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And depending on the dynamics and interactions of your own extended family, you can have other difficult family members (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents) who are regularly in your life making you miserable.
(I'm going to leave spousal relationships and relationships with your own children for another discussion, as they are your primary family unit and problems here must be handled differently.) So how can you cope with and manage these family members who are so difficult and disruptive?
If you can intellectually understand the source of your family member's behaviors, then make an intellectual decision about how you want to treat this person in spite of their behaviors.
Attempting to punish them with your anger or retribution won't change their behavior if they are so entrenched in their own “stuff.” Make a rational decision about who you want to be around this person, and practice being that person even if you don't feel it right away.
Sometimes he resorted to anger and stomping around the house in a grown-up version of a toddler tantrum.
As a teenager and young adult, I couldn't understand why there was such a disconnect between us and why our relationship was so superficial.
We have far too much emotional investment and history with these people to be able to disengage without being deeply wounded in the process.
You can mention how much you value them and the relationship.
If the difficult family shows some willingness or ability to improve the relationship and you are motivated to try to improve it, then initiate a conversation or series of conversations to discuss your own boundaries, listen to theirs, and to try to negotiate for better behavior.
This can be a tricky conversation when someone is defensive, sensitive, or angry.
I have another friend whose father had a borderline mental illness.
He was sane enough that he appeared “normal” — but he really had the emotional maturity of a teenager.