I'm an 18-year-old female student from a middle-class family. I live with my parents and my older brother. As the youngest family member, my parents always tell me to compromise and understand things. I have to agree with everyone and if I mess up, I get reprimanded. It feels like my family think of me as an incompetent person. Nothing I do is good enough. There are frequent arguments in my family on my account. I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay at home. I want to escape. What should I do? —A.K.
Answer by Kapil Sharma, Counseling Psychologist at HUDEC Nepal
I appreciate you sharing what you have been going through emotionally. It seems like you're struggling with emotional dysregulation, and there’s a problem with the association and coping with your family. You're apparently struggling to regulate your own emotions. If you can regulate your emotions, you can communicate and cope with things better.
One of the causes for your current thinking could be negative self-talk, which may in turn lead to low self-esteem. You may be feeling that the reason behind your parents expecting you to compromise is because you’re the younger one. The other reason could be mental filtering. You may only be getting the negative parts of your parents’ remarks. Or it could be your habit of jumping to a negative conclusion.
I advise you to start by making a list of things your parents have called you out for. Find out what particular instances or things have made you feel incompetent and belittled. Make a self-inquiry and figure out whether the things you have included in your list are valid concerns. Are you really incompetent and someone who can never do things right? Ask yourself.
If the answer is yes, then you need to work to be better at the things you do.
If the answer is no, you should change the way you think of yourself. Communicate your feelings with your family, or a family member you feel the closet to—your brother, mother, or father. You can also talk to your close friends, cousins or relatives.
You can also work on self-care. Proper eating, sleeping, journaling, meditating, anything that you love doing can also help. Doing things you love leads to self-love, and self-love leads to self-worth. You can keep a journal to track your progress. Practice positive affirmation with yourself and your achievements.
If you have already tried communicating and it didn’t work, you can seek help from a therapist.