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Getting Nervous Because Of Spending Time With Religious Relatives


Amethyst
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Ok, so starting tonight, I'm going to be spending most of my time this weekend with religious people. This is why I don't look forward to the holidays. I have to spend time with people I have nothing in common with simply because they're family or friends of the family.

 

So tonight I'm going to my parents' very Catholic friend's to celebrate Christmas with them. They at least know I'm agnostic, but I'm afraid they're going to push religion down my throat anyway. I don't know what they're going to do because I haven't spent much time with them since I told them I wasn't religious anymore.

 

Then Sunday I'm going to visit my stepmom's mom. She's Methodist. I'm going to probably end up having to go to church too. Gah. :ugh:

 

Then after that we are going to my stepmom's cousins' and they're not only religious, they're fundy.

 

I'm looking forward to New Year's eve, when at least I will finally get to spend some time with my friends with whom I actually have something in common with. I just wish I had an alternative to having to spend time with people who I don't really have anything in common with, but it's either that or be alone at home. My grandma, I don't mind visiting. She's a sweetie. But the rest? Meh.

 

Maybe it's just me being an introvert, I don't know. But I don't really care for all this being obligated to visit the entire family thing that most Americans feel they have to do over the holidays. I always feel like a fish out of water trying to make small talk with people I only see once a year, whom I have nothing in common with anyway.

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I hear ya; the forced socialization of the holidays is about as bad as the forced gift-giving that goes along with it.

 

Why can't people just be good to each other all year 'round instead of bullshit it once a year on Xmas? It's almost hypocritical.

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I hear ya; the forced socialization of the holidays is about as bad as the forced gift-giving that goes along with it.

 

Why can't people just be good to each other all year 'round instead of bullshit it once a year on Xmas? It's almost hypocritical.

 

I agree. People should just visit people at other times during the year instead of using the holidays as an excuse to visit them and doing everything all at once. Then there wouldn't be as much stress.

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I've dealt with this before. Generally speaking, most people won't even mention religion; even amongst fundies, it's usually one or two that lead the herd. In any case, you're bound to be asked to join in some religious thing, such as prayer. Simply respond along the lines of, "Oh, you go on ahead without me." If they insist you join them in their delusion, respond with, "Goodness, no, I insist you go on ahead; honestly, I'd feel quite silly." Naturally, they will ask why you'd feel silly, to which you would respond along the lines of, "Oh, I don't believe in those ancient myths anymore; but you go ahead, I wouldn't want to ruin it for you." Of course, you might expect the hard-core ones to push further, but this is very easily diffused. Simply tell them you see no proof of a god. Of course, they will try to present evidence, but this is usually quite easily dismissed; such a god ought to be self-evident, just as a trip to the north pole should reveal the existence of Santa Claus. Always take a passive stance; that is, you don't want to ruin Christmas for anyone, and that they're welcome to partake in whatever religious rites they wish, but you're just content to enjoy their company and you love them in spite of their beliefs. This way, you'll be seen as the "Good guy," and if they keep on the pressure, they'll be perceived as the "Bad guy." Again, realize that, even in a family, there are usually only 1-2 hard-core fundies; the rest of the people will be on your side if you demonstrate your intent to just want a cheerful, peaceful time with everybody.

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I hear ya; the forced socialization of the holidays is about as bad as the forced gift-giving that goes along with it.

 

Why can't people just be good to each other all year 'round instead of bullshit it once a year on Xmas? It's almost hypocritical.

I totally agree with that point. Maybe people overdo it so much at this time of year that they're burned out and don't want to be so good later on. I like to have special times and gifts at times other than birthdays and Christmas. I'm actually glad that none of the cousins and extended family in this area would want to get together for Christmas. We get to spend it however we like with the exception of going to see my one grandma and aunt who live in my town at some point around Christmas, but even so I see them pretty regularly anyway and don't mind going over there.

 

Sparkyone

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Pretending that you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or diarrhoea can be convenient at times like this!!

 

As I actually have a condition similar to IBS, people believe me all too readily.

 

Useful for getting out of Grace and a variety of monologues. Could even be used for the sermon at a church service???

 

Not really honest and not confronting the issue head on, but many of us are just not ready yet for a head on confrontation.

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Fortunately, the majority of my family members are Catholic and we have an unspoken "don't ask, don't tell" thing going on. However, I do have a Jehovah's witness and a few super fundamentalist protestants I have to avoid every year.

 

:ugh:

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Maybe it's just me being an introvert, I don't know. But I don't really care for all this being obligated to visit the entire family thing that most Americans feel they have to do over the holidays. I always feel like a fish out of water trying to make small talk with people I only see once a year, whom I have nothing in common with anyway.

 

I can empathize.

 

I've been dealing with feelings similar to what you expressed my entire life: when I was a Christian with my non-Christian relatives, and now as a non-Christian with my Christian relatives.

 

 

Unfortunately, the only real solution I've ever found is to move so far away that you have an excuse for not returning during the holidays. There were many holidays I spent alone or with friends in another state, and I enjoyed those occasions. If I came home, there was always a lot of tension.

 

Now I'm finally old enough to drop out of all the extended family nonsense, and no one dares say anything. Yeah!

 

Family get togethers: Bleh...

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I've dealt with this before. Generally speaking, most people won't even mention religion; even amongst fundies, it's usually one or two that lead the herd. In any case, you're bound to be asked to join in some religious thing, such as prayer. Simply respond along the lines of, "Oh, you go on ahead without me." If they insist you join them in their delusion, respond with, "Goodness, no, I insist you go on ahead; honestly, I'd feel quite silly."

 

I usually just bow my head but don't say anything when it comes to prayers. I am also still in the Ex-C closet when it comes to most of my relatives.

 

I do still have some relatives on my dad's side who are fundies, but I won't be seeing them this year for the holidays, thank goodness. It's my stepmom's Catholic relatives I'm more worried about, because I only see them like once a year.

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Well, I'm a pagan, and I'll be spending Christmas Eve with my fundamentalist, (though not intorllerant), Mother-In-Law. I'll probably read a part of Luke's Gospel [sp?] about the nativity. For me, it will just bring back pleasant memories of watching Charlie Brown as a kid, and make me think of Mithras.

 

I don't bow my head at grace, but I shut up. Since I believe in the U.S.A. you have the right to believe or not as you wish, I won't ruin someone's holiday.

 

I guess I'm fortunate that my Mother-In-Law doesn't prostylatize at the drop of a hat. I've told her point blank what I believe about the Buy-Bull and Christianity and we get along fine.

 

She once tried to "save" me by asking if I would open my hear to Jesus. I laughed and quoted Gandalf from Lord Of The Rings "A prisoner who escapes from the rooftop will not walk into the front door." (Okay, so maybe I mis quoted LOTR. :Doh: )

 

She was quite taken aback, but never tried to "save" me again.

 

I can guarantee you that there would have been some serious fireworks if she had.

 

Amethyst, all's I can say is that you come across as an intelligent and thoughtful person; and that you'll be able to deflect any negativitiy thrown your way. I feel badly that you'll be uncomfortable, and I hope you can get to a place where the holdiays aren't so stressful for you.

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Am off any min to spend the night at my christian grandparents house dinner with my mom and her friends and siss and then christmas day with the whole fam... yikes... am having some wine tonight at dinner though... and am bringing books and stuff to do when after the grandparents go to bed

 

Happy Festivities to everyone... and yep I ll be the only non xian one there... or doubter as my sis calls me..

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