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What do you do when you see family members making horrible choices?

My sister is about the same age as I am, three years younger, going through college right now. I've taken notice of her choosing to ditch class, skip work, and even put off cleaning (herself and her apartment). Am I just being judgemental by pointing out she needs to shape up?

She normally didn't have a problem keeping up and making A's, now all she does is play World of Warcraft and nothing else gets any attention. :( Should I just do nothing and let her learn from the consequences or try to intervene?


Asked by BarbaraAnn22 at 12:48 PM on Apr. 16, 2009 in Relationships

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This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • You can try and tell her what you feel, but really it's her life. My brother is a looser, lazy, and has a major drug habit that keeps him from participating in life, and many family events because he's too messed up. When I took steps to tell him my concerns, and my reactions to them, he withdrew, got mad at me and it damaged our already rocky relationship. He's the baby, I'm the first born. A pep talk from you probably won't change her world. Sounds like she might be depressed. If I said anything to her, I would keep it very light. "I'm concerned about you, I've noticed these changes in your life...etc. If it's not depression, clearly she's choosing this out of happiness over it. Sounds like she wants to live like this and some people do. We always want more for our loved ones sometimes more than they want for themselves. xoxo, your friend.


    Answer by massagegiftmom at 1:25 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • i would maybe make some suggestions to her but you can't live her life. tell her how you feel then leave it alone. if she chooses to listen to you then good. if not, then she'll have to learn on her own. GL!

    Answer by r_elizabeth2290 at 12:52 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • It does depend on your relationship with her. My baby brother and I are very close and I have been blunt and honest to him, I've told him friends, games and fun are always awesome and cool to do 'in moderation' but they won't put food in front of you, shelter over your head, clothes on your back and if you don't work and go to school you won't make it, and family won't always be able to catch you. My mom is much worse than I am and would more than likely beat me to anything I'd want to say to my brother, there are times in the past I've let him fall on his arse, but usually I will at the least tell him, "I love you, and I don't want you hurt, this is what I'm seeing and it concerns me." At the least you can express your love for her and fear or what is going on, she sounds like she's addicted to the game and doesn't see that. good luck :-)

    Answer by Knightquester at 1:14 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • Live with can't change people unless they see the problems for themselves and decide to change.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:16 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • My family likes to pretend we are perfect.I am the one who asks the person "What are you thinking?"They don't like it.But I can't sit back and do nothing.Even if they don't listen.

    Answer by evelynwest at 3:22 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • evelynwest:
    I can relate to that. Part of my family would like to just go without saying it, you know? Asking questions like "How could you do that?" and "What are you thinking?" can be critical and judgmental, and futile even, I know. I guess it depends on the situation (and my relationship with her). But you're right, I'm having a very hard time sitting back and she won't listen to me...I get an "I know" and she'll change the subject.

    Her boyfriend even told me she needs an intervention of some kind. But I know she'll only change if she decides too. Ugh, I just don't know.

    Answer by BarbaraAnn22 at 3:40 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • Let her know that you've noticed her slipping... and you're worried about her. Ask her if she wants to talk about anything that's been bothering her lately.

    Practice before you go talking to her... as her older sister, you don't want it to sound like you're talking down to her in any way.

    Just show her that you genuinely care. But if she doesn't want your advice and doesn't want your help... then there's not much you can do. It's her life and she may just have to learn the hard way.

    Answer by kimberleee382 at 5:34 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I agree that she might be depressed, and it's very good advice to gently tell her I've noticed her changes.

    It's easy to want more for our loved ones, even if they don't want more for themselves, you're absolutely right, my dear friend! Thanks for reminding me of that. I'll keep in mind that I love her and that she's special to me unconditionally. Maybe that's just what she needs right now.

    {{Love and Light!}}

    Answer by BarbaraAnn22 at 10:35 PM on Apr. 17, 2009