Family, Boundaries & Pleasing Others


I was recently visiting my country due to my father’s passing and have met some twenty cousins that I haven’t been in touch with for ten years.
I was very appreciative for the care and love they expressed during our grief and at the end of that visit, they all asked to share phone numbers and started texting me almost every day, now that I am back in the US.

Recently I had this C: Cousin texted and I did not respond immediately and she wrote again – “Why does it take you so long to answer?!”

Before I knew what I was thinking, I immediately felt stressed and upset.

And then I went to look for the Thought that caused it, and found that I thought:
This is so frustrating. I got better things to do. I really rather block her for good.

My Action then was to text back and say that I was busy at work.

The Result was that the cousin accepted my response and we later continued texting.

So, lately there are more and more text messages, sometimes entire conversations back and forth and the children of the cousins send me messages too, and I want to clean the whole way I think about it as well as decide what I want to do about it because my thoughts about it at the moment cause me stress.

My thoughts so far are:

I don’t have time for this.
These are such shallow and gossip-like conversations, I do not want to waste brain juice on them.
Truly, if it wasn’t for the support they showed at my father’s funeral, I wouldn’t be corresponding with them at all.
I have nothing in common with them.
I don’t like them.If I were to live near them I would never want to hang out with them.
I have no patience for that.
I don’t want to be busy with all this nonsense.
I should just block them.
I should let them know that I am closing whatsapp.
Why should I keep responding if I don’t feel like it.

But then I also tried to find better ways to think about it and I came up with these Thoughts:

They just want to connect with me. — Makes me feel at peace.
This is their way to stay in touch. — Makes me feel understanding.
I can train them that I don’t respond immediately. — Makes me feel in control.
Perhaps I could find a way to stay in touch with them on my terms. — Makes me feel optimistic.
I can still choose whether to respond or not and let them think whatever they want. — Makes me feel justified.

So, even after I come up with these better feeling thoughts, I don’t feel good about staying in touch this often.

I found that there’s another underlying thought that says: You are trying to make yourself feel good about doing something you truly don’t want to do.

So I would love your help about that as this is where I am stuck and perhaps there’s something I cannot see.

Thank you!