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Parents don’t respect my boundaries and feelings

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  • #383454
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Annie,

    They NEVER put this pressure on my sister, would is 20 turning 21. When she would throw a tantrum or show her discontent, my mom just let it go and never yell and nag at her for hours.

    They would rather pay someone else to help them than ask her.

    Now I understand why what I suggested above (to teach your sister how to fill in the forms, and then inform your parents that she too is able to do it from now) – wouldn’t really work. They would rather pay someone else than to disturb her. She uses a smart defense strategy: she throws a tantrum and that’s how she keeps them at bay. She doesn’t have any remorse or any sense of guilt for not helping them. And so she’s off the hook.

    You on the other hand have a sense of responsibility and a strong sense of guilt if you don’t help them. And they are using it – they are using your sense of duty, your care and conscientiousness to do what they want you to do. I could imagine that even your mother nagging you to get a driver’s license is because she’ll be using you to drive them (or your sister) to places. It seems  that your parents unfortunately don’t see you as a person with her own needs and wants, but as a function to them. And you, because of your good heart and your sense of duty, are allowing it.

    It’s time to take that course, Annie, and start respecting yourself and learning how to set boundaries. If you could live separately from your parents, that would be great too. Physical and emotional separation is what you need, because otherwise you’re going to burnout. Those chest pains and physical problems you’re experiencing are a sign of burnout, I believe. You need to take care of yourself, and not sacrifice your health and well-being for them.

    I root for you to start the process of self-care. One step could be to set aside time for taking that course… And also, let them pay someone else to do those tasks. Start respecting yourself and caring about your health.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by TeaK.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by TeaK.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by TeaK.
    #383567
    Annie
    Participant

    @anita:


    @anita
    :

    Dear Annie:

    I wish there was a way for you to take a vacation away from your family- to travel far, far away, and be all by yourself for a few weeks.. or longer, just you alone on a beach somewhere, listening to the calming sound of waves.. take in the ocean air and relax.

    anita

    That would be nice but I feel more anxiety going out now since covid.

    #383568
    Annie
    Participant

    @TeaK:

    Dear Annie,

    They NEVER put this pressure on my sister, would is 20 turning 21. When she would throw a tantrum or show her discontent, my mom just let it go and never yell and nag at her for hours.

    They would rather pay someone else to help them than ask her.

    Now I understand why what I suggested above (to teach your sister how to fill in the forms, and then inform your parents that she too is able to do it from now) – wouldn’t really work. They would rather pay someone else than to disturb her. She uses a smart defense strategy: she throws a tantrum and that’s how she keeps them at bay. She doesn’t have any remorse or any sense of guilt for not helping them. And so she’s off the hook.

    You on the other hand have a sense of responsibility and a strong sense of guilt if you don’t help them. And they are using it – they are using your sense of duty, your care and conscientiousness to do what they want you to do. I could imagine that even your mother nagging you to get a driver’s license is because she’ll be using you to drive them (or your sister) to places. It seems  that your parents unfortunately don’t see you as a person with her own needs and wants, but as a function to them. And you, because of your good heart and your sense of duty, are allowing it.

    It’s time to take that course, Annie, and start respecting yourself and learning how to set boundaries. If you could live separately from your parents, that would be great too. Physical and emotional separation is what you need, because otherwise you’re going to burnout. Those chest pains and physical problems you’re experiencing are a sign of burnout, I believe. You need to take care of yourself, and not sacrifice your health and well-being for them.

    I root for you to start the process of self-care. One step could be to set aside time for taking that course… And also, let them pay someone else to do those tasks. Start respecting yourself and caring about your health.

    Also, whenever they ask her for help, she just acts clueless and right away says she doesn’t know without bothering to even begin helping or looking into it.

    Even when she goes to college, they never pressure her to take the bus or anything. Instead, they’d go out of their way to pick her up even if they have to leave work. I had to take the bus or other transportation back from school and from taking classes. She just doesn’t like taking buses or other transportations because it’s uncomfortable. But who does? No one likes taking the bus. I feel they spoil her too much on this too. And she gets so upset when they pick her up but then parents have to go somewhere after because she just wants to go home and it’s inconvenient to her.

