Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 Good Reasons To Not Live Near Relatives

Occasionally we may have the opportunity to live close to some of our relatives. It could be our parents or a sibling. Or it may be members of your extended family, such as aunts and uncles, or cousins. Living close to our relatives is not always a positive thing. Here are ten reasons why such a choice can have negative results.

Privacy – If you have relatives living in your neighborhood, they are more likely to pay more attention to what you do or don’t do, than the average neighbor. They are also more likely to share that information with other relatives, as well.

Interference – For some reason, relatives are more likely to give unrequested advice on how you should live your life or raise your children. Having relatives nearby can mean unwanted interference in your personal life.

Expectations – When you live close to relatives, you can’t use distance as an excuse for not spending time with them. There may be a greater expectation of involvement in their lives because of your close proximity.

Appreciation – ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is the old saying. When relatives are located nearby, we often don’t appreciate our time with them as much as we would if our access to them was more limited.

Holidays – There can be expectations on their part or your part, that you will spend holidays together, because of living near each other. This expectation can cause misunderstandings and friction when both families don’t share that same expectation.

Birthdays – Having relatives who live close by can mean lots of birthdays where you are either expected to attend the celebration or at a minimum provide a gift. If you lived in different towns, the expectation would not be as great.

Unexpected Visits – When relatives live close by, it can be very convenient for them to stop by and visit without giving you any notice. Some people are comfortable with these types of visits, but many people prefer to be consulted before visitors show up on their door step.

Favoritism – Other relatives can easily make charges of favoritism being shown between the relatives that live near each other. This can cause unnecessary friction within the extended family.

Guilty by Association – Just because a family is related to you, doesn’t mean that they will have the same kind of lifestyle or reputation that you have. Your family may gain negative associations from others in your community simply because of your family connections.

Offense – All the things listed above can lead to members of your families being offended by the actions, or lack thereof, by your two families. This kind of emotional drama can be an added source of stress.  

There can be many benefits to having relatives living close to your family. Unfortunately, there can be negatives as well. Choosing to live close to relatives is a decision that should be considered carefully.

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