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Difficult member of family - Sikh perspective


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Im posting this just to get some generic sikh views on how to deal with difficult members of the family

What do you do when you have a 'black sheep' in the family who throughout their life has hurt you and others members of your family and continues to do so? Its gone past the point of talking to them - we are at the point where we have just come to accept that this is their character, but how should we be with this person?

Ive seen alot of families just disown certain members but this is hard to do when you still care for them.

From a sikh perspective though, can anyone suggest how our attitude or way of thinking should be so we are not hurt? Or will we just have to live and accept being hurt by them?

 

Ive deliberately kept the scenario brief because im looking for a more generalised answer

Appreciate any opinions on this...

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God will grace them in their Hukam. Each soul comes with their own karam into the world. 

Detachment and attachment should be a balance. It’s sounds easy, but when it’s a family member, sabar (patience), willpower, tolerance (within limits), adjustments, are important.

One thing I’ve learned with relatives, is that I can’t change them, but I can change myself, so I don’t hurt from it. 

 

 

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I remember when my mum in law was being difficult,  I called my mum and she told me... sorry puut... its time to go down humbly in ardaas to Guru ji. I did just that.  My mum in law hasn't changed but I got the strength to deal with her better.

You can't change people but you can change yourself.  Guru ji always gives people strength to cope. Ardaas is always answered.  Some people are cursed to always give dhukh to others. 

 

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40 minutes ago, sikhni777 said:

You can't change people but you can change yourself.

Why should people have to change themselves? There's a difference between having Daya and Nimrata and then bending to the will of anothers pakhand. People who dish out dukh without a shred of concern for others need to be taught a moral lesson. If one is being an Akirtghan then they need to be made aware of this.

You can change your mindset in accordance with Gurmat but there's no point changing yourself in a way which either directly or indirectly continues to condone such behaviour.

Sikhs do not sit around praying waiting for a miracle. We spread the knowledge of Gurmat, that's how change comes about.

Even those who are supposedly "cursed" can change, with the intervention of Gyaan.

Or should we just wait for Sant Ji to come and save the day?

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12 minutes ago, MrDoaba said:

Why should people have to change themselves? There's a difference between having Daya and Nimrata and then bending to the will of anothers pakhand. People who dish out dukh without a shred of concern for others need to be taught a moral lesson. If one is being an Akirtghan then they need to be made aware of this.

You can change your mindset in accordance with Gurmat but there's no point changing yourself in a way which either directly or indirectly continues to condone such behaviour.

Sikhs do not sit around praying waiting for a miracle. We spread the knowledge of Gurmat, that's how change comes about.

Even those who are supposedly "cursed" can change, with the intervention of Gyaan.

Or should we just wait for Sant Ji to come and save the day?

Believe mw I have tried for twenty years... some people are truly meant to be horrible. You can harm upurself on yhe 

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20 minutes ago, sikhni777 said:

Believe mw I have tried for twenty years... some people are truly meant to be horrible. You can harm yourself trying to change some people esp. Some vizurg.

Fair enough.

As those very same bazurg say...ਅਸੀਂ ਕੀ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਲੱਡੂ ਲਹਿਣੇ ਐ

 

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1 hour ago, MrDoaba said:

Why should people have to change themselves? There's a difference between having Daya and Nimrata and then bending to the will of anothers pakhand. People who dish out dukh without a shred of concern for others need to be taught a moral lesson. If one is being an Akirtghan then they need to be made aware of this.

You can change your mindset in accordance with Gurmat but there's no point changing yourself in a way which either directly or indirectly continues to condone such behaviour.

Sikhs do not sit around praying waiting for a miracle. We spread the knowledge of Gurmat, that's how change comes about.

Even those who are supposedly "cursed" can change, with the intervention of Gyaan.

Or should we j ust wait for Sant Ji to come and save the day?

it means you change your perspective to not be swayed by their attention-seeking drama baazi  , in other words keep your balance . They are the ones with issues , you stick to your guns Guru ji's got your back so why be scared ? SOme are so mayadhari they cannot see the wood for the trees , gurbani or good salaa goes whoosh over their heads e.g. my MIL cannot see how eating maas is berahim , that daya is in choosing other things instead of killing other creatures to satisfy her tastebuds . Chal that's her karam to answer for , I'm not about to change my household's niam -langarsuitable foods to supply her wants . If she's desperate the whole town is full of restaurants.