    I know I keep pushing back on resuming the course, but I just feel like I have no time or energy to do it lately. I feel so mentally tired a lot lately just from work that I literally just feel like doing nothing.

    I know I will move out eventually in the future.

    #383569
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Annie,

    your sister does seem very spoiled, and your parents enable it. They have zero expectations from her, they let her do whatever she wants and accommodate to her whims, whereas they have all those expectations from you. There are unfortunately parents who treat their children differently, and yours seem to be like that.

    I don’t know what the reason is: it could be because your sister is much younger, or perhaps her health was fragile when she was a child and that’s why they were worried about her and spared her from duties (?), and/or because of her character where she’s rather selfish and self-centered, and doesn’t care if she causes trouble to her parents. Whatever the cause is, they do seem to treat the two of you differently.

    I know I keep pushing back on resuming the course, but I just feel like I have no time or energy to do it lately. I feel so mentally tired a lot lately just from work that I literally just feel like doing nothing.

    It tends to be a vicious circle because sometimes we can’t say No to other people’s requirements to even start caring about ourselves. And so our exhaustion and burnout deepens… How is it at your workplace? Do you feel overburdened there too?

    I know I will move out eventually in the future.

    Yes, that would be really important. Do you have a vision of when this might become possible and under what circumstances?

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by TeaK.
    #383576
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    In September 2019, you described what I believe to be your core problem: “I feel so lonely with no emotional connection or social connection to anyone… I’ve always struggled with making friends and building strong connections with people, so it’s really hard and close to impossible to make and keep friends… I can’t even make friends online… I feel like I’m just an empty body with no soul”- because we humans are social animals, when we are not emotionally connected to other people aka lonely, we feel empty and depressed.

    Evident in your earlier threads in regard to boyfriends is your jealousy, envy, hurt and anger: “Recently I’ve been feeling jealous and envious of my boyfriend’s social life. It just seems he meets the right kind of people and hit things off well, while for me it’s hard to.. make new friends or keep old friends… We started fighting a lot. He told me sometimes when I’m like this it’s hard to be around me… His coworkers and manager are always nice to him..  I do feel a little jealous of him.. he has a lot of people there for him while I don’t” (Sept 2017), “We have been in a on and off relationship with each other” (April 2019), “I feel like he never saw me as his best friend. Because he has his own group of best friends, why would he need me as a best friend?… I feel so angry” (Sept 2019), “After breaking up with my then-boyfriend, I went on a dating app and matched with H. ..We went on a few dates.. . At some point, I started feeling irritated and got upset with him easily” (June 2020).

    We talked about the origin of your ongoing experience of loneliness, jealousy and anger: “Yes, I believe that growing up I didn’t get much of the emotional connection and bond with my parents as a child and even growing up. So I would feel like my family doesn’t understand how I feel and I would feel lonely… Anita – I learned that a person’s relationship with a partner is a reflection of a person’s relationship with their caregiver/parent” (Sept 2019)- you felt hurt, lonely and angry with/at your parents=> you felt the same with boyfriends (and with everyone else).

    “I don’t feel the anger towards my parents anymore. But I do see the correlation of me trying to get that emotional need from my partner because I didn’t get that as a child or ever from my dad” (Sept 2019)- at the time you didn’t feel anger toward your parents because you were focused on a boyfriend, distracted from your relationships at home.

    On Sept 26 2019, I wrote to you: “Dear Annie: That is what happens most often when we experience a significant lack in childhood: we ‘don’t feel the anger toward (our) parents anymore’ but we feel it toward our boyfriends/ partners in each and every relationship… Problem is that you are likely to feel this kind of jealousy for your next boyfriend and the next.. until you address the jealousy you felt as a child when one of your parents (or both) seemed to prefer other people over you- other family members, maybe even neighbors or strangers…. Do you want to share about this old childhood jealousy?”

    On Sept 27 2019, you answered: “yes, growing up I did feel a lot of jealousy and envy towards my younger sibling because everyone gave her more attention and care and I felt I lacked affection from them… parents, grandparents.. Some of my parents’ friends would compare me to my younger sister about things like my height (which I was always insecure about) and it made me felt self conscious growing up”.

