You’re an adult. You pay your bills. You live on your own. You’ve managed to keep a plant alive, have relationships, and maybe even raise kids. You hold down a job, maybe you’re even the boss. People look to you to be the leader. It doesn’t matter how much responsibility you carry in your everyday life. When you get together with your family, you invariably end up not only arguing, but reverting back to a tantrum throwing 16-year old, who feels that no one understands them, and that the world just isn’t fair. Even the most skilled of lawyers will forget all their training and will resort to a style closer to “I know you are but what am I?” around their siblings. Why do we do this? Why does our family tend to bring out the worst in us? And what can we do to stop it?

There are two basic reasons why you tend to revert to the mental equivalent of your pimply, adolescent, insecure self when you get around your relatives.

Their view of you hasn’t changed in all these years. Even though you’ve moved on, you’ve created new beliefs, learned to train your thoughts into new directions, your family still sees you the way they predominantly did when you still lived at home. When they look at you, they still perceive those old frequencies which used to make up your core vibration. That’s not really the issue, though. The problem is that, if you’re not stable in your new, mature, nothing-can-get-to-me vibration, you will allow their view of you to activate those old frequencies within you. You reactivate those old insecurities (unless you’ve cleared them) and quite literally revert back to your old teenage self on a vibrational level. And then you react from that point of view. You throw a tantrum, or stomp out of the room, or find yourself having a screaming fight, even though you normally never do that anymore and haven’t for years.

If you’re not stable in your vibration, if you’re not consciously deciding and training yourself to feel the way you want to, you’re susceptible to other people’s vibrations and the energy around you. And you will be affected by it. The more stable you are in your vibration, the easier it will be for you to keep your cool and react as an adult.

Keep in mind that you are most likely also seeing your family through an old filter – you’re also activating old, dormant frequencies within them. Part of the healing process here will be for you to be willing to see your family through your current, adult eyes. This means ferreting out and letting go of old resentments. Is it really still important that your little brother broke your toy truck when he was 3?

Your family is a perfect mirror of your vibration. They are showing you your “issues”. Everything in your environment is a mirror of what’s going on inside you. Your vibration, which is a collection of the thoughts you think, is creating your reality. Your family, like it or not, is in your life for a reason – they are a match to your vibration on many levels. This does not mean that your relationship can’t change. On the contrary – the people in your family are generally the most flexible about staying with you as you clean up your vibration. They are incredibly valuable partners on your life’s journey who can help you work out your limiting beliefs.

Let’s look at an example: At dinner with your family, your father makes what you perceive to be a critical remark about your chosen profession. You feel he’s always been disappointed in your choice. You could’ve done better. And man, he’s never going to let you forget it, is he? He’s always got to push that button…

Well, guess what? He’s not the one pushing the button. You are. What your father actually thinks is irrelevant right now. What’s important for you, is your reaction to his comment. Most likely, in the scenario above, you yourself have some fears and doubts about your career. Did you make the right choice? Could you have done better? Your father’s comment simply activated that fear. Of course, it’s easier to blame him for making you feel irritated than to look deeper and confront your fears, but if you want to deactivate those buttons, that’s exactly what you have to do.

The idea is not to learn to sit at the family dinner table once a year and bite your tongue. The idea is to get to the point where you aren’t irritated in the first place. You can use every argument, every negative reaction your family evokes from you as an opportunity to clear an old, limiting belief. Ask yourself, if a stranger had made that comment, would you have reacted the same way? Why did I react that way? What does my reaction say about me? It has to be said that it’s incredibly difficult to do this in the heat of the moment, especially when it comes to family. You might still have the blow up, but you can evaluate what happened after the fact, when you’re calmer and more rational again.

Don’t push the whole incident away, thinking that this is just the way families are and it’s not important since you don’t see them that often. Clear the air. But start with yourself (always). Often, you don’t even have to have the conversation with your family about it. The energetic shift will be enough to change your relationship (for the better). But even if you do want or need to discuss it with them, doing so from a place of clarity and personal responsibility (NOT blaming them for making you feel a certain way) will bring about a quick and pleasant resolution.

