Look Beyond Family Drama for Success
The family plays a significant role in the success of any individual. Often, the extended family and relatives help to get the first job of the career. They provide an excellent recommendation to steer a career path. I know few friends who got their first career employment through uncle or distant aunt or a cousin of a cousin. For me, the influence was so extreme that I had to choose a university because my relatives lived in a particular city. The power of family and relatives was so enormous that it was tough to say no to their suggestions or their motions in any avenue of my life. I admired and felt lucky to have family help in my life, but it was getting towards toxic and detrimental influence on my career and my life.
Recently, my dad is diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson disease. My brother and I are evaluating the possibilities of long-term care. It is the bottom line that we need someone to take care of him round the clock. We decided to get input from everybody in my dad's extended family. Those who can not come in person can join us via Skype and phone. Along the meeting, I suggested nursing home. There are exquisite nursing homes in India with accommodation of religious, cultural and mindfulness activities.The tone of the meeting suddenly replaced with anger and disgust towards me and made arguments like, "he raised me, and I should serve him,' to " I am really a bad and selfish son." Their brawl is laden with heavy emotions but poor solutions.
My dad staying with us, who are no-expert in taking care of a patient with the neurological disorder will jeopardize his health. It also imperils health, comfort, and happiness of two other families. It was a simple and efficient solution. It was tough to comprehend for those who have emotional overriding their cognition and judgment.
My dad's health is one of many examples how relatives and family members drive many significant decisions to catastrophe. Career is one of those avenues. The parents and frequently, relatives influence the career and university choices. The external influence drives the trajectory in the inferior direction, and when a person realizes, it is delayed in life.
So how to keep a check on unnecessary noise coming from family members in the decision making?
If you think, the disclosure of your plan to family and relatives may affect adversely to the execution and outcome, never disclose until the end. I never reveal my career plans, my financial plans, and even wedding plans till it is time when they do not have any power to influence. I usually go with the statement " this is the situation, it is up to you to accept or no." If I have not fulfilled family expectations that I accept retaliation, anger, and tantrums just like the situation I mentioned.
Aversion as Needed.
Sometimes, the tantrums and anger run longer or from a relative who never showed up but ready to give suggestions. I dislike, and I try desperately by throwing controlled tantrums, by swearing and by unexpected aversion statements. I work hard to put that person in a shock or at least shut up. This is one of the few situation I utter fluent foul.
Business as usual-No Hard Feelings.
Once the situation dissipates, I behave as nothing happened. Irrespective of the outcome of the past events, I still keep going to ask their help if needed. After all, they are family and not the force, but opinion definitely matters. It is up to them to suggest me. I present my willingness to listen to them of repercussion of events in the past.
The bottom line is that family is a good cushion for comfort but their influence should not affect the future decision making and career goals. It is a good idea to recruit their suggestions, but passive aggression from family is detrimental. One should believe in own opinions and should not follow the familial herd of sheep for example since dad and granddad was a physician doesn't (forcefully) imply that the son has to be a doctor of some kind.
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