My sibling is the black sheep in the family. How can I help them?
Last Updated: 03/23/2021 at 8:40pm
Rory Boutilier, Registered Professional Counsellor
I use a human-centered approach to help you reach your goals. You are the expert on you! Particular areas: life changes, decision-making, men's issues.
Top Rated Answers
Try to understand him/her first by becoming his/her best friend. You will have to treat him as an individual and put yourself in his/her shoes only after which you would be able to understand his/her thought process and would be able to help effectively.
Every family has a black sheep so to speak, but its important that you treat them as an equal family member. There is nothing worse then feeling like an outcast in your own family. Love them and support through thick and thin!
I would suggest you support them and be their friend to the best of your ability. Let them know that you have their back and you're on their side.
You can try to make them feel better by showing more affection and appreciation. You should also consider why your sibling is the black sheep. Is it because he/she has bad behaviors? Does he/she behave disrespectfully towards others? If so, you might want to bring those issues into light and talk about them. Targeting the root cause of a problem is always the best way to approach it.
First of all, you should never call a sibling the black sheep. No one is perfect. That is a fact. However, these imperfections make use beautiful. Many people like to mistake being different or unique as something unacceptable or embarrassing. But , you got to think about it from a different point of view. If it's really bothering you, you should try to at least understand why he or she acts in that way. Do not assume things. It'll just make it worse. As a sibling, you should give them a chance to explain themselves. That's all i got to say.. Cheers!
Yes, he may be the black sheep on the family but, on top of that, he's your sibling. Being the black sheep it isn't easy, and it can mess up with your head that's why he needs you, not to change but to except the way he is.
You've observed that your sibling is singled out in the family. They may be feeling isolated, alone, unheard, unwanted, scapegoated, blamed, guilty, afraid, angry, and other feelings. You seem to have some compassion for this sibling. You can handle this situation however you are most comfortable, however you may want to consider letting this sibling know that you are truly in their corner, that they are not alone. Consider different specific ways you'd be willing to show that you support this person, and tell them those things, such as, offering to be available for late-night chats, hugs, or standing up for this person under certain circumstances, or introducing them to people you may know who they might be friends with, &c. Ask this person, 'What else can I do to help you?' acknowledge that nothing you do will be a 'quick fix,' but that you're available to them if they think of anything, and that they're not alone. You're good intentions are amazing, but unless this person knows about them and finds the self-esteem to accept your love, they are just intentions. I truly hope you find a way to express your compassion to your sibling and that it brings you both closer together! Good luck!
As a black sheep myself I can tell you that love and acceptance is the best remedy. You can help your sibling by trying to be close to him/her, help him/her understand that there is nothing wrong with who he/she is and that your acceptance is unconditional.
First of all, I think it's wonderful that you want to help your sibling. Could you clarify how your sibling is considered the 'black sheep' of the family?
Try to include them more, have a family meeting and see why your sibling is the black sheep of the family, and most important be there for them and support them!
You can talk to them, or even just include them into conversations. Find out things they like and try doing some things they like. See if they have anything in common with you. Anything that can make them feel like you care and that they are not alone.
He/she is your sibling. If you care for them, you can talk to your sibling and your family. Get things out in the open so your sibling won't be left out anymore.
Talk to your sibling from time to time and always take his/her side during arguments or problems. Ask your sibling if he/she wants to have a good talk, maybe even schedule the talk.
Make them feel like they're not the black sheep. Get them involved in Family activities. Get the whole family to make your sibling feel more like a member of the family rather than the black sheep.
Every black sheep needs just acceptance and physical support if possible. They can handle themselves just fine if let alone and accepted. Usually this "help" means trying to "white" them. And black sherp rebels. Black sheep needs freedom to make her own choices, no black sheep is stupid. Usually they are way more intelligent, and they refuse guidance from average joes. Acceptance and physical support (food, money maybe, home etc) Letting them be and letting them choose, to experiment themselves the good and bad in their own way. And they will learn in their own way, and settle down naturally.