    A year later, July 2020, you shared that you were an only child until your sister was born when you were 8: “Since then, I felt like both my parents and family favored my sister and showered her with more attention and love than on me…  I just don’t feel any emotional connection. Maybe I do feel a little bit with my mom, but we have our fights… With my sister, I’ve always envied that everyone favors her more…. I don’t feel close to my sister emotionally despite that we’ve been sharing the same bedroom.. we’re just strangers in the same room… I just envy that others have such closeness with their siblings.. We used to play online games together, but she made her own group of online friends, so she plays with them instead”,

    “I just envy that my mom and sister’s relationship are so close. I feel I won’t ever have that closeness and it’s killing me.. When my mom and her are prepping food and I come out to join them, my sister would stop and leave. I feel sad and hurt”,

    “My mom.. (is) disappointed that I haven’t accomplished what is expected of me for people my age. I do feel ashamed at myself for it.. I’m 28”.

    A year later, July 2021: “I literally do not have any emotional connection and closeness with any family member…I hate my family”.

    My thoughts today: it is not your fault that you feel disconnected from your parents, from your sister, and from everyone else. You did not create your childhood experience of emotional disconnection aka loneliness. It was created for you, and it was done to you. I don’t think that within your family, you are the odd one, the only one who is not connected to others. I think that everyone in your home is emotionally disconnected from everyone else, including your sister. This is why “she haven’t been doing anything at home other than play video games.. she’s just gaming!!!”- she is just gaming, she is not connecting with you, or with her mother, or with her father.

    I think that when you see your sister prepping food in the kitchen with your mother, and you think that they are “so close”- you are wrong: she has moments of connection with her mother, some moments of connection with you, some with her father, but same is true to you. Four people living in the same small location (home), by sheer volume of time spent in close proximity- they end up connecting with each other at times.  But as a whole, there is little emotional connection between all four of you. You only imagine that everything is lovely when it comes to your sister’s connection with your mother/ parents.

    Your hurt and anger, jealousy and envy have been going on strongly for too long. This emotional upset is hurting your health. The fact that you are living with your parents and with your sister (sharing the same bedroom!) is not a healthy situation. At 29, it is time for you to plan moving out.

    If you move out and live away from your family, you will not get rid of the hurt, anger, jealousy and envy, and you will not be free to form close emotional connections with others. You will be taking the hurt, anger, jealousy and envy with you wherever you go. But living away from your family, and receiving some psychotherapy, will provide you the OPPORTUNITY to heal: the opportunity to express and resolve (over time) your  hurt and anger, the opportunity to form and maintain emotional connections with others, and the opportunity to enjoy a healthy love relationship with a man.

    If and when you move away, your mother may still be disappointed and frustrated with you for not accomplish things she wanted you to accomplish years ago- but moving away will give you the opportunity to no longer be disappointed and frustrated with yourself!

    Imagine feeling at peace with being who you are. It will be a way better kind of vacation than the beach vacation that I suggested to you earlier!

    anita

    #384559
    Annie
    Participant

    @TeaK

    Dear Annie,

    your sister does seem very spoiled, and your parents enable it. They have zero expectations from her, they let her do whatever she wants and accommodate to her whims, whereas they have all those expectations from you. There are unfortunately parents who treat their children differently, and yours seem to be like that.

    I don’t know what the reason is: it could be because your sister is much younger, or perhaps her health was fragile when she was a child and that’s why they were worried about her and spared her from duties (?), and/or because of her character where she’s rather selfish and self-centered, and doesn’t care if she causes trouble to her parents. Whatever the cause is, they do seem to treat the two of you differently.

    It tends to be a vicious circle because sometimes we can’t say No to other people’s requirements to even start caring about ourselves. And so our exhaustion and burnout deepens… How is it at your workplace? Do you feel overburdened there too?

    Yes, that would be really important. Do you have a vision of when this might become possible and under what circumstances?

    Not for work, I felt okay there. I am able to focus on keeping myself busy with work and don’t think about other things. I don’t know when I’ll be able to move out yet. I am still currently unemployed and looking for work because I got laid off. But I would prefer to find a roommate to live with which is hard because I don’t know anyone else who wants to do that.

    #384561
    Annie
    Participant

    @anita

    “I don’t feel the anger towards my parents anymore. But I do see the correlation of me trying to get that emotional need from my partner because I didn’t get that as a child or ever from my dad” (Sept 2019)- at the time you didn’t feel anger toward your parents because you were focused on a boyfriend, distracted from your relationships at home.