I live on a different continent than most of my family. I’ve come to see my visits with them as a kind of “vibrational check up”. I get to see which issues I’ve cleared (by noticing a lack of reaction where before there would’ve been one) and discover beliefs I didn’t know I had (by evaluating less than Zen reactions I might’ve had). It also shows me how stable I am in my vibration, as I’m subjected to the energy of a different geographic location and the view which my relatives have of me. It’s often a fascinating and enlightening experience.

The next time you revert to a 16 year old version of yourself around your family, use it as the opportunity it should be. As long as you’re not the same person in every aspect of your life, there’s work to be done.

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  • Hi Melody,
    Wow! You make it sound so easy. Although I have no issues with my family, it really helped with reference to other situations, people etc. To use the word as a mirror to check out your vibrations and sort out your own issues. Thank you!!

  • I have been reading all of your posts for the last little while. I have read this one before but decided to read it again after a camping trip with my family.

    My dad has a bad temper, and I used to get upset if he even raised his voice at my kids. The weird thing was, this camping trip, him raising his voice at my kids didn’t bother me. I was wondering why, so I looked up this post again. Now I know it’s because I don’t care what he says or how he acts. I think that means I’ve cleared the limiting belief surrounding that??? If so, Yea!

    I also used to be very cautious around my family. I would always watch what I said and did and how I treated my kids and their father. This time, though, I didn’t feel as though I had to do any of that. It really was enjoyable.

    The part I am confused about, though, and the reason I decided to write, is this. We were planning on going out on some ATVs during our camping trip. I didn’t really want to go becasue I am not a fan of them, but my daughter said she wanted to go so we went. When we were driving to the location, I found myself upset, and I decided to bail on the ATV trip and go back to camp. When I went to tell my family that we were going to go back to camp, my mood came off as mad (I thought I had to defend my actions). I wasn’t really upset, I was just done with all the driving and wanted to go back to camp. I still don’t know why my attitude came off as upset. Normally if I got upset around my family, I would feel sheepish, but that didn’t happen this time. I didn’t care.

    Question: I know everything is mirroring our beliefs back to us so in the above scenario, would you say there is a limiting belief that caused me to get upset or could it have been something else like me getting upset because I wasn’t listening to ME in the first place (I didn’t want to go on the ATVs in the first place)?

    • Hey Chrystal,

      Yes, you definitely cleared up a lot of resistance around your family, if the things that used to bother you now no longer do. Bravo!!

      ” I know everything is mirroring our beliefs back to us so in the above scenario, would you say there is a limiting belief that caused me to get upset or could it have been something else like me getting upset because I wasn’t listening to ME in the first place (I didn’t want to go on the ATVs in the first place)?”

      It’s both, actually. You didn’t listen to YOU for a reason – maybe you had a sense of obligation, for example, and you thought that on some level you HAD TO or SHOULD take your daughter out on the ATV’s, even though you really didn’t want to. And as you did this, the discord of it started to bother you more and more. When you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, it’s usually some misguided sense of obligation. And then, you tend to get resentful of the people you’re doing this thing FOR (in your mind). That was your anger (small dose of it, but still enough to show). You were rebelling against this false feeling of obligation, which can feel like prison. So, that the belief that caused the mess – WHY did you go when you didn’t want to go?

      Does that help?

      Huge hugs!

      • That helped a lot. Thank you! I know the reason I decided to go when I didn’t want to was because my daughter wanted to go. I guess I did feel obligated. The cool part that I left out in the first response was that after we decided to leave, my daughter wasn’t even upset. She’s 7 and so I thought she would be. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, maybe my sense of obligation wasn’t toward my daughter; I wasn’t upset with her. I guess maybe there are other limiting beliefs towards my family that I have not figured out because my frustration/anger was toward them. I guess I really need to think about the why.

        How do you work around the sense of obligation? Let’s say something in the future comes up that either of my kids want to do, but I don’t want to do it. Would the LOA manifest an outcome where my kids could still get to do what they want and in a way I comfortable letting them, while allowing me to not do it?

