General Question

nebule's avatar

What would you expect your family to do for you if you had acheived one of your biggest dreams?

Asked by nebule (16452points) December 18th, 2009

As many of you know you know, I achieved the biggest thing in my life this week, I got Distinction in Philosophy. I got one congratulations… but no champagne, no toast, and…all night nothing was said about it… I wanted at least a I wrong? selfish

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44 Answers

HighShaman's avatar

I achieved my dreams and beyond…

I expected NOTHING from my family except love and support for what I was doing in and with my life .

And a very sincere CONGRATS to Lynnebundle

Freedom_Issues's avatar

Congratulations!!! I would expect them to take me out, actually not expect them, but later I would be hurt if they didn’t. No I don’t think you’re wrong. I think you want your family to show they are happy and proud of you, and if they don’t, naturally you’d be hurt. That’s not selfish.

jrpowell's avatar

Allie was the only person to remember my birthday a few months ago. A person on the Internet that I have never met sent me a gift. While my sister that is 20 feet away totally forgot.

I’m fine with it.

Vunessuh's avatar

I would just want my family to be happy for me.
And congratulations to you if it means anything.
I really mean it.

NUNYA's avatar

Love me just like they did before I achieved this big dream.

stratman37's avatar

Let’s all raise a big glass of lurve to @lynneblundell !!!

Supacase's avatar

Congratulations @lynneblundell – You did it!!!

@HighShaman It doesn’t sound like she even received love and support.

@lynneblundell Do they understand the significance of your achievement? I wouldn’t expect a toast, but we just don’t do that. I would expect hugs, congratulations, and positive comments like “I am so proud of you” or “I knew you could do it.” In my family in particular, I would expect to be taken out for dinner.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t expect anyone to do anything.My dreams and goals are just that.My own :)

nursey's avatar

Well not expect…but a kick@ss party would be great!

ninjacolin's avatar

hey lady, congrats! :)

people will only do what they know would be meaningful to you. maybe they don’t get it?

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

Not a single thing, except denigrate it a little then act as if it didn’t matter.

CMaz's avatar

I will make a toast and have a drink in your name! Congrats!

Syger's avatar

I would expect nothing.

dpworkin's avatar

I guess I’ll find out, as I will finally get my college degree in May, after a lifetime of being a high school dropout. I have no expectations, but I’m curious as to how my kids will respond.

trailsillustrated's avatar

yes I did achieve great success and paid my own way through professional school- no family came to my graduation then when I fell off the perch and became homeless blah de dah they all couldn’t be more condemning, judgemental, and talk talk talking about it.

Facade's avatar

Not selfish at all.

I wouldn’t expect anything. People tend to only celebrate their own achievements.

Congrats, btw

janbb's avatar

Congratulations to you, Lynn!

SABOTEUR's avatar


As for whether you are wrong to expect more from your family in the way of appreciating your achievement…well…that’s not for me (or anyone else) to decide.

You feel how you feel, that’s entirely up to you.

I would be remiss, though, in not leaving you something to consider. I grew up carrying an extreme inferiority complex. It wasn’t until I was older, with the benefit of much self-evaluation, that I began to understand that my self esteem could not be based on anyone else.

As much as we love the appreciation of friends and family, we continually risk disappointment by placing how we feel in the hands of other people or the influence of things to which we have no control.

I would suggest (as proposed by The Twelve Pathways) that you “up-level” your need of approval to a preference for approval. That way you recognize your preference to be loved and appreciated by your loved ones, but you accept that they may not always express their feelings in the manner you expect.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Woohoo!!!! All that dreaming about acing the test paid off!! Congratulations on your hard work paying off. Sky’s the limit, Lynne.

Sometimes I think families don’t make a fuss because they really don’t understand what it is that you’ve done. Throw yourself a graduation party; there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’ve been working really hard towards a goal, and I reached it!!”

FireMadeFlesh's avatar


Personally, I wouldn’t expect anything. Whatever my family do for me is a bonus – I make my own future, and if they are excited about that then great. If not, I’m going ahead anyway.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Congratulations, Lynne! ::raises glass:: I don’t expect anything from any family member when I make it, and that’s fine with me.

casheroo's avatar

oh my gosh, congratulations! that’s seriously awesome!

