Do you have a family member that just doesn’t agree with your choice in life style? There is always someone, especially a parent that is upset by a choice that you have made and by the kind of life that you are leading.

I hope that I don’t need to tell you that there is no one that should be able to tell you how to live your life. If you are an adult, then you have all the right in the world to do as you like with your life. Even if you are living in a parent’s or a relative’s home, you still have the right to a free life as an adult. As long as you are responsible for your actions and you are considerate of others then be who you want to be.

Yet I am quite certain that most of us will encounter resistance from a family member. I suppose that they feel that they know best and that they are trying to save you from ruining your life. It is therefore a good idea to take into consideration the fact that they have your better interest in mind. What I mean to say by this is that you should not hate them or become antagonistic; family after all is a terrible thing to lose.

But you can turn that opponent into an ally. If you are willing to follow some simple advice, you can turn what can be a very difficult situation, into an opportunity to create friendship, respect and mutual growth. To do this, all that you need to do is to open your heart and give through kind intentions.

The first chance that you get, you have to make some small gesture to help your hostile family member. You don’t need to do anything big; you could mow a lawn or run an errand for them. Open your heart and ask yourself how you can help. I am sure that you will come up with a number of acts of kindness that you perform that would be of great help.

After you do this kind act, don’t sit around waiting for any sort of reward. Do things because you thought that they were things that needed to be done and you wanted to help out. Also don’t go around showing off and letting others know that you did this magnanimous act. If you can give freely without needing anything in return, your actions will begin to soften your opponent’s heart.

It’s difficult to dislike someone who has helped you out. You might not be able to change your family member’s feelings or beliefs on certain matters but a kind act, done unselfishly, can begin to melt even the coldest heart. You might want to act in this unselfish manner on a regular basis since the more that you are willing to give, the more that you will get in return.

Faced with this new set of circumstances, your old opponent will be forced to re-evaluate his/her thinking. If this person truly cares for you, then he/she will be willing to rethink his/her ideas about you. At worst you will have gained a bit of admiration from your old rival. When we can only agree to disagree, there is the possibility of mutual respect.

Do remember to act with sincerity. Being fake and performing phony gestures is no way to treat others, especially when they are your family. Give honestly and act honestly and you will find that barriers that seemed impenetrable will turn into opportunities for new personal growth.