Home » Society: Norms & Expectations » Family, Friends Or Foe?

Family, Friends Or Foe?

Recently, well after events unfolded my with Grandmother (Nanna) breaking her hip and leg bones. I have begun thinking of the above labels, and how we apply these to people; how often these labels overlap, freely and disconcertingly.

Family; our kith and kin, our blood, our own, firm relationships and bonds.

Friends; connection, understanding, empathy, shared experiences and interests.

Foe; can be a stranger or the above turned sour and against you.

Family to me seem the strangest ‘kettle of fish’ of all the labels. Fathoming why they are as they are, and why they often profess to be on your side, but all too quickly forget that if the ‘chips are down’, is life’s impossible task.

Why are these kins folk so quick to turn against you, abandon you and use you??

Surely that isn’t in the definition of what a family member is supposed to be??

Yes, family are still people, humans; just because they are flesh and blood or linked by marriage doesn’t mean they will naturally be my firm allies. I know that. Yet, the very ones who let me down first are the ones I think wouldn’t, the ones who claim they are on my side.

In fact there has been one person whom has adopted a complete silence about even acknowledging there has been any problem, that my Nanna has been hospitalised. This person hasn’t even asked once if all is well. I always hear about this persons problems, yet now this person can’t be bothered to even enquire how I am!!!


Yet, they seem happy enough to brag up how wonderful their family is; yes, I bet they are – perfection personified – NOT!    These silly little acts meant to gloss over their recent conduct, and the issues they choose to ignore!!! Goodness me.

I really am stumped regarding this silent treatment, but feel that enough is enough. This is not the definition of family I recognise. If I am good enough to be there for them when they need something or require advice, well, consider this privilege rescinded. I am fed-up of being there for others and having nothing in return. The selfishness of some people knows NO bounds!!!

I can turn my back too, so don’t worry. YOU will need me before I will need you.



23 thoughts on “Family, Friends Or Foe?

  1. Hope your Nanna is doing well..
    Reading this it’s like you took the thoughts right out of my head. I’m going thru a similar thing and at times have wondered what is the point in trying to be there for people who are quick to turn their back when you need them the most. Sometimes it’s easier to walk away and avoid disappointment. Hang in there.

    • Thank you, she is doing well at the moment. Thanks for your concern, I appreciate it 🙂
      It is good to know other people feel the same, or are going through similar situations; it does make me feel a little more comfort.
      Yes, what you have stated it very true, it does make you wonder.
      Thank you, and you hang in there too. Hoping your situation improves too.
      Bex 🙂

  2. I do hope your grandmother is okay and recovers quickly! I think that people who have perfectly wonderful families (are they really out there?) find it hard to believe that family could act this way. I, however, know that being “family” doesn’t always mean love, support, security and affection. Best wishes to you and keep holding your head high.

    • Hi Lola,
      Thank you for your kindness; yes, my Nanna is doing well, which is fantastic and makes me happy!!!
      There has to be families that endure very little in the way of clashing and all the bad stuff; somewhere they have to exist. Yet, I think most do experience some bad stuff; sort of goes with the territory I think anyway.
      Thank you for your best wishes, I appreciate them 🙂 I will continue to keep my head up high (well, will try anyway)!
      Thanks again, Bex

    • Unfortunately this is the family most people know. Not all my family are this way, but some of them, God you would choose a stranger over them any day of the week!!! Glad, or sad, that you too feel this way – it sucks big time. Thanks for your response though, I appreciate the empathy!!!! Let us try to remain positive that things can change 🙂


  4. I see family as a buffer between me and the outside world which can sometimes seem cold and uncaring. Sorry that yours has let you down. Wishing you and your nanna well. 🙂

  5. Blanking – not nice at all, and it may lead to tragical traffic accidents (those who know Black Books should now have a very specific episode on their mind).

