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You can choose your friends. You can't choose your family. But if it were possible, we have no doubt some of you would trade in your family members like a driver would a crappy car. Let's face it... some people suck and it's unfortunate that we happen to be related to them. The good news is, we don't have to deal with them if we don't want to! How liberating!

People told us all about the moments that made them realize their families aren't all that and a bag of potato chips after Redditor PrettyEmo9894 asked the online community,

"What made you realize your 'family' was just a bunch of people you know and not all of them will be your friends?"

"Hearing the outside perspectives..."

"Hearing the outside perspectives of friends on how my parents treat and always treated me. Never had realized it was wrong or bad, even if it made me feel horrible, since "they're my parents.""


This is an important observation: We accept behavior as normal until we learn otherwise.

"When it became clear..."

"When it became clear that family gatherings were a strain:

Something to be endured because it's "expected of us" to be there and to try to get along, even though we'd rather be elsewhere or with someone else."


Yeah... if you don't actually want to see these people anymore, then why bother? Move on.

"When my sister..."

"When my sister kept trying to break into my car and steal stuff. When she kept "borrowing" money from everyone else in the family. The real kicker is when she got a felony warrant and didn't tell anyone except 16-year-old me at the time and she tried to convince me to drive her to Virginia."


"The fact..."

"The fact my mother acts like I'm an investment that isn't getting her the returns she wants."


I have a friend whose mother treated them this way (and I witnessed the offending behavior on one ocassion). They've since cut their mother off.

"I moved back..."

"I moved back to my hometown where most of my family is after living 8 hours away and not one has made an effort to see me."


"I'm a firm believer..."

"When my grandma passed and we all just really stopped making the effort to get together. She was kind of the linchpin that held us together. I realized that I was seeing many extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) more out of obligation than desire. I really don't miss any of them. I'm a firm believer that you create your own "family," which is exactly what I did in the years following my grandmother's passing."


"When I came out..."

"When I came out as gay and stopped getting invited to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now I can actually enjoy those holidays."


You probably have a much nicer chosen family that's worth your time, too!

"My mom's side..."

"All the family on my dad's side, aside from my uncle, are all either dead or in the middle of nowhere in Indiana, so I have no idea who they are, and they have made no effort to connect whatsoever.

My mom's side of the family all live in South Korea, and because my mom never bothered to teach me Korean when I was young, I'm not able to communicate with any of them at all. The language barrier is an easy way to alienate family members."


"When I was around 24..."

"When I was around 24, my 14-year-old cousin told her parents she was gay. They threw her out and I took her in. I then went through the process of officially adopting her because I knew her father would try some f**kery if he still had legal authority over her.

He tried to force her into a gay conversion therapy camp, thankfully after I got custody and was able to legally prevent it and get him in trouble for the attempted kidnapping. About a week later I had to point a gun in the faces of both her older brothers when they snuck onto my property at 1 am and convince them that the next time they did that, I'd be calling the coroner."


You're a good person––thanks for standing up for LGBT youth!

"After one family member..."

"After one family member ruins your credit and almost pushes you into bankruptcy. And another family member gets you fired when you're trying to fix the mess caused by the first family member."


If you've considered cutting ties with a member of your family, then it's probably just a matter of time. People who will be there for you––and by that, I mean really be there for you? Chances are you know who they are already.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!

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