Siblings

QA173 QUESTION: I have a problem in relation to my sister. We’re the only members of the immediate family left. I feel that she has always had a sort of condescending attitude towards me. She’s older than me and is going to retire soon, but I just feel I don’t know how to relate to her. I don’t see her very often, but when I do, she always has a lot of twitching, acting nervous and jumpy, when I’m around her. Yet other people say, “Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she sweet?” I’ve always had to be black sheep in the family, and yet she’s resented me. So I don’t know. I’m a little undecided whether I’m jealous of her or she’s jealous of me.

ANSWER: I would say that both may be true. Children do feel that way. It stems from childhood and continues to exist in the adult wherever it has not grown up. And it cannot grow up where it has not been brought forth into consciousness. I would say there was a mutual jealousy and there were perhaps also other negative feelings of resentment, of wanting to get the disturbance out of the way, and therefore, consequently a guilt. There are a lot of negative feelings involved.

The positive feelings are therefore very tentative and cannot really unfold. And I would say, if you would investigate, you cannot change her. But what you can do is you can look into yourself with: What did you really feel, and what do you still really feel about her? There are a lot of contradictory feelings there.

Put them down on paper, one by one, no matter how unreasonable it may seem. Put all the confused feelings down. When you see that, you will not only feel a little more at ease with her because you understand yourself better, but what is even more important, you also will have more insight into yourself.

QUESTION: I just wondered whether it had kept me from developing feelings.

ANSWER: Well, I would not say that this particular thing has kept you from developing. What keeps a person from developing is his own tentativeness in this direction, and his own holding back in this direction – perhaps his shames and his fears of going all that way and requesting help and exposing himself to another person which would be necessary. All these things are holding one back.

It is not the relationship with another person that can do that. If one is truly ready and willing, nothing can hold one back.

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