Ask Sayeda: Do you feel neglected by your parents or have sudden surges of anger?

Published: June 21, 2013

Ask him openly about how he feels about you. You may be surprised to find out that there is plenty of love there.

Dear Sayeda,

I have something on my mind that’s been bothering me for quite some time, and I am not sure how to handle it. I have elderly parents, and though I am married, I am always doing my best to stay in touch and be there for them in whatever way I can. I do what I can for them, but I feel that my father favours my brother over me.

My brother has a pretty selfish lifestyle. He is now grown up enough to have a job, but he doesn’t work and still asks my parents for money. He does spend time with my father, but then he basically lives at home with everyone fussing over him.

He uses my father’s car, leaving my parents stuck at home for hours, and then brings the petrol tank empty. My question is how do I make my father see that he is being too nice to my brother? That maybe, he is being used?

This makes me really angry especially since I feel that he is the favourite. Your advice would really help.

Disgruntled Daughter 

—————————————————————————-

Dear Disgruntled Daughter,

I was wondering, is this about your concern for your father, or perhaps a little bit of jealousy that your brother is the favoured one?

It seems to me that perhaps there may be some feelings of resentment — you’re doing all the work, while your brother gets the affection.

First of all, feeling the way you are right now is completely natural. After all, you should be getting some credit and acknowledgement for the role you are playing in the family.

What I suggest is actually a two-fold measure. Firstly, do some work on yourself to resolve your resentment towards your brother. If you feel that you’re not getting the credit you deserve, then ask yourself why. Is this coming from something that happened in your childhood? Did you always feel that your parents favoured your brother? If you would like the answer to this, then I suggest you talk to your father in a calm and respectful way.

Tell him how you feel, that you wish you had more acknowledgement for being the daughter that you are. Ask him openly about how he feels about you. You may be surprised to find out that there is plenty of love there.

The second part of this issue may also challenge you a bit. Consider that your father also gets something from the relationship with your brother that you don’t see. Your brother spends time with your dad, so your father gets the company, and perhaps he feels needed by his children.

What I suggest is, try to look at the situation from your father’s point-of-view.

You may find that he has a deep wisdom, and is happy with the situation as it is. If he isn’t, then it really is up to him to change it. I suggest you deal with your own feelings and stay out of the relationship that your father and his son share.

Sayeda

—————————————————————————-

Hey Sayeda,

I read your blog in Tribune about the anger management thing. I have a question… I just don’t know why but when I am mad, I feel extremely frustrated and just start crying… I know crying is not a sign of weakness but just a way of expressing myself, but in the end I only hurt myself.  Please keep my name hidden and I will be waiting for your suggestion.

Regards,

Frustrated Human

Hey Frustrated Human,

Thanks for your message. First of all, I am wondering why you think that crying is hurting yourself. Anger is an interesting emotion because it involves a lot of physiological changes that take place alongside.

When we get angry or upset, stress hormones start surging through our bodies. This is why people sometimes experience a racing heartbeat, a hot red face and so on. When this happens, those hormones need to be released otherwise they will continue circling inside the body causing problems. This is why exercise is such a good solution.

In your case, it seems that crying is how you express your emotions and release those hormones. If that is how you express yourself, then go ahead and do so. The only thing I would suggest is that when your feelings come over you, make sure to express yourself in an environment where you won’t feel judged.

So take some time out alone, or perhaps only share with people who are close to you. This way, once you have let things out of your system, you can go back to the situation and deal with it productively.

Best wishes,

Sayeda

—————————————————————————-

Have a question for Sayeda? Drop us an email explaining your problem on [email protected] and read her response next week! All submissions will be edited for clarity and brevity.

Read more by Sayeda here

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fatima

    Dear Sayeda,

    Disgruntled daughter is very right to feel this way. Her brother needs to get his act together. Could not read the rest of your advice after that first bitRecommend

  • Azad

    Friends, all the answers are in the holy book. Read it every day. Recommend

  • Proletarian

    What if you feel neglected by God?Recommend

  • Parvez

    In your reply you have not touched upon the fact that she says her brother is old enough to work but does not and sponges on his parents. The girls concern is genuine and I felt your reply was to ask the girl to adjust her thinking……………..I disagree on that count.
    Recommend

  • J

    very well writtenRecommend

  • Sane

    This being a trivial and lack-substance matter does not make a place as blog post.Recommend

  • Dr Omar

    Shouldn’t the title be Do you feel neglected by your parents or have sudden surges of anger? Instead of Do your feel neglected by your parents or sudden surges of anger?Recommend

  • Mikaail

    Gilbert K. Chesterton once said, “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” – It makes perfect sense in this case. With all due respect, I don’t think Ms. Sayeda understands the essence of the problem and it’s a shame to call what she proposes as ‘solutions’. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but these matters should be commented on by an actual Psychologist, not just anyone who thinks they’re good at giving advice, but aren’t.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Author: “When this happens, those hormones need to be released otherwise they will continue circling inside the body causing problems. This is why exercise is such a good solution.”

    Hormones level go down as soon as you stop feeling angry or upset. Hormones need to be released from what? What stress hormones have to do with exercise? Exercise also puts stress on your body. If your heart beat is racing, exercise will make it beat faster. Exercise and/or meditation can help in many mentally related problems but nothing to do with releasing of stress hormones in the sense you are talking about.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Mikaail: I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but these matters should be commented on by an actual Psychologist, not just anyone who thinks they’re good at giving advice, but aren’t.

    She needs to know this to improve her skills. You did a good favor to her. I hope she takes it positively.Recommend

  • Milind

    @Disgruntled daughter – I feel for you.. In this culture where the boy gets preferential treatment over the daughter, what can you expect.
    Sayeeda has deliberately overlooked this part and instead asked you to focus on improving yourself.. Which is fine, once you accept that nothing can be achieved in this boy-centric culture.. Accept this and retreat from your parents to build a life with the person who acknowledges you for what you are.Recommend

  • Rita Chatterjee

    I would be very curious to see if Ms Sayeda would give the same advice to a son who feels disgruntled by either of his parent’s preferential treatment for the daughter. I found the advice really revealing in the bias it revealed.
    The classic Asian syndrome – you see exploitation or injustice, adjust your thinking and accept it instead of improving the situation by addressing the problem.

    To Disgruntled daughter, I feel for you. Your brother is not doing his duty but getting all the rewards. In one sense Ms Sayeda is right, after speaking to your father honestly and respectfully, you see nothing changes, it is your right to adjust your life accordingly, including accepting the reality and not being exploited yourself. How much you want to carry the load despite the situation is your call – in your place I would probably continue to carry it due to my love for my parents and my sense of responsibility but accept the reality with as much grace and belief in God that I can muster up:) Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    AUNTII AGNII gives best advices…!!Recommend

  • Ali

    My Friend, it is not God who neglects but his arrogant and selfish creation. God says that he will help us only if we help ourselves and the rest, well you get the picture mate. Yes, what we really must do is search our feelings for the right thing and try to look at the bright side of things. And my advice will be that if we feel disgruntled and hopeless, well, we should try to do things that please us and make us happy. Believe me, works effectively..@Proletarian: Recommend