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Not a Source of Happiness to My Parents

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I have an elder sister. She is a doctor and because of this she is the apple of my parents’ eyes. I opted to go in an engineering university and currently in my second semester. I don’t know what I can do to make my parents proud of me. I am a good student. And I was the topper of my class because it was the only way to make my parents look at me and be happy with me. Otherwise my parents had/have nothing to do with me. And my mom is all the time like “you do nothing in the home and u have no participation and all you do is be on your laptop”. And she is always giving me the example of my great sister and I am so sick of it. I have no idea how to make them like me. How to make them think that I am not just taking up space in their home. I don’t trust anyone because I can’t even trust my parents. I am afraid of them because they are yelling at us and at each other all the time. Please help me out. I am stuck in purgatory here.

Not a Source of Happiness to My Parents

Answered by on -


I deeply appreciate your question — and I think it is time to move on from this need. It is keeping you in orbit around your parents, and this is not something that will be undone through your accomplishments. It is time for you to look for the places you do get validated — not spend your energy on what hasn’t worked.

I highly recommend you use the counseling center at your university to help letting go of the need to get their approval. The university will have services that can help you move forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Not a Source of Happiness to My Parents

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Not a Source of Happiness to My Parents. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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