    That sounds correct.

    On Sept 26 2019, I wrote to you: “Dear Annie: That is what happens most often when we experience a significant lack in childhood: we ‘don’t feel the anger toward (our) parents anymore’ but we feel it toward our boyfriends/ partners in each and every relationship… Problem is that you are likely to feel this kind of jealousy for your next boyfriend and the next.. until you address the jealousy you felt as a child when one of your parents (or both) seemed to prefer other people over you- other family members, maybe even neighbors or strangers…. Do you want to share about this old childhood jealousy?”

    That is true and you are correct… I did notice the pattern in my relationship with H, and I had the same jealousy that he seems to be really lucky with meeting really great friends that do anything for him and I envied him a lot about that – and I ask myself “Why can’t I have such friends? Why don’t I have friends that do those things for me?” and end up comparing my friends to theirs. It’s an automatic reaction that I tend to compare. This is the same as when parents do or say something to my sister and I would compare it with how they treat me or things they say to me too. And it puts me in a not so good mood.

    This is also apparent when I’m around a group of friends too. They seem to be closer than they are with me, and I often felt like a third wheel. I envied their relationship so much since high school because I was originally best friends with one of them and we were really close until 2 years later when our current friend came to our school from another country. After that, the two of them became really close. The 3 of us would hang out every day during lunch time at school, but it just didn’t felt the same as before. After we all graduated, there were times when the both of them hung out without me, and it would hurt me a lot because I felt so left out and excluded. My best friend started labelling her as her best friend, and she no longer addressed me that. I felt so hurt and replaced. This was years ago, and we do still all hang out once in a while, but I still feel that resentment and the feeling of being replaced. Maybe this triggered the similar feeling I felt when my sister was born, and I felt replaced.

    My thoughts today: it is not your fault that you feel disconnected from your parents, from your sister, and from everyone else. You did not create your childhood experience of emotional disconnection aka loneliness. It was created for you, and it was done to you. I don’t think that within your family, you are the odd one, the only one who is not connected to others. I think that everyone in your home is emotionally disconnected from everyone else, including your sister. This is why “she haven’t been doing anything at home other than play video games.. she’s just gaming!!!”- she is just gaming, she is not connecting with you, or with her mother, or with her father.

    Thank you anita. I guess I’m feeling more resentment towards my sister because we used to be closer until she met her online friends. Before that, we would be playing the game together, even staying up to play and it was happy times even though it was short. We also used to do puzzles and watch some dramas together (even though she never really liked watching things together because it’s ‘too long’). Since she met her online friends, she’s spend every waking moment playing games with them, talking, and even streaming movies to watch together. I feel like she talks to him more than she does to me in a lifetime (for the most part, I’m always the one talking and sharing things with her, rarely the other way around). I felt replaced and really hurt because we literally don’t even have that now.

    I think that when you see your sister prepping food in the kitchen with your mother, and you think that they are “so close”- you are wrong: she has moments of connection with her mother, some moments of connection with you, some with her father, but same is true to you. Four people living in the same small location (home), by sheer volume of time spent in close proximity- they end up connecting with each other at times.  But as a whole, there is little emotional connection between all four of you. You only imagine that everything is lovely when it comes to your sister’s connection with your mother/ parents.

    Most of the time when I try to talk to my mom, and I am trying to say how I feel or my thoughts, it never fails that she would say things like “we are going to argue again” or “okay, you are right. I am wrong” and it really triggers and angers me so much. Every time when we say things and don’t agree with each other. Or she talks over me and I never feel heard. There is no point when I tell her that I am not trying to say I am trying to be right, because I am not. Then she says that when someone is talking that I should stay quiet and listen and other crap. Everything negative she says is so triggering and she says the same things every time. Then saying that we can’t ever talk. It just makes me shut down and want to retreat to being by myself because I’m not heard or understood.

    If you move out and live away from your family, you will not get rid of the hurt, anger, jealousy and envy, and you will not be free to form close emotional connections with others. You will be taking the hurt, anger, jealousy and envy with you wherever you go. But living away from your family, and receiving some psychotherapy, will provide you the OPPORTUNITY to heal: the opportunity to express and resolve (over time) your  hurt and anger, the opportunity to form and maintain emotional connections with others, and the opportunity to enjoy a healthy love relationship with a man.

