Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dealing with Outside Influences

A Blended Family Reader has submitted a topic for discussion -- Please consider joining in with some of our discussions here. You can remain as private and anonymous as you like, we just believe that the best support and information comes from those who are living it.

How difficult has it been for you to deal with outside influences? Nosy people? People who constantly offer up unsolicited advice?

I'm very interested in this particular topic, because I've always been the "yes" girl and have always overextended myself for the benefit of others.

I've taken advice just to keep the peace...

I've gone places I didn't want to go with people I didn't want to go with - just to keep the peace...

How do you handle it without feeling like the biggest meany on the planet?

4 comments:

Anne said...

Our tactic: we simply do not deal with them. If anyone, even a family member directly involved, attempts to play a manipulative codependent game with us, we call them on it and force them to either address the real issue behind their urge to be controlling, or drop it.

As for people outside of our immediate family, our lives are absolutely none of their business and the shame is on them for intruding, not us for reminding them of that fact. Usually, ignoring them is enough to drive the point home, although in the case of a particularly spiteful meddler, hanging up the phone or refusing to answer it when she calls to complain has become our standard practice.

Let the negative people keep their negativity. It is not your responsibility to shoulder that burden for them. Choose to be happy, not a puppet. Ex-spouses, and in my husband’s case, evil in-laws (yes, my parents!), are not part of our recipe for happiness, so we don’t include them. End of story.

Courtney said...

so yes...I like what Anne says, and we had to practice it zealously. I, too, am a yes girl and I was taking it on the chin from everyone, letting them admonish me, letting them air their fears and worries all over me...it was good to start saying no, and just be our own family.

but now, we're really isolated. It's not that people avoid us, it's that most people are too much work. They are incredulous and not so much judgmental as sort of skeptical. I'm lonely. I miss having people drop by for dinner. I miss being able to vent about kids and not having everyone look all pained b/c of their sense of how horribly I stressed my kids. I do feel like the biggest "meanie" on the planet, and I can't figure out how I got here. I was coping. I was loving my kids. I feel in love. We're doing the best we can. Do you ever get absolution?

Courtney said...

meant to say "fell in love." I still feel in love too! which is a good thing...

:)

Gayla said...

Thanks for the comments. This seems to be one of the biggest issues I come across in the blended family area.

If only more people had the courage to stand up and say butt out!