Do You Have Friends & Family Moochers?
So often I hear stories from single mothers of how a family member has caused them grief. In some cases the results are devastating. Others linger on for years with little or no resolution. It is the old and growing older problem of breeched boundaries.
What is one’s responsibility becomes unclear. Blame is placed without any justification whatsoever. Expectations become entitlements. And before you realize it you’ve become the enabler.
Like this fallen tree you are taking on moochers, otherwise know as parasites.
This may sound harsh to you. And perhaps you have reached that point where you’d like to be free. You’d like to stand tall and with confidence remove yourself from the situation. But how?
I have a few suggestions. These from my Life Coaching Care Pack.
- Identify the issues. Write them down so that you can see them on paper. If the person is a close relative you may not want to admit the reality. This will help. List events on a time line.
- With a different color ink or highlighter mark each event according to real need that the other person was not capable of meeting if they had handled themselves responsibly.
- On a separate page or in a column next to the time line -list how you lost or took away from yourfamily by extending yourself to the other. Keep in mind we aren’t considering gifts given out of love, but assistance given when the other party should’ve taken care of themselves.
- Once this is clear to you go on to the next step
- Ask – How might I handle this differently the next time? Don’t beat yourself up for the past. Look to the future.
- Prepare what you will say. Rehearse. For example: I’m so sorry you are in this jam or situation or trouble. I just can’t help this time.
- Do not be angry. Do not be judgmental.
- Expect a reaction. Be ready for it. And do not retaliate or lecture.
- You may feel a twinge of guilt. Know that it isn’t genuine guilt. You’ve not done something wrong.
- Pat yourself on the back.
I know this isn’t easy especially if the situation has gone on for years. Just be aware it could continue for many years to come if you don’t stand firm now.
Let me know how it goes.
I am a Certified Professional Coach and I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My Website.