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