live by it....however, do not allow anyone to change your identity. The beauty of you, is you.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:29 AM
 
Location: SLC, UT
1,571 posts, read 2,274,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
She definitely knew she was being nasty. And originally I chalked it up to her having a bad day, but then I happened to be talking with her brother, who said she is doing great, he talked with her several times this week and she sounded the happiest she's been in a while, etc., so I believe I am correct in taking it personally. Also, I have sent a couple of nice follow-up texts (thinking of you, wish we could clear up this misunderstanding kind of text messages) but they have been ignored.

My "niceness" is, once again, getting me nowhere. This seems to be my pattern. The ruder someone is to me, the more I try to be nice. Just once I would love to try being the rude one, and have the other person be extra nice to win ME back. (Not really, but it is tempting to see if it would work. It's just not in my nature though).
She's pissed off at you because you probably always said yes before. This is what happens when people are used to getting their way. It may also happen with other people in your life. They're used to asking you to do something, and having you do it. Now that you've learned to say no, they're upset that you're not essentially their doormat anymore. With most people, it will eventually blow over - they'll adjust to the new parameters of your relationship. But if your cousin holds on to this, and won't let it go, then that tells you more about how she viewed your relationship than anything else will. In other words, if you said no to her one time, and it was enough for her to cut off her relationship with you, then perhaps she was only your friend because you always said yes to her. That's not a friendship that you probably want, anyways.

Instead of allowing other people's actions to keep you up at night, ask yourself if you're happy with your own actions. If you are, then take some deep breaths, allow that you can't control other people's actions/emotions, and try to let it go. Take comfort in knowing that you're good with how you've acted, and move on.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:43 AM
 
635 posts, read 689,852 times
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Hi Kayanne.
I can understand where you are coming from and now is the time to utilize what you know is right and have researched about being more assertive in life. Change is hard, trust me I know, in this area. I have to constantly check my thoughts about a scenario where I feel like saying yes in order to avoid conflict. I have to remember that no matter how I FEEL, the what if thoughts that bring about unpleasant feelings, thinking about that person's feelings OVER MY OWN, I have to remain firm with my 'no.'

Yes, there may be a little uneasiness on the inside, but I know I will get over it eventually...and so will the person who feels entitled to my 'yes.'
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:46 AM
 
635 posts, read 689,852 times
Reputation: 818
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
hey, when you stand up for yourself, people are going to try to lay a guilt trip on you. Don't let them. if you feel comfortable with saying 'no' then 'no' it is. Period. No apology needed.


your cousin sounds pretty vindictive. Her problem, not yours.

Also, standing up for yourself isn't rude.
Changing will take a lot of strength on your part, and people are probably not going to be happy with the new you. Only question is, are you?

I was raised with the attitude: if you act like a doormat, don't complain about getting stepped on.
This is the thing though that people like me and Kayanne have to remember- even if it doesn't FEEL comfortable, but you know that 'no' is the best reply, you still have to do it.

Period- no apology needed.

Those people will be alright- remember that.
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