REAL STORIES
BY REAL PEOPLE Search
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Expectancy Breeds Resentment

by Theresa H Hall (writer), East Coast USA, August 26, 2010

Credit: JCTownsley 2008
Sibling rivalry

Do you find yourself feeling this way when you perceive someone is about to upset you? Do you feel edgy weeks prior to an event? You're not alone. You're normal.

Anticipating an outcome before an event has even taken place is something many of us do, particularly around social gatherings for business, parties, reunions and especially before those jolly good traditional family gatherings. Sibling rivalry rears its ugly head and comments muttered under ones breath are spoken just loudly enough that the intended relative knows it was intended for them. Sparks fly, tensions mount and before you know it an explosion of pent-up hurts and decades-old anger bubble over the surface.

Year-after-year now, many people look forward to getting together with their families and dreading it, too. It is seldom they have ever been completely in-accord with one another and that's a sad thing. Dysfunctional together, yet perfectly normal in their own homes, they tend to react. They become what they try so hard to suffocate. Mr. Ugly has his way and eggs them on, until they cannot help it. They say the very thing they never intended not to say. They were just waiting for the right moment. You are not alone in this either. Many people think up things to say beforehand, just in case they might need some sibling ammunition. Normal.

"Do you find yourself feeling this way when you perceive someone is about to upset you? Do you feel edgy weeks prior to an event? You're not alone. You're normal".

Most of you out there know what it is to absolutely love your family, do anything for them, protect them and defend them from an outsider, but will take them to task and allow childish hurts to be resurrected. It makes one want to take a trip, be unavailable, out-of-town for the holidays. Still arguably, loving the holidays, they innocently look forward to getting together with these people they love. "What's wrong with us, we hardly ever get to see each other!" they demand of themselves. "Why cannot we drop our defenses and release the past in order to truly relax and enjoy our company? Why is there always resentment just under the surface of our politeness?"

They start off expecting this holiday gathering to be better than last year. They expect everyone to smile with a singular purpose (without the sneering and jeering of meaningful looks), without glances that belie the curve of their mouths. They expect sincerity to ooze out and everything to be Pollyanna Perfect ... but it won't work. Believe me. Someone will say the wrong thing, let slip a secret they were never-ever to mention, or insist upon taking that photograph they know the subject doesn't want taken. Why, oh why, do grown-ups still behave like kids!

This year is already tugging on you to relinquish the past and embrace the holiday spirit. To expect the best and not allow resentments to creep in, trying to ward-off resentments. If you're a betting person ... I wouldn't bet on your intentions either.

Remember to adore your family ... even if you wonder how some of them were allowed in! Ha!



About the Writer

Theresa H Hall is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
Want to write articles too? Sign up & become a writer!

8 comments on Expectancy Breeds Resentment

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Libdrone on August 26, 2010 at 07:23 pm

My temprement is to be a worry wart. And for many, many years I used to worry a lot. A huge part of my personal growth has been about learning to live in the moment, while continuing to plan and work for the future, regretting the past as little as possible and teaching myself not to Worry about things and react only to what is actually happening right now, today. It is Not easy, but after 15 years of trying I have gotten a Lot better at it.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Jack Bates on August 26, 2010 at 07:48 pm

Very clear and communicative writing style, yet keeping a conversational tone. I LOVE it! As you mention, holidays are creeping closer. I manage them by not staying with family members anymore. Their house, their rules and they peg you in the role you had decade/s ago. If you have to retreat to a hotel every night, that is a reminder that you have moved beyond what they remember you as. It also gives you a place to calm, that is safe, to reflect. The gym access helps to burn off stress, too! One with a hot tub is just icing on the cake :-)

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Theresa H Hall on August 26, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Libdrone, I do try what you do and sometimes I am quite successful in doing it. the worry part is still alive and actice. Tonight I admonished myself while watching House Hunters International. I was trying to help the British couple choose which house would be the safest for them, during their search in Spain. Next, I saw another episode where an Arizona family was searching in some Turk Islands, and when they showed a dock right on the ocean, I started becoming uneasy for them. I imagined (all by myself), nighttime pirates creeping ashore. I told myself "Enough! Stop being paranoid!" I could have slapped my face for becoming scared. (I am sitting here laughing so hard I am shaking) Ha ha ha ha ha!

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Theresa H Hall on August 26, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Melody, You offer very loving and sound advice. I will admit to having done this very thing, many, many times. Oh well, practice makes the master.

This year I choose to be really serene and filled with light mirth.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Theresa H Hall on August 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Jack, I almost howled when I read (and Il quote you), "If you have to retreat to a hotel every night, that is a reminder that you have moved beyond what they remember you as. It also gives you a place to calm, that is safe, to reflect. The gym access helps to burn off stress, too! One with a hot tub is just icing on the cake :-) ." I actually pictured the whole scene.

We are very normal. Ha!

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Libdrone on August 27, 2010 at 12:06 am

Theresa,

All you can do is try to work at it, day by day. I do have an idea of what you are going through and believe me, I empathize. (I also love watching House Hunters; my spouse and I often yell out advice during that show ;)

I find that the last couple of days I have been lashing out and it bothers me a bit. Yesterday on BC I snapped at a newbie (who asked a very often asked and answered question) to "use the search box to look it up". Feeling pentitent I posted a thread of advice for new bloggers to BC this morning. Then this afternoon a newbie spammed a msg to three boards here on BrooWaha. I sent him a PM explaining that saying the same thing twice is spamming and that it is not ok. He responded by posting a message that made clear he is Very inexperienced in online discussions and I kind of bit his head off in That thread. Then, still feeling aggrieved I wrote a Very long post about online communities and why spam, among other things Really isn't ok. And now I'm wondering, if I can't hold my temper with people who are really just making ignorant and innocent errors, can I ever really hope to share what I know and help newcomers become old hands...

TMI?

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Theresa H Hall on August 27, 2010 at 12:30 am

Cher, I am still working on a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, "Excuses Begone" and he talks about how family members force themselves to get together for holidays and they have nothing in common or they don't even like each other. My thing is expecting the holidays to be one way and sometimes, sadly they turn out much differently. I'm a holiday and celebration sort of person. Old fashioned in many respects. There are times when one might ask is they are really related to their siblings. We've seen enough television shows or movies where this is obvious.

Just thought I'd take a stab and get everyone to plan early this year. Ha.

 Report abuse

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Theresa H Hall on August 27, 2010 at 12:32 am

Libdrone,

Breathe, stop obsessing, forgive yourself and move on. there is always tomorrow. Whenever you want to chew someone out, especially on line, I want you to bite your tongue. Not so hard it will hurt, but to stop the next words from being uttered.

I'll stop by to read your article tomorrow as I am half-asleep. Be cool, be nice. Hugs!

 Report abuse



Add A Comment!

Click here to signup or login.


Rate This Article


Your vote matters to us



x


x