    Yes I am trying to work on healing slowly. I got laid off and have been doing internships recently so I am still trying to look for a job.

    #384564
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Annie,

    Not for work, I felt okay there. I am able to focus on keeping myself busy with work and don’t think about other things.

    That’s good, it means you don’t have a problem with saying No and setting boundaries at your work place, just at home. And as you explained, your resentment is mostly about being excluded from the circle of your loved ones (be it your family or your friends), of not being loved and appreciated equally, of being replaced. This is where you feel rejection the most, not so much at your work place.

    Although with time, a similar type of scenario could happen at your work place too, where you might feel that your colleagues get along very well with each other, but are keeping you out of their tight circle. So if you don’t deal with the original pain of rejection, a similar problem may appear at your work place too.

    I am still currently unemployed and looking for work because I got laid off.

    I am sorry about that. If it’s anyhow possible, perhaps you can use some of the free time to do (or at least start) that course on emotional healing?

    But I would prefer to find a roommate to live with which is hard because I don’t know anyone else who wants to do that.

    Could you place an ad? Or you think people are weary of getting a roommate, due to covid?

    #384568
    Annie
    Participant

    That’s good, it means you don’t have a problem with saying No and setting boundaries at your work place, just at home. And as you explained, your resentment is mostly about being excluded from the circle of your loved ones (be it your family or your friends), of not being loved and appreciated equally, of being replaced. This is where you feel rejection the most, not so much at your work place.

    Although with time, a similar type of scenario could happen at your work place too, where you might feel that your colleagues get along very well with each other, but are keeping you out of their tight circle. So if you don’t deal with the original pain of rejection, a similar problem may appear at your work place too.

    Actually, there were times I felt left out or excluded at work mainly because I was new there and everyone already all knew each other and are friends. They’d have hang outside during the weekend and I did feel excluded when we all sit together during lunch to eat and they’d talk about it. But it didn’t really bother me as much as with family and friends.

    I am sorry about that. If it’s anyhow possible, perhaps you can use some of the free time to do (or at least start) that course on emotional healing?

    I am trying to at least do some once a week. Sometimes doing the work for internship takes me a while to complete. And when I have some time, I just end up spending the time doing other things. I just find myself having no emotional or mental energy to do anything. And with my chronic neck and shoulder pain had been really bothersome and it’s been making things difficult since. And I just get so frustrated with myself and my pain. It feels like whatever I do this chronic pain never goes away.

    Could you place an ad? Or you think people are weary of getting a roommate, due to covid?

    It’s more that I don’t trust people especially if I don’t know them. If it’s someone I know, I’d be more at ease. And also because of covid, I don’t feel comfortable moving out any time soon.

    #384585
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    Most of the time when I try to talk to my mom, and I am trying to say how I feel or my thoughts, it never fails that she would say things like ‘we are going to argue again’ or ‘okay, you are right. I am wrong’ and it really triggers and angers me so much“-

    – It would anger me too because what she is doing is.. refusing to have a dialogue with you, she is refusing to communicate with you about what is troubling you so much. You knock on her door, so to speak, and she slams the door in your face. That’s quite cruel of her: to refuse to talk to her own daughter and alleviate her daughter’s suffering.

    It just makes me shut down and want to retreat to being by myself because I’m not heard or understood“- I understand: she refuses to hear you, she refuses to understand you, and as a result, you feel unheard and misunderstood. In the context of your home, you really are unheard and misunderstood at home: it is really happening.

    As far as you re-experiencing being left out and excluded, unheard and misunderstood outside of your home: it will take lots of effort and time for you to (1)  identify the times and situations when you feel that way, but it isn’t really happening, (2) identify the behaviors on your part that sometimes cause some people to not prefer your company, (3) accept the reality that every person, including yourself, has preferences, preferring certain foods, certain music.. certain people, and therefore there will always be people who will prefer other people over you (same is true to me and everyone else).

    As far as your sister is concerned: try to understand that she is much younger than you, and that it is a very common theme for a teenager/ young adult to prefer online friends of the same age over a much older sibling and parents.

