Lately, my DX’d brother has been mentioning that he feels like he should have accomplished more by his age.
I caught myself tonight quickly dismissing this topic with reassurance that everyone approaching 30 feels that way. But I only realized I was quelling an important conversation all too late.
I should have let him talk through what he regrets and what he wants to accomplish.
I’m not sure the best way to approach the topic of his feeling disappointed about his career and relationship goals.
On the one hand is how I handle things:
Set aside what should have been, accept the present and decide on what the future will be like.
This perspective works for me because I have known for a long time what I want for myself.
On the other hand is the opposite:
Consider carefully how you wish things had worked out and realize this is an effective measure for what to work toward in the future.
The first method avoids a lot of feelings of shame and regret from painful memories.
The second inherently draws up these feelings and threatens a bout of self pity that can be hard to recover from sometimes.
I’m sure there is some level of moderation between the two, but that’s hard to strike in this circumstance. I’m not sure I could help guide a healthy conversation about the subject beyond being reassuring of what the future could be like.
Considering that this topic comes up about once a week, I know it is something that hangs heavily on my brother’s shoulders.
Any advice on how to be a good listener about this, but also to help avoid a potential pit of despair?