Psychology # 21 : Favoritism



This Quote described my situation at dysfunctional family very well.


According to my observation, it’s not only happen in family system, but also in everyday life, such as workplace.


Many times I observed colleagues / bosses will favorite a specific staff, in order to show his / her hate on another person.  Body languages displayed that these targets people are no longer worthy in their eyes.


And if it happens in family, it can destroy self-esteem / self-worth of a child, which in turn will affect his / her all aspect of life.

Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (5) – Golden Child (Hero)

“Golden Child” has the cherished role, but in long run “Scapegoat” is the one most likely to escape, heal & lead a healthier life.

– Gail Meyers

I wish this quote is at certain level of truth to my life eventually.

Beside of the “Scapegoat” role I wrote another day, there’s another common dysfunctional role that can be found in any toxic/ narcissistic family – “Golden child” (Hero).

There aren’t many discussions / articles about this role if comparing to “scapegoating”, guess it’s because individuals who is crowded with this assigned role will enjoy privileges, take advantage of the situation so usually don’t feel much to complain. They are not able to sense the injustice running in the family and thought they deserve what they have gained.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for those siblings surrounding them in the same family system.

Crowning Glory with supreme image

Golden child always be viewed as the “super star”, “hero” in such kind of dysfunctional family.  They can never do anything wrong and classified as the most talent, beautiful, adorable kid.  My youngest sister, for example, is the lucky one.  A minor success or achievement will give her a great applause from everyone.

Even though we were raised in the same environment, but most of time I feel my status is much inferior to her.  I can see the differences when my dad and other sister, relatives look at her with great admiration, which never happen to me as I’m classified as the worst, laziest, useless kid.

People brag / boast her ego and confidence by highly praise her behaviors, attitudes, personality, etc. while I was demeaned, judged, or name-calling as a total loser, rubbish.  We can do the same thing but receive different reactions from people.

She’s the princess I’m the maid, she’s growing up in Disneyland and I need to self-nurtured in thatched cottage; she’s well-dressed, well-groomed and I’m causal; she always head up high in front of people while I had to head down to stay away from blames.

There were times I strongly feel I’m the character inside the story of “Cinderella”, “Snow white”.  The only difference is there’s no prince save me from the darkness.

Reap without sowing


Since Golden child is the one who is treated as the perfect, brightest and most favorite kid, without a doubt they can get whatever they want without paying as much as effort like others in the family.

I used to work, study hard to earn love, care and respect; I tried to be a good kid – being obedient, do whatever I was told to. But all I got are only blames, bullies, abuse and unfair treatments.  She was allowed to go out at nights for fun, have friends and love relationships, while I need to stay at home for non-stopped housework.  I was scolded by not doing good enough or blame for having friends or social life besides school and work.  I have to save every penny carefully to buy things I want or place to go, but she simply sit there and gifts will be delivered to her hands, nice clothes, accessories and cosmetic etc.

I can’t control myself but jealous.  It’s extremely hurtful for me to watch my sister do / get many things that I dream or desire.

Lack of sense of devotion / responsibility

Because of the prominent position, Golden child usually no need to devote as much as other family members but still manage to grab whatever they want.

No one will blame for my sister not contribute to family finance, but I was picked and calculated for how much I give to the family bank account.  I used to be so naive, contribute and pay whatever I think it’s necessary, but as soon as I spot the differences, I learned to protect myself to save and plan more, started to realize money is the most reliable thing, in case there’s anything bad happened to me.

My sister can order us to buy her breakfast, do her laundry and cook for her.  Her main job at home was chatting on phone, changing clothes and doing make up to look good, while I work like her maid and slave running around to tidy up her mess. Of course I can’t complain, otherwise I will be blamed for being such a “bitchy sister”.  Actually my dad told me straight to my face that I can never expect the same like her, because we are DIFFERENT.  I was so devastated when I heard this comment.

I was totally awaken : Nobody will help me if I don’t help myself.  My life will never get better in here, only get worse if I keep on letting others step over my face.

Sibling relationship was damaged

My dad encourage us, siblings to compete with each other for his love, care and attention.  There’s no unconditional but all are “conditioned” love.  It’s a method for manipulative people who wants to show their power.  My abusive dad make it clear that if anyone wants to get benefits from him, we have to follow his rules.

That’s the thing I hate the most, no matter how much I hungry for love and care, but I want it without exchange my dignity, freedom and life.  I was rebel and always break the non-sense regulations, which end up I was giving him more excuse to abuse me more, verbally, emotionally.  He shows me clearly that he hates me because I’m the worst daughter he has.  My existence shame him a lot !

It’s inevitably to damage sibling relationships.  First of all, I compare my situation with them and that’s make me feel more shame. Secondly, with the support and encouragement of my dad, they don’t need to show any empathy and can have guts to step over me without any remorse further.  This make me disrespect them, it’s disgusting to see a home become like a bully ground at college.

They took advantage of my “underdog” life : When I was verbally abused by dad, they join together to tease and gossip about me; when I was left out alone at home for family meals, they were dancing around showing off their happiness. When I was not allowed to have dinner with lights on at night, they’re the one who laugh and switched off the light so I need to eat at dark.

