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Unappreciative Family Members?

Joan JerkovichSeptember 12, 2014

I’ve always thought that family should stick together and help each other out, but I’m tired of feeling unappreciated. I’m a single mom raising my son and when my nephew lost his job I let him and his girlfriend move in with me.

While I was working and going to school, they were supposed to both be looking for jobs, but I think they spent more time just laying around. They were getting food stamps, but never shared any groceries with me or my son and never helped out around the house.

I had been asking them to leave, but things got really nasty and almost came to blows when I told them to clean the kitchen while I was at work. When I came home and it wasn’t done, their excuse was that it wasn’t their mess. I felt they should at least help me out since they’d been living for free with me for so long and neither of them was working.

The girlfriend really got in my face so I packed up their stuff, left it on the front porch and locked them out. Other people in the family are telling me I should have known these two would act like this, and that I should have never left them in my house in the first place. I’ve always thought family should help each other out, but now I’m wondering if it was worth it?

I know, you hate to stop being that generous person that you are just because of this one bad egg in the family, but let’s talk about how you can balance your generosity with setting personal boundaries. And, by the way, from what you wrote I think you were doing a pretty darn good job of setting expectations and boundaries with these two, so please don’t beat yourself up over this one experience! Let’s move forward and learn from it instead…

When you think of being generous, do you expect something in return for your generosity? I think that’s the real trigger in these situations that can leave you feeling used, taken advantage of and, as you said, unappreciated. Having said that, I feel that generosity does at the very least deserve a “Thanks”.

I’m sure that if these two squatters who were camping out in your home would have thrown out a simple “Thank you” once in a while, and given about ten minutes worth of helping out now and then, they could have extending their squatting a couple more weeks? Duh. Their stupidity got their crap thrown out on the porch. Who knows which open couch they found to occupy until they get thrown out again?

I recently attended a seminar for nonprofit organizations teaching them the correct way to get donations. The number one reason an organization would not get a repeat donation from a donor is if a thank you isn’t sent out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a donation for $5 or $500, if there’s no thank you, you can cross that donor off your list.

The same should be true of unappreciative squatter family members. Cross this one off your list and chalk this up as lessons learned. And please don’t quit being that beautiful, generous person that you are. We need more of you in this world! For real!!

Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~
• What did you know about this couples habits before letting them move in to your home?
• Could other family members have told you that you could expect this from them?
• How might you in the future more carefully select which family members you will go to bat for?
• Is there a situation where you can be generous with no expectation of even a thank you?
• How could you have enforced your expectations and personal boundaries more sternly prior to the situation “almost coming to blows”?
• When being generous, have you considered asking for a thank you or other form of appreciation?
• How can you teach others to show gratitude instead of stewing inside with the feeling that they are ungrateful?

Joan Jerkovich, BCC Board Certified Life Coach

Joan Jerkovich, BCC
Board Certified Life Coach

The Joan Jerkovich Show
News Radio 1150 KSAL
Saturdays @ 6:00 am CST
Podcast posts to Mondays

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