The Solution To Family Jealousy Is Empathy
Sarah got the best marks in High School. As a matter of fact, she was on the Honour Roll in her Grade 10 class.
Her younger sister Samantha, who was in Grade 9, went to the same school and is one year her junior. Samantha did not do as well as Sarah on her report card.
Sarah runs home to tell her parents about her astounding marks. As you and I can guess, her parents are overwhelmed with so much joy and happiness. They gave Sarah the biggest hugs and kisses.
And as they were doing that, Samantha happens to walk in and see the love Sarah was given. Her parents did not even see her come in as their focus was on their daughter.
Samantha gently puts her report card in her pocket and runs up the stairs with sadness and anger in her mind. Samantha wished she had that moment with her parents. By her grades, she knew she was not going to have the same reaction as Sarah had.
From that day on, Samantha kept her distance from Sarah because she felt insecure around her.
Now, let’s look at it from a different perspective.
Sarah gets the best marks in school and gets the same loving reaction.
Samantha quickly tries to get upstairs discreetly, but her mother notices her and says, “Honey, how was your report card?”
Samantha puts her head down, as she gently hands over the envelope to her mom. As her mom opened up the report card, her smile went to empathy.
She handed the report card to her husband, and she subsequently, gently grabs Samantha’s hand and says, “Honey that is okay. We are all still very proud of you. We will help you in any way to get your marks higher.”
The father and Sarah went to comfort her. The family was all about love. Her parents and Sarah love Samantha with all their hearts and nothing changes about her being the irreplaceable Samantha.
Jealousy is happening all over the world. Someone earned a promotion. Someone received an award. Someone has a girlfriend/boyfriend. Someone has that new iphone. Someone has luxury. Someone bought that hottest commodity car for 2022.
I think we get the point.
Here is another point I want to make. Jealousy is ugly, as it damages and destroys any type of relationship. But, the last thing you want is to have a jealous family member.
If a family member is jealous of you, there are some things I can advise you on . . .
Do not tell them that they are jealous
This will make your sibling show resentment, instead of strengthening the bond. If you value your relationship with them, then this is something I would not say.
Do not brag
Bragging is a turnoff. Telling someone about your achievement is one thing, but to continuously go over and over about how great you are, will not help the situation at all.
Be humble always. Humbleness is beautiful and it tells a lot about your great character. It is something needed to make a positive difference in the world.
Show them their accomplishments
Try not to say, “You are just jealous of me.” Instead, I want you to show them their strengths, their accomplishments, and why they are loved.
Help them believe in themselves. We are trying to help them build self-esteem. Just because someone has not done what you have, does not make them any less of a person.
Again, we want to strengthen the bond with the people you love. And I know they love you too. It’s because they feel bad about themselves and poking fun at you and making you feel bad is a way of making them feel good.
Comparing is telling them you have something and they don’t. That is not having someone’s best interests at heart.
This is not a competition or a contest. Everyone has their own journey and path.
So, help them find their own path. When we help a sibling find their own path, it separates them and makes them stand out in their own way.
They need to know that they have gifts. Everyone has them. Some use them, while others are afraid to.
Do not disregard your accomplishment
It is so admirable to be selfless, but it is also wonderful to celebrate what you worked so hard for.
Do not disregard or ignore it, just to make others happy. Stay proud of yourself.
And after all this . . .
If they are still upset and have resentment after everything you tried, then you did what you could. But don’t stop making your life the best. Hopefully, your sibling will come to realize that what they are doing is not good for them and their life.
You tried your best. Just remember, you did nothing wrong and you have every right to be proud of yourself. And, as I mentioned, you worked hard to achieve something. Any achievement is definitely something to be proud of.
To all the parents: You are great parents, but I just want to give you a small reminder.
Jealousy can cause resentment in siblings, if one is favoured more than the other.
Letting them know “mom and dad love all of you, and are here any time you need us,” is reassuring and can help your child evolve in a positive manner.
One thing that can cause family jealousy is picking favourites. What I advise, is to always appreciate every sibling in the family equally, but differently. This way, each child knows that they are loved in their own special way.
These are your children that you brought into this world. They see you as a hero. The last thing you want is to favour one child and make the other one sad.
Children, and to be honest, everyone, need to feel loved, appreciated, and important. It makes people feel happier this way. And I know your children’s happiness is the most important thing for you.
You are teaching your children what they will teach their children. And I know you are amazing parents.
Family is the most important thing in life. The goal is to keep the relationship stronger and most importantly, full of love and acceptance.
Remember, we are all human beings who have needs. And one thing we all need is kindness. We can’t stop people from being jealous, but we can help them tremendously when we show them this magic treasure of empathy.
God bless you and never give up.
Sincerely, Danny Gautama (The Fighter)