We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.
We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.
Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!
Dear Aunt Maya,
Salam alaykum. I have a very hard time setting boundaries, and I’m struggling to be more open about my feelings. I had a small quarrel with my sister recently and I couldn’t call her out for what she did wrong. Instead, I gave her the cold shoulder and refused to speak with her, despite knowing I should go and have a talk with her like an assertive person I want to be. But I didn’t, and I feel like too much time has passed for me to bring it up again. We’re now talking like the quarrel never happened. This is a thing that happens a lot in my life, and I always chicken out because I am required to share how the person made me feel, because most times I feel like I’m overreacting. I don’t know how to have a deep talk without feeling like it’s an argument and I don’t want any fights. I want to be the kind of person who’s honest and never holds grudges, but it’s frustrating that I can’t be open about my emotions without feeling rude or mean. How do I overcome this?
Maya Areem responds,
I want you to know that you’re not alone in facing these challenges. Setting boundaries and communicating openly are skills that many of us strive to improve, and you have the strength to overcome this struggle.
It’s understandable that you found it difficult to address the issue with your sister directly. Sometimes, emotions can get in the way, making conversations feel overwhelming. But let’s focus on moving forward positively.
Start by acknowledging your feelings to yourself. Your emotions are valid, and it’s important to recognize and honour them. Reflect on the situation and its impact on you. When you feel ready, consider having a heart-to-heart conversation with your sister.
Remember, the intention behind this conversation is not to blame or argue, but to express how you feel and seek understanding. Choose a peaceful moment when you’re both calm and relaxed. Approach the conversation with empathy, understanding that misunderstandings can happen, and we all make mistakes.
A beautiful saying from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ comes to mind: “Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith.” Keep this in your heart as you navigate the conversation.
Begin with “I” statements to express your feelings without sounding accusatory. For instance, you could say, “I felt hurt when our disagreement happened because our bond is important to me.” This approach helps to avoid a confrontational tone and opens the door for a more receptive dialogue.
As you share your feelings, be prepared to listen as well. Healthy communication is a two-way street, and your sister’s perspective is equally important. Remember that the ultimate goal is to strengthen your relationship and foster mutual respect.
If you find it challenging to initiate this conversation alone, you could consider seeking the guidance of a trusted family member or friend who can mediate and ensure that the dialogue remains constructive.
Lastly, remember that growth takes time. You’re taking a brave step by acknowledging your feelings and seeking ways to improve. Continue making du’a for strength and guidance, and know that Allah sees your efforts.
May Allah bless you with the ability to express your feelings with kindness, mend relationships, and grow into the person you aspire to be. Stay patient, stay positive, and stay true to your intention of being open and honest.
Love + duas,
If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.