September 13, 2013 - submitted by Anon, United States of America

Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #135
I think I'm a bit too envious of my older sister. She graduated high school with nearly perfect grades, goes to a great college where she met her "perfect" boyfriend, and she's all my parents, grandparents, and extended family can talk about. I'm still in high school, taking more advanced classes than my sister did, and my grades are pretty great, but not as great as hers. My parents don't seem to see how much more work I have than she did, and they blame me for not trying enough. I also have a boyfriend, someone I've been good friends with for longer than my sister has known her boyfriend. But my family never talks to me about my classes or my friends; all the chat revolves around my sister's successes. And due to this, I've been feeling more distant from my family. When my sister is away during the school year, our house is so quiet. Once she's home for the summer, I have trouble readjusting, and we get into arguments all the time. Sometimes I feel like I'm not a part of our family anymore, and it hurts. I always wanted to have that best friend relationship with my sister, but it seems impossible now. Any advice? Anon. USA.


The Oracle replies:

Let me start by saying well done on working hard and getting great grades.
Envy is a negative feeling but you can do something about it.
When your sister comes home, however different her presence makes the dynamics of the house, try to embrace her return or the best friend relationship may never come. Be interested in her stories but make sure you share yours with her & get the same attention. It's only for a short while so make the most of it.
You are both growing up and have quite different daily lives.
Although there's only a small age gap, it's sometimes very tough being the younger sibling because you're watching someone do everything first & before you. I can see how easy is it for you to compare everything that happens to you both but the fact is, she is your older sister and your parents - unaware as it may be - appear to only see her achievements ahead of yours. Your turn will hopefully come.
I am the younger sibling and though very different story scholastically, I did notice a difference but you can't change your age or position though you can change your reaction to it.
Perhaps your parents & sister can't help but see you as the baby of the family. You're growing up and understandably you're frustrated with their perception of you. I'm sure they're extremely proud of you even if they're not demonstrating it.
Feelings of resentment towards your sister may be affecting the way you're handling the situation. Make sure you are not alienating yourself with your feelings. It may be that as you are conscious of it and they're not, you yourself are withdrawing. You may need to be a more forceful presence. If you're trying to engage your family with talk of your life & they don't seem to be listening, it's ok to let them know you feel unheard and ignored. You could make a joke of it if you'd rather not make a big issue of it. They just might need a gentle reminder that you're doing well too!
Welcome your sister home with open arms. Be proud of her as your parents are. Continue on your path of successful results, a good relationship and be a sister & daughter to be proud of too.
Over to you.

I think you shouldn't compare yourself to your sister. You and your sister are two different people with two different lives. Imagine if your life was the same as your sister? How boring would that be? Life may suck sometimes but that suckiness is sometimes as good as the awesomeness. All the crap that life throws at you just makes the good times so much better. Besides, in 50 years, who's gonna care if you got a B in AP English an your sister got an A?
If anything you could always tell your parents that you're a different person than your sister and if that doesn't make them stop then just brush it off. Just remember that the suckiness will give way to awesomeness.
Love yourself for who you are. David.


Don't feel down on yourself because your family doesn't recognise that you too are just as amazing as your sister is. My parents as well pay more attention to my older sis than me. I found it hard to deal with the inattention at first, but then I realised that it doesn't even matter. When they talk about your sis, try to bend the conversation so you can tell them how well you're doing as well.
In the end, though you may be feeling rough, praise isn't worth anything. YOU know you're better than your sis, you've got a great boyfriend, who cares what your family think? Camille.

I have a little sister and as your sister I’m not home during the year because of university. I come back for holidays and weekends only. I had pretty good grades in high school too but my sister doesn’t suffer from the comparison because our parents know that we’re different and they don’t make parallels between us. I really think you should talk about how bad you feel with your sister. She would understand if you explain her why you feel that way and she might talk to your parents and tell them not to compare both of you. Family is still there to listen to you and even if you think they won’t I’m sure they will. They maybe didn’t notice you were feeling bad about that entire situation. Don’t try to walk in your sister’s steps. Do things your own way. Grades are changing with time and teachers and it’s pretty stupid to compare them so don’t worry about it. Try your best to be happy of what you’re succeeding in. Concentrate on good things happening to you and forget bad things quickly. You have a boyfriend. That’s a good thing if you’re getting on well. Remember that there are people who are single and would like to have a boyfriend. Don’t compare him with your sister’s. You are different from her so that’s quite logical that both of your boyfriends are different. All the best! Claire, France.

It's pretty bad if I stood on your position too. But I believe that everyone had been born with their own special-unique ability, which anyone else don't have. The next way you should do is learn which one your best ability is. Try some new subject, such as painting, cheers, crafting, music, poetry, or even pottery class. I think you'll find your passion there, where your older sister won't. Or maybe, you could handle all of those classes, it will be much better achievement to be proud of. Keep being your own persona, don't try to imitate her too much. it's a good thing if you have your own character inside of you. Andra - Indonesia.

I think that you should have a heart to heart discussion with your family. Wait for a moment when they're not busy and ask to talk to them. Explain to them how you feel,and hopefully they'll understand! Michelle.

I think that you are watching the things with the wrong glasses. I'm the only child in my family but I felt like you all my life until I got married and then I learn something: my parents used to treat me so hard because they felt that I was very fragile, all the time they were worried about some accident or a suddenly dead and they were trying to make me strong, the method never worked, I wasn't fragile but they make me cry almost all my childhood. Perhaps your parents feel that you don't need too much impulse because you are doing it very well by your own, I'm sure they always are there watching your movements and proud of you but they don't know how to demonstrate it because you two are very different.
So, if you want to be your sister's best friend, you must understand something: nobody is more important than your family, even if there are many differences between you, they are your family and you must try to be comfortable with them. Try to see the good side, you are doing very important efforts, you are a great student and it doesn't matter if anyone see it, you know that and that's enough because at the end of the day, it's your life and you have to enjoy it and live it as you think is correct. Try to avoid the competition with your sister, you two are different, if they don't see it is their problem and if you need more love and you can't talk with them, try to share simple moments and step by step, you can have a healthy relationship with them, it's all in your hands. Sometimes, when I'm going to start to discuss with my dad because he's laughing of me, I keep silence and I remember that life or God, used to put some lessons to learn through the near people and we must front it with our best humor. Don't you think? Nadia.

It’s always painfully hurting when those we wish they would see us just don’t see us, even don’t seem to notice us at all or only notice and praise those next to us.
I guess you’re right when you say it’s impossible "now" to be good friend with you’re sister, I’m pretty sure time will change things.
In the meantime this mainly this advice: don’t care about your family’s appreciation for what you’re doing, for your success. Enjoy time with your boyfriend. Look for good friends for to talk and listen to. Choose an occupation that means much to you for its own, that makes you happy because of doing it, then it will hurt less or not at all when your family or anybody else is going to ignore you. Best wishes. L.Q.


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