I am still looking after her , doing her sewa but i am not staunching my beliefs for her manmat... left it to Waheguru ji to bless her with sumat because it is clear the good flowing towards her from me isn't enough to change things .

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4 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

it means you change your perspective to not be swayed by their attention-seeking drama baazi  , in other words keep your balance .

Nowhere in my post does it indicate that one should be swayed by attention seekers. But if one is causing dukh, whether it's for drameh droomeh or just because that's their character, this behaviour should be pointed out or in others words, that you will no longer take sh!t off them.

8 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

They are the ones with issues , you stick to your guns Guru ji's got your back so why be scared ?

I agree here but I didn't mention anything about being scared. However if you are referring to fear of dukh, then it's a completely different topic. Guru Ji does have our back but sometimes we need to be more forthcoming with Guru Sahibs wisdom, be more proactive. If they listen or not is their problem, You have made yourself clear.

12 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

SOme are so mayadhari they cannot see the wood for the trees , gurbani or good salaa goes whoosh over their heads e.g. my MIL cannot see how eating maas is berahim , that daya is in choosing other things instead of killing other creatures to satisfy her tastebuds .

I have nothing against your MIL, but I believe the comparison may not apply here; she has not grown up with the influence of Sikhi or culture. The OP's name suggests that this family member would possibly be receptive to some wise words which are Sikhi based.

20 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

I am still looking after her , doing her sewa but i am not staunching my beliefs for her manmat... left it to Waheguru ji to bless her with sumat because it is clear the good flowing towards her from me isn't enough to change things .

I agree as well as admire this. You shouldn't stop doing someones seva just because they cannot see anything positive (especially if they're family), we should carry on but also make them aware of their kartootan, and as MisterrSingh said, keep them at arms length while doing so - don't cut rishte but loosen your grip on the rope.

Baki khasma nu khaave.

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2 hours ago, sikhni777 said:

Simran bhanji said too you can't change others. You have to adapt in some cases.

Hanji penji, I said that, but I didn’t mean change ourselves to adapt to them. If somebody is being difficult and it’s hurting us, we should change the way we are in order to defend ourselves against the hurt. Eg: somebody will keep doing or saying the same things to hurt somebody, but that doesn’t mean just sit back and let them carry on doing it. What I meant by changing ourselves is change the way we portray or communicate ourselves with the person. Because if the person knows the person’s weakness that is being hurt, they will play on it more and take advantage of it. So one needs to find ways of becoming stronger to portray as somebody that can’t be hurt or messed about with. Nimrata and compassion is good, as long as the other person doesn’t see that they are hurting. So they can’t keep doing it, because that’s what they want, if they have problems of their own. Everybody else ends up getting hurt, because of their own issues/problems/selfishness. 

Your advise of becoming stronger from within was good, I like that. The soul should be strong to deal with negative people, and that’s what needs to be changed, the perception of the hurt can be changed so it doesn’t affect us as much. 

Also if I may add, having a serious talk with the person making it clear  that enough is enough and will not be tolerated no more. 

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Difficult member of family - Sikh perspective

 

Regarding the title of this thread and the different opinions of the sangat above, I have found some interesting questions and answers on the net related to this thread, where seekers/ disciples  ask their spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar :

Q: Gurudev, my husband hurts my feelings? How do I change his egoistic nature?

A) Why do we try to change people? It is because they are hurting us. And the more we want to change someone because they are hurting us, they are not going to change. If you really want them to change, you have to wish for their welfare – because what they are doing is not good for them. If that is your intention, they will change. Your every prayer will make them see things differently and behave differently. So, it all lies in your intention.

 

Q: How to be positive and strong when people start hurting me? How to love myself in such situations?

