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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Harmony♥ Offline
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Majorly annoyed - April 13th 2011, 04:45 AM

This has two different parts to it. One is about my family and one is about my friends. I'll start with the friends one since it's sort of less complicated.

Friends: Two friends of mine recently became single. One last week and the other just became single literally like twenty minutes ago. They're both males. I'm semi-annoyed with the first friend, we'll call him L and I'm majorly annoyed with the other, we'll call him J. L had been dating my boyfriend's ex girlfriend but realized they weren't compatiable. J was dating some girl I never met before (J is an ex of mine) and broke up because she didn't know what she wanted. Both of them have come to me, as all of my friends do, during their hard time and I tell them what they don't want to hear but what they need too. I'm very blunt. I mean what I say. After talking about what happened in each of their relationships, both have said "You need to find me a woman". Seriously? What am I? Their personal pimps. It's not the first time either of them have said this, and they're not the only ones. As many people that I know, they're in relationships. All my female friends are either engaged, married or have children or currently with someone. I try to tell them this, but J has kept pushing for the better half of our conversation telling me that I need to find him one. Finally, I snapped and said that I'm not one's pimp and that he's a grown boy, he can find his own girlfriends. Am I in the wrong for feeling this way?

Family: Currently, I am living with my grandparents, mother and my older sister. My grandparents still view me as a child. It's super annoying. I'm about to turn 21 in two months, and my grandmother came up to me and said that when I turn 21, she doesn't want me hanging out in bars. I got upset and told her that is what you usually do when you are legally able to drink. Also, yesterday, after spending a few hours downtown at a museum, she flipped out on me because I had been gone all day with friends. Are you kidding me? At the age of 18, I was legally able to do what I can. Sure, it's their house, their rules. But, their rules are just becoming a tad bit too ridiculous for me now. I'm trying to find a job hardcore right now so I can take the initiative to move out and live with my boyfriend of two years since we've been planning to take that step at some point this summer. I'm just tired of being treated like a child and I want to bring this up somehow to my grandparents without sounding too bitchy about it. At least to my grandmother. She's the more understanding one. How do I go about this?

Any advice is appreciated.











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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Majorly annoyed - April 13th 2011, 07:06 PM

Hey, Shannon! I'm somewhat familiar with your situation (based on what I've read in the R&D forum); however, I don't have the whole story. So I hope you will forgive me if I come across as a bit one-sided. I am trying to see this from other people's perspectives as well as yours.

When it comes to your friends, I think the solution is pretty straight-forward. I believe you did the right thing by putting your foot down. On one hand, they may not see you as a "pimp" so much as an intelligent, insightful friend who has a way of "picking out" the right kinds of girls. For that, you should be flattered. On the other hand, I can see how their failure to take matters into their own hands, relying solely upon you for their next "squeeze", could get annoying. It could also put you in a difficult position one of these days, as your female friends may feel like you're betraying them by setting them up with male friends who have, unfortunately, records that aren't so great. I believe you should continue to support your two male friends in the emotional sense, but encourage them to find their next girlfriends on their own.

When it comes to your grandmother, it's not so straight-forward. I am only about a year older than you, so I know how frustrating it can be when parents and grandparents still see you as a child. It is frustrating to be financially dependent on relatives. I am by no means oblivious to your struggles. That being said, I urge you to try and see the situation from your grandmother's eyes. She is currently supporting her daughter and her two granddaughters. I do not know why your mother and older sister are still depending on your grandmother, but I know that, in your case, it is because you cannot find a job. It may be the same story for your mother and older sister. So, we now have three adults who are (presumably) financially dependent upon your grandparents. Your grandmother may feel frustrated as well and want you to do whatever you can to get out of the house - not because she doesn't love you, but because this situation is becoming stressful for her. If she gets it into her head that all you want to do is have fun (ex. drinking at bars and going to the museum with friends), it is understandable that she would ask you to refrain from such activities, in favor of looking for work. I have no doubt that you ARE looking for work, but you have to realize that your grandmother can only know so much. She is not watching you 24/7, and she cannot read your mind. She does not know how motivated you are, and she may be concerned that you will end up like your mother and older sister - capable of financial independence, yet failing (for whatever reason) to live up to your full potential.

When you talk to your grandmother, I would give her an outline of what you are currently doing, and what you plan to continue doing in the future. Let her see what you are doing on a DAILY basis in order to find work and achieve financial independence. Let her see that you are making that your priority. Let her see that you are only going out for drinks and hanging out with friends when you have the time to spare after a long, tiring week of job-hunting. Your grandmother may worry that, the moment you turn 21, you will start going out for drinks every night (just because you can). Show her that this will not be the case. Demonstrate that you will not be wasting time or money on "leisure" activities until you have devoted a large amount of your time toward looking for work and planning for the future with your boyfriend and eventual move out of the house. There is nothing more you can do aside from that. If you don't want your grandmother to see you as a child, you need to SHOW her that you are not a child. Talking about the plan will only get you so far - you need to be ready to implement it as well, each and every day, in a way that your grandmother can see.






