One Big Happy Family

man with gritted teeth

I read about a question that was asked on Reddit, ‘Which sentence is only used by annoying people?’

Apparently, on Saturday 22nd October, responses went viral, and by Sunday, more than 13,000 Redditors had participated in the conversation by ranking their favorite “annoying’ phrases”. 

One user commented, “We are like family here,” from their bosses,’ and this struck a chord with many others.

A user queried, “I barely get along with the family I already have. Why would I want another one?”‘

And I was reminded, for the second time in a week, of the old saying: “God gives us our family. Thank heavens we can choose our friends.”

Back in the days when I was working I often reflected that work colleagues, like family, couldn’t be chosen. And, unlike family members, we have to get along with our work colleagues.

So, yes, work can be like family, but not in a good way.


angry computer user


What frequently-trotted out phrases make you wince?


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15 thoughts on “One Big Happy Family

  1. Before I get to the phrase that I abhor, I’d like to talk a little about the one you brought up.

    “We are like family here.”

    Whenever I see that, my immediate thought is, “I hope not!”

    My family was very abusive toward me, to such an extent, that I’m still dealing with the psychological trauma, as well as the physical trauma my brain incurred from the multiple concussions my family had gifted me with.

    These multiple concussions have rendered me incapable of controlling my emotions without my daily meditation – and even then it’s a challenge. Given that, I wouldn’t want to be treated like family.

    The phrase I hate hearing more than anything is:

    “We’re all in this together.”

    I cringe whenever I see or hear that. First, and foremost, we are not all in this together. That phrase was bourne out of the early days of the pandemic, and was usually touted by celebrities sitting in their million dollar mansions.

    Don’t you dare tell me we’re all in this together! Most of you are so far removed from reality. You don’t know what it’s like to struggle and make ends meet.

    Another reason I hate hearing the phrase, “We’re all in this together”, is that it’s become such a cliché, most people don’t really understand what it means anymore. They’re just repeating words without really living them or putting them into action, because when someone comes along who needs support; who needs to know they’re not alone, not many want to stick around and put in the effort of letting them know they have someone on their side.

    If you don’t want to live those words, please keep your mouth shut! Or, to use my beloved vernacular:


    Liked by 3 people

    1. ~I have friends here locally who lived that phrase though – getting in shopping for elderly neighbours without internet and helping out those in need. I suppose it depends on your perspective and who’s saying it.
      You are not the only blogger I’ve read who suffered from an abusive or neglectful (which is almost the same thing) family.
      I always worried about some of my kids’ friends leading them astray, but in the end it is family that can do the most damage.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with you. There are those out there who actually live what they say, but I don’t see it too often.
    It’s so sad to know that the majority have come from abusive backgrounds. You are definitely right about families being the most hurtful. Blood is not necessarily thicker than water.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wouldn’t say the majority, but certainly more than one would be aware of in our day-to-day lives. And there are different kinds of abuse. I expect it isn’t something
      someone talks about without prompting. It’s more something you’d struggle to rise above and want to put behind you.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have had my fair share of idiotic family selfishness. I like what Cathy shared with me when she replied me on my blog post – thankfully I can choose friends. I am learning to disassociate myself from toxic family members. It is a long road especially for me, who believed in family and wanted to believe that there is a familial tie. But like it or not, I must learn to insulate myself. Thanks Cathy for bringing me some encouragement and perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It took me a decade before I realized I needed to completely extricate myself from my family. I haven’t been in contact with them for nearly 50 years. My life has been so peaceful because of it.
    It’s a hard thing to have to come to grips with, but my sanity was vitally important – still is – what’s left of it!
    I pray you find the same peace as I have.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I recognise feelings people have shared. I have removed myself from a fair number of people (family) in my life, but only now feel no guilt about it and recognise it was the right thing for me. People tried to guilt trip me over it, but they aren’t my people.
    I truly don’t feel that politicians really are in it together with us.
    Can’t think of any phrases I hate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find it is the little guilt trips that pop up in my head at night – such trivial things mostly, and so many years ago. I wonder sometimes if people involved even remember them – they’re not the kind of thing I would bother remembering. (Things like unfortunate overheard remarks, before I learned to keep my mouth shut – or at least look around first.)
      I feel no guilt about dropping people who don’t deserve my time. I’m fortunate in that these tend not to be my immediate family

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one. My head constantly reminds me of thoughtless things I did or said donkeys years ago, even if I’ve apologised for them.
    Mine were very close, Mother, sister, husbands, and now my son has disowned me. I wish he’d done it twenty years ago, it would have saved a lot of heartache, stress and money.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Money, certainly… but you do what you can, don’t you. My children seem much closer to each other as adults than I’ve ever been to my brother or sister (although she lived nearby. Our children grew up together and are still close).
      They seem to include me in that, even though I don’t still live near them. I never felt all that connected to my Mum or Dad, but I wonder now if that was something to do with being adopted…
      I rather expect though that it is more to do with me. Perhaps if you have few expectations of familial ties, you’re more likely to be pleasantly surprised. And less likely to be disappointed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m just curious. Why would your being adopted have anything to do with your not feeling a closeness with your parents? Were you adopted when you were much older? Maybe they weren’t very loving people?

        You don’t have to answer any of the questions if you don’t want to.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. no – I was adopted as a baby, and I know other adopted children are really close to their families. I just floated that to myself as a theory that might explain why I wasn’t so toughy-feely as – for instance – my sister. (Although neither were my adoptive mother or father, so maybe it’s my sister who’s extra-huggy.)

          Liked by 1 person

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