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Some background: I live in a state in the coast of Mexico with my mother, my cousin (lets call him Pete) and my grand mother. Pete's family (his mother and 2 sisters) lives in another state and came to visit during Christmas/New Year's eve and they'll be with us for a few more days.

I will try to be as clear as possible with the situation.

This weekend during new year's eve we had some more relatives joining us to dinner and celebration, everything nice. Then they came with the idea that we all should go to the beach next morning, Pete's family said yes, I said multiple times I didn't want to go, so did Pete and my mother, but the rest were very insistent saying that all of us had to go to be together and that sort of stuff. In the end they accepted that we were not going to go with the excuse that somebody had to stay home to look after our 93 years old grand mother (so far so good).

Next morning our grand mother said that she would go too (I don't know if she came with the idea or my family did, it doesn't matter), sooooo the problem appeared again. I was woken up at about 9:00 am to go to the beach with them even when we went to sleep until 3 in the morning or so and I clearly said I did not want to go. I stayed in my bed until 11 hoping that they would go without me, but my mother came and said grandma and her were going to go too and that we should (had to) go with them, at this point Pete still didn't want to go.

Pete and I tried to convince them that we wanted to stay home, I stated that I don't like (almost hate) the beach because I always return full of sand and sunburns if I get into the water. We both stated multiple times that we preferred to stay home and do something here (rest, watch TV, play videogames, read a book, any other thing), I even said that I wanted to rest because I had to work the next day because I was not on vacation, but they were too insistent, they wouldn't leave without us, in the end we accepted.

When they were ready to go (everybody was on the truck we'd use) I tried a last effort to stay and said I was going to the bathroom and I waited there hoping they would run out of patience and leave without me (I think this was rude but I was desperate), it didn't happen, they came and knocked the door and asked me to hurry up. At some point my mother suggested to leave me and go without me but somebody said that if they did then all the time they waited would be in vain, this made me feel guilty so I finally got out and took a book with me to the beach.

Later when we arrived to the beach they all went to swim and the ones who didn't want to go and my grand mother stayed at the table eating, this bothered me because they were so insistent to be "all together" but they left us anyway. We played some boardgames when they came back while they waited for their meal.

The trip to the beach was OK but the return trip was HORRIBLE, 3 more people (a cousin's relatives) returned with us, so the truck was completely full and we had so little space, not to mention that it took so much longer because an accident happened in the highway and the traffic slowed down a lot.

In the end they asked "you were glad you went with us, didn't you? you enjoyed your meal", which I answered "not so much, the food was good but I could have eaten the same in a restaurant in downtown any time".

Questions

I would like to know what approach I should take ( or could have) if something like this happens again. I have more family in other states and when they visit they ALWAYS want to to go to the beach and spend the whole day there.

What do I do if they keep insisting? I wouldn't like to lock myself in my room and ignore them because I'd feel like an as*hole, and if they don't go because of that they'd surely blame me.

Edit for bonus

I'd like some advice to make my family understand and accept that I do not want to go with them and that we DO spend time together when they come, we had a nice dinner in christmas and new year's eve, we also went to the cinemas and ate an ice cream.

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    How old are you? And what do you do? Go to college/work/school...? This will help us give you suggestions specific to you. – Crazy Cucumber Jan 3 '18 at 20:38
  • I'm 22 and I graduated a year ago. Now I'm working as a software developer. – Guy who types fast Jan 3 '18 at 21:11
  • Is this a tradition of your family? Does it happen every year or it's just this time? – LinuxBlanket Jan 4 '18 at 0:02
  • It's not a tradition but we try to meet once a year, sometimes more if we are able to, sometimes we can't so we just don't meet. Either they come to our house or we visit them, most of the families live in these two states. I would have to explain a lot more about this. – Guy who types fast Jan 4 '18 at 0:29
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I think you just have to explain your reasons and leave it at that. If they are persistent and adamant on you coming. Explain that you have things you would prefer to be doing that will make you a better person. For example I often use that I need to do some work, research or stock research as I am going through a stage where I am trying to excel in my career as a software engineer and also the fact I am starting a family shortly means I need to pay more attention to things that will help the financial security of "my" little family now.

The reason's your family might be adamant on you coming could include:

  • They simply want the whole family together
  • You don't have a lot of friends and want to get you out of the house
  • Feel like you waste your time on pointless things forgetting that they make you happy though and are important to you so they force you to come
  • Feel like if one of the members of the family is not there and they bump into a family that is all together they might feel shame

Not all those applied to me often but I feel they all did at least once.

I think my bigger and intermediate family has understood since around the time I got engaged that I have more important things to do in life than just go somewhere for the sake of being around people or family.

In the end though I think there comes a point after high school you just need to almost get into an arguement and just say NO! It might be hard but it works, a few times I wanted to be left at home while they went on trips and it worked fine, some trips especially once I had my own car I would come up for a day or two in the middle of the trip and then leave when I felt I had enough.

