Since two weeks, I’m home from work. Overworked. I don’t feel very stellar.
I have told friends, but not my family. Not my dad, mom, brother. Why? Because whenever I told them any problem, or shared a positive milestone, their response is usually worse then useless.
My brother would make a flippant remark, something like: “Well, shit happens”. He might follow up with a slightly related rant against society, bosses, jobs, slackers at work in general. That would conclude the conversation.
My dad will care, in a way, I’ll give him that much. He might rack his brains to solve my problem and come up with a solution like: " I’ll pay for you to go volunteer at a leprosy hospital in India so you’ll get some perspective and stop being so irritable with everyone, because you’ll chase them away." That would conclude the conversation.
My mom is worst. If I told her, she would be interested because she wants to collect juicy stories that confirm her worldview. And act out scenes that make her feel good. She might act in a syrupy therapist-like way for three minutes, trying to get out all sorts of details I won’t tell her. Then she’ll confirm happily that all my irritation at her of the past decade was not her fault, but the fault of me being overworked, and she might revel in that, because, told ya! . Then she will conclude by giving some useless advice, like: “Take it easy”. Oh, and to try relaxing bubblebaths and herbal tea. I hate bubblebaths and herbal tea, and have hated them all my life.
She might even recommend the latest thing she herself is enthusiastic about, like numerology or iriscopy. Then she’ll be very happy with herself and that will conclude the conversation.
And so I have to conclude that I usually get much more useful advice reading books and posting about my troubles, and milestones, on this messageboard, then from my family.
So, how about you? Do you tell family about your personal issues, for theirs sakes, or the sake of the relationship? Even if their reaction will be either insincerely caring, or useless?