How To Deal With Problematic Family Members
“One does not kill family.”
“Come ‘round MY house for the holidays, pal.”
~Two villains from The Expendables
You might think the subject of how to deal with problematic family members would be a little off topic for this blog. And you’d be right. However, a hell of a lot of you are experiencing this problem and often ask about it, and not just to me but on blogs and forums everywhere. Also, as Europe and the US continue their slow collapse, more and more families are being torn apart by angry differences regarding politics than ever before. Things like Brexit, police shootings, and Donald Trump are turning family members against each other in ways I’ve never seen in 30 years of observing politics. Expect this trend to continue and worsen, because it will.
So today, I’m going to give you some tips and techniques on how to minimize family problems within an Alpha Male 2.0 context.
A word of warning first. Some of these techniques are emotionally and logistically difficult. Many of you are not going to have the balls to do them. Many of you are going to complain that it might hurt other people’s feelings or whatever. That’s fine, and you can make any excuses you like, but putting up with crap from anyone, including a very close family member, is not a path to happiness.
No One Has The Right to Make You Unhappy
We must start with this core concept because it’s foundational to everything I’m about to say, and much of what I’ve already said regarding women. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to make you unhappy. Not your mom, not your dad, not your brother or sister, not your girlfriend, not your wife, not your best friend. No one has that right!
Societal Programming tells you the exact opposite. SP bores into your head that just because she’s your mom, she somehow has the “right” to treat you like garbage and make you feel like shit. No, you brainwashed dumbass, she does not. If you’re under the age of 18 there’s not much you can do about it, but if you’re 18 and older, you’re a fucking adult. She doesn’t have the right to do that, at least not anymore.
So step one is to wash out the SP that tells you your family (or partner) somehow has the “right” to make you feel bad.
Be aware that this “my parents have the right to make me unhappy because they’re my parents” (or siblings, or uncle, or grandparents, or whatever) intensifies with certain races and cultures. If you’re white, it’s standard. If you’re black, multiply it x3. If you’re Asian, Indian, or Hispanic, multiply it x10. It’s all bullshit regardless of what race you are or what culture you come from. Keep telling yourself that no one has the right to make you unhappy, and you are perfectly within your rights to tell that person, even if it’s your mom or brother, to fuck off and not spend time with them.
No one on this Earth has the right to make me unhappy, even if I love them. No one! The one possible exception to this rule is if you have children under the age of 18. One could argue that since you brought them into this world, they have the right to cause you problems and inconveniences as you raise them into adulthood. I more or less agree, but even then there’s a limit to this. If I had a 15 year-old son or daughter who was a constant, never-ending source of problems of monstrous proportions despite my best efforts, then trust me, I would have no problem kicking that little shit out of my house. I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I would do it.
Also, once your kids turn 18, that right to make you unhappy vanishes instantly. They’re adults now and they need to deal with their own shit. Both of my kids are now 18 or over, and they’re both quite aware that if they flip me any shit, I won’t be spending time with them, despite the fact that I love them unconditionally. Just because I love someone doesn’t mean that person has the right to make me unhappy. So even with kids there’s a limit to this stuff.
Mild or Moderate Family Problems
Let’s start with the typical family scenario of the guy/gal who acts like an asshole/bitch whenever you see them at family reunions every year. Most families have at least one of those assholes/bitches. It’s part of the family experience.
I’m talking about the socially uncalibrated Alpha Male 1.0 brother who loudly insults people and then pretends he didn’t mean it when people call him out on it, or the arrogant, bitchy, stressed-out sister who constantly snips at everyone and thinks she’s better than everyone else, or the old racist uncle who happily tosses around racial slurs and talks about squeezing women’s nipples in front of the kids, or the mom who constantly, constantly criticizes every little thing about every little thing you do.
You know who I’m talking about. Unless you have a very small family, you’ve probably got at least one of these assholes/bitches you need to encounter every Thanksgiving or Christmas or whatever. How do you deal with them?
