Should you feel obligated to love obnoxious family members during the holidays? – IOTW Report

Should you feel obligated to love obnoxious family members during the holidays?

Newsmachete: Some families look forward to getting together during the holidays. Others loathe them. The question emerges, however: when you are thrown together for the holidays with family members you rarely see, should you feel guilty for disliking them?

You certainly picks your friends but you never pick your family, except for your husband, wife, or temporary girlfriend. So it is no surprise that when you are thrown together with a bunch of people because of a slightly greater degree of genetic similarity, chances are you won’t like some of them. The reasons may vary:

1) Benign neglect. You may find yourself awkwardly faced with relatives who show no interest in you the rest of the year, but pretend to be interested in you when they are forced to see you. The phonyness and the play-acting is unpleasant. If they are never interested enough to talk to you the other 364 days of the year, why should you pretend to be interested in them the one day of the year you are thrown together?

2) Liberal drone. You may have a relative who is a liberal drone, who worships at the altar of Obama, Hillary, global warming, deindustrialization, and whatever else they have been programmed to think. It can be unpleasant to hear them go on and on about how great Obama is and how evil the Republicans are, and you certainly can’t speak out because that will start a major battle. If your relative is a hardened leftist, nothing you can say would make any difference as well. So why should you love that?  more here


34 Comments on Should you feel obligated to love obnoxious family members during the holidays?

  1. Should you feel obligated to love obnoxious family members during the holidays?

    No. And not just during the holidays…applies year-round.

  2. Most of our family members are LEO or military even some
    of the gals.

    The LEO’s open carry and will not take off their guns even at the table.

    I have an indoor pistol range and people come to the house all the time to
    Shoot.

    They are all right wingers.

  3. How do you love someone without liking them?
    I submit the feelings you have are obligation, a sense of responsibility and guilt. That’s not love.

  4. Love is more than a feeling. Modern society says love is just a feeling. I like the greek and wish we had a model for same.
    Eros, storge, agape and philia.

    But I do agree that the current way define love is feelings and thus if you do not like someone there is no love. But that is not the way it used to be.

    I think this is a major problem with the marriage debate, we are somehow keeping people from being happy. Thats not what love is about. Love in family should be forever, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend time with that person.

  5. As my armchair philosopher father often said (since he married a woman with 8 siblings)

    “Not everybody is lucky enough to marry an orphan.”

  6. Great explanation Frank. I have more than a few lefties in the extended family. I really don’t like to be around them, but they are family to my DH and some are extended family to me. I’d do anything for them if they were in need, I pray for them because God loves them, but I don’t like them because I consider them stupid leftie sheeple and really don’t want to be around them.

  7. Obviously, Fur, you have never loved someone whose behavior caused you to dislike them. You are lucky – when I divorced my first wife, I still loved her, but didn’t like the person she had become. That’s why I had to leave, regardless of my feelings. I know many people who have relatives (such as a brother or sister) whom they love as a family member, but they can’t be around them for more than an hour or so without getting into a serious fight and leaving. Yet if that person were to get in real trouble, they would be there to help, even though it was not expected of them. You can call it what you like, but I have found that you can indeed love someone without liking the person they are.

  8. I have this guy who is married to a cousin, neither of them are bargains, but I see them about twice a year. He has a big mouth and knows everything about everything. He opens a beer, takes a slug or two, buts the beer down and starts showing the kids how to use the hurdy gurdy or something. some toy. He then goes to the cooler and grabs another beer. A couple of slugs,puts the beer down, goes to check on the score; let’s everyone know that the Jets suck, forgets where he left his beer and grabs another.
    It drives me fucking bonkers. I usually leave early. The wife doesn’t
    ever mind because she didn’t want to be there in the first place.

    And she’s happy to get me home sober. Pissed off but sober.

  9. When I kicked my oldest son out for drug use and other issues, I didn’t like him. Fact is that I did it because I loved him.
    Cut to the chase; wife was pissed, but he joined the army, did tours in the sandbox, got married, gave me a beautiful granddaughter.
    So, not liking him made him a man worthy of everyone’s love, not just my own.
    If you read the Bible you will learn the relationship between love and the rod.

  10. Hahaha! Funny! Possible solution is to attach a helium balloon with a rubber band to his can (er, beer can).

    It’s a common problem to forget where you put your beer. Our family joke is that the fullest/coldest one is yours.

