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What's the best way to help your family understand your lifestyle?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 06/11/2019 at 10:05am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
January 14th, 2015 8:12pm
Honesty. I know that may seem rather cliche, but it is the truth. If you are planning on doing something with your life then you should be open with them when telling them about it. You could ask if they have any questions for you. When answering them, remember that although something may seem like a stupid question it is important to answer completely and calmly. If you give them the opportunity to learn more about your lifestyle (whatever that might me) then they will more easily understand it.
January 24th, 2015 12:13pm
Sit them down and explain it to them. Try using examples from their own lives, for example if a family member finds religion important and you find music important tell them that in crisis music works how their religion may work for them.
March 27th, 2015 5:00pm
Talk to them and be as open you can. You need to acknowledge that they will have concerns, even if you don't share them. It can be hard, but try to get them to pin down specific worries, instead of big general statements. The specifics are easier to deal with than generalizations.
May 18th, 2015 7:13pm
Let them see what all i'm doing so they will know what i'm doing and they can even guide me when i'm on a wrong path . :)
June 16th, 2015 4:57am
Lets be honest. They will never experience your life first hand. Its yours. The best thing you can do is try to explain it to them and show them how you feel about it.
July 27th, 2015 10:07pm
Be open about it, be emphatic about their worries about you. Explain it to them, show them why it makes you happy.
July 30th, 2015 4:26am
The best way to get your family to understand your lifestyle/sexuality is to simply explain to them how you feel. It's important to explain the journey that you faced in order to find your true self and sexuality. Be open with your family and allow them to ask any questions that they need to ask. Some questions may seem judgmental, but that may only be that your family needs to be educated (and you are the best person for them to learn from). Allow your family time to accept your lifestyle.
September 22nd, 2015 4:13am
By doing it anyway and hoping that they will adjust to what you like and that it makes you happy :)
December 7th, 2015 5:37am
If your family doesn't understand your lifestyle perhaps it's only because they have yet to see how it has benefited you. Try to show them the positive aspects of it and maybe they will open their minds to understanding.
December 29th, 2015 9:19am
Educate them about it. If your lifestyle involves listening to rock music and your mom listens to country, gift her a cool playlist comprising rock songs. Chances are, she will like it enough to give you your space. But make sure your lifestyle is healthy. Don't sit and play Amnesia in front of the T.V. for 8 hours. That's a bad lifestyle. Your lifestyle needs to be productive or, at least, healthy.
January 4th, 2016 3:22pm
Talk to them. Communication is the best path to understanding. Oftentimes others just don't fully know about things you do or like and this can lead to misunderstandings on both ends. If you've already communicated about what it is that you like or do, then try communicating *why* you like or do these things.
February 9th, 2016 3:24am
I think talking is the first step when trying to make anyone understand you, if you are affairs of this perhaps try to seek group support and/or a mediator.
March 28th, 2016 5:42pm
Explain it to them the best you can. Be clear that having this lifestyle doesn't make you any less valid.
April 19th, 2016 9:26pm
Truth is trying to get your family to understand your lifestyle is a hard task and may never happen, because one they might not accept it or they might not take you seriously and consider your lifestyle a faze (DENIAL), the best you can do is be informative, honest, and respectful. But never lose yourself or hide yourself or your lifestyle to please others, it may make them happy but you won't be.
July 12th, 2016 2:39am
I usually sit and talk to them about whats on my mind sensibly. I take into account how they feel too.
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
June 11th, 2019 10:05am
Try to talk about it as openly and honestly as you can. Don't take anything for granted, some things that are obvious to you may not be obvious for them, so be ready to explain as much as you can to help them understand you. Encourage them to ask you anything they don't understand.