The answer is, you don’t. These people are great for Outcome Independence practice. Just stop giving a shit. Way too many of you take these people way, way too seriously. These people are sad, unhappy morons who usually live consistently unhappy, uninspired lives or close to it. Don’t get angry at them. Feel sorry for them. I do.
When they say something irritating or insulting, just smile and laugh at them. It feels great. If they give you a confused look, that’s even better. Enjoy confusing the hell out of these idiots.
If you really want some entertainment, fake-argue with them. Tell your old, right-wing uncle that you just got engaged to a black girl and are converting to Islam, and watch him go through the fuckin’ roof. Hilarious! Or tell your angry, Dominant, over-33 sister that you’ve got five women on rotation (be sure to call them “your bitches”) and that you just came inside a 18 year-old last week, then laugh your ass off as she has a volcanic meltdown right there in the kitchen while her beta male husband runs away in horror. Good wholesome fun for the whole family. Hey, they asked for it.
You get the attitude I have here. Instead of getting bothered by this stuff, be entertained by it. You only need to see these assholes/bitches two or three times a year, so it’s not a big deal. Taking these people seriously and letting them bother you is a serious mistake you’re making. You’re giving them that power over you, so don’t do it. Outcome Independence! Stop giving a shit and take the power back!
Serious Family Problems
That covers minor or moderate problems, but what about serious ones? By serious, I mean a scenario where you’re dealing with someone who is actually quite abusive, and you see this person much more often than two or three times a year. If you actually live with this person, I’ll be discussing that in a minute. For now, I’ll talk about family members you don’t live with.
If you have a family member you don’t live with who is a serious, recurring problem, you need to soft next them. Yes, even if it’s your mom, dad, or sibling.
WAIT! Wait a minute! Before your emotions and Societal Programming go crazy with a bunch of objections and excuses, take a deep breath, calm down, think rationally, and hear me out first.
Remember that a soft next is not a permanent removal. It’s a temporary removal, and later you gently bring that person back into your life. I’m not suggesting you never speak to your mom or your brother ever again. I’m saying you need to take a temporary break from these people. Which you do.
Also remember that you cannot change others, particularly people like your family members who are grown adults you have no leverage over. If your brother or your dad is a total asshole, I’m sorry to tell you this, but he’s going to be that asshole FOREVER, regardless of what you do or say to him. Trying to change him and make him understand reason will simply result in a bunch of conflict and wasted time for all parties involved. I 100% guarantee this.
Going all Alpha 1.0 and trying to threaten, explain, reason with, or lecture your problematic family member is not going to work. That will simply escalate the conflict and create more drama. The only thing that might work is the removal of all attention from that person for quite a while, and that means a soft next.
So as of right now, stop talking to that family member, stop spending time with that family member, and stop communicating with that family member in any way. Do this for at least six months, though 1-2 years may be required if you don’t see that person often. After the nexting period is over, start spending time with that person again, just like nothing happened. Don’t talk about why you did it. Unless they’re clinically retarded, they know. If they ask, just say, “You already know. I’m not going to talk about it. Let’s just move on.” Then change the subject.
If they are still problematic, just say, “Well, I tried,” then soft next them again for another 6 months to two years. Rinse and repeat as needed. Remember, you can’t change them, and no one has the right to make you unhappy.
Now I’ll refute the bullshit excuses you’re coming up with as to why you think you can’t do this:
1. What if he/she shows up at family events? You’re saying I can’t go? Fuck that! I want to see the rest of my family!
This is a logistical challenge, nothing more. Again, calm down, turn on your brain, and THINK through the problem instead of giving me a knee-jerk excuse.
If the person is going to go to a family event, correct, don’t go. Instead, meet with your other family members the day before or day after the actual event, particularly those visiting from out of town. If you might miss any of them by doing this, have a coffee with one, two, three, or more of them separately at a nearby coffee shop or restaurant. Plan it out in advance. Make arrangements. Use your calendar. It can be done.
