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TW: Lack of compassion from family

Hey everyone,


Something that's been bothering me for a while now is my family's attitude towards anyone who is different to them. My parents are particularly bad in this way, but the rest of my extended family has also got many of these traits.


To give you an idea of what I mean, one of my sisters has a real obsession with assimilation and white Australia, and generalises people of other races as people who want to hurt others. There was one particular incident when a couple of my siblings were imitating my cousins new wife (who is Asian). My parents don't like people who are LGBTQ+ and have made that very clear over the years - and this came particularly apparent during the postal plebiscite at the end of 2017 when things came to a head.


I definitely respect the right to their views, and to a degree understand them. My parents for instance were brought up in a time when things were very different culturally, and in recent times there has been a massive cultural shift. What's getting me down is the fact that they are attacking the people involved, and not just the views, if that makes sense? And some of the people they are describing are people that I know as well so that makes things even more present and real for me.


I guess I'm feeling really conflicted about some of the issues to begin with, this just makes these feelings a whole lot worse. We all have the right to our individual opinions, and can disagree with what someone thinks about something, but I personally can't find a reason to attack the people who hold a differing opinion to yours, just because of their opinion.


I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and how you coped with it?


Thanks in advance Heart


Edit: added TW


Re: TW: Lack of compassion from family

@mrmusic I hear you Heart

I'm not quite sure how to respond, so I'm going to explain how I relate a little. Reading through I was nodding, in a lot of ways my dad is similar to what you describe of your parents in not liking those who are different to him (I like your way of wording this!)
My parents were also against the postal plebiscite and still don't like that the law changed. It was a really tricky time for me because I have very different opinions.

I agree and am similar to you in that I cannot find a reason to attack anyone who holds a differing opinion, we're all allowed to have our own view and opinion.

Coping with my parents' view on culture, gender and the LGBTQ+ community is rather tricky for me. A big part of my way of coping with it is ignoring them. Purely because it's a topic that often results in attacks on those communities and I just don't want to hear it.

I hope this helps Heart

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart


Re: TW: Lack of compassion from family

Hey @mrmusic,
I definitely agree with you that they shouldn't be disrespecting actual people. My parents are similar in the fact that they're very awkward and a bit rude about LGBTQ+ people. For example, if they see a man dressed in a 'different' style to what they were used to seeing they would label him as being gay. I'll give them credit for this though, they aren't actively shaming the community, they just don't know what to say and find it extremely awkward.

I would say, like @Bee said, just ignore it, it's better to just not say anything then start a fight Smiley Sad
Sorry if this was no help Smiley Sad

Re: TW: Lack of compassion from family

Thank you for sharing this @mrmusic, its such a hard place to be in when your parents are holding views and values that contradict with your own.

I know this is something many people are struggling with, as social views and norms are progressing in many positive ways, especially for young people, but other generations have the views and values that they grew up with. 


I think making sure you have a support network of people who share your beliefs and values is so important. This can help you stay connected to ideas that you believe in, and a place to get support when you're hearing racist or discriminatory views at home. 


I know for me, one of the most powerful moments in my journey with this stuff, was when I went to the Yes rally in Sydney in 2017. I know many people who were not on board with the yes vote, and that was really hard, especially in the lead up. Going to the rally was such a beautiful day of feeling connected to a larger vision that I believed in, and was affirming for me to see such a huge group of people fighting for the same cause. If there's ways for you to get involved or connected in that way, it can be really helpful. 


I can imagine your incredible capacity to be compassionate and patient extends to your family, and that's a wonderful thing. I can imagine you'd be all over this, but make sure you give yourself permission to have breaks and time out from your family especially if these kinds of issues come up. 


I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here

Re: TW: Lack of compassion from family

Hey @Bee @annabethxchase @gina-RO, thanks so much for responding.


Unfortunately ignoring them isn't that much of an option, as these conversations tend to happen in family spaces, such as the dinner table. I do try and lessen the impact somewhat by trying to be open to all different opinions and views, but it is hard.


I really wish people would be more willing to listen to what other people have to say. That is a huge problem, and part of the reason why I think things are so difficult between various groups in society. As a Christian, I have experienced this with many people who don't practise religion - you don't have to agree with me, but please give me a chance to explain myself.


I'm sorry if this makes no sense, but it's quite hard to explain!


Re: TW: Lack of compassion from family

Hey @mrmusic, I can see where you're coming from, and what you're saying does make sense. My family are similar in the sense that they have many views (e.g. homophobia) with which I don't agree.

I'd love for there to be some sort of solution I could offer, but I haven't found one yet. I think it's so important (and admirable) that you're able to maintain different views from them and to see the power of empathy. Smiley Happy

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: TW: Lack of compassion from family

@mrmusic I'm sorry to hear that these conversations are happening in family spaces, and avoiding them isn't really an option. It is so admirable that you try to be open to different opinions and views! Smiley Happy It can be hard for sure, but I want to acknowledge that this is so good you are doing this!

Like @letitgo I'd love for there to be some kind of solution (other than ignoring it) but haven't discovered one yet.

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart