Recourse for When A Relative Acts Stupidly

I received the following e-mail about a problem with a stuper (short once more, for an unflappably stupid person). This particular stuper was a relative whose stupidity showed no signs of diminishing:

Dear Keli,

I’m upset. I need relief from a dose of stupidity. I am a forty-year-old real estate agent. I have a thirty-five -year-old cousin, Darin, who’s a doctor. He moved to my area, and I sold him his home. Everything went smoothly. We’ve always been friends as well as family. We got together quite a bit. One year later, Darin decided to list his home for sale, but didn’t bother to mention it to me. I read about it in a mass e-mail to family and friends. I called him and asked if I could help him sell his house. I thought maybe he wanted to sell it on his own. He said his new “best friend” from Church was going to list it and sell it. I was not happy, and I told him. He did apologize, but I still feel hurt. He no longer sends me any e-mails. I rarely hear from him now. I’ve only known him his whole, entire life! I resent the fact that he went to some one else. How could he do this to me? I’d like to beat the cr*p out of him. I think that might make me feel better. Am I being bit**y or was he being stupid?

Mad as Hell

Readers, what one trait openly distinguishes human from beast? I ask because it’s a flaw that marks most stupers. Read on to find out: 

Dear Mad:

There is one obvious attribute that separates man from beast (and I’m not even sure if this is always a telltale sign): the ability to effectively communicate. You feel let down by Darin’s lack of communication with you as well as his unexpectedly shoddy behavior. But from your letter, it appears you’ve been harboring ill-will towards him for over a year. That’s at least 364 days too long. Ill-will is a scrubbing brush that wears away the hand and heart of the holder.

In order to maintain your sanity, you must take refuge in thoughts of good-will any time you think of Darin. Negative thoughts do more harm than good. And it does sound as if you have some pleasant memories to call forth. Granted, he let you down, but so what? People, especially those who subscribe to the minimalist school of thought, can behave contemptibly. It appears that you told Darin how you felt. That should have given you some satisfaction.  However, if you still feel remnants of hostility towards him, I have a suggestion. This is a tactic I’ve utilized myself, and it works. Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

–  At least three clear photos of Darin, preferably showing him smiling;

–  A pair of recently sharpened, sewing scissors; and

–  One small wastepaper basket.

Find a quiet spot at home and make yourself comfortable with the above materials. Pick up a picture of Darin and commence to cut. Take your time. Start with the head, if you like, and snip away until Darin (pieces of his photo, that is) could fit neatly inside of an ant colony. Continue until you can find the humor in what you’re doing or until you become exhausted, whichever comes first. Laugh away or wear down the grudge you’ve been cultivating.

Don’t grudge the people who pushed you down. They could be the ones to help you up the next day ~ unknown


5 Responses to “Recourse for When A Relative Acts Stupidly”

  1. Sarah says:

    There are a lot of dumb, thoughtless people out there and sometimes they happen to be relatives. I think I’ll have to try your cut-up suggestion on my relatives.On their pictures, of course.

  2. Jillian says:

    I need to try your solution… or get a punching bag!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Keli, you are so right. Don’t let the turkeys get you down (for more than an hour or two) because they’re not worth your sanity. I love your quote about ill-will. I had a similar experience with a relative last week (well, not similar in that he didn’t let me sell his house for him because I am not qualified to do that) but a relative behaved very stupidly toward my grown-up daughter and hurt my feelings (and called forth my ire) … but I processed it and let it go. He’s the stupid one and I shall not align with him!

  4. Suzie says:

    Keli, I like your solution.
    My daughter has a similar solution. When she gets frustrated at
    people, she finds their picture and if the person is a female, she’ll draw a mustache on the picture, and if, male, she adds long hair and connects the eyebrows together. Then she laughs. And feels better!

  5. Starlily says:

    I also like your solution! I’ve discovered a similar technique with my shredder…

    Recently reading back in some old journals some extremely negative experiences I was having at the time, I decided to simply shred them out of my life.

    Not necessary to hang on to them…

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