   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Majorly annoyed - April 13th 2011, 09:03 PM

Well, with the family situation, both my mother and my sister work. My mother currently right now, is not however. She had to put her job on hold after she fell at her job (while working) and has been doing excessive physical therapy on her knee since. She's hoping to go back soon. The doctor made her stay off work for another six weeks (this was two weeks ago), so hopefully by mid-May she'll be back at work. But, she still buys stuff on her own. She's living with us only because her boyfriend of 10 years dumped her, then got remarried two weeks later to his ex-wife. She's been living with us for almost a year now, for this I am truly happy. We didn't have much of a relationship due to her ex while she was living with him and he was the reason why I live my grandparents in the first place. As for my sister, she works 5 days a week. However, she's too busy buying new clothes and getting her hair done to bother with helping out around the house. We're all supposed to pay rent to our grandparents, and they understand why I cannot, and why my mother really cannot either. But, as for my sister, she can do so, just chooses not too. She lived on her own for a bit but was uncomfortable with her roommate and came back to live with my grandparents, but isn't financially stable to live on her own.

I do see where my grandparents are coming from. And, it's not easy to be financially dependent on them when I was so independent financially before, only asking for some help here and there when my funds were getting a little low. They've done so much for me, and I really don't know how to give back other than try my hardest to help out around the house, and to work harder at finding a job, no matter what it might be. I'd take anything at this point!

But, thanks Robin. Again, you always know what to say! You should get your own advice column.











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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Majorly annoyed - April 13th 2011, 09:21 PM

Shannon,

You are completely in thr gith for feeling this way. Next time, you can give them ways to find girls to date. You can also explain to them that they're going to find someone when the time is right. Besides, they need to learn how to find their own girl. If it were me, I would simply tell them that you don't want to set them up any longer. If they get mad at you for it, let them be mad. If it were me, I would probably feel a bit used for my friends and my advice. It's great that they can count on you for things, but in moderation. They are in fact grown males, and they should be able to figure out how to find girls for themselves.

As for the situation with your grandma, maybe you can meet in the middle with here. While I understand how frustrated you might be, you are still living in her house. I think talking to her and getting her to ease up on you a bit more would be beneficial. Like Robin said, maybe you can give her an outline of all the things that you are doing throughout the day. It might be helpful to explain to her how you're feeling about the limits your grandparents are placing on you. Sure, legally you can go to bars and what not. But maybe your grandparents are having a hard time understanding WHY or the WANT or the POINT to going there. And you have to remember that they are from a completely different era then you, so their views on situations are going to be different. It's best just to talk it out with them, and explain that you're frustrated. Plus, your grandparents might be scared and worried about you. Bars are associated with drunk people, who are associated with bad decisions, which can lead to people getting hurt. That's probably how it is working in their minds.

Hope this helped a little bit!


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Re: Majorly annoyed - April 13th 2011, 10:03 PM

Regarding your friends, I'd have thought the phrase "you need to find me a woman" was a joke or a sign of extreme desperation. If I were you, I'd have given him a picture of a woman who weighs about 3 times his weight and said "there ya go, get to it and at it". They probably though are asking for tips and hints because it'd be embarassing to ask you straight-up to give them hints and tips. Since you only mentioned J pestering you more, I'd say he's more desperate and doesn't know much about how to get a woman and maintain a relationship. I'm assuming then that L does know more.

For your family, I think your grandmother had good intentions when she said don't go hanging out in bars. To me, that means now that you can legally drink, don't simply drink and forget all else. She could've worded it differently but that's what I take from it. I don't know your grandmother but it may be a reflection of what she did when she was that age and she's saying don't follow in those footsteps.

As for her getting angry you were out all day, it's not so clear to me the rationale. Again, could be a view of sociopolitical times and views she holds in that once you're an adult you get a job instead of hand around like a child. Alternatively, I don't wish to offend by saying this but she could be unaware of your plans possibly due to fading memory. Do you tell her your plans? If not, then she may be worrying because you're gone for a while and she doesn't know where you are, or she could have forgotten your plans you told her.

As for approaching her, tell her that you may have not been giving outlined plans and understand her frustrations. Following that, outline your intentions and what you want to do. Define it both on a daily basis (i.e. everyday tell her, which is good for her and for you) and on a long-term basis, such as you want to get a job so you can earn money, look for another place to stay, help with her finances if you can and if she needs, and tell them not to worry as you're a grown intelligent adult who understands the economic times we're facing.

My grandparents are somewhat like this although my grandfather has a pretty shitty memory for short-term information while my grandmother has much better memory and insight, although she has other psychological issues and difficulty walking from rheumatoid arthritis. Both do worry, in part from other situations they're facing as well as worry over what I'm going to do academically and socially. Sometimes they worry or give advice by saying what not to do or giving a story about themselves so I know not to do something like that. However, if I give a day-by-day plan whenever I see them and a long-term plan, they'll understand. For my grandfather, it means saying it 20 times then writing it out on paper in huge letters and having my grandmother remind him. For my grandmother, I say it once then about 1 month later, she'll recite it pretty much correctly, with the minor mix-up here and there but usually able to correct herself.


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