It hurts me so much and the pain is unspeakable.  I’m not only abused by dad but also betrayed by my self-centered, self-fish siblings. It’s so painful that I must shut down my emotions, acting “I don’t care” gesture but deep inside my heart was bleeding with tears.  So many times I cried and cried until no more tears coming down, I screamed inside “how can they do this to me? we are blood-related….what if they were treated as like as me? How would they feel?  There are so many questions I don’t know the answers.

Final thoughts

Until now, I still not able to manage my anger and frustration wisely whenever flashbacks pop up my mind.  I can become overwhelmed and feel devastated immediately.  In the meantime, I don’t quite catch the feelings of others who have good sibling relationships or viewed them as life-long friends.  My sibling relationships are filled with sorrow, tears, betrays, competition so may be this is the reason I have difficulties to develop trust towards others.

What about you? Do you have specific role in family? Good for you if you have close relationships with siblings.

Photo credit : Pixabay – Nemo

Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (3) – Sibling relationships are like a school bully

Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors.

~ Gene Hackman

In any dysfunctional / toxic families, siblings are discouraged to support and get close to each other.  This is one of the tactic toxic parents used to manipulate each other kid according to their own wishes.  It’s a huge force when siblings united together, such dynamic scares narcissistic parents a lot because it’s difficult to brainwash or restrain.

Split us up

Though I was young, but still sensed my narcissistic father felt uncomfortable whenever he spotted us played together, had fun or laugh around.  At first, I thought it’s just because our noises but later I found his prohibition were became more and more unpersuasive.   He did it on purpose to separate us from each other.  My life was like “walking on the eggshells” whenever he’s home because I was so scared to speak to my sisters.  Even when I tried to have conversation with my sisters, they ignored me as they knew father hate to see I have good relationship with them.  It’s a reason I pick up reading as my hobby as the house was completely quiet like a ghost house.  I was very lonely.

Competition was encouraged

Besides, he tactfully encourage us compete with each other continuously.    I am not talking about how great marks we got from schools, or how nice we behaved.  In fact, my father never cherish my success and efforts in any aspects, instead, he continuously put me down sarcastically, for example, he persuaded me to abandon further education even I got a remarkable school results, it’s one of the terrible mistakes I made but I trust him at that age; and when I tried to get a nice job, he teased me for being too greedy and unrealistic.  I learned keep all my plans for my own secrets as I tied of hearing his hurtful comments.  I was so confused as I thought parents always happy to see their kids have a better education, career and life.  But I was wrong, at least not in my home.

The only thing he concerns is his ego, he cares a lot whether people praise him or not.  He loves to comment in front of us to compare who is more obedient and respect him.  He made it very clear if anyone of us want benefits / gifts, especially his love and attention, that person must do whatever he say.  This is his interpretation of devotion to him and the family.  He never think I’m a human who has my own mind, wishes and dreams etc.

Stab another in the back

Since he discouraged us to have our social life outside home.  Undoubtedly he became the top and ONLY person that my sisters rely on for love, care, attention and survival.  Life at home was kind of like school bully situation, many dramas were running from time to time.  I got to be concussions about my behaviors and speeches as these could become my own traps. My sister not only teased on my appearance, clothes and act of behaviors, but also love to grab any opportunities to grab my flaws and show to parents, thus they can be praised.

Since early age, I knew I can’t trust them as I believe when situation allowed, they would sell me out.  Whenever I was in trouble, they will joined together to tease / verbally abused me, laugh and jumped around to show their happiness to see me failed.  I learned to hide my record cards, change another ugly dress before I back home or don’t show my happiness / luck for avoiding potential troubles.  It’s no longer a family I feel safe with freedom.

Own responsibilities

Of course it’s my narcissistic father’s fault to set up this toxic system, which eventually ruin our relationships.

But at the same time, I do believe every person have a choice to respond good or bad.  We are very different from animals because we have moral standards and wisdom right?  Thus, I trust my sisters do have their own responsibilities, Hitler is evil, but if there’s nobody support him or execute his evil thoughts, the tragedy will never become the true.  I would say my abusive father is the primary cause of this dysfunctional system, but the reactions of my sisters supports / encourage the phenomenon,put gasoline to fire to make it worse.

For me, no matter how many abusive incidents I got from this family, I never feel comfortable to do the same, as like as my sisters did to me.  I feel immoral to betray or step over another person to seek love and attention.

Final thoughts

It’s one of my shame to tell people that I don’t connected much emotionally to my siblings.  I don’t talk about my relationship with parents and siblings, all are under the blankets.  There’s a myth and pressure from society that siblings are always nice to each other as these are people who are blood related, but the truth I experienced – these are people who kept on sell me out for their benefits, not the fellows I can trust.

When I did good things, they took advantages by claiming it’s their efforts then took the compliments; but when things goes wrong, whether it’s my fault or not, they will transfer the blame to me.  I was treated as a “scapegoat”.

Sibling relationships only brought me anxious and headaches.  This kind of so-called sibling relationship hurt me a lot!

Photo credit : Pixabay – Sathyatripodi