Signs you and your family might be working for different intelligence agencies.
- You’re Successful- Let’s be honest. Family is the pack of dogs you run with. If you do better than your pack leader, you are a direct threat. Your family may want the best for you- as long as it is not better than them. Be careful how much you brag about your success, or how many holidays or time off you are reporting to your family. Sparks of jealousy may fly. Why can “someone like you” do better than them?
- You’re Different- Whether you chose to not take the torch of the family business, married outside tradition or acquired a lifestyle in the city- sometimes being different is like red on the wall to family. A common family game is to blame the black sheep. We have all heard the expressions “golden haired child” and “black sheep”, you could be labeled on what you identify with as personal growth and professional development but your family may label rebellion. Your difference may translate to their blame.
- You Belong to a Different Social Circle- Sometimes we think of social circles as money and business. The fact is your social circle could be religion, hobby and trend oriented, or geographically impacted. Your social circle could be the democratic gun club, or the Jewish Justice Society- the point is it’s different and probably uncomfortable for your family. Often when people can’t relate, they criticize or ostracize you. It’s not a matter of fault on your part, we just need to figure things out for ourselves. Sometimes we grow outside our families and that’s okay, and sometimes best.
- You Have a Developed Sense of Morality and Ethics- Dear God, it’s me Jane.
So you found religion, mazletov. You were given the ethics achievement award at work. Nice. However with all the dysfunction that runs in families (biological, adopted and created) developing a higher sense of morals and ethics will put a stop to toxic behavior and your family will be forced to find other means of communicating and bonding. Let’s face it, it was easier in high school to bond while making fun of something else or another social group. But when you understand that is wrong and stop the behavior it forces people to think deeper and actually put effort into getting to know you and developing a relationship. It also makes them aware of their bad behaviour and now they are accountable to correct it. And believe me, most people do not want to do that. Let me put this way, think of Buddha, Gandhi and Mother Teresa as political figures. They weren’t just enlightened for themselves, they were actually acting as great political and social strategists to rid toxicity from everyday living. It’s a rough road.
- You Have Money- Money does not always come with a successful job, wealthy partner or family. Sometimes you hit the jackpot at work when you realize that working as a bartender or doorman on Saturday nights at the hottest club in town is one weeks wages in one night. Maybe the little old neighbor you read to everyday after school for three years left you in their will, or maybe you won the lottery. Whatever it is, people are jealous for money. There’s nothing that eases cares faster than hard cash- especially if you have come across it without obligation. Keep your money matters to yourself. It’s fine if you want to spoil your family and buy Mum some flowers and a new wardrobe but maybe play down how it’s done. Instead of jumping into a room of gold dubloons like Donald Duck. Maybe just say, “Hey Mum, next week a big deal is going through and I wanted to take you to lunch. Maybe we can go shopping after?” Your Mum will put it together after enough time, but your whole family doesn’t have to know or else it’s you against that pack of dogs.