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A boy kicks a football during a game with his family

Why We Treat Strangers Better than We Treat Loved Ones

Have you every noticed that you as a loved one gets treated differently than someone who’s a complete stranger? Say your a parent, and your son or daughter has a new boyfriend. The child is very patient with the significant other, but is very rude to you. I don’t think that its because familiarity breeds contempt. It’s quite difficult to dislike a person only for the simple reason of being together for so long. I would like to propose another reason. The reason we treat strangers better than we treat loved ones is because we have the least tolerance for negative traits in those we spend the most time with.

The thing is, I don’t think people want to dislike their loved ones. I mean there might be the case that a person hates another person so much that they want to get a divorce, but the majority of people want to love their family as family. So, what should you do when you find yourself annoyed by loved ones?

Imagine Life Without Your Loved Ones

This may feel like a grim practice, but the practice is used to promote gratitude. You don’t really know what you have until it’s gone, so the best thing to do is pretend to realize it. Again this is grim, but the best way to do it is to specifically imagine ways that these people can be taken away from us. It has to be very specific. We’re likely to have an emotional response when can vividly see how life would be without someone else. This includes how daily routines would change. Maybe you look in the bed and don’t see your significant other. What would happen if you didn’t have to drive your kids to school?

Spend Time with Family and Others at the Same Time

You are the people you hang out with. That statement is usually reserved for friends, but why can’t your friends and family be the same? I’m pretty guilty of acting one way in front of my family and acting different with my friends. Most people like me are afraid of judgement of family, so this tip doesn’t come easily. The easiest way to treat family as though you were with others is to bring them together.

Take a Break from Your Loved Ones

The reason for leaving shouldn’t be that you’re too annoyed to want to stay. You should use this time to break away from everyone in order to gain a fresh perspective. This is the time to gain new perspectives, and maybe once you come back you can tolerate the annoyance because you’ve come to appreciate the people you love for who they are.

It’s a fact that we treat our family and the people we love worse than complete strangers. I’m guilty of it, and I’ve become a victim of it. We are placed on earth to love one another, and it shouldn’t stop because we are annoyed with someone we see every day. We have to find the ways to love our loved ones despite what we perceive as flaws.

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