It’s important to ask yourself whose agenda this is, says Annalisa Barbieri, and whether they really want help
I have often wondered whether we have undiagnosed adult autism in our family. All my life, I have felt I have greater emotional intelligence, in terms of understanding the world and other people, than my elder sister and mother. Our mother, in particular, finds it difficult to read social signals and fit into social circles. She often speaks about her disappointment in life, in not having had a fulfilling career, and I have been affected by this in wanting to overcompensate in mine. Listening to her consistently lamenting her failures is an emotional strain and I feel some responsibility for her sadness, which I know is irrational.
My sister has also struggled with relationships. Although she is trying to climb the career ladder, she has been unsuccessful at many interviews. Outside work, she always has an overbubbling enthusiasm for a subject matter or hobby, which I think puts people off becoming friends with her. I find myