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Ltryptophan's avatar

Is it wrong to avoid a parent who is trying to take advantage of you financially/involve you in a business you don't want to participate in?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10280points) March 17th, 2010

My Dad’s a beligerent tyrant. He really has emotional problems. He’s always been that way. I love him dearly, but on top of that bad attitude he is now seemingly trying to involve me in his business. I have no interest in it. Furthermore, I suspect that he would try to take advantage of me financially if I ever let my guard down for a seccond, or even if I kept it up.

I don’t want to keep my distance, but I am not going to set myself up for injury o worse. Because of the way he acts there really can’t be any in between civility so I have decided to avoid him altogether. Is this wrong and disrepesctful, should I be more willing to accept any pain coming from my father before I write him off?

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22 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

Wad up L-Tryp…
This is your life. Not your fathers.
If you have no desire to be involved in the family business, then that is your choice and he should respect that. Try talking to him about it. If he can’t respect your decision, then it’s his problem, not yours.
My father wanted me to take my life in an entirely different direction and I had to explain to him that I wanted to do what made me happy; what I was passionate about. He understood and began supporting me.
I can only hope your dad is as rational. If not, I am sorry for any pain he is causing you. It’s a tough situation because he’s your own flesh and blood.
Should you have to accept any pain because you rejected the business? No. You shouldn’t have to, but it sounds like you’ll get it anyway.
Try not to let it bother you. Perhaps he’ll get over it soon.
It sucks that sometimes the people who love us the most have the ability to hurt us the most. :/
Good luck.

YARNLADY's avatar

Make a list of the pros and the cons and see which list has the most influence on your choice, then choose.

susanc's avatar

@Vunessuh‘s story of telling her dad the truth may seem irrelevant, but it was the cleanest thing
she could do, and it would be the cleanest thing you could do too. It will not be pleasant to wait for him make his pitch (wince/shrink/avoid/gag), but once he does so, you can say “No thanks, sounds like a bad gamble to me, pops”. Then just breathe while he does whatever he needs to do with that. You’d be AMAZED how simple things get while you just stand there quietly.
He can’t manipulate you after your cards are on the table. What’s making you crazy is hoping he won’t, but knowing he will.

Just_Justine's avatar

Perhaps google “toxic” parents.

chamelopotamus's avatar

Yeah you sound really stressed, you need some distance for a while. And forget about the business, that’s not going to be a successful business if you’re going to hate it the whole time. He seems desperate, but he’s doing it the wrong way. No one that is doing things the wrong way should be led to believe they are doing it the right way. If you feel like staying away, stay away, do what you would like, and save your health!

chamelopotamus's avatar

If you start to pity him you’ll restart the whole cycle, and you’ll end up right back where you already are. It’ll probably keep happening too. As many times as it takes to get you out and get you going where you really would rather be.

JeffVader's avatar

What is it they say… ‘You can choose your friends but not your family’

partyparty's avatar

Do what is best for you, but I don’t think you should distance yourself from him. He is your father no matter what.
One day he might not be around.

jazmina88's avatar

Keep the peace with Pops, but with a firm NO.

Cruiser's avatar

Just tell you dad thanks for the opportunity but you have other desires for you life. Keep it simple but direct so he gets the picture.

phillis's avatar

Yo, Trip! Lookit – you can’t let your fears make your decisions for you. You don’t want to hear the crap, and I get that. It seriously bites the big one. I have no problem turning the tables back on them, and have on many occasions. “What is wrong with you? Do you love me, or not? I said no, and I meant it. Respect what I said.”

Your father is not going to be rational, and he isn’t going to like it, so expecting any other reaction will leave you emotionally vulnerable. The frustration you feel is valid, but frustration is also energy that can be turned to your advantage to make a strong point.

njnyjobs's avatar

I have seen a lot of family get broken up due to business involvement. I say be straightforward with your dad and tell him that you don’t want to mix family and business.

janbb's avatar

Nope – avoiding toxic parents is often the best thing to do.

marinelife's avatar

It is not wrong to avoid your father. I would consider moving far away from him if he is as toxic as you say.

wundayatta's avatar

In my family, the children distributed themselves all over the world. We only come back on special holidays or for a summer vacation they usually pay for. Even that is getting a little too tense for some of us.

No one ever said anything. We just left. I don’t know if my parents ever think about why we live so far away. Maybe we’re just a modern professional class family that goes where the jobs are. But none of us do a job we couldn’t do closer to our parents.

Anyway, if they understand we’ve spread out because we are uncomfortable with them (and I’m not sure if my siblings even understand this themselves), they have never said anything about it. In fact, except for me, they are proud of my sibling’s accomplishments. The only thing I ever did was “give them” grandchildren. Not that I gave them my children. They hardly get to see them, either, especially after how they treat my son.

So, do I have a point? I had one when I started. Let me think.

I guess what I’m saying is that there are many things you can do to establish distance from your parents so you can do your own thing. One way is to use physical distance. Another is to bite the bullet and have the talk and risk the blow-up and bad feelings. Another way, I suppose, is to just do your own thing and never talk about it. Maybe always putting you father off. “Dad, I’d like to join you, but I want to get this done first.” Then it’s another thing and another, and eventually he’ll get the idea or give up trying.

From his perspective, it’s probably something he’s been imagining since you were born. To raise someone in your own mold and then to work with them. In his imagination you are probably a little him who will always agree with him. You’ll think alike. In any case, it’s father and son, and that seems like a special thing. I don’t know if he would easily get over this fantasy, especially since he may have been living with it for a long time.

All you can do is try. I don’t think any one option is better than any other. Good luck.

CMaz's avatar

Family and business I give it 50/50.

Like the saying goes.. Never lend to family or friends. This goes for business too.
It “can” become personal. Taking things personal is NEVER good for business.

Put your dad straight.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Members of my family also thought they had the upper hand when it came to controlling me, but they were wrong. They wanted me to give up my life to do something else for them which would have basically imprisoned me until someone was dead. I said no and some people got very, very, very angry. But I wasn’t living in their area so it made things easier.

I had the blow-up with mine over the phone, let them know where I stood shortly thereafter in a letter and haven’t had contact since. Unfortunately, my situation was a bit different from yours, but I did what I had to do. I would hope, in your case, you could take @phillis’ tack and just not expect a different outcome so that you could use the energy to state your position firmly, let him know you have nothing more to say on the matter and thus be able to keep a relationship of some kind.

Coloma's avatar

Toxic people come in all shapes and sizes and family is no exception.
Set your boundaries with your father and if he cannot respect you and your decisions then let him know that you will be taking lots of space untill he is able to treat you with respect and mututality.

thriftymaid's avatar

Don’t avoid them. Be honest with them about your lack of interest. If they will not stop trying to convince you, be a little firmer. No need to isolate yourself from your parent for this reason.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Make your plans for yourself and keep him in the loop as to what you are up to. It is then his decision to stay in contact beyond that. Always let him know how your life is moving and ask him about his. If he pressures you to join his, then ask him why he thinks yours is unsuitable.

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susanc's avatar

This is good, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies ! ALL about boundaries!

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