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251 votes
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How to avoid being seen as a cash cow by my family?

I'm very sorry but your loans are in fact gifts. What you describe is actually you filling the gap in their spending pattern. That gap will not close, ever. Consecutive 'loans' without mention of ...
Bookeater's user avatar
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250 votes

How to communicate to my mother that I find it hurtful when she cooks dessert for everyone except me who is vegan?

You are asking for something extra I think it is perfectly fine to be vegan. But if there is a bunch of people to be cooked for, demanding a change of meals because of the wishes of one would be ...
ArtificialSoul's user avatar
201 votes

How to talk to my brother-in-law about my concerns about his intent to propose to his girlfriend?

I'll be honest with you. You sound like you're judging someone else's choices by your own standards, rather than what might be best for them, and what they consider to be their priorities. Moreover, ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 6,837
183 votes

My cousin doesn't know that I know he received money that belongs to me - how do I approach him about receiving the money?

I'd be direct but offer him the opportunity to still come clean on his own. Maybe something like: Hey, I heard from the buyer that the money was transferred to your account. Would you be able to ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
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174 votes
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How to tell people I'm not their tech support?

As a computer scientist myself, here are the avenues I have taken: When asked to fix a Bluray player at a holiday gathering... "I can look, but your guess is as good as mine. I know how to write ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
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165 votes
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How can I stop enabling my brothers without my mom exploding?

You handled your end perfectly, and I mean, perfectly. Kudos on setting and keeping a boundary. How can I get my mom to understand that I'm not responsible for the mess she found when she came home?...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
158 votes

How do I ask my dad's friend if he's interested in me?

The default reaction of people these days is "I'm not gonna judge", but ... I'm going to go there. But first I'll address your actual question, then you can stop reading. ;D The problem is that ...
akaioi's user avatar
  • 5,955
157 votes

I have been asked to keep a secret about a surprise that I believe will end poorly

I do not have divorced parents, but I have had to juggle situations where two co-workers that hated each other were using me. In the end, I found out that the simplest way to resolve the problem was ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
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153 votes
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How can I convey to my technologically inept parents that my IT job is mentally draining

I think I would meet this head-on. Thinking is tiring and both your parents know this because they do it. Something like: Nothing? When Dad is driving, he is sat in the van, but he's not doing ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 44.5k
132 votes

How to avoid being seen as a cash cow by my family?

This reminds me of a short story in Mandarin, roughly translated as such: A guy always gave a handout to a beggar near his home. When he was single, he gave five dollars. After he married, he gave ...
Revol729's user avatar
  • 2,745
132 votes

How to explain my complicated family background to people that I don't know very well?

These questions make my skin crawl. That is very much a perception issue you have that may just need to get to grips with, as honestly, they are all perfectly normal conversational questions in ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
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122 votes
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How to communicate to my mother that I find it hurtful when she cooks dessert for everyone except me who is vegan?

Originally commented on a different answer, but I want to flesh this out into a full response - Unlike other answers, I don't believe your primary choice is to just accept this as what it is and move ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
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118 votes
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Stepmother wants me to sign for life insurance without consulting a lawyer, how do I tell her that I will only do this after talking to one?

Phone your stepmother. (As suggested by Martijn: You might want to ask someone to sit with you for this conversation. If you start 'giving in', that person can keep you from doing so.) Tell her ...
AllTheKingsHorses's user avatar
104 votes
Accepted

How to decline physical affection from a child whose parents are pressuring them?

When it comes to my own young cousins and children of friends, I usually give them an explicit choice between sharing physical affection and not, while still expecting that they will obey the spirit ...
Meg's user avatar
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102 votes
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My grandmother doesn't talk or communicate any more. How can I be good company to her?

Try to get someone to explain to you her ability to hear (she should have had her hearing tested), her ability to respond, etc. Ask if some of this is depression. Someone should explain this to you. ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
101 votes

How to approach an inevitable breakup after sudden death in partner's family?

