yes, I’ll admit it, I’m depressed, I have anxiety and I feel suicidal but I think my family has a big part in this. they used to compare me to my cousins,friends,sibling and classmates. It hurt to be told “why aren’t you as fit as your friend” “Why can’t u be as smart as that kid from class” or “you cousins never did this, why do you do it?!”. It kinda “spoilt“ my relationship towards them, I felt complexed around my cousins and sibling and I felt distant from my friends. I still feel this way. How do I stop it? I even seem to be keeping quite and “to myself” how do I help this? My thoughts/feelings towards people have changed since others people (family to be more specific) keep comparing me to them with a negative affect.
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Thank you for reaching out to Asking Jude. I’ll admit, I can definitely relate to this. Your family seems to be caught in the “grass is greener” syndrome, where they think that others always have it better than them. Most parents will at some point in their life compare their children to others, no matter how successful they are. They spend all their energy complaining about how much “better” you could be, and therefore miss out on the amazing person you already are.
In a world where competition has taken over every aspect of life, it can be quite difficult to escape comparison from others. Your parents do this to you because it is the way they themselves were parented. However, if you are always looking for what could be better in life and forget to celebrate what you’ve accomplished now, then you will never truly be happy in life.
Also, remember that you are not the problem. Parents often compare their children to other people because they are worried about them and want them to have the best future possible. However, often it is also because they are insecure themselves and want to prove that they are worthy by having the most talented or the most intelligent child amongst their loved ones. They want to show that it was their parenting that made the child the successful person that they are. So when the child is not up to par with the others, they constantly compare them and put them down in hopes of the child doing better next time.
Talk to your family about how you’ve been feeling about how they are treating you. Tell them that these comparisons are having a counterproductive effect where you actually shut down and distance yourself. Tell them about your anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Let them know that you are hurting. It may be possible that they are not aware of how what they do affects you and will try to tone it down. If nothing changes, you know that you tried and now you can learn to ignore it and focus on what you need to do to be happy and successful.
As far as your cousins and friends, I understand how your feelings towards them have changed especially when your parents are weaponizing them to make you feel anxious and depressed. However, that is not their fault. I have certainly been guilty of isolating friends because of these comparisons as well, but I had to remind myself of why we became friends and why we got along. Remind yourself of the good times, and ignore all the thoughts that your family has fed you over the years.
You need to have a support system in your life, now more than ever before. Talk to your cousins and friends. Let them know what you’ve been going through. They will most likely be more than willing to listen and support you through everything that has been happening. You deserve all the love and support you can get. Try to schedule times to spend some time with your loved ones. It is possible that seeing them in context separate from your parents will help you reform that friendship.
Take care of yourself. You are under constant pressure and that requires a lot of strength. Spend time on what makes you happy and relaxed. Spend time on what makes you feel strong. However, if none of this works and you still feel unsafe, then I highly suggest you consult a therapist or a mental health professional. Since you mentioned that you had anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, working through all of those with a therapist might be crucial to get you back on a path to happiness and strong relationships with your family and friends. As always, the Asking Jude team is also here if you need any help.
Here are some resources that might help:
-https://www.crisistextline.org/text-us/ or text “HOME” to 741-741
Wishing you all the best and sending you lots of hugs,
Zara Rouf, I hesitate to ask for specific information, as I am not one of the team. Some of what you say in your ask reminds me of my life before I left home. It sounds as if your parents don't understand that the things they say to you are hurting you; i.e., it's the opposite of their intention; they don't see that. And I'm guessing the very thought of telling them to stop causes anxiety. The staff here will provide you with support and advice. Good luck to you!