    If you want me to elaborate on #1-3 above, let me know.

    anita

    #384616
    Annie
    Participant

    @anita:

    It would anger me too because what she is doing is.. refusing to have a dialogue with you, she is refusing to communicate with you about what is troubling you so much. You knock on her door, so to speak, and she slams the door in your face. That’s quite cruel of her: to refuse to talk to her own daughter and alleviate her daughter’s suffering.

    This happens often, but yesterday it just topped it off and I had a break down and cried in front of her because the same day, I was venting to a friend about something else that was upsetting me and her response made me felt like my feelings were invalid and I don’t feel heard, like my feelings are being dismissed. I was really feeling distressed because it’s like no one in my life understands or tries to empathize with me.

    It just makes me shut down and want to retreat to being by myself because I’m not heard or understood“- I understand: she refuses to hear you, she refuses to understand you, and as a result, you feel unheard and misunderstood. In the context of your home, you really are unheard and misunderstood at home: it is really happening.

    Thank you for making me feel heard. I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me.

    As far as you re-experiencing being left out and excluded, unheard and misunderstood outside of your home: it will take lots of effort and time for you to (1)  identify the times and situations when you feel that way, but it isn’t really happening, (2) identify the behaviors on your part that sometimes cause some people to not prefer your company, (3) accept the reality that every person, including yourself, has preferences, preferring certain foods, certain music.. certain people, and therefore there will always be people who will prefer other people over you (same is true to me and everyone else).

    #1: Can you elaborate?

    #2: I think I have an idea at least with my sister but I don’t know about with other people.

    #3: I understand that. But all my life, I feel like everyone always prefers someone else over me. Especially with my parents because I feel like they secretly prefer my sister. Maybe it’s a deep emotional wound thats why its triggering me so much.

    #384638
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    You are welcome. #1:  identify the times and situations when you feel that way, but it isn’t really happening).  Can you elaborate?“-

    – when you feel that no one in your home understands you or tries to empathize with you, you tend to view situations outside of your home (in the workplace, in social situations not involving your family members, and elsewhere)  the same way, “like no one in my life understands or tries to empathize with me”.  Your emotional experience at home becomes your emotional experience everywhere.

    I will give you a common example: a lonely girl who really was misunderstood and neglected at home grows up, starts a relationship with a decent man who pays her attention and understands her, so she feels euphoric, like the most wonderful thing just happened- but not for long. One day she tried really hard to look good for him and he doesn’t notice, she thinks: he didn’t notice me, he doesn’t care.  One evening, she badly needs him to be with her because she feels painfully lonely, but he is working the night shift and tells her that he will see you the day after. She thinks: if he cared and understood how lonely I felt, he would have left his shift and visit me tonight!

    In reality: no one person can always notice how another person feels and attend to the other, we all get distracted by our own thoughts and feelings, and many have to keep their jobs, but the lonely-girl-turned-lonely-woman has unrealistic expectations: she wants her boyfriend to always know what she feels and what she wants,  and always attend to her. In summary: she really was misunderstood and neglected at home, but her boyfriend understands her and does not neglect her. It’s just that he is human and no human is able to 100% understand and attend to another person all of the time.

    #2: identify the behaviors on your part that sometimes cause some people to not prefer your company”- I think I have an idea at least with my sister but I don’t know about with other people“- what are your behaviors in regard to your sister that caused her to not want your company? Your answer may give us a clue as to your behaviors  with other people (not family members) that cause them to not want your company.

    #3:… all my life, I feel like everyone always prefers someone else over me. Especially with my parents because I feel like they secretly prefer my sister. Maybe it’s a deep emotional wound thats why its triggering me so much“- I believe you: that your parents prefer your sister, and their preference of her caused you a deep emotional wound.

    But it is not true that “everyone always prefers someone else” over you, it just seems to you this way because you project your experience with your parents (and with your sister), into your experiences with everyone.

    I will add to #3 that because you are (understandably) angry with your parents,  and because you imagine that everyone else is like your parents.. your anger shows, people can see that you are angry, and.. people tend to avoid angry people.

    anita

    #384669
    Annie
    Participant

    @anita

    when you feel that no one in your home understands you or tries to empathize with you, you tend to view situations outside of your home (in the workplace, in social situations not involving your family members, and elsewhere)  the same way, “like no one in my life understands or tries to empathize with me”.  Your emotional experience at home becomes your emotional experience everywhere.

