Are all connections healthy, or can we skip dull relatives?

A reader wonders if it's vital to stay connected with extended family members who have nothing in common. Carolyn Hax notes all connections are not equal, but it's important to think closely before cutting threads.



October 25, 2022 - 2:11 PM

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Dear Carolyn: We’re told from magazines, television ads, webpages and more to get connected with others because it’s good for us. Meeting up with friends is its own reward. I crave time with them. But getting together with some extended family members is torture. We have little in common, and the topics we do share interest in were used up long ago.

If getting together with people who interest and amuse us is good for our mental health, does time spent with the boring or unpleasant drain us of something? (They make me crazy but only figuratively, as far as I can tell.) — M.

M.: They drain us of hours, certainly, that we’re never, ever, ever getting back. Ever. (Sorry, unnamed relative I have in mind.)

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