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How to Deal with Difficult Family

We choose our friends, or they choose us, but family is a hand-me-down. If we outgrow friendships, or choose to end them because they have turned toxic, even though the process is difficult, we close those doors and move on with our lives. However, how do we handle family members who are negative, critical, unfeeling and domineering? After all, for some of us this is the only family we have!

An only child looks with wondrous eyes at families who have siblings. In contrast, some siblings wish that they were only children. Sometimes siblings perceive the other as playing the villainous Cain to the innocent Abel. A drastic response would be to cut all ties to the offending relationship. While that might yield sweet revenge for the moment, eventually Cain would be missed; there would be a void in the heart for that missing genetic link. Relationships keep us alive and give us meaning. Even though that relative might be a thorn in your side, he or she could serve as a stimulus for growth.

Relatives push our buttons. They awaken the old childhood patterns which linger into midlife and even our golden years. What power the same old story has over our self-esteem, our hopes and dreams and our ability to move forward! One would think that by now we would recognize the familiar plot and character development and not play the same, limiting role!

Here is how to get along with Cain to create a more peaceful ending:
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WHLI 1100AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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