    I will give you a common example: a lonely girl who really was misunderstood and neglected at home grows up, starts a relationship with a decent man who pays her attention and understands her, so she feels euphoric, like the most wonderful thing just happened- but not for long. One day she tried really hard to look good for him and he doesn’t notice, she thinks: he didn’t notice me, he doesn’t care.  One evening, she badly needs him to be with her because she feels painfully lonely, but he is working the night shift and tells her that he will see you the day after. She thinks: if he cared and understood how lonely I felt, he would have left his shift and visit me tonight!

    In reality: no one person can always notice how another person feels and attend to the other, we all get distracted by our own thoughts and feelings, and many have to keep their jobs, but the lonely-girl-turned-lonely-woman has unrealistic expectations: she wants her boyfriend to always know what she feels and what she wants,  and always attend to her. In summary: she really was misunderstood and neglected at home, but her boyfriend understands her and does not neglect her. It’s just that he is human and no human is able to 100% understand and attend to another person all of the time.

    That makes sense and I can understand the girl because I was in a really similar relationship with my ex.

     

    what are your behaviors in regard to your sister that caused her to not want your company? Your answer may give us a clue as to your behaviors  with other people (not family members) that cause them to not want your company.

    I noticed that I would almost always end up ranting and venting to her a lot because we are always in the same room. When I am upset or something bothers me it just became an automatic reaction for me to do because she is the physically closest person. I also get upset and angry a lot lately and because we are in the same room 24/7, she sees a lot of that.

     

    But it is not true that “everyone always prefers someone else” over you, it just seems to you this way because you project your experience with your parents (and with your sister), into your experiences with everyone.

    That makes sense.

     

    I will add to #3 that because you are (understandably) angry with your parents,  and because you imagine that everyone else is like your parents.. your anger shows, people can see that you are angry, and.. people tend to avoid angry people.

    I never thought about my anger showing to anyone else. If anything I try to avoid conflict with people outside of my family.

    #384678
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    I wish you had a separate room from your sister. Maybe it would be better if you slept on the sofa, in a common area of the home, instead of in the room with your sister (“we are in the same room 24/7“).

    I would almost always end up ranting and venting to her a lot… it just became an automatic reaction for me… she sees a lot of that“- not a good automatic reaction or behavior. No wonder she prefers to be  online with friends instead of listening to your rants. Find a way to change this behavior from being automatic to being a matter of choice (no matter how hard it will be). Choose to not rant and vent. Instead, you can journal, draw or post here, or go elsewhere in the home.

    I never thought about my anger showing to anyone else. If anything I try to avoid conflict with people outside of my family“- imagine that you are outside your home, interacting with a person, and notice: are you having eye contact with the person, or are you looking away? Are you smiling at them or is there a frown on your face? When you talk to them, is your voice gentle or harsh? You can stand in front of the mirror as you imagine these things and look at your face: what does it communicate?

    People are attracted to and respond well to people who smile vs people who frown, people who talk gently vs harshly, people who are attentive, who make eye contact vs. people who are inattentive and who look away (in some cultures it is considered rude to make eye contact, etc.,  so some cultural adjustments apply).

    anita

    #385385
    Annie
    Participant

    @anita:

    I wish you had a separate room from your sister. Maybe it would be better if you slept on the sofa, in a common area of the home, instead of in the room with your sister (“we are in the same room 24/7“).

    I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the sofa because it’s really small and parents come out randomly at night

    not a good automatic reaction or behavior. No wonder she prefers to be  online with friends instead of listening to your rants. Find a way to change this behavior from being automatic to being a matter of choice (no matter how hard it will be). Choose to not rant and vent. Instead, you can journal, draw or post here, or go elsewhere in the home.

    I try not to rant to her about everything. Instead, I try my best to keep it to myself. And she always rants to me too.

    imagine that you are outside your home, interacting with a person, and notice: are you having eye contact with the person, or are you looking away? Are you smiling at them or is there a frown on your face? When you talk to them, is your voice gentle or harsh? You can stand in front of the mirror as you imagine these things and look at your face: what does it communicate?

    People often say I’m soft spoken and quiet in person.

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