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Old 05-29-2009, 07:06 AM
 
943 posts, read 2,783,832 times
Reputation: 696

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Getting together with relatives can be a strange event. Because they are family there is an expectation that you should get together, visit, do things together and enjoy each other as people. At least that is what society tells us. But just because we are family does not mean we have anything in common or really even like each other.

Do you have relatives that you see on a regular basis that you get together with and have a totally unsatisfying social exchange, leave tell your wife or husband that you are not going to see again and then a few months later end up in their home again?

It seems like we are always visiting some relatives and then the conversation is flat, boring, with long periods of silence, rolling eyes, sighs and embarrassed looks. When they ask you to get together with them again, why don't we just say: "In all honesty even though we are relatives history has shown that we just do not connect. When we attempt to talk to you all we get is one word answers, rolling eyes, sighs, and embarrassed looks. It appears that we would be better off if we just did not see each other again"

If we were to use this approach would it better to be said in a letter, in a joking way, or at the end of the event in a serious tone?

How about the honest approach?

Last edited by Weekend Traveler; 05-29-2009 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
283 posts, read 659,349 times
Reputation: 261
Visits with my sister-in-law and her family are like this. She doesn't really care for her brother (my husband) or me because we have never really bought into the lifestyle of trying to pretend you are richer than you are and impress people who's opinions don't really matter. But, because they are "family", there is this unwritten law that you are supposed to make an effort to see them. So, over we go with our family and sit there trying to relate to them.

I have thought of being bluntly honest with her and saying "Hey, you don't think we are good enough and I think you are a *****, so let's just cut the crap and leave each other alone", but hubby thinks his Mom would get mad.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 13,574,304 times
Reputation: 3747
You are under no obligation to visit relatives. If you don't enjoy their company, don't visit them.

The honest approach is the best approach.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:40 AM
 
943 posts, read 2,783,832 times
Reputation: 696
Default How should we be honest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CESpeed View Post
You are under no obligation to visit relatives. If you don't enjoy their company, don't visit them.

The honest approach is the best approach.
Sounds good in theory but how to stop the contact is the real question. One of my pet peeves is people who say "they are busy" as an excuse for no social contact. We are not that busy we just do not have an interest in them after many failed social engagements.

If you do not get together with them, how do you tell them why?
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 13,574,304 times
Reputation: 3747
What you said in your OP is good: "I don't think a get together is a good idea. We don't really seem to enjoy each other's company." Let's keep in touch and I'll see you at the next family function.

If they want the gory details, then go into the eye rolling and awkward conversation. Who knows? You may find common ground during the conversation that will make visits bearable.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,380 posts, read 24,159,037 times
Reputation: 8875
Its a courtesy invite (or maybe a guilt invite), not a real invite. Honesty is not the best policy to deny the invite. Just make up a little white lie in order to give a courtesy no.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:09 AM
 
7,983 posts, read 11,681,171 times
Reputation: 10484
Ah but aren't these the people that would have to take you in during times of trouble? (or vice versa)
Perhaps thats why people try to maintain some minimum of contact.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: I never said I was perfect so no refunds here sorry!
6,465 posts, read 6,230,341 times
Reputation: 29677
It is what it is.....family and relatives, nothing in this world replaces the closeness or love each of us should have for our family or extended family. Now with that said is every experience that kodac moment....absolutely not

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Old 05-30-2009, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,848 posts, read 4,205,290 times
Reputation: 1203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
Getting together with relatives can be a strange event. Because they are family there is an expectation that you should get together, visit, do things together and enjoy each other as people. At least that is what society tells us. But just because we are family does not mean we have anything in common or really even like each other.

Do you have relatives that you see on a regular basis that you get together with and have a totally unsatisfying social exchange, leave tell your wife or husband that you are not going to see again and then a few months later end up in their home again?

It seems like we are always visiting some relatives and then the conversation is flat, boring, with long periods of silence, rolling eyes, sighs and embarrassed looks. When they ask you to get together with them again, why don't we just say: "In all honesty even though we are relatives history has shown that we just do not connect. When we attempt to talk to you all we get is one word answers, rolling eyes, sighs, and embarrassed looks. It appears that we would be better off if we just did not see each other again"

If we were to use this approach would it better to be said in a letter, in a joking way, or at the end of the event in a serious tone?

How about the honest approach?
alcohol and lots of it.
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Old 05-30-2009, 03:29 PM
 
13,847 posts, read 14,683,529 times
Reputation: 11546
invite them over to your house. if they don't come no reason for you to go to theirs
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