  • Hi Melody,

    Family doesn’t “gravitate away” in the same manner friends and the people around you do to match your vibration.
    Does manifesting your reality apply to exterior constants that aren’t arbitrary/variable such as where you live & blood relations?
    Is the jackhammer and leafblower man that have been making noise around my apartment for months have to do with my manifestation or the manifestation of the town?

    • Hey Alice,

      Manifesting your reality applies to everything in your reality. Including your location and family.
      Pay attention to what your experience of the leaf blower man is. Are you annoyed? Frustrated? Do you feel like you’re powerless against his intrusion into your space? He’s mirroring something back to you.

      The town you live in is determined by your vibration as well. It must have the ability to provide you with the manifestations that you are a match to. If something changes in you and it can no longer do that, you’ll be inspired to move.

      Does that make sense?

      Huge hugs,

      • Hi Melody,

        Speaking of towns- sorry If I asked this before- Does a geographic location have a collective vibration? Is one country or state more positive than another?

        I also noticed that certain places have higher reports of suicide rates and depression. It made me wonder if you could do LOA in reverse i.e. move to the happier places, be with the happier people etc you’d raise your vibration rather than raising it first then be inspired to move there?
        The other cool idea I had was if a bunch of stable positive vibration people that just radiated good made a circle around the struggling person- would they heal them?

        If you believe in spirits (thoughtforms etc) do you believe in crystals and the so-called properties or energies new-age shops say they have? Could a lowered individual sit in a cave of pure citrine or other “happiness” crystal and be healed?

          • Hey Alice,

            Yes, geographic locations have a vibration and that very stable vibration can definitely affect us. It can support us in becoming more positive and it can drag us down and make us feel more stressed. You don’t have to be affected by the energy of a place, of course, but it’s very easy to be. And if you’re in a positive place, it’s wise to let it affect you.

            Yes, you could purposefully move to a high vibrational place and allow it to support you in feeling better. and in fact, your mere desire to raise your vibration could match you up with one of these locations. I’m convinced that I was inspired to move to Barcelona because it ended up supporting me in my evolution. BIG TIME. I didn’t know it for a few years, and then I did. But it was helping me the whole time.

            Not all family will gravitate away from you. In fact, most won’t. Family is special that way. They will dance all over your triggers and mostly stick around. And you can elicit many different versions of them. They will often be able to keep up with your growth – that’s why you’re family. Nothing happens by accident. I suppose Siamese twins are an extreme example of this. 🙂


  • I am coming back to read this again after the wedding. I am still holding my tongue with my family and will be again this weekend, because I am in the middle of a huge transition and do not feel stable….at least I can feel kind 98% of the time…

    The main difference for me even in transition is that I love all the changes I have made in my life and am thrilled with the truer me – I know that is what they hate about me the most and they will be devising many ways to make me look awful. I know too that they are busy hanging on to all their survival rules – and once I get on the plane after the wedding…I will be able to forgive once again, and I will not need to hang out with them – there is a reason we live on opposite sides of the USA.

    • Hi Patricia,

      What they think of you doesn’t matter. Whatever behavior they are exhibiting toward you is a mirror of what’s going on inside of you. So, if you’re not that stable in your own beliefs about yourself (as you’ve stated), they’re going to question and challenge you. It’s really hard to see and change this in the moment, of course, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Feel as good as you can, ignore what you can, take notes and work on it all when you get back home. That’s an excellent strategy.

      I can shift in the moment on many things, but almost never when it comes to my family. When one of them pushes my buttons, I just blow up (I never blow up…) but then I go away, sit by myself, and work it out. I have to calm down first, but eventually, I’m able to shift the energy and then the whole situation changes.

      One thing I’ve found really helpful is to do a lot of preparation before going to see them: Just sit and think of all the good qualities they have. What you love about them. Give all your energy to those qualities. You can do this during your visit, too. When you’re in bed at night, just take a few minutes to give some energy to the side of them you’d like to elicit more. It does work.

      Sending you lots of good ju-ju and hugs,


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