The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female company employee in my 40s. I hate my younger brother, who lives a reclusive life at home carefree and leisurely by withdrawing from society.
He is in his 30s. Since he graduated from high school, he hasn’t had a regular job and has lived all the time on allowances he receives from our parents. He spends the money on his hobbies and what he likes.
Our parents are already in their 60s, but are still working. Why do they spoil their son who does not work? When I try to point this out to them, they apparently don’t want to talk about it.
I have a handicap, but I work sincerely.
In contrast, my brother doesn’t work and smiles happily. Seeing him, I feel unbearable hatred toward him. Maybe I had better leave home, but it’s impossible considering my financial situation. I envy other families who live happily.
I want my brother to work. I’m always wishing it. How can I live like this from now on? Please advise me on what I should do.
Dear Ms. A:
It’s a tough situation, indeed. Although he is your brother, or rather because he is your brother, it’s all the more difficult to have him change his lifestyle and behavior, I’m afraid. Even though you are right and you have blamed your brother and your parents, it doesn’t work, does it?
You say other families around you look happy. It’s true they sometimes look happy, but we are all worried about something that we can’t tell others about. So, don’t be angry at your family or envy other families. Instead, you should put priority on thinking about yourself in the future.
I don’t know what your work is or your handicap. But I suggest you aim to live independently. You may not be able to do it soon, but you can probably look at the outside world more and stay home less.
Also, think about what you like to do. Enjoy your hobby, find some people whose interests are the same as yours and chat with friends. By doing these things, why don’t you try to be independent of your family financially and mentally?
Your parents and brother probably completely depend on you in lots of ways. If they realize they can’t depend on you any more, they will probably begin thinking about how to take good care of themselves.
So, first think about how you can live happily. Get started doing something about it.
Masahiro Yamada, professor