Since we’re related, I can’t tell you to shove it

Sometimes, the people who annoy you most are your own relatives.

I know some people always get along with their parents and skip through fields of flowers with them and have tea parties or whatever. But I am not one of these people, which should come as no surprise. Because I’m enraged by almost everything, it only makes sense that my relatives would annoy me too, since I spend more time with them than I do the average stranger. And if I can be angered riding public transportation for ten minutes, just imagine what a family outing must do to my blood pressure.

There is something about sharing some genes with people that seems to eliminate common courtesy or even plain common sense. It’s true that relatives are really the only ones who are allowed to tell you when you’re just being idiotic, especially parents, since they spent years of their lives raising you, but there’s a way to do this tactfully and a way to be an asshole about it. In day-to-day life a stranger probably isn’t going to call you an idiot to your face (it’s what the internet was invented for!) unless you do something that directly affects them and perhaps put them in danger. But it seems that blood relatives do not have this rule. They’ll call you an idiot whenever they damn well please, whether or not it’s actually warranted or true.

And you can’t just curse them out as you might a stranger (well, that’s what I would do, anyway), because you’ll have to deal with years upon years of passive-aggressive revenge. Breaking news: If you want to call someone an idiot to their face, you better be willing to deal with the consequences like an adult. But they think they can just do it and have no repercussions, because that’s how it was when you were a kid. It’s different when you’re 15—you pretty much just have to suck it up then—but when you’re an adult, I think you can stop being polite to the relatives who aren’t polite to you. Or not even polite, but at least respectful. I have an aunt and uncle in particular whose advice I take very seriously because they’re honest, but they’re not rude about it. They’ll tell me if they think I’m making a poor life choice, but they don’t call me a fucking moron. So I know from experience that it’s possible to be honest and nice at the same time. Now if only the rest of my family could get the message!

I don’t think this is too fucking much to ask for. Just pause for ten seconds before you open your damn mouth and think “How would I react to hearing what I’m about to say?” If the answer is “I’d probably want to rip someone’s face off,” maybe you should rethink your “advice” and either keep it to yourself or rephrase it. Otherwise, when I react by trying to RIP YOUR FACE OFF, don’t be fucking surprised.

Additionally, whether my relatives like it or not, I’m an adult now. I have a salaried job, that I’ve had for four years, and I own a house. I can vote and drink and drive. I really can’t think of any way in which I’m NOT an adult at this point. So it’d be nice to be treated like a fucking adult by my family, thanks. Oh, sure, they’ll let me pay for stuff now, but I can’t seem to get any actual respect from them when it comes to keeping their fucking opinions to themselves. Just pretend I’m one of your adult friends. Would you tell them they’re “being naive”? I don’t think so, because it sounds condescending and rude. If you talk to your friends that way, you deserve every punch to the face you get.

Oh, also, I know more words than you, so don’t try to use a fancy word for “stupid” as if I won’t catch it. I make my living working with words and knowing their meaning, so pulling out the biggest, fanciest-sounding word you know isn’t going to impress me. Although I suppose I should be grateful that you at least used it correctly.

Look, I understand that parents and other relatives just have the best interests of their children/nieces/nephews/cousins/etc. in mind, but once that “kid” is grown up, think twice before offering unsolicited advice. And if you decide it’s necessary, at least try and be respectful about how you offer said advice. Yeah, you’re trying to help, but sometimes that help is unwanted. Especially if it’s going to be given in the rudest and snobbiest way possible. If you can’t figure out a civil way of saying something, maybe you should keep your damn mouth shut.

And I know this complaint is as old as fucking time itself. I don’t think any of my problems are unique; that’s not why I started this blog. I started it specifically because I KNOW my problems are not unique. But that’s the kicker, here especially. EVERYONE at some point or another (except for those aforementioned weirdos who skip through fields of flowers with their parents) has this issue with a family member, where you just want to tell them to shove it but you can’t. SO WHY DOES IT KEEP HAPPENING? My parents STILL have problems with THEIR parents and siblings. But it’s like we all erase those parts of our memory and then turn around and do it to our relatives too.

So here is my reminder: CUT IT THE FUCK OUT.

When someone you know seems to suffer from this selective memory, feel free to point them to this post. Maybe it will serve as the brick to the head that they need to remember how fucking annoying it is to be treated like an idiot forever. And this way you won’t have to throw an actual brick at their head.

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