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Woman Stirs Drama By Forcing Her ‘Typical Asian’ Family To Talk About Their Issues With Each Other

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Everyone’s family dynamic is unique.

Some are lucky to have families they can always rely on, and always talk openly with should problems arise.

Others however do not have family members who are ready and willing to offer help of any kind.

The kind of family who creates conflict more often than they resolve it.

Redditor bouquetoftarnations had one of those families, and her efforts to improve her family situation always ended up proving futile.

Which didn’t stop the original poster (OP) from calling out her family’s behavior at a recent family dinner, finding herself practically persona non grata by the time the meal was over.

Wondering if her behavior was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my sister what the rest of the family say about her, in front of everyone?”

The OP explained why she couldn’t allow her family’s passive-aggressive behavior to go unnoticed at a recent family dinner.

“My (28 F[emale]) family is a typical Asian household when it comes to conflict, instead of open, constructive communication and trying to work things out, we prefer to stay silent, keep secret expectations that then don’t get met, and hold grudges.”

“We never apologize to each other, never acknowledge our mistakes, etc.”

‘It is incredibly toxic.”

“In recent years, I’ve gotten tired of my family’s communication style, or lack thereof.”

“Whenever a disagreement arises between me and a family member, I try to talk about it, pointing out what I wish they’d do better, and also what I should’ve done better.”

“This always ends up biting me in the butt because they call me ‘intense’ and that I shouldn’t insist on having ‘uncomfortable conversations’.”

“I don’t get an apology in return.”

“And because these conflicts never get any closure, all the ‘comfortable’ family moments tend to feel somewhat forced.”

“Now, among other issues, my family members all feel that my sister Anne (26) puts in the least effort to be there for our elderly parents’ needs.”

“My mother (66) has described her as a taker, not a giver.”

“Anne sort of expects everything to be done for her, but rarely offers to contribute.”

“This has resulted in silent treatment and passive-aggressiveness from the others towards her, which very understandably has hurt her feelings.”

“I feel they should tell her how they feel, rather than expect her to be a mind-reader.”

“So, last night during family dinner, some passive-aggressive remarks are flying around. Anne says, “Thanks for dinner, Mom,” and my other sister Paula responds with, “Well, at least you showed up.”

“Anne asks her what she means by that.”

“Paula (33) just shrugs and my mom rolls her eyes.”

“I look over at Anne and realize that her eyes have become red and watery.”

“All of a sudden, I can’t take it anymore.”

“So I say, ‘Anne, Paula and Mom think you don’t contribute enough to family gatherings.'”

“‘They feel a lack of effort from you, and they might be right.'”

“‘However, I don’t think it’s right for them to leave all this for you to just figure out’.”

“‘This family needs to learn how to talk to each other and work things out’.”

“Immediately, everyone’s angry at me.”

“Let’s be real, I’m not surprised nor should I be.”

“What I’m wondering is whether I was an a**hole for doing it because I truly don’t see how else to get my family to realize our ways are f*cked up.”

“The more we suppress, the more distant we grow from each other.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for calling out her family on their behavior.

Everyone agreed that the OP did the right thing in making an effort to stop her family from behaving in the same passive-aggressive manner, which they felt was a problem that families of all races and ethnicities faced, even if some felt she could have handled it better.

“For the record, this isn’t something that only applies to Asian families.”

“I’m black and there’s a whoooole heap of this in my extended family.”

“Folks have issues with others and refuse to address it directly.”

“I’m quite blunt, so naturally I think you’re NTA.”- LowerAd9859


“I hate passive-aggressive behavior.”

“You said nothing that wasn’t true, they just didn’t have the courage to express themselves and are mad at you for stating the truth.”- skidoo1033


“But, the way going forward is to refuse to participate in the passive aggressive trash talking.”

“When they crank up, you stop it dead and say ‘I’m not discussing Anne with you’.”

“‘If you have a problem, you need to speak directly to her’.”

“And then you leave it, leaving the room if you need to.”- Sea-Mud5386


“All this behavior is extremely toxic.”

“It’s good you are trying to change behavior and have better communication.”

“I do know change won’t happen overnight, and especially with cultures which built this behavior over centuries.”- Irishlass83


“I’ve startled a few family gatherings over the years by making this kind of announcement.”

“Passive aggression is the worst, but of course changing an entrenched culture of it is a daunting task.”

“Sometimes I suspect some family members may not play the gossipy, passive-aggressive game with me because they don’t want me to blurt out some assertive response.”

“If true that might be a side benefit of what you said.”- Swimming_Gift_5683


“Asian here.”

“You did good.”- chocolatedoc3


“Sounds like what I grew up with.”

“Not just an Asian family dynamic.”

“It’s also a multigenerational post ww2 stoic European trauma pattern.”

“Ignoring the uncomfortable stuff led to anger, anxiety, depression, resentment and eventually divorce.”

“We still have problems communicating as a family, we all feel like we shouldn’t ‘bother’ people with our own problems so we have a hard time reaching out.”

“As if we’re all supposed to be emotionally independent, self-sufficient, and isolated from each other to avoid inconveniencing others or showing vulnerability.”

“Same thing a few decades later.”

“Dad felt neglected by my brother because my brother was always busy working overtime building his career, recovering from working overtime, or building a solid relationship with his wife.”

“So without a word on the subject Dad went all ‘silent treatment’ until he mentioned it to me.”

“I lived with dad after the divorce so we were always closer, and I passed the word on to my brother who was totally floored by it.”

“He didn’t have a clue.”

“He grew up with Mom and Step-Dad, and always wanted more contact with our bio-Dad.”

“Fortunately they got together and mended the relationship.”

“Dad got cancer a year later and passed away a year after that.”

“They both told me they were glad they had a chance to get to know each other while they could.”

“It matters.”- Sunlit53

“Well since they are mad in silence, I don’t see a fallout.”

“But why don’t you try smaller and first have open honest conversations with your sisters, before you wanna revolutionize the whole family?”

“It would be easier to sway the parents if y’all kids were on the same page already.”- Kanulie

“NTA for speaking up.”

“However, ESH since these internal contests to see who takes better care of Mom is ridiculous, regardless of how it is or isn’t communicated.”

“It’s really not the children’s job to make sure parents are cared for.”

“Especially ones that are only in their mid 60’s.”

“If there are siblings that have stepped up, that’s great, but it shouldn’t be the standard applied to everyone.”

“If someone needs help, then they need to specifically ask for it.”- Head_Effect3728

“I am Dutch and have always been told we are blunt, loud, and rude.”

“Might be true, but we do speak our minds, most of the time.”

“For me you are NTA.”

“And considering the Dutch communication style you’ve handled it well.”- Pollythepony1993

“You were wonderfully straightforward.”

“This was a kindness to your sister.”

“Actually, a kindness to your family too.”


“Sending you internet grandma hugs.”- Literally_Taken


“My god, why people can’t have open conversations is beyond me.”

“My wife’s family was like that.”

“Everything was superficial and perfect, hiding all of the issues for decades beyond belief.”

“Now later in life, the parents wonder why their kids don’t talk and have a relationship like they always had, which they NEVER had, it was a lie because anything presented other than perfection wasn’t tolerated.”- Lurkingentropy

Sometimes, nothing gets people angrier than being told something about themself that, deep down, they know to be true.

Which seems to be what finally sent the family of the OP off the rails even further.

In spite of their reactions in the moment, here’s hoping that they’ll all eventually hear what the OP told her, and might, for once, have a civil conversation.

Something which might finally put an end to these ongoing problems.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.