My older sister is great at school and is my parents’ favourite, and I feel like I’m not enough for them. How do I stop living in her shadow? – Least Favourite Child
Dear Least Favourite Child,
Hey there, thank you so much for reaching out. I’m sorry you feel that way; it’s truly an awful feeling when you think your parents favour your siblings more than you. Though I’m sure that’s not the case at all, I know why you feel that way and I think it’s important for you to get that doubt out of your mind for the sake of your relationships with them. You could try talking to them about why you’re feeling the way you do and how you all can work on that moving forward. Now if they don’t understand, it’s not your fault because you did try to talk to them.
Now of course this isn’t going to be very easy. It’s difficult to tell your parents that you feel like they’re treating your sister better than you, but it’ll be worth it in the end. If you think about it, it should be pretty smooth sailing if you just talk to them and let them know what’s going through your mind, then hopefully they will try to work on it, rather than leaving the issue alone like it means nothing. I’m sure everything will go well and you really shouldn’t worry about it going any other way.
To start, you could tell them that you need to talk to them and bring the issue up at any time that you think would be appropriate and go from there. You could begin with how you may be having difficulties in school and you need some help (to do better in school). This way you could be getting one issue out of the way. If you’d like and you’d feel comfortable enough to, you can also ask if your sister would be willing to help you with your work so that you can develop her studying habits and do as well in school as her.
From there, you can transition over to how you feel like you’re not enough for them. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to tell them absolutely everything, but I think it could be a good idea if you did. By doing this, they could get a better understanding of how you’re feeling. I think after you explain that, you can give them ways to make you feel more validated, rather than how they’ve been treating you. A way to stop living in her shadow would be to pursue some passions or hobbies that you have. I say that because sometimes people don’t have similar interests as others and therefore think that their interests aren’t as important.
In the end, talking to them is probably the best thing you could do for everyone. You can get stuff off your chest so that it won’t bother you anymore. Hopefully your parents will be willing to work on this issue and you would also be getting help with school if that’s an issue. Overall, I don’t think you should be scared or worried to talk to your parents about this because it seems to be a recurring thought that you have and the sooner you work things out, the sooner you’ll get over this, perhaps.