Let me offer my perspective as someone who was in a similar(ish) situation to your girlfriend. My father passed away when I was in a new relationship. This loss was life changing for me, and my ...
BlackThorn's user avatar
  • 3,260
100 votes

How can I stop enabling my brothers without my mom exploding?

Hmm... The boys know how to keep things clean, they do help when parents are at home, but are lazy when the cats are away, and don't listen to Sis. There are two problems here... The boys Mom Let'...
akaioi's user avatar
  • 5,955
100 votes

How do I convince my Mom I’m not inviting my brother to someone else’s bachelor party?

The answer I'd give Mom is: "It's not my party". I wouldn't offer excuses or tell her anything beyond that. Yes, she may want your brother, for some reason, invited to the bachelor party. But it's ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
  • 32.3k
94 votes
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How do I deal with a mother who won't take "no" for an answer?

This sounds like stereotypical "door-to-door salesman" behavior, and I think you might try the same tricks that work with those. Say "No.", and if they try to continue, just refuse to engage with ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 7,284
94 votes
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How to politely stress that I do not wish to eat something?

Your in-laws have broken your trust here. It's not so much about the diet itself (they're free to disagree with it, they can even refuse to cook it and let you cook) but this is about them refusing to ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 7,284
84 votes
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How to handle my girlfriend's parents' attitude to asking her for money?

The varying amounts which your girlfriend is being charged, combined with the emotional guilt tripping ("not a good daughter" if she doesn't pay up) lead me to believe that this is an exploitative ...
AndreiROM's user avatar
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80 votes
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How to tell my Mom that I don't care about someone without upsetting her?

Once I went to the funeral of a distant relative of my young nephew, he asked me why I went to the funeral, because I did not even know the person who died. My answer was simple: I came for you, ...
Santiago's user avatar
  • 1,342
77 votes
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How to befriend someone who doesn't like to talk?

I'm not much of a talker myself and my father isn't either. However, every Saturday my father will ask me to come grocery shopping with him and I will agree (even though I no longer live at my parent ...
Ael's user avatar
  • 17.3k
76 votes

My sister has an alcohol and drug addiction. How can I get people to stop asking me about her?

You have a great start in your question. "Thank you for asking. As you can imagine, this is hard for all of us. I'm going to respect her privacy by not giving out any information other than what is ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
  • 32.3k
74 votes
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How can I respond when someone asks me when I'm going to get married to my girlfriend?

Welcome to the world of adults and the responsibilities of forming adult relationships. Your relationship status is not just your concern; you are part of broader communities which included society ...
CloneZero's user avatar
  • 893
72 votes
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How to ask my father in law to stop entering our house unannounced?

From an outsider's perspective: It's your house, so you get to say who can be there when and who gets a key. It's his time, so he gets to say when and if he wants to do work for you. If you're ...
AllTheKingsHorses's user avatar
72 votes

How to deal with my boyfriend’s mother without affecting my relationship with him?

I am not obliged to bear with his mother as I am in a relationship with him, not with his family You have hit it right there with that one sentence. You cannot make him choose between his family and ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
  • 32.3k
70 votes

Dad wants me to invite his mother to my wedding. How to push it back?

First of all, it's not your father's decision - it's yours. Your father made a demand of you, but the choice rests with you. You organize the wedding, you're paying for it, you get to decide. From ...
Magisch's user avatar
  • 10.7k
70 votes
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How can I stress to my brother the importance of saving when he relies on me as a safety net?

Firstly, he seems annoyed. He probably knows you're at least somewhat correct, but at this point you comes across more as a know-it-all vibe than good intentions. The fact that he is annoyed makes ...
Martijn's user avatar
  • 5,493
69 votes

How can I respond when someone asks me when I'm going to get married to my girlfriend?

When this happened to me, I just said (my girlfriend and I had already talked about it, so we knew what we wanted to say, and how): we're way too young and have a looong list of things to do before ...
OldPadawan's user avatar

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