9 signs you’re the glue keeping your family together

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Ever had the impression that if it weren’t for you, your extended family would drift apart?

You make sure that everyone is doing all right, and you play a crucial role in preserving harmony.

Because when you’re not around to maintain the peace, things descend into generalized chaos.

Without further ado, here are 9 signs you’re the glue keeping your family together.

It’s a full-time job, but someone has to do it.

1) You initiate gatherings

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.

You’re always the one who takes the initiative to organize family gatherings and events.

Coordinating schedules, picking a venue, making travel arrangements, planning the menu, that sort of thing.

Otherwise, you’re pretty sure that the family would never get together, not even for big holidays.

Thankfully, you understand how important it is to keep everyone connected – and having them all under the same roof makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

From your point of view, the memories you make now are priceless.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares your commitment to the family’s well-being, and you often have to pester your relatives to RSVP “yes.”

While shared experiences help solidify the family’s identity, everyone should be willing and excited to pitch in.

If it feels like you have to force them into attending, going the extra mile might do more harm than good.

2) You keep everyone updated

I talk to my mom on the phone every day.

My other relatives?

With a couple of exceptions, maybe once or twice per year. Life gets busy.

(Or maybe I’m secretly a horrible person. I’ll never tell.)

Additionally, I only sporadically check Facebook, their preferred method of sharing updates with the world.

All in all, if my mom would stop telling me what’s going on in their lives, I would have no idea.

She’s much more diligent about keeping in touch, and she informs me whenever someone gets engaged, changes jobs, or has a kid.

And here’s the thing: while I sometimes act impatient when she goes on and on about a second cousin I barely remember, I like to be in the know.

Are you, like my mom, keeping relatives updated about what’s happening in each other’s lives?

Then it’s true. 

You really are the glue keeping your family together.

3) You maintain traditions

The family anchor is generally the one who upholds family traditions.

Does that describe anyone you know?

If you recognize yourself, you probably find it essential to pass down traditions through generations to preserve a sense of identity.

You insist on having Thanksgiving together every year, organizing a family trip every summer, or having a regular game night each month.

Additionally, you probably toy with the idea of collecting family recipes or updating photo albums.

To you, these mementos are more than trinkets: they prove you belong.   

4) You provide support in times of crisis

When a family member is going through a crisis, you’re the first one to offer support.

As a result, everyone confides in you about their problems and asks for advice.

You lend a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. 

Moreover, you do your best to encourage other relatives to do the same.

Feeling supported by family is vital for you, so you act as a role model, hoping others will follow in your footsteps.

It’s a commendable attitude, but only for as long as your relatives don’t take you for granted.

If they don’t flock to your side when you’re the one experiencing distress, you might want to reconsider this unconditional loyalty.  

5) You offer practical assistance

Besides emotional support, you’re also willing to lend a hand with practical stuff.  

You carry boxes when your cousins move, guide your elderly uncle as they set up a Netflix account, and jump at the chance to help with chores or errands.

If family members are going through financial difficulties, you might lend them money or help them find resources to navigate their situation.

In short, you’re dependable – and your family knows they can rely on you.

Maybe too much?

6) You act as a mediator

Being the glue keeping your family together often involves acting as a mediator when conflict shows its ugly head.

Are your siblings fighting? You talk to each of them separately and urge them to find a way to work it out.

Are your nephews bickering about whose turn it is to set the table? You suggest a compromise that de-escalates the situation.

You’re like a bridge between conflicting family members, helping them communicate effectively and resolving their differences.

The downside? This role frequently forces you to act like a neutral party, disregarding your feelings or opinions on the matter at hand.

Besides, trying to mend fences that were broken long ago may prove futile, despite your best intentions.

Failing at your endeavor can make you feel even more disappointed than the people directly involved.

7) You remember important dates

Take a quick look at your calendar.

Does it display all the family’s important dates?

Are you the one who reminds other relatives about upcoming birthdays, celebrations, or special events?

If your answers are yes and yes, you’re likely the glue keeping your family together.

But let me ask you this: when your own birthday is just around the corner, does the rest of the clan notice?

8) You foster inclusivity

As a pillar of the family, you might be particularly interested in fostering inclusivity.

You argue that everyone should be invited to celebrations and reach out to marginalized family members, trying to make them feel like part of the group.

Additionally, you have favorites, but you try not to show it. Instead, you offer support to anyone in need.  

However, people have their reasons for drifting away from the family core.

Keep in mind that, sometimes, this distance can signal individual growth and development.

You can only do so much to help estranged family members reconnect.

9) You sacrifice

When you play a central role in maintaining family unity, you’re often forced to sacrifice what you want to keep everyone else happy.

You don’t go on the solo trip you dream of or take the better job in a faraway city.

It’s because you know that your family will fall apart in your absence, and you’re willing to make sacrifices to ensure the well-being of your loved ones.

If this works for you, great.

But if these choices lead to feelings of resentment, you might want to rethink your position.

Acting like a martyr isn’t sustainable in the long run.

A word of advice

Being the glue that keeps your family together can be rewarding, as it enables you to connect deeply with each member.

Overdo it, though, and it becomes taxing on your time and mental health – especially if your relatives aren’t big on reciprocating.

Cultivating a sense of togetherness should be a shared responsibility.

If it becomes too heavy of a burden for just you, set down the MVP crown and prioritize your well-being for a change.

A little selfishness is essential to maintain your sanity. 

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

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