How can I change my sisters?
Q: Dear Dorothy, this is Ajna and I have been doing really well during this temporary self-quarantine time that keeps getting extended. Every day, the rules change and although I am at home with my husband and my son, the isolation is beginning to get to me. I am not afraid of the virus, I am just tired of being at home. I have read several good books, played board games with my family and I still feel very restless.
I have tried talking to my sisters and they just cannot hear me. They are so full of fear and all they want to talk about is how bad this virus is. I have tried and tried to encourage them to talk about other things and they just won’t do it. So I have had no choice but to leave the conversation as they not only won’t listen, they get angry with me if my view of life is different. More and more I feel like an outsider. How can I fix this situation and get them to see my side of things?
A: Dear Ajna, I intuit that this isn’t the first time you haven’t been heard by your sisters and that this has been an ongoing challenge for you. Often longstanding issues appear to get bigger in times of stress and although you are not in the web of fear that has captured way too many people, you are being forced to focus on your issues as there are less ways to escape from them when one is isolated from the usual social contacts that keep us busy.
I lovingly suggest that you examine your relationship with your sisters and become clear as to how long you have been reacting to one another. If it has been for most of your life, you may want to accept that they will not change. In fact, the only person we can ever change is ourselves. So, you might want to explore giving up the need for them to be different and accept them exactly as they are.
You may then wish to explore creating some new relationships with more like minded people. This can be done even during this time of self isolation. The internet is a great way to find people who share your interests. It is especially helpful in this time of social distancing. Facebook can help you connect with others. I have formed many close relationships through Facebook and we have maintained our connection through private messages, personal phone calls and emails. What’sApp even allows me to have long conversations with others in far away places. Although I haven’t personally met many of these people, we share some amazing conversations about things we care about.
I trust that you will overcome your need to change your sisters and focus on making and nurturing relationships that you really enjoy.
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