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Hello,

I am a 20-year-old INFP female and my family is toxic. My family is Asian and consists of my mother (Chinese), father (Vietnamese) , older sister (American born Chinese), and my aunt (Chinese).

We have a problem of taking our frustrations out on each other constantly.

The problem was first bought up from my older sister. For background information, my aunt is living with us and has a habit of buying luxury goods such as brand name purses. My sister hates this and has a problem with my aunt where she is fed up with my aunt (she is a hypocrite) degrading, constantly nitpicking and calling her mean nicknames. I am closer with this aunt and my sister constantly tells I’ll never know how she feels and how I’m a suck up and never defend her. I don’t know what she wants from me. I’m naturally timid and my aunt humors me but doesn’t listen to me (neither does my parents).

It used to be only a few remarks here and there, but she constantly rants to me about how ungrateful our family is. Our family works together in a shop and spends a lot of time with each other. For background information my dad is a Vietnamese refugee, so he tells us about how lucky we are now compared to h then but then goes on these rants at the shop about money, and how we are all going to starve to death. My dad and mom feel stressed about financial issues leading to arguments with my mom. This lead to my dad constantly complaining about losing customers (there weren’t wearing masks, so we kicked them out) at the shop. He tells us how we’re going to end up homeless and blaming us while telling us we’re going to become beggars who eat scraps off the streets.

I’ve taken to staying at home with my aunt because of the pandemic recently and due to the fact I have a really weak immune system while my family goes off to work and calling my sister down when busy. My sister hates the negative environment down at the store. She bombarded my phone with texts ranting about how ungrateful, negative, and absolutely crazy my parents are being for constantly complaining and blaming her for not helping me with my academics since I’m graduating college this year. Basically I'm a extra stress factor and burden to her.

I’ll be honest with you I don’t know how she feels because I’m not her so of course I would not. I don’t what I can do to help. She calls me a spoiled bitch and says that I’m not responsible enough. I don’t deny that I am spoiled in some ways (so is she) and just plain weird in other ways not to mention I have a technology addiction. Not doing anything is just as worse as doing something wrong, and I’m just off to the sidelines just there. I don’t know how to help and I’ve sometimes taken to hiding out in my room just to get a break from her yelling at me 24/7.

I need a third person (non-bias) perceptive on this.

Advice is appreciated.
 

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Hello Perlanthesis,

Perhaps you'll find your situation a bit similar to mine and thus can do some of the things I do to keep happy. I won't say that my situation is as bad as yours was, but I hope you can understand that I had some of the same feelings you had. My father, similar to yours, came to the States from Vietnam. He's actually Southern Chinese, but he grew up there after being a war refugee. I think as a result of the cultural revolution and special sort of family upbringing, he has a much different mindset than the rest of my family. He may have had to repress his opinions when younger, saw various hardships and learned to trust only himself. He did work very hard to get himself educated and immigrate into the States, so he believes in the need to lecture others often. I think he's an INTP.

A few years back, we were doing very poorly financially, so squabbles would break out. While it was mostly his fault that the finances weren't taken care of, he would never take suggestions or admit to his faults. This continual insecurity just near drove my ISTJ mother mad. Still, he pressured the rest of us to do some less than morally correct things. Of course, my mother and I refused, so he continues to say to us, "Zhong zhong jik jik qi zhong hutsik." It's Cantonese, but roughly translated it means, "Honest people eventually become beggars."

It's very hard to reason with him. What was meant to be a short discussion about his financial plans quickly turns into a racially charged lecture. Sometimes it's about education. I used to just end the conversation with him and get away because it's not fun being talked at, but doing so didn't solve the problem or ease tensions.

I can't relate to having a sister like that though. My sister is a great person. It must be hard on your sister to have to deal with all that blaming, and it's easy to take on their words as being real and then to unfairly pass it along to you. Your sister must have it rough, but maybe she does some good things sometimes?

I think what you're trying to ask is how to be happier? Well first, to address the spoiled ___ insult: you can't actually be spoiled if you're grateful for the things you receive. It's good to just reflect on all the things you do have in your life: a roof over your head, food to eat, a chance for education. They weren't forced to provide these things for you, and better yet, if you tell them you're grateful for them I suspect you'll receive a good reaction. Being more appreciative in general also increases how happy you can be.

Lectures aren't fun to sit through, but if you look beyond that, he wouldn't be lecturing you if he didn't care at all. Maybe he just wants to talk, maybe he wants to feel like he accomplished something by teaching you something. Granted, some of the advice might be the opposite of what you should be doing; nevertheless, you can always thank them for telling you. I take time to just let my father talk at me. I acknowledge his points, thank him, and then don't apply what he said. From time to time, I also ask him how his day was, just to let him know I care. He still wants to lecture me, but it's less abrasive now.