My mother will be getting her bachelors, hopefully before she turns 50. My husband and I will plan a party with family, to surprise her. I’m super excited for her, and she’s worked so hard to achieve her goal. She deserves a party.

I’ll admit, when I graduate I’d definitely hope family would at least acknowledge it!

Poser's avatar

The problem with having expectations regarding the behavior of other people is that those people often have expectations regarding their own behavior too. Many times, the two sets of expectations aren’t the same. When someone who loves us doesn’t meet our expectations, it is rarely because they were trying to disappoint us or let us down, it’s simply because their expectations about their own behavior was different than our expectations about their behavior. Since we often don’t communicate those expectations (why should we? They’re obvious to us) they don’t realize there is a difference. We don’t like having expectations placed on us, but we don’t notice when we place them on others.

I guess what I’m saying is, speak up. Tell them how you feel.

And congratulations.

jerv's avatar

My folks, I wouldn’t expect much.

My wife’s follks? They probably wouldn’t even notice we were talking since he is practically deaf and she is so self-centered that my accomplishment would be overshadowed by whatever little thing happens to be going through her mind.

ubersiren's avatar

Well, congratulations to you, Lynne!

I’m pretty sure my family would act the same as yours did. They only seem to care if it’s something they can relate to. When I graduated from massage school (my first educational success since high school) my mother actually rolled her eyes and said, “I can’t believe you want to touch gross naked people… Oh, well, maybe you’ll go back to culinary school one day.” She’d rather I be a chef because of her personal interest. She also does nothing for my birthday anymore. I get all my parental love from my darling in-laws.

You would think a parent would want to celebrate their child’s hard work and happiness.

Pandora's avatar

No your not wrong for expecting a little more. (Bye the way congratulations)
However, I think people hardly ever reach their dreams and they may feel conflicted. On one hand they may be happy for you but on the other they feel they may never have your drive to achieve their dreams. On the other hand they may feel that being you are into Philosophy that you may not desire to make a big deal out of it. I think if you let them know you were a bit disappointed at their lack of happiness on their part and expected something more than they may rise to the occassion. Maybe they feel you’ve had others and it didn’t seem a big deal to you and they just don’t know why this one would be different. Or maybe they feel you prefer validation through your peers and they can do little to compare. Best thing to do is discuss it with them.
Good Luck.

Gossamer's avatar

asl me why did I not aim higher…it seems for them it is never enough!

Nially_Bob's avatar

Congratulations on your success my friend. Your years of work and strain has led you to a fine conclusion in this chapter of your life and now you are free to use the knowledge and wisdom you have acquired from it as you will (in a world that’s waiting in anticipation for you to do so). Do not permit such an impressive achievement to be belittled by the omissions of others.
In answer to your question I would expect them to congratulate me (assuming they were aware of the achievement in question) due to my knowing how they generally act towards such matters but even that wouldn’t be of particular importance to me (not to imply that I dislike my family but we’re not particularly close relative to most families). I would however be considerably disappointed if some of my closer friends were to not congratulate me on the same achievement.

Jeruba's avatar

Here’s your toast, @lynneblundell. You have worked so hard and done so well! The jellies are proud of you.

In your place I would have expected some pretty big congratulations from my family and a shower of special notice because we don’t ignore major milestones. We go out to dinner, open champagne, cheer, give cards, make a bit of a fuss. Those events are rare and special, and we pay attention to them.

You didn’t say what night this was or what was going on, but it seems like your family does have different customs. Still, I can see why you feel a bit deflated. But don’t just be hurt and all down about it. Say something to your closest family member—“Are we going to do something to celebrate?” Let them know what a big deal it is to you. Give them a chance to make it up before it’s too long past. Can you?

Cruiser's avatar

All I would want is a for them to give me a big hug and observe that hard work does pay off and it did for me a month ago!

BTW @lynneblundell !! Congrats on the honor! Well done!

wundayatta's avatar

Yawn. That’s what they’d do. They have never congratulated me for any work I’ve done in my life.

alquest's avatar

They will not do anything as they are jealous in if someone goes one step ahead of them

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Mine are all dead or don’t give a shit. Congrats, Lynn!!

nebule's avatar

gosh…thank you all!! xxxx

It was last night and we all got together for the usual Friday night happy hour and I guess I hoped that someone would have at least bought a bottle of champagne to toast my achievement… of course cards and a gift would have been a bonus!! I wouldn’t expect people to take me out for a meal because of the expense but…anyway…

When others have achieved big things I’ve gone out of my way to get champagne, presents and make a public announcement at a get together as a collective acknowledgement of the milestone. Other members of my family have also done this kind of thing for one another, so really I thought that someone would have done something. But not so. I have had individual hugs and congratulations from people over the course of the week, but it doesn’t feel quite the same as everyone getting together and making a toast.

