For the past generations, the children in our clan have always been obliged to help out their parents and other immediate family members once they have landed a stable job. And a tremendous amount of help is expected from the eldest child in each family.
And, it so happens that I am the eldest and I just landed a job with a big company. Upon hearing the news, my parents and my siblings immediately made off to complete their “wishlist”.
Problem is, they all expect expensive material objects and such, and I am afraid that I might not be able to fulfill these requests of theirs. They have a way of making people really feel that they have been let down when they don’t get things their way. So I’m asking how I should be able to convey my thoughts in such a way that it won’t make them feel so disappointed and in turn make me feel so bad about it? I may be acting petty, but the pressure is really getting to me.
It's not petty at all, that pressure is a lot to deal with, and they may have taken the expectation of assistance the wrong way. You don't have to admit you don't want to buy them expensive material objects, but you can express your thoughts by focusing on things they need, not things they want, help when they need it and earn/deserve it, not just want it from a list because that's ungrateful/or something etc when talking to them. That you will help them, but not spoil them, because you need to support yourself also. Let me know if this wouldn't be helpful, I'm not totally sure about the specifics of the expectations you're under. I hope this helps though. x
I couldn't agree more with Jess. Make them understand the distinction between helping and giving. First off, your money is not theirs. If they are in financial trouble, need help paying some bills, buying food and clothes, then it would be natural to provide financial assistance. But as to spoil them with gifts just because you are making an above-average income is just a waste, and it's not what caring is all about. I am not saying that you should act selfish around them, just that they should not expect too much from you. Just make it clear as soon as possible otherwise they will keep asking for more. Be generous, but don't get manipulated, I guess is what I'm saying.
You should say: "Family, I know you are expecting a lot from me but please don't expect me to fulfill all your requests right away however I will do the best I can" or you can speak to each person individually letting them know how you feel. Best of luck