September 2, 2019 at 12:50 am #309957KatieParticipant
I’ve talked about my one cousin on here a lot. We are extremely close (best friends) and she is very critical of me. She points out every flaw of mine that she can find. I’ve been dealing with that.
However, my other cousin on the other side of my family is also very critical of me. The difference is that we are not close. Our families are extremely close (her mom is my dad’s sister), but her and I aren’t. She is decently older than me (she is 26 while I am 19). We are in different phases of our lives. I’m a sophomore in college and she graduated college 4 years ago. I found that she and her mom are extremely critical of me. My other cousin who is my best friend at least has an excuse to be critical of me… we are best friends and she wants the best for me. But my other 26-year-old (female) cousin barely knows me.
She gives me hints that she thinks I am not smart enough. For example, when I first entered college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted my career to be, but I knew that I was really interested in abnormal psychology. This gave me the idea to become a psychiatrist. To be a psychiatrist, I would need to go to medical school. My 26-year-old cousin asked me what I wanted to do as a career and when I told her this, I heard her whispering to her boyfriend, “she thinks she can get into medical school hahaha”
Another example of this is when my mom overheard my aunt talking about how I have nothing going for me and she was insinuating that I don’t work hard enough/am not smart enough… which isn’t true at all?
Now, I’m no super genius but I’m not stupid. I’m confident enough in myself to say that. Honestly, I believe that if I wanted to become a psychiatrist I could! I know it takes hard work, but if it was my true passion and what I believed was my future then I could do it. I’m also pretty aware of how the premed track works. My 2 best friends are in premed and my boyfriend is also premed. They all plan to go to medical school. They all work extremely hard in school. At the same time, I’m a good student too. I work hard in all of my classes. I’m not some sort of slacker. I worked hard in high school. I was president of a club, was apart of speech and debate club, volunteered at 3 places 3 days a week including Friday’s while my friends were having fun, I got straight A’s. If we are talking about today, I get mostly straight A’s in college, I go to a pretty good school that won’t put me into debt, I speak 3 languages, I am an officer of a club in college. I don’t understand why my aunt views me as a failure? My parents are very proud of me, so why is she so critical? What caused this?
It makes me feel really sad. Like, my family doesn’t accept me. I am never good enough. I barely know my aunt and cousin because we are not close and we only speak at family gatherings that happen once a year. They barely know me and treat me like I’m stupid. I don’t understand why my extended family seems to point out things they see as negative about me. I’m sure it tells more about them than me. I think they are just extremely critical, which is fine. I’m used to criticism. However, my problem with it is that they don’t even know me to point out what I can/can’t do. And obviously, it hurts to be told these things by my family.September 2, 2019 at 6:29 am #310011InkyParticipant
I know exactly what is going on here. Families like to put other family members in roles. Your role is the family failure/screw up. For some reason, long ago, they pegged you as Not Smart.
I’m sorry, did THAT cousin get straight A’s? Did THAT cousin get into a serious course of study (premed/law/PhD/Masters)?
OK, so MY kids were pegged as problem children because my husband’s cousin’s kids were perfect. They had to be problem kids simply because the Perfect Kids label had already been given. The woman wanted to write a Parenting Book using my kids as examples, for God’s Sake!!!
You know what happened? All my kids became winners: a PhD candidate, a Service Academy student and an Eagle Scout. My military cadet said, “Sorry I broke your Christmas ornament when I was little” and her daughters were all, “Mom, why are you bringing that up, that was so long ago?!” Meanwhile she had five unruly grandchildren at that very age. We hear a CRASH! at that moment from the other room!! Woman was mortified!!! Karma is a patient gangster.
You keep being a winner! If you get straight A’s you are surely smart enough to get that degree if you work hard. Then they will have nothing to say! “Our cousin, the stupid doctor”??
InkySeptember 11, 2019 at 7:42 pm #311727KatieParticipant
Wow, thank you I feel like you’re the only person who understands how I feel besides my mom. My mom has disliked this specific aunt and cousin because they have essentially looked down on me since I was a kid and my mom saw it. How did you deal with your kids being pegged the “problem children?” Did you get mad at the little side comments that woman would make?September 12, 2019 at 10:27 am #311899JayJayParticipant
Dealing with put downs is very hard to do. They are meant to hurt and undermine your confidence in yourself.
It’s an ‘I’m better/my children are better/ my family is better’ than yours. You can call it one-upmanship if you like. The purpose of doing this is that it makes them feel better about themselves.
It’s really a very covert type of bullying.
The best way to overcome this is in just the way you really have been doing. You are intelligent, you work hard, and you will be successful. That’s the best way to show them they got it wrong.
Often people who act like this are putting on a front – they are no better than anyone else, but by pointing out that someone else is worse is a smoke screen. Like Inky said, what great and grand achievements has that cousin of yours got that you haven’t? Is she a child genius or something?
In the scale of things, you don’t see them very often.. what a blessing for you! This aunt and cousin sound the sort of people you should try to avoid altogether!