Is this going to be a hassle sometimes? Sure. Doesn’t matter. It’s what’s required if you want to solve your problem. If you show up to the family event while that person is there, the silent treatment isn’t likely to work, the abuse will continue, and you’ve solved nothing.
2. What if I have to see that person semi-regularly because of mutual friends?
Same as above.
3. What if I have to see that person semi-regularly because of my work?
Set a goal to get a new job/business as soon as feasible, even if it takes a year or two. As I talk about in my book, relying long-term on income that depends on the consistent cooperation from your family members is a recipe for constant, never ending drama and dependence. A truly independent man earns his money from sources that have nothing whatsoever to do with any of his relatives. And yes, that includes your dad.
As always, I walk my talk. Around my late twenties my dad offered me to take over his small mental health counseling business. I turned him down. While it was tempting, I knew that for the rest of my life, even if I ended up making a lot of money, the whims and emotions of my dad, and in some ways my mom too, would be in control of my business career and financial life to some degree. I knew enough guys who went into the “family business” to know that I did not want to live like those guys.
I love and respect my dad, but turning him down was one of the best decisions I ever made. He just sold his business to someone else and retired, I made my own success, and my dad and I couldn’t be closer today. It all worked out fine.
4. How long do I have to do this?
The more often you see that person, the shorter the nexting period. If you see him/her several times a week, a nexting period of perhaps four months is probably all you need. If you see him/her just three or four times a year, you’re looking at about two years.
5. My other family members are going to ask me about this / give me shit about this. What do I tell them?
Tell them the truth, but don’t go into detail and don’t have a big discussion about it. Just say something like, “I love mom, but she’s consistently abusive to me and no one has the right to treat me that way, my mother included. So I’m just taking a little break from her. It’s no big deal.” Then shrug and change the subject. To repeat: do not have a discussion about this. It will simply add to family drama-gossip and it’s none of their business anyway. Also, do not tell anyone how long you plan on doing this. Keep that to yourself. If they ask, just play dumb (“Oh, I don’t know, eventually.”) and change the subject.
6. Do I need to block/unfriend that person on social media?
Only if they’re harassing you with that social media. If they are, then yes, unfriend them and block them. You should have done that already anyway. (Do you seriously think I wouldn’t unfriend/block someone the instant they started giving me drama over social media? Ha! I did this to my last girlfriend without a second thought. Throughout most of our relationship she wasn’t a friend on my Facebook page, by my choice.)
If they aren’t giving you any social media drama (just real life drama), then leave them there, but don’t communicate with them in any way, and stay off of their page. Just like with women, use your page to show the world (including them) that you’re living a good life and that you’re going places. Make them jealous.
As they say, success is the best revenge. I can tell you from personal experience that this is true.
7. What if I live with this person?
What do you think I’m going to say? Would you like to guess what my answer is?
Go ahead and guess.
Go ahead. I’ll give you a minute.
Got your guess? Good.
KICK THAT PERSON OUT or MOVE OUT.
“But BD I can’t move out right now because…”
Okay you dependent pussy, then immediately cancel ALL of your other goals and projects, set a goal to move out by a specific date, and get to work on it. Don’t stop working on it until you move the hell out of there.
Living with an unreasonable asshole/bitch is a no-win scenario and no technique will help you. None. You must move out (or if you’re the primary breadwinner in the household, kick them out or make plans to kick them out by a certain date).
Again, I walk my talk. I moved the hell out of my parents’ house at age 18, and moved right into my own apartment with no roommates. It’s not that hard if you just put in a little effort. I tell the full story of how I did it right here.
Way too many of you guys with horrible, abusive family members make too many excuses as to why you have no choice but to put up with them. BULLSHIT. Man up, stop making excuses, and fix your fucking life.
No one has the right to make you unhappy.