As hard as it seems to hope for a happy family life, giving up on hoping is unacceptable to me.
 

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  • Father: Vietnamese; Mother, Aunt: Chinese; Sister: American born Chinese
  • Our family works together in a shop and spends a lot of time with each other.
  • We have a problem of taking our frustrations out on each other constantly.

5 Individuals = 20 Relations. No wonder it gets complicated!

Father
→ Mother

+ My dad and mom feel stressed about financial issues

Father → Aunt

Father → Sister

Father → You:

+ doesn’t listen to me

+ constantly complaining about losing customers

+ he tells us about how lucky we are now compared to then but then goes on these rants at the shop about money, and how we are all going to starve to death.

+ He tells us how we’re going to end up homeless and blaming us while telling us we’re going to become beggars who eat scraps off the streets.



Mother → Father

+ My dad and mom feel stressed about financial issues

Mother → Aunt

Mother → Sister

Mother → You

+ doesn’t listen to me


Aunt
→ Father

Aunt → Mother

Aunt → Sister

Aunt → You

+ I’m naturally timid and my aunt humors me but doesn’t listen to me (neither does my parents).


Sister → Father

+ how ungrateful, negative, and absolutely crazy my parents are being for constantly complaining and blaming her for not helping me with my academics since I’m graduating college this year.

Sister → Mother

+ how ungrateful, negative, and absolutely crazy my parents are being for constantly complaining and blaming her for not helping me with my academics since I’m graduating college this year.

Sister → Aunt

+ My sister hates this and has a problem with my aunt where she is fed up with my aunt (she is a hypocrite) degrading, constantly nitpicking and calling her mean nicknames.

Sister → You

+ My sister constantly tells I’ll never know how she feels and how I’m a suck up and never defend her. I don’t know what she wants from me.

+ She bombarded my phone with texts ranting about how ungrateful, negative, and absolutely crazy my parents are being for constantly complaining and blaming her for not helping me with my academics since I’m graduating college this year. Basically I'm an extra stress factor and burden to her.

Sister → ‘Individuals in the store’


+ My family … calling my sister down when busy. My sister hates the negative environment down at the store.


You → Father

You → Mother

You → Aunt:

+ living with us and has a habit of buying luxury goods such as brand name purses

+ constantly rants to me about how ungrateful our family is.

+ I am closer with this aunt


You → Sister

+ My sister constantly tells I’ll never know how she feels and how I’m a suck up and never defend her. I don’t know what she wants from me.

+ I don’t what I can do to help. She calls me a spoiled bitch and says that I’m not responsible enough. I don’t deny that I am spoiled in some ways (so is she) and just plain weird in other ways not to mention I have a technology addiction. Not doing anything is just as worse as doing something wrong, and I’m just off to the sidelines just there. I don’t know how to help and I’ve sometimes taken to hiding out in my room just to get a break from her yelling at me 24/7.



For the sake of greater clarity, I have arranged the relationships in a somewhat more systematic way.

1) You could write something about the family hierarchy.

2) Are there alliances, or do you see possible future alliances?

3) How you grade your own relations to the other family members?

4) How do you grade the other relations, from your point of view, of course?

5) The professional solution would of course be family therapy, but your father, or whoever has the power of decision, will not agree with that, or?

6) You could talk in the future to the person with whom you get along best about whether a family conference could be convened where the problems could be discussed and where everyone could and should express their views on the problems in the family. Of course, nothing should be rushed.

7) Each person, i.e. you first, as long as the others are not yet involved, should hierarchise the own relationships, from the most problematic relationship to the least problematic.

8) Do you know the MBTI types of the other family members?

9) A spontaneous suggestion for the family conference, which I can’t resist. There should be three books for the family:

Book 1: How life was in Vietnam
Your father is allowed to write as much he wants, and the others can add questions which he can answer in writing.

Book 2: Prophecies
The collection of your father’s prophecies, and the (counter-)prophecies of the others as well.

Book 3: Complaints about family members
Anyone can complain in Book 3; however, if the complaints become too numerous, a fee must be charged so that the complaints don’t get out of hand. From now on it is strictly forbidden to make oral complaints which are only repetitions or variations of former complaints. It is also pointed out that humans possess a faculty that is usually called memory.

So much for today.


International Systemic Constellations Association, ISCA
http://isca-network.org/wp-content/uploads/jane-peterson-article-on-FC.pdf
 
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