I feel like I am being verbally abused by my brother, who constantly tells me that I don't do things right...Amy told the writer, essentially, to buck up:
Whenever he criticizes me, he says things like, "You're lazy." Or he'll say, "If you continue to make these choices then you probably won't have the greatest path you can have in life." His words hurt me and my self-esteem suffers, even if I know he doesn't really mean it. I do believe he loves me for who I am, but this bothers me.
Words do hurt. But they hurt less if you make a healthy choice to let the stuff roll off you that you know isn't true. Your parents should nip this in the bud, but you shouldn't leave your brother in charge of your self-esteem.Dear Imprudence pointed out an inconsistency: Amy generally agrees with readers' assessments of abuse (as in this recent example), and suggests that Amy has a bias against young people.
Lulu: I was kind of surprised Amy blew her off. She usually errs on the side of calling abuse abuse.
Ashley: Right! Actually, I was impressed. Amy was encouraging the writer to stand up to the bully and not embrace victimhood.
Lulu: Yeah, I like the bit about not giving other people the power to hurt you. But I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't taking the writer seriously only because she's young, and so is the purported abuser.
Ashley: Well, age does make a difference! We don't really know the extent of what the brother is doing, but I definitely made my sister cry a lot when we were younger. Now we get along great. I got over needing to be Always Right--
Lulu: You sure did.
Ashley: --shush!--and she got over Crying At The Drop Of A Hat. I think we're both better off for the experience. I should check in with her about that...