Ask Kari: How can I help my sister find her own path in life?

Dear Kari,

I am struggling with how to help my sister, as she “becomes” whomever she is dating. When she was dating an artist, she bought art supplies and began to paint. When she dated a musician, she bought a guitar and tried to start a band. When she dated a computer engineer, she began taking a computer class at the local college. I can’t take it anymore! Why can’t she just be herself and find her way without attaching herself to a man? Help me find a way to get her on the right track and find her own way in life.

--Helpful Sib

Dear Helpful Sib,

It can be challenging to watch loved ones struggle. It seems that your sister may not have much self-confidence and therefore ties herself to others who seem to know who they are and what they want in life. Please note that this self-esteem issue takes time to address and build up to a more stable place. I recommend that you pick a good time to talk with your sister and share your true feelings in depth. Let her know that you love her and see her value and worth. Tell her that you hope that she can grow her self-confidence for her own benefit in life vs. attaching herself to others. Lastly, I suggest that she seek out counseling support for personal growth and help moving their life forward, which is what is sounds your sister needs.


As published in the October 2019 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.