Diane Chapman (3 March 2011)
"To: Nicole re: How to Deal"

Hi Nicole,
Gosh, I think we ALL have at least one of these people in our lives!  I think it's to teach us patience, mercy and understanding, but YIKES it can be trying!
I am a TOTAL bottom line gal too.  Yes, I am a counselor so I do get to hear lots of problems and issues, but I don't see any point in letting one person go on and on about the same problems.  It's time for solutions!  We can't go back, only forward.
My suggestion to you would be to set your boundaries with her.  You have every right to your boundaries and time constraints and if she/he wants a continuing relationship with you, they will have to learn to abide by them.  If they are hurt, unfortunately, they will have to live with it.  It might be the exact type of "pain" that moves them forward rather than in the "stuck" position they are in.
You might say something like "Cousin Mary, you are my family and fellow Believer and you mean a great deal to me.  I find that I have limited time these days with work, kids, etc., so I wanted to talk with you about setting specific days and times for us to keep in touch.  In looking at my calendar, I find that I have Mondays open, for an hour between 5-6 pm to chat.  Does that time work for you?  I'd like us to keep in touch, but it will need to be less often than it has been due to my schedule.  Talking less often will ensure that we both have lots of good information to share during our visits.  I eagerly await your response!"
I wish you well sis.  Don't be afraid to set those boundaries!  If you don't you will find yourself constantly embittered and asking for forgiveness for your bad attitude all the time.  Set the boundaries in love and stick with em!  God will bless it!
Diane C
Nicole (2 March 2011)
"How to Deal?"

Ok Doves I have a scenario that I need help with.

I have a family member who is born again that I do not want to have a deep relationship with.  This person lives on the other side of the United States and calls me sometimes 4 times a day.   I do not agree with the way that they view things and their ideas on life.   It feels sometimes like a dependent relationship and since I won't fly I will never see them again.   I have lived far away from this person for 12 years and they have never come to see me.   This person sends me gifts that I do not like and they know I do not like these things, but they like them.   Then when this person is on the phone, they are always sick, always tired.   And they go into detail about their entire day, the people they live with and what they are doing and their personal business.  

To be honest with you guys I feel depressed when I talk to this person and I do not want a relationship.  I think this person is severely lonely and depressed and I am too busy to constantly sit on the phone.   I am not a person who really likes sitting on the phone listening to the details of people's lives, what they ate, what they wear.   My husband says I think like a business man.   When I am on the phone or at work I say, what's the bottom line?  

How can I politely distance myself from this person without being hateful, rude, or hurting them?   How can I stay away and not hurt someone who belongs to the Lord?   I do not want to harbor hatred or unforgiveness and when I speak to this person and they will not change and want to continue in their circular thinking......I start getting very irritated.  

Time is too short for me to be distracted!  I feel this person is trying to escape from their current life all the time by living in a fantasy of other people's lives and not living themselves.   I am tired of hearing about this person not having a great job, a nice place, and always saying things like they love horses, etc. and not taking any small or big steps in their lives to make anything happen.  They get a job offer and then go to that job and say they hate it and quit.  

For me I am a person of action.  If I don't like my hair I die it, get extensions, get a wig or cut it off.   If I do not like the way my house looks I rearrange everything, get out the paint and take car loads of junk to Goodwill.    My personality cannot be reconciled to this person and I feel like Jesus has us on opposite sides of the United States for a reason.  

What would you guys do?   I am only 33 and I know that there are Godly older men and women who have this same problem in their families, work or churches.