What makes it worse for me is that as many of you know I’m single and live with my son who is 3, I don’t have a husband or a boyfriend to celebrate with – i.e. have a special meal with and I don’t really have many friends outside of my family. The one friend I do have lives quite a way away. So I just thought that my family would acknowledge this and DO SOMETHING. Congratulating yourself and making yourself and meal just isn’t quite the same.

I don’t know whether there is any point in saying anything to anyone now because anything they do do will of course be ultimately my idea and prompting and that really isn’t the point. I think what hurts is that other peoples achievements… like my sister getting through her first year of setting up a business is talked about, congratulated, celebrated and discussed ALL the time…and I fade into the background.

I did expect more from them but maybe I should let go of my expectations and move on. easier said than done though Thank you all for your congratulations and comments xxxxx

and thank you @Jeruba I really did feel like that was a real toast xxx

wundayatta's avatar

Oh Lynn. I know this feeling so well. People like you and me are constantly hoping for recognition, and we imagine it in one form, and then, if it comes at all, it is not what we thought other people received for similar achievements. Then, if really disappointed, we’re in a bind, because we can’t ask for what we want because then it wouldn’t be a real gesture of support.

I actually have no advice about this. Just commiseration. Maybe the grass is always greener, or maybe we just aren’t as good or as well liked as other people we compare ourselves to. On fluther people often say we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others (even I have been known to give this advice), but easier said than done, especially if you are the kind of person who measures their worth by the approval of others, Perhaps you, like me, never got any as a child, and have been constantly hungering for it since then,

I think we’re supposed to figure out how to be happy doing what we do, and doing it for its own sake, not because we want approval. Nice idea. Hard to execute. Part of me wonders if it’s really true or if people just say that to try to make themselves feel better, We’re social animals. How can we live without approval from our community? From the people we care about most?

l hate to say it, but perhaps there’s nothing for it but to work harder. Some day maybe we’ll do something that people appreciate spontaneously. Appreciate in amounts that we can actually believe it and actually take it in. Or, maybe some day we really will come to realize we’ve enjoyed the hell out of the journey no matter what people noticed or didn’t notice.

nebule's avatar

…yes “We are unutterably alone essentially, espeicially in the things most intimate and important”. – Rainer Maria RIlke. I can’t think of a better way to describe how I feel at the moment. Thank you @daloon for your commiseration, you understand the problem perfectly…and you are of course right about childhood approval…no, it was not there. I wonder if the hunger will ever leave me or… if I can ever leave it.

wundayatta's avatar

@lynneblundell If you figure it out, I’ll be first in line to buy the book.

Garebo's avatar

Good for you girl! We need more Socrates.

Lua_cara's avatar

You have worked hard towards your goals and have achieved it so firstly “CONGRATULATIONS.”

I think we all expect our near and dear ones to be happy for us when our life’s ambitions are achieved. Ok, they may not throw us a party but atleast apat on the back, a genuine hug and “well done” is what I would expect.

If I don’t get it I most certainly will be disappointed as I am sure you are but do not take it to heart. You worked for your success and you deserve it. I may not know you personally but I am genuinely pleased for you. Well done lynneblundell.

nebule's avatar

Thank you everyone, I’m hoping one day I will figure it out and write the book!! and do many other great things…. can’t say thank you enough for all your support xx

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lynneblundell Hudos to you kid. When I achieve my ultimate goal I expect my family to step way the hell out of the way and don’t come sucking up like they believed all along I would do it. And I want them to admit THEY WERE WRONG, then maybe I will share.

Draconess25's avatar

I wouldn’t expect anything, since my family goes against most of my beliefs.

dabbler's avatar

If we’re talking blood relatives, I’d expect the family member I have left to see if there was any money in it for them.
On the other hand, I’m lucky that my wife and friends would go nuts for me, making a bigger deal out of it than I would.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Expect them to do? Nothing, they pretty much suck.

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