The grumpy one in the family

I have trouble communicating with my family, and my relationship isn’t going great either. 

Stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations, says our elder. Be kind, but honest.


Dear EWC

I am having trouble communicating with those around me. My first problem, I suppose, would be my family; whenever I am in a good mood, my family doesn’t vibe with me and when they are in a good mood and I am not, I am labeled as the grumpy one in the family. I love them, but there are days where I just want to hurt them when they open their mouths. Another thing would be that I feel as if my family expects a lot out of me; they want me to do big things like go into the movie industry because I am the only child in the family that graduated college. I just want to do things at my own time, but I feel like Luisa from the Disney film ‘Encanto’; I feel pressure from my family because they put so much on my shoulders, but I don’t want to say anything that will hurt their feelings. 

Next, I am in a relationship, but I am not really happy. That sounds bad, I know. I have never been in a relationship before and I have Mixed Depressive Anxiety Disorder with a huge dose of being an introvert. I have known him for three years, and we started dating a few weeks ago. He confessed that he knew that he would fall in love with me when he first met me. I do not feel this about him; I like him but I don’t love him. I don’t feel anything I am supposed to feel with him. When we hang out in order for me to become more comfortable with the new relationship, I just feel like we are hanging out as friends rather than dating. He is really sweet and tries to make me comfortable, but it honestly makes me more anxious. I understand that ‘these things take time’ but what if it doesn’t? I just don’t know how to communicate with everyone without hurting their feelings. I have poor communication skills and I believe that my heart is too soft to be brutally honest with everyone.


Papa-Dude replies

I’m sorry that you’re having a hard time. Often it is difficult to communicate with people; most of us share that problem. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, yet we want them to know how we feel. Bit of a ‘catch 22’.

I’m sure your family wants what’s best for you. To them it is translated into ‘success’ which probably also means happiness for you. What most parents want is for their children is for them to be safe and happy. Often their view and yours aren’t the same. I think if you do what you want to do with your life and are happy with it, they will be too. Don’t worry about what you think they expect from you and concentrate on what you expect from yourself. The end result is that both you and your family will be happy.

You say that the relationship you’re in now is your first relationship. It isn’t likely that he would be ‘the one’. And from what you say that’s the case. Breaking up isn’t easy for anyone, but it is better than being with a guy you don’t want to be with. I understand you don’t want to hurt him. But it is kinder to let him know how you feel now rather than later. Or even worse for both of you, staying with a man you don’t love. It may hurt his feelings, but it is better now than later.

I wish you well. The best thing you can do for yourself, and your family is to be yourself. Trying to live up to other people’s expectations will not lead to happiness. Be kind to other people but be straight with them as well.

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