How to Deal with Difficult Family Members?


How to deal with clingy relatives? I try to deal with them with love, but there are days when I can’t do that anymore and I find myself giving in to hate which I know isn’t good for me. I also feel irritated at them mostly because they mean a lot to my mother and are at our home quite frequently. It feels like they interfere and pry in every decision without realizing it. I don’t say anything because I don’t want to hurt them or my mother as she’s her sister. How do I let them not affect me?

—Preksha, India


Dear Preksha,

Your efforts to be kind and respectful of your family and relatives are inspiring.

As you experienced, it is not easy to remain even minded and cheerful all the time, especially when dealing with challenges.

One of the greatest tools to help you remain kind and accepting of others is the daily practice of meditation.

The more you can experience peace within you, the less outer events will cause you to react and loose your peace. Meditation is a life-long practice to help you make spiritual progress.

The daily practice of meditation will gradually help you to attain inner equilibrium, and will help you be more patient and less reactive to outer circumstances.

If you don’t know how to meditate, here are simple instructions to begin:

You can also download the free Ananda Meditation App

Yogananda emphasized that when there is only love in your heart, no negativity can touch you.

When you actively send blessings and love to other people, you are filled with light, and their negativity cannot touch you.

You can experiment: Before your relatives come to visit, visualize each one of them and send them vibrations of peace and harmony.

Here is an effective prayer that Yogananda offered that is very helpful when you are having difficulty with another person: Peace and Harmony Prayer

“Visualize the person in question in the Divine Light and then pray from your heart “Lord, fill him/her with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.” Repeat this over and over for about a minute. Then visualize yourself in a divine light and say “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony,” for 15 seconds.

“Do this 5 times a day. 3 or 4 times might work, but 5 times practically never fails.”

Be patient with yourself, continue to do your best, and you will see improvement in time.

Blessings, Nayaswami Diksha