    Where was I? Oh yes… Family and its perks are often taken for granted, which shouldn’t be, but hell, what we take for granted… it is a general state of obliviousness that leads us to disappoint our friends and family. We all do it, and when we become aware of it, we are often too ashamed to apologize, we get defensive, relationships suffer… a good family and friendship is one where trust is fostered, because you can’t apologize to someone whom you don’t trust to forgive you – I’m not talking about the casual apology for stepping on someone’s toe in the metro, of course, but personal things

    • Thanks for your rely on this topic. I think you are right about what creates a ‘stalemate’ situation – being a little ashamed or perhaps even oblivious. Thinking of this person, I’d say they are oblivious of the fact they have even missed something important.
      Thanks though, your words make sense.
      Bex 🙂

  6. Hope your Grandmum feels better soon. I was so sorry to hear about her ill health. I wish her a speedy recovery.
    As for your family and you been disappointed with their reactions-I think sometimes the people we love and look up to let us down. It hurts especially when it’s family and we expect them to be there for us when the times get hard. Especially since they are also related to your Grandmum.
    I understand how you feel. I hope that you have enough friends and other family members to surround you and fill you with strength and hope during this tough phase. *Hugs*

    • Thanks for this – I certainly appreciate your kindness, and good wishes for my Nanna and myself. That is sweet of you indeed.
      Yes, well, hopefully so as there are always more than one thing which will come to test us! Some of which has just occurred quite recently. Perhaps the family will prove their salt, yet, they do in general, and I love them dearly; just niggles from time to time that mean nothing really. I think it is case of me having to prove my salt now actually.
      Thanks again, and I sincerely appreciate your kindness.

  7. Bex,

    First, I’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother and my prayers go out for her full recovery. My grandmother has recently fallen into ill health so I know how hard it is to go through something like this. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    As to your frustration over family members not reciprocating the support I would say this: You should never give of yourself to anyone else with the expectation of getting something in return. The act of lending support and compassion to those who need it should be done because you want to do it. When we set expectations for others based on the expectations we have for ourselves then we are usually disappointed. I find it best to never expect anything from anyone and only be concerned with my own actions, that way I don’t spend needless energy being angry or upset with people who aren’t worth it in the first place; friend, foe or family!

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your kind words, understanding and pieces of advice. I appreciate it. Things are becoming better for her thanks; the only issue is I cannot be there with her.
      Yes, I know – and I do ‘lend a hand’ freely, and didn’t expect anything from this person other than merely ‘How is your Nanna’? Which isn’t too much to expect from someone who is family. It upset me as this person has acted as though nothing has occurred, and is completely blanking me!!
      I know it perhaps shouldn’t bother me as this is their ‘failing’, they are being unfeeling, but I question how they can be this way so coolly! Where is their empathy? It has made me see this person differently, as I didn’t think they’d be like this at all.
      I am now taking time out of associating with them. I don’t need their strange behaviour as I have enough things to think about, without them being added to the list too!!!!
      Thanks for your input!!!!!!
      Bex 😀

      • You’re so very welcome! I am glad to hear that your Nanna is doing better and recovering, that’s great news! Like you, I am also unable to be with my grandmother but I am actually flying home to see her this weekend!

        I think you’re doing the right thing by choosing not to associate with that family member right now. Given their apparent lack of empathy I would imagine that expressing your disappointment to them would have little to no effect and would just be a waste of time. Stay strong and positive!

  8. Dear Savvy,
    Some Zen Buddhist once said words to this effect: if you think you’re enlightened, go and spend two weeks with your parents. Personally, I think that should be expanded: if you think you’re enlightened, live with your family. What I’m saying, then, is that you’ve hit a rich vein here. It’s definitely worth feeling all the confusion and anger that arises. But it’s also definitely worth remembering that pointing the finger of blame at someone requires that you point three fingers back at yourself. You can’t deal with their problems, their shortcomings. But you can begin to reflect on your own imperfections. It requires enormous humility and I’d recommend you sweeten it with large doses of compassion towards yourself so that the blame game dissolves. I’m really giving this advice to myself, of course, so all I can say to you is, thanks for raising the issue. Oh, and I do hope that your grandmother heals in the best way possible for her, given her own conditions.

    • Hi Lucy,
      Thanks for this, interesting and perhaps exactly what I required to ‘come down’ a little!!
      I understand and I do feel in general not really ‘angry’ or that I shall hold a grudge. I suppose today it needed to be vented! It will pass as it does, but sometimes I just feel used!!!! It is as though I give of myself quickly, yet others seem to be mean of giving of themselves. I try not to point the finger, but some emotions have to be siphoned off – occasionally. Albeit, though it makes not one difference in the long haul!!
      Thanks again for your input, appreciate it!!!!
      Bex 🙂

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