Question: Dear Luise: I am a junior in college and need some help with a very important issue. I feel like one of the hardest things I had to experience in college is family jealousy. I understand it’s a heavy thing to accuse someone of jealousy but I feel it from many people in my family, including my grandmother. I feel if there is something I am doing wrong it shouldn’t be that hard to talk to me about it. I believe and fully support communication in our relationship, but it isn’t happening and they all treat me like I’m a bad guy when I’m not. At least if I knew what was wrong I would do anything I could to fix it. I try being nicer to everyone and doing things to win them over but it doesn’t seem to work. At the end of the day I can only be me. I’m facing the reality of never having the same relationship with certain family members again and really need your help. How should I deal with this? I.
Answer: Dear I.: Good for you for caring as deeply as you do and of course it’s hard. We can open the door for communication but that’s about as far as we can go. We simply can’t change others if they refuse to step through that door. If members of your family are jealous, that’s about them, not you. The truth is you do have something to say about that and how much you let it effect you. I have had some family members that I am incredibly lucky but what I have learned through the years is that the harder I work, the “luckier” I get. That’s not their perception.
We often can’t make sense of the senseless and we can pay a huge price for trying and feeling we need to do something to fix it. My take is that you are a fine young man, doing well in your life. You deserve the respect of others but it it isn’t forthcoming, give it to yourself. Blessings, Luise