Anxiety around my family


This month I’m working on relationships with my family (parents and siblings). Some of the thoughts I have are:
“They value success, money and looks. They’re super competitive, like to show off and put other people down. They despise the weak and the suffering. My values are very different from theirs. When I try to be honest about my situation or any difficulty I’ve always regretted it. They often tease and demean other people. I don’t want them to know anything about me. I always get hurt..”.

Not surprisingly I show up as tense and guarded, reveal very little and put on a fake persona. I’m anxious about how I look and what they might tease or criticise me about. Often I avoid interaction altogether because it’s awkward and I anticipate hurt. I’m much more reluctant to see them when things aren’t going perfectly in my life. I’m an introvert and the small talk doesn’t come that easy.

I feel like there’s no chance of genuine connection because I am never myself’ and simply wanting to be somewhere else, which probably shows. At the same time I feel sure if I act as myself or show any vulnerability I’ll for sure have it used against me and it’ll be humiliating and painful.

My goal is to feel confident enough in myself that I’m not bothered by anything they say or do. But I’m nowhere close yet. I’m so emotional about it that I find it hard to get clarity in my models.

Can (should?) I be around people and set boundaries around how they talk to me? But I anticipate this would just mean walking away from these family relationships.

How can I move forward? TIA.