  11. How do you love someone without liking them?

    Teenagers survivor here.

    Joking aside, I make an effort to at least be of good cheer in a genuine (as opposed to labored) sense. It’s my counter in my personal anti-balkanization war against the progs who seek to finish off families. a determination to NOT find and focus on something positive that enhances the occasion informs their aim. Always winter and never Christmas with that crowd, and I refuse to submit to the exquisitely hyper-critical, hyper-sensitive and painful perspective. It’s Christmas. It’s not all about them. Or me. I keep that in mind.

    That, and it’s a short enough occasion that it’s rarely a real struggle to not get hammered and sock someone.

  12. Without reading the article but only the headline, the answer is NO!

    1. I did not pick my relatives, they were hoisted upon me without my consent.

    2. Some of them are emotional vampires ready for the invitation to suck the life blood out of me.

    3. My childhood Xmases have been memorable, ones I wish not to remember. 80% of them are dead only 20% more to go.

    Meanwhile,DH and I travel and enjoy life as we know it. Live life now and screw the relatives. JMHO.

  13. P.S. Responsibility plays a huge part in love. And guilt, while a great motivator, is rarely even acknowledged, when it’s not scorned as being worth of a secon’s attention. Guilt is borne of a conscience. Not a bad thing. In short supply, according to a barrage of news stories, but not a bad thing, unless it’s the overindulgence of the martyr.

  14. One can love another that he/she doesn’t like.

    Love is what you do for them. I can be loving to someone I don’t like at all. Asshole needs a lift to the hospital? I give it to him.

    Got an asshole parent that’s ill and homebound? You show up to check on them to see their needs are met. What you do beyond that is optional.

    Asshole at family reunion? Nod and avoid calling them out on every thing wrong with them. The moment is temporary. You or he/her will be going home before the next day arrives. No need to inject more negativity into the day. You may even be the difference maker in their life as the only one they will listen to if you’re the only one who’s listening to them.

    Doesn’t mean you have to suffer them any more than that act of love though.

    For years I was the only one my Mother in law could talk to in the family – her 8 kids were sick of her shit and they had very good reason. I was always honest with her, but never mean. I wasn’t trying to punish or hurt her for the horrible person she sometimes was. She respected and trusted me for that. And I got to keep my distance from her tentacles because I was plainly honest instead of manipulative or game-playing her like her kids were so often for their own protection.

    Jesus says to love your enemies. Doing the right thing regardless of any animosity you may have, is that love. That is giving when you don’t expect or require a return in kind.

    Love is the only thing that can change a hard heart. No guarantee it will, but still the only thing that can.

  15. DadoF4. Here’s my ‘splanation of love/like

    “When the moon hits your eyes like a bigga pizza pie, that’s amore, (love)
    When you walk down da street with a crowd at your feet, that’s amore. (love).
    When you walk in a dream an’ you know you’re not dreamin’ signorea.”
    Enough. That it the dumbest fucking song ever written. Hate
    The melody is nice.. Like
    Dean Martin singing it? I love Dean

  16. I place few “obligations” upon myself. Love isn’t one of them, regardless of who it is.
    If a family member (or anyone else) gets in my face about any issue, I often am compelled to share with them where the bear shit in the woods.
    I do not argue with the uninformed or fools.

  17. I once had a friend with two rotten kids who did the same thing with Cokes when they came to visit me one time. Open a cold Coke, take a couple of sips, set it down and forget about it, then go to the fridge and get another. Rinse and repeat. By the time they left I had a case of warm, mostly full cans of Coca-Cola sitting around the house which had to be thrown out, and I was pissed. Your story sounds like maybe it’s one of those same kids that is grown up now. Does your cousin live in Texas?

    😛

  18. I first heard someone use that, “I don’t like him, but I still love him” line when I used to eat lunch with a group of older ladies when I was just starting out in my first real job. I think it’s esp. a parental thing with screw-up kids. With other family members, I think it’s confused with duty or obligation.

  19. 2) Liberal drone.

    Depends on whose house the holiday celebration is at. If it’s your own house (and my house has become the default for most celebrations), then you get to set the rules (no discussion of politics), and make the guest list (my wife’s brother is a good man, but his wife is an overeducated butt-in-skee know it all).

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