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Martin, Engineer
Category: General
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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How to handle immediate family not responding? My family is

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How to handle immediate family not responding? My family is spread out in divers places such that we avail electronic communications (e.g. email and text) more often than face-to-face interactions given our geographic spread. Electronic communications are therefore more important to me than to those who get face-to-face time regularly with their immediate family. And I am a good communicator, keeping those in my family abreast of what is happening in my world or perhaps with my children, passing on important information from our family's past that they cannot get elsewhere and would benefit from in their maturation and progression in life. All within this electronic communications family circle are now adults at 21 or older, have graduated high school and some college and obtained even advanced degrees (e.g. Doctor of Jurisprudence). But there are a select 3 -- namely my sister (the Judge), my son (in college),and my ex-wife (high school graduate) -- who receive the benefit of my email and text communications with key information that is of value to them, particularly as we coordinate the whereabouts and updates on other family (e.g. my mother, now most senior in family and Matriach, and my 2 other daughters, one even overseas.) But even after requesting repeatedly on several occasions over the last few years that they simply take under 1 minute to reply even just one or two words (e.g. 'Message Received" or "Thank You" or just "TY") and even only occasionally to the texts and/or emails I send so that I know my messages have been received, are read, and hopefully appreciated -- these family members stubbornly refuse (by action but never confession) to correct what I would consider rude and inconsiderate behavior by not communicating a single thing in return. While they may not intend offense to me, they do offend me in their silence by taking the pearls of my precious time and effort to keep them informed and current and their not even returning a two-letter "TY" signifying receipt or the slightest measure of appreciation. I have come to the point that I want to stop communicating with them electronically all-together which is certain to produce greater intellectual and emotional distance between us than even the spread of miles in place currently creates. So I know there will be a diminution of relationship quality should I cut these relatives off from emails and texts composed exclusively for them. So how can I impress upon them that they need to get with the 21st century at long last and pick up their lazy fingers and actually type something in return versus just "Hooverizing" (sucking up aggressively) all that I compose for their exclusive benefit, but nary a crumb of care or consideration to me in return for time I've taken to keep them current and informed and the value they have received from my electronic communications to them? I've threatened a shut down of all my briefings to them but again, received nothing in return although they will acknowledge over the phone that my electronic messages are being received. And I would communicate by phone only if that's the only forum they agree to communicate with in 2-way vs. 1-way fashion (i.e. me-to-them only). But phone chat lacks the ability to transmit physical pictures, attachments, clickable weblinks, etc., that are the cornerstones of electronic communications. So how to motivate them to actually type something back to me as all 3 have the ability but not natural inclination to do as total slackers when it comes to operating a keyboard?

Hello and thank you for using this site to help you.

They may not know that it bothers you so much. What I would do is in the email state , " Please reply with theses two words: Message received. If I don not get that reply I will assume you no longer have your email address and I will cease sending updates."

It's possible they feel that you want a long response back and for some that is daunting.

If that does not work, then give them a couple of months of missed family up- dates.

Though it is important to you, it may not be as important to them as you think it is and for that I would not waste time as well it is upsetting to you and that is not worth it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have with my Ex asked she send SOME form of reply, even just the word "Received." She refuses to comply and picks up phone to call instead, but then only rarely and hangs up almost as fast as she calls. Avoidance and blow off game she's played for years but as the custodial parent, did great injustice alienating our children against them and keeping them from me illegally to the point they missed key direction from me as their father and are having behavioral problems now as adults and empoyees (e.g. no respect for authority) that others notice immediately. My son was never a good communicator but with AD/HD and special ed classes, had something of an alibi -- but not so much now as adult. You've not given me any new ideas beyond what I've already tried. Is it hopeless? Do I give up? Or might this be approached a different or more creative way to get them to recognize that if they benefit from my electronic communications, they need to reciprocate at leas occasionally.

The problem is , you can't make people change, if they are not interested then there is nothing you can do to make them interested. So then you have to change yourself as only you can, to make it less taxing on you and your feelings as it seems this is very upsetting to you.

Some day they may have an awakening as to how important family and friends are , but until they do, you can't make them.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Q: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just one. But the change comes very, very slowly. (LOL)Of course we cannot expect to "change people" -- I'm 57 and know that lesson well. But when it comes to sharing children after divorce, NO. It's not just a matter of what one parent or the other WANTS to do in communications. It's a matter of LAW that they oblige with the terms of visitation and yes, communicating something BACK as to coordinating pick-up / drop-off is not a matter of preference. It becomes essential to oblige the law and signed visitation contract in force -- a fact that my Ex ignored WITH ABANDON for years, illegally denying me visitation, the police not enforcing visitation (but incarcerating if child support were missed), and here is the result -- a poorly turned-out son, now adult, adopting the bad practices of his mother, not acknowledging receipt of messages, never writing back, causing havoc with communications relying heavily on electronic channels, and now precipitating a long-term break in what used to be good relations, now lasting 9 months and on the brink of becoming a lifetime. So we can't change people or expect them to change, eh? Sometimes people NEED to change to preserve their key relations. And while I no longer "expect change" now they are adults, be aware that NO. There are situations where legally, they DO need to adopt change and it is not merely a matter of unfettered free will.

Understood. But your original question was how to change someone so that they respond to you. That you cannot do, it is up to the individual.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Fine. Ready to rate. Light up the stars so you can get paid.

If you are not happy with my answer I can opt out and let another pick up the question. However it sat on the boards for a while and I am not sure another will pick it up.