A)Come on, you forget that you are a diamond! Nobody can cut a diamond or hurt it. Even if a diamond is cut, it shines more. 
When anyone is trying to hurt you, they are not hurting you, they are only making you shine more. Anyone who brings down your prestige or insults you, they are only bringing up the best qualities that are hidden within you. Remember that every insult is an opportunity for you to exhibit the beauty that you are

 

Q: Gurudev, how do I forgive those who have abused me emotionally and physically? Sometimes I feel like killing them but even that doesn’t seem enough.

A)When you get hurt, it is not only the other person at fault, it is also your ignorance and your naivety. You have not been intelligent enough, or intuitive enough to avoid it, or move out of it. So, take a little bit of the responsibility on yourself as well. If you had been strong and skillful, nobody could have abused you. When you see the situation from this perspective, you will become calmer.

I want to ask you, haven’t you caused some pain or hurt to someone else knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly? You have. If others hold on to it for a lifetime and go after you, how would you like it?

My dear, if someone has abused you, they have been ignorant. It is because of ignorance and some hurt inside them, that they have caused it to others. See it from a wider lens. A happy person will not come and harm anyone else. If someone is harming others, it is because they are not happy, not centered and they don’t know what you know. Consider them as sick people. If someone is physically sick, do you get angry at them? These people are mentally and emotionally sick, they are spiritually sick, and if you hold a grudge against them, you will also become one among them. You will get sick.  For your own sake, you should let go and move on.

 

Q: How can I forgive my mother-in-law who is constantly hurting me?

A)Take a look at how your mother behaves. How many times did you have arguments with your own mother, and how many times was she frustrated with you? Haven’t you gotten scolding from your own mother? I don’t think any girl or boy has grown up without being scolded by their mother.

When your mom criticizes you, you just fight with her and then you forget it. It doesn’t really touch you. My dear, remember, your mother and mother-in-law are of the same age, the same kind and the same category. She scolds you only 10% of what your mother used to scold you, then why does it hurt you deeply? Just accept her.

People who are tough to handle, whether at office or at home, only help you to develop your skills. You should really thank them. They make you more skilfull, more refined, more compassionate and all your good qualities start manifesting in you. 
If you have knowledge, in tough situations, wisdom manifests and good things manifest out of it. If you lack skills, the worst things come out of it. This one thing we need to master. Master the skill of expressing and communication, and grab this as an opportunity to do that.

 

Q: I am hurt, I don’t want to forgive.

A) Forgiving others is not for their sake, it is for your own sake, for your mental health. Know that you have the power to do it and just do it. Open your mind to the vastness of this universe. Wake up and see that seven billion people are on this planet, everyday many are being hurt, everyday many are dying. Whatever big thing you are hanging on to about someone’s action towards you, know that it is your karma that made them act that way with you. If not that person, some other person would have given you the same experience. This is what you need to realize, this is what you need to see.

when you get a nasty email, you don’t throw your computer or laptop because you’ve got a nasty email. Whatever email came, the laptop just reflects that. Similarly, people are like laptops. You don’t need to forgive them, you simply need to have a better understanding. If you ask them, sometimes, they also may not know why they behaved that way, why they did acts that hurt you.

Look at life from a bigger perspective. That’s why I keep saying, behind every event there is knowledge, behind every person there is love, behind every object there is infinity, just know this, watch this, get this, that’s it.

 

P.S : I hope these questions answers has somehow shed some light on the topic of the present thread.

 

If anyone wants to check the information in my post or wants to know more, here is website address:

https://www.artofliving.org/wisdom/theme/how-to-deal-with-hurtful-people

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All interesting thoughts ... so basically keep my distance and pray for them and by doing so, I will start feeling better within myself.

Ive been praying for them for a while now and it seems like a wasted effort.

In terms of my own personal relationship with them - any advice on this? by keeping my distance im almost being off with them, is this the right thing to do as a sikh? or i should i continue as if nothings happened and sort of love them unconditionally? 

Im finding it difficult to make my mind up about them. Sometimes I feel as if i should just stop talking to them completely as it seems to have worked for other peeps who disown family members but then theres a part of me that thinks i have to live with this the rest of my life and deal with it throughout my life and i should just accept this

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