Are there people in your family who are jealous of you?
Of course, those people would never come right out and say it to your face, but it’s something you notice in the way they talk to you about certain things. Or rather, the way they talk to others about things that have to do with you.
I have a good friend who was telling me about the fact that she hadn’t spoken to her older brother in quite some time. Not because she had any beef with him, but because a new position at her job had left her overwrought with responsibilities and long work hours, making it hard to reach out. She was trying her best to answer calls and Facetime folks back when her schedule allowed, but at a certain point, her brother decided to become distant and stop answering due to her so-called schedule.
She would later find out during a check-in conversation with her mother that her brother had said that as the eldest sibling, my friend needed to do better about contacting him. He basically went in on her.
“I know she likes to pretend like she’s so busy, but family is family,” he said. “People think their jobs really mean something, but she’s not the first person to have had some money. Sh-t, I’ve had money too, but I don’t start turning my back on my people.”
When my friend found out that her brother felt this way, she was hurt. She didn’t feel like she had tried to throw her success in the face of her loved ones. To her, her brother’s opinion was unfair. And in her opinion, she felt it had a lot to do with the fact that he was struggling when it came to holding down a steady job.
He held pretty good positions in sales here and there, but when the companies he was employed by started to struggle, he was let go. That was the case almost a handful of times over the last few years. During those times, while trying to take care of his family, he would ask my friend for a loan now and then. Sometimes she would oblige, other times, she couldn’t. When the latter would happen, he would act as though she was being stingy and would make those same comments about my friend letting her job and her salary get to her head. Her brother went from one position as he watched his sister, my friend, buy Chanel bags and a house. He eventually trained to work in another more lucrative field and found consistent employment earlier this year.
But it’s an animosity he’s held on to for quite some time, enough that he’ll talk about her behind her back to other family members. My friend is sick of it.
And who could blame her? We all expect support from our kinfolk, not to be talked about and hated on. Sadly, it’s all too common.
One of my good friends from college had a cousin who badmouthed her for years after they moved to New York together to make their dreams come true–but only my friend was able to find work. It was something her cousin took to heart all the way back to their hometown, trashing my friend until they finally reconciled earlier this year to keep the peace between the family.
Like my college BFF’s cousin, my childhood friend’s brother is dealing with issues that he won’t confront that he prefers to take out on others. Specifically, insecurities about his employment ups and downs. He’s especially upset with my friend since she can’t be the walking ATM he hoped that she would be during such times. But that’s something that he has to work through on his own, instead of talking crazy about his blood to whoever will listen.
Thankfully, though, my friend hasn’t cut off her brother in the way that some would. She’s aware that he hasn’t had it easy over the last few years, and so she has decided not to take it too personally. She will continue to support him (not financially though), but has decided to do so from a distance. Because who has time for that kind of negativity?
How would you handle things if a family member you thought you were close to held animosity towards you for what you’ve been able to accomplish and they haven’t? Has this ever happened to you?