Jan 21

Why can't family members and friends act right?

There have been plenty of times in the last few years when I’ve seen the family members of friends getting over on them in one way or another. Some family members use their loved ones to get loans (that they don’t intend on ever repaying), to get free room and board, and to get limitless help–when life knocks them down. While it’s noble to offer help without want of payment to a family member, we all know that there are some people who will cross the line and take it to another level beyond charity.

Let’s talk about bad friends and family members, and why we cannot treat everyone the same based on relationship ties.

To the users and abusers, life isn’t about one hand washes the other, it’s about squeezing. If you have it to give, they have the hands to take, and they don’t care that they have taken a hundred times already. They will squeeze a family member forever–especially if they know that member will always be there–and the only way to make them stop is to learn how to say no (and mean it).

I feel sorry for those of you going through this because it took me years to harden up and disassociate myself with the users in my life (ALL users). It isn’t easy, especially when the person you keep saying no to is guaranteed to be at the dinner table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. What made it easy for me after a while is when I brought pride and respect to the conversation.

Would I rip someone off if I respect them? Nope.
Would a person with any pride use a loved one to get over? Nope.

See, the fact of the matter is:

  • Everyone in your circle does not automatically have your back.
  • Some friends mean well but offend and hurt you more than they believe.
  • We SHOULD NOT tell our family all of your intimate secrets.
  • Jealousy does not go away just because family is involved.
  • We should analyze the people in your life. Who helps, and who does nothing but take.
  • As a person being taken advantage of, you have to learn how to get tough.

Why can’t family members and friends just… act right?

Everyone isn’t as strong as we are, or as smart as we are, or have our sense of humor. Loved ones aren’t above ratting us out, judging us, or rallying against us when the heat is on. They are human just like our friends, coworkers, and business partners. Love does not have to be given with a bleeding heart. Love can be separate from business; from our personal vulnerability; from our hustle. We must not become lazy in treating family as a thing instead of individuals (that we love). Figure out who is a chronic helper, who is a leech, and who is really jealous. Family members are human beings too, they are allowed to have these flaws, but we need to be aware.

Some of our friends will treat us better than our family does. Right? We know that family will do us dirty, but we want to hang on to hope that they are better than this. We want to believe the cliche that states “blood is thicker than water” when reality continues to remind us that blood is only blood. Many of our families are ride-or-die, hell, a mother will jump on a grenade for her son (and vice versa if you’re real), but siblings will let you rot in jail for them, cousins will rip you off in business, and fathers will siphon your bank account. It makes me wonder, why do we continue to trust blindly instead of treating family members as the complex individuals that they are?

I get it, for most of us it’s a cultural thing that cannot be easily broken–family is more important to one person than another. I just want you to remember that we are all human beings with our own pros and cons. Just because someone is of your blood, doesn’t mean that you should allow them to use and abuse your kindness without reproach. I can love you but it doesn’t mean that I have to like you.

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  • The Man With A Big Heart

    Excellent article.