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is it wrong for me to dread seeing my "close" cousins + extended family everytime? i just don't get on with them well.

posted by Anonymous on 16 July, 2021

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this will seem petty and i don't know if i should feel this way as they haven't necessarily caused me any serious harm and seem generous, but sometimes i feel like their compassion is only done out of family obligation. i think its worth knowing that im a very introverted person and have suffered from depression and social anxiety for many years. but overtime, i've been seeking help here and there and my anxiety is not as severe as it used to be. i do feel confident and can hold my own in social situations now. and i realised that i really like conversing with and have met alot of amazing people/made friends that way. however, whenever it comes to outings with my extended family, it feels like all my experience and confidence just tends to crumble away. i just struggle to maintain any genuine connection with them. my parents and siblings seem to get on with them just fine, so im not exactly sure why this is the case. on the surface, there isn't anything wrong about my group of cousins, they all get along really well with my siblings and each other, they just don't seem to like interacting with me much... i've noticed that over the years my cousins have become more and more distant from me to a point our interactions just become awkward exchanges of polite small talk. sometimes they won't even greet me when i see them. and there will be times where i have to put more effort into talking with them to get them to engage with me more and they will seem more invested in talking to me and we'll have a great time. but then the very next time i see them again, they would treat me as a complete stranger all over again. with my siblings its a polar opposite treatment. they will warmly welcome them. it is exhausting having to see them over and over and make myself step out of my bubble to make any attempt of getting on with them when i can clearly see they are just not interested in talking with me. i just can't be bothered with them anymore. sometimes i feel its better to cut them out of my life so i can focus more on other aspects of my life. i've realised that when im not worrying about them i seem more happy in general. the only problem is that my immediate family perceive this as wrong and that because they are my relatives who have taken care of me, i shouldnt be selfish like this. and we regularly reunite each year for celebratory occasions such as birthdays etc making them unavoidable. not only that, but my group of cousins and siblings always proudly refer to each other as best friends just to emphasise how tight of a relationship they have. but what is the point if i can't be apart of it?

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Anonymous ● 28 July, 2021 ⚓︎

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family. yuck! i totally get it. they can feel like an "obligation" instead of a "choice." here's what you can do when you find yourself thrown together with this bunch (who admittedly, don't seem very friendly towards you)...you can ask questions. yes, sounds simple...but this allows you to be "social" and also find out if maybe...just maybe...you guys might have something in common! you never know! maybe you can find a cousin who watches the same show you watch on netflix or amc...just start off with "what's new?" and go from there. if they refuse to answer your questions, well then they're just a bunch of jerks. but at least you've tried and it's not your fault. sometimes family just sucks...and you can't blame yourself. you didn't choose them.