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Dealing With Becoming The Hesitant, But Responsible, Family Authority

It can be an odd day when you become one of the main authorities in your wider family. Perhaps you’re now the person people turn to when organising events and gatherings, or the person people come to for advice. Being a little older, having children, or more life experience can do that, and you may not have been expecting it. When this happens, you can feel the flattery that people care what you have to say, while also feeling a little worried that this makes you responsible for others.

This means you may have to take the lead on considerations that you had never even thought about before. For example, being mindful of meeting a local funeral director with your wider family to decide on the best memorial service, or even helping two individuals work through a family dispute, all of a sudden you’re called on to care for others as the lead. You may be responsible, but also a little hesitant.

Here’s how to deal with those feelings:

Open Communication Channels With Family Members

It’s good to be in contact with your loved ones and to make sure they have the right way to contact you. This might be through conventional measures like phone calls or texts, but a family WhatsApp or chat group can also be healthy, especially if allows you to quickly put the news out like the date of an important family event.

Establish Clear & Consistent Boundaries

It’s important to note that while you might be seen as a stronger authority than some in your wider family, it doesn’t mean you have to be responsible for every single problem. Ultimately, you’re responsible for those under your roof and those you’re directly in contact with. So, if you need to decline an offer to be made a godparent, for example, because you already have so many responsibilities in that light, then you’re not being dismissive. You’re just protecting your own space, and that’s reasonable too.

Encourage Collaborative Decision-Making

You don’t have to have all the answers to everything at once forevermore. It may seem as though you do, but you’re a person first. You have your own bias, perspective, and insight. You don’t have to suspend all of that to act like some kind of corporate HR manager, even though family matters do sometimes require being a little more impartial. For example, if you have a problem relative who wants to come to your child’s wedding, you might discuss with your siblings if this is appropriate or not, and what can be done about it. Collaboration allows you to take other opinions in mind, without putting your foot down alone.

Never Give Up On Family Members

It can be hard sometimes, but it’s important to be open to communicating with family members even if they’ve been estranged or chosen a different path. It will help you always open the family towards a healthy tomorrow, even if it takes all of your good virtue and grace to think that way.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily deal with this odd, but ultimately necessary, authority position. 

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