I am very sorry as it must seem like a loss to you, especially with everything that went on in your life. Separation is never easy nor is it ever fair.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
for the record, I did not ask "how do I CHANGE these people"...I wrote "how do I HANDLE immediate family not responding" -- There is a difference, but as counselors have said ad nauseum for YEARS like a worn out mantra, "You cannot CHANGE people!" (giving rise to that well known "light bulb" series joke I referenced), it would appear you wanted to re-iterate what is common knowledge in your answer to me and thereby READ INTO what I wrote that I was asking how to CHANGE people, when that is not what I wrote. Greater attention to detail needed.

That is why I said how to handle it , by omitting them from such emails if it it bothersome to you, then explained that you can't really change anyone to your liking. I will go ahead and opt out.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
You answered question submitted for Certified Expert in the "Relationship" category. I am a professional "Relationship Manager" of many years in the highly emotional money business (high finance in corporate world) so I know business approaches to dealing with relationship issues and well know that one can "often catch more bees with honey than you will with vinegar." And that when it comes to the carrot or the stick approach in motivating behavior, most prefer the carrot, so I was in more search of a new carrot to offer family to motivate responses to my electronic communications, if even just two letter "TY" response that message was received. I was ready to rate you so you got paid but then you began to quibble about the whole "change" vs. "handle" phraseology and chose to opt out. That's O.K. as new set of eyes might be able to illuminate more creative strategy than just giving up, reducing my own expectations, and accepting one can never change anyone, even if request is small and is with immediate family, some even receiving financial assistance weekly and showing zero appreciation due to bad rearing by criminally uncooperative Ex and Bad Mother. So if new Expert tries their hand at answering this query, note I am looking for positive strategies to motivate something simple that is really just plain common courtesy they should know and I shouldn't have to move a mountain to "change them" so as to adopt better practices in showing common courtesy to immediate family. Fresh ideas? New approach? I'm all eyes for new answers if any can be summoned.

Hi. Go physically visit them for a good week to put strengh in those familly bond.

Remember that many do not like to type (not being able to type fast). Even if you just want a quick TY, they might already have a mind association email=unpleasent.

You could get them by the curiosity. Send them a zipped or rar or pdf text file with a password, with them needing to ask for the password ***** see it, or see the last part of a bit of news.

As for the time it take you, you could put them on a maling list and send then them all the same news. So it would not be longer to send it to one than to 1000 persons.

Put some interactivity in the news, contest, trivia etc... with the top score mentioned in the next update. Some with big ego will not want to miss recognition from the lowest class :)

Perhaps they are prefering other things than email, like facebook and would be more willing to participate that way.

Perhaps they just don't like frequent communication and would participate more if more time pass between them. Some may not want to respond because they feel sorry for themself to have an empty life with noting of interrest to report.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I like idea of password ***** file -- "GEE! What's in the BOX?!!" -- which could motivate curiosity to pick up lazy fingers and tap a few keys to find out.I like idea of contest, quiz game, trivia, etc. in competition format so if they know the answer, they can do the unthinkable and actually type back with their guess / answer and win fame / even a prize, in our family contest by email / text. I do this with guessing winners for Triple Crown races each year (Kentucky Derby, Preakness & Belmont Stakes) and get faster response from easy responders but still silence from the dead-finger crew-with-no-clue in my clan.Both are creative new or improved ideas so you get the cookie!As for your guess as to the motivation of keyboard slackers in my camp, it goes much deeper than you speculate. The Mother is a horrific and well-noted ALIENATOR of my children, using lies to brainwash them against me knowing they all wanted me to have custody vs. her (read "Mommy Dearest" level abuser / liar / criminally-inclined manipulator.) I became National Marketing Director for group promoting remedies to help stop PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome") then glommed onto Virtual Visitation (electronic visitation by webcam), instituted the nation's first free Virtual Visitation Center in my children's city, and they webcammed with me under professional supervision for years given the expense of frequent travel across the 1500 miles that separated us. Virtual Visitation worked to end the PAS and all was grand / peaceful for years. But kids can outgrow such managed communications after emancipation at 18 and so the youngest now at 21, has become RE-ALIENATED by his abusive mother against me, supported by her abusive Paramour of 15 years who has open line with my 21 year old who for some reason has chosen to shut off all communications with me with no explanation. He has AD/HD and is off his meds, giving rise to rebellious, unruly behavior and hiding / running -- classic potential for exploitation via alienating conditioning from his nearby mother and her abusive Paramour. Thorny dynamics here, no? But that's just a taste for what I am up against. Thanks for the creative suggestions. I'm ready to rate / will give good rating for fresh and/or improved ideas to remedy / motivate idle fingers in my clan, delivering Neanderthal non-responses (no responses / keyboard aversion) in this, the New Millennium and Age of the Electronic Cottage (Alvin Toffler)..
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
BTY -- This is some glitch with JA web platform or conflict with User's browser or OS (I'm using Browser Microsoft Edge, recommended for OS Windows 10, 64 bit, Home Edition.) My screen show you have only 17 ratings with only 1 star average which I'm confident is totally wrong. But this JA glitch gives impression you are Newbie or not experienced which can affect User's perception of your credibility as an "expert." This is YOUR reputation on parade before the netizens of the Web (as well as that for other JA Experts I've seen with similar misrepresentation due to the JA bug or conflict with certain browsers or Operating Systems.) Bring this to the attention of JA Web Masters so you are represented accurately and your credibility as TRUE Expert is preserved. Heads Up / Hope this helps.

Thank you for your concern. I mainly do electronic tech support here, so this is my main categories where i have more than i can cound rating now. The low score may be because of the truth factor. The relationship category is really harsh to work in as truth often hurt and some don't like that. That said i should indeed have more than 17 rating. Let see if you can up this to 18 :)

Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4954
Experience: i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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