You can try to talk to them about it. Ask your sibling how it makes them feel and if there is another way you can help your sibling fit in and make them feel better about themselves
I think that one if the ways that you can help them is to just be supportive of them. Maybe they're a little different than the rest of your family, but they need the same love and kindness and affection as everyone else. I would say to just be continually supportive of their passions, even if you don't understand or even don't agree. Support is a great assistant in growing closer to someone, especially a sibling. If you aren't supportive, they'll feel like you don't like them, and they'll truly feel like a black sheep, but if you support them and love them and give them attention, they won't feel different than the rest of the family.
Geez that's hard for anyone. I've definitely had experience with that and continue to. In my time, what has helped me the most is honesty. People talking to me, connecting with me as frequently as possible. Even if it is just one person, it helps build a community of people I can help support and who can support me. And whenever something big happens, like someone shuns your sibling, just talk to him/her. There's no point in sidestepping it. It happened. Talk about it, provide some support in their time of insecurity, and move on. And take your cues from your sibling. Sometimes your sibling will decide to confront people, other times let it go.
Just be supportive of whatever they want to do. If your family is casting them out for some reason, just assure them that there's nothing wrong with them and encourage them to continue being exactly who they are. Changing to suit other people never works and it always just causes the person misery.
Be there for them. Do things with them to make them feel loved. Always ask them for their opinion on decisions and bring them up in conversations with the family.
You could definitely try and let them know you believe in them and that you don't think of them that way. You care about what they're doing and feeling. Try involving them into family situations and participate with them.
Firstly understand where your sibling is coming from, he or she might be different from the rest of you but does not mean that the way he/she is doing things is wrong. Just mean its different.
Change your thinking. The way you look at them. Identify what your sibling is good at great at or even enjoys and encourage them. That's it but not from the perspective because they are black sheep but because they genuinely are.
You can help them by letting them know you are always there for them and are there to support them in everything. You can try to talk to them and genuinely care about them. You can also make an effort to spend quality time with them, showing that you care about them and are there to help them.
Just treat them like everyone else and provide love and support whenever they need it ! Sometimes they might just need a little love from the ones closest to them .
Try to understand them, I had always felt like a bit of a black sheep in my family and when my siblings wanted to do something with me that they knew I was interested in, it really made my day a lot better. If you're genuinely interested in helping them, I think it's a good idea to get to know their hobbies and interests :)
I can really hear you feel an injustice is being served with how your sibling is being mistreated by your family and that you curious to be a source of emotional support for them. Try your best to be there for them! Being considered or seen as the black sheep can leave one feeling ostracized and lonely. Those who have experienced this feeling of being ignored want know there is someone there to be with them on their journey of ups and downs. Even just one person supporting your sibling would mean a lot more than being completely ignored. If you were in your sibling's situation do reflect on how you would want to be supported. Ask yourself how the interactions between yourself and family member's vary compared to the interactions between your sibling and family member's. Changing the family dynamic is hard. It's not an easy task! But, know that it does not always take many people for someone to change their mindset. Consider your sibling's personality. You can ask your sibling what they think of communicating with their family member about feeling left out or if they would like you to communicate on their behalf. As long as you are in their corner, they know that at least someone is looking at their experience in a validating, accepting and compassionate way. This help's normalize their situation and not make them feel guilty or bad about what they feel. The power of just listening and being there is amazing. You learn things about the individual which was not obvious to you beforehand and have a chance to clear misunderstandings if any. It's understandable when you’re in a position where you feel bad for someone yet want to help them but don't know how to go by it. You can ask yourself: Will I make it better by intervening? Will I make it worse by intervening? When something is indirectly affecting you it can be particularly difficult to navigate what can be done. You are welcome to communicate with one of our listeners or online therapists on our site who have experienced family stress or specialize in family stress.
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