TLDR; You just need to explain yourself once, if they don't understand then you need to tell them off for questioning you and that you have better things that are more important to you to do. In saying that though make sure you actually do otherwise you can feel regret later on because I find despite what it might look like... your family does love you.

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    Thanks for your kind words. I agree with you about most of the reasons they may have had to force me out and I absolutely know and embrace that they love me and I love them. I'd just like to address that I do activities out of my house with my friends and my girlfriend, and my mother knows this.Now I think I just had to be more definitive with my "no". Also I felt kind of upset when they left us at they table after so much insistence about being all together. – Guy who types fast Jan 4 '18 at 0:25
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    The regret was the worst so I have learnt to just be truthful with them and myself. If I sincerely have something better to do, If I don't then I'll go but always disclaim that I have the right to come and leave as I please as I do want to catch up with friends or the girlfriend (now wife). Nowadays as mentioned I sincerely have more important things and they actually see that so they now just ask and I give a yes or no answer (maybe with a brief reason) and that is that. Those times will come but until then you need to be honest and direct. Stand your ground but don't lie. – sharpCodes Jan 4 '18 at 0:43
  • I think this answer makes it seem like an explanation is necessary. Family or not, they should respect that OP has made a decision, regardless of the reason. – Forklift Jan 4 '18 at 3:36
  • A reason is a respectful thing to give. If you give someone a "No" answer over and over eventually they won't invite you or call you anymore. So it is fine and good to give a reason. But to have that reason questioned is not right. If you have people questioning then they really shouldn't be your friend. If its family you give them the benefit of the doubt and explain a little further because they do sincerely love you. But if it is constantly requiring an explanation then you will inevitably snap like I did and then after that point it will be fine. – sharpCodes Jan 4 '18 at 4:00
  • Unfortunately family members as a whole seem to think that boundaries don't need to exist within the family. This is a decent answer; it also requires firmness on your part. "We want you to go. We won't leave without you" "Fine, then don't go. I'm not going either way" Refuse the guilt trip that family members love to put on each other. – baldPrussian Jan 4 '18 at 13:57
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TL;DR: You don't need to convince them you don't like it. You simply need to convince them you are not going.

You're 22 and (presumably) under no obligation to obey commands to have fun, right? I think in that case, you should be able to simply say:

"No thank you; I don't enjoy the beach."

What you seem to do is try to give reasons that are refuted or excuses that are flimsy. That is not really necessary. If you do not participate in an argument, one cannot take place. There is not much they can say that after this that cannot be met with "no thank you." They may attempt to bargain with you, at which point you can repeat variations of "no thank you" and "I don't enjoy the beach."

EDIT to address comments:

Once you have made your position clear (I'm not going) and your reason (I do not enjoy it), really nothing else is required of you. I prefer the broken record (no thank you, I don't enjoy the beach) because it indicates that no new argument will elicit a new response. You can, of course, elect to be less polite and find creative ways to say "buzz off" but you risk it becoming a game to them to see how creative your answers will be.

That "we only meet once in a while" is true does not change that "I don't enjoy the beach" is also true. You can simply acknowledge that as fact:

"That's true; we only meet once in a while."

Since it has nothing to do with the beach, you needn't mention the beach.

"we came to be with you" is possibly true, but you can't quite assert it since they are going to the beach without you. It seems they may have divided purpose. In which case you can reply:

"I'll see you when you get back from the beach."

It is your responsibility to make it clear you are not negotiating. If the manipulation and guilt attempts from them make you too weak to say no for long, just leave.

"Oh, you guys are going to the beach? That's a good opportunity for me to return some video tapes/visit my uncle in prison/check out the comic book store/etc. What time will you be back? [they answer] Cool, I'll be home then. [they argue] Well, have fun at the beach, I'll be back around 4.

The main point is that they will not drag you to the beach and force you onto the sand. They require your consent. Do not give it. You don't need to be rude, but it sometimes is the faster way to the end of the conversation. Perhaps address that with:

I am trying to be polite but you are ignoring my wishes. If you continue to ignore my wishes I will begin to ignore your feelings with my replies. I am not going to the beach. I will see you when you return. Is anyone still confused?

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    I agree with your basic approach, but I think at a fairly early point, the OP should stop saying "thank you" and escalate to a stronger mantra that shows irritation and which he keeps repeating -- something like "It's not going to happen. Lay off!" – user1760 Jan 3 '18 at 22:35
  • The problem here is that I said no multiple times and they insisted so much that I kinda felt obligated to go, they even used stuff like "we only meet once in a while" and "we came to be with you". I need to know what to do when they're this insistent. – Guy who types fast Jan 3 '18 at 23:10
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    @Guy who types fast The point we are trying to make is that you don't discuss, you don't come up with reasons; you keep saying the exact, the exact, same thing over and over and over and you don't give in. Whatever they say, you say "It's not going to happen." Or whatever you decide is your mantra. So they get annoyed; so what? You have to choose between being a man or a mouse. They are so wrong, they are so over the line! – user1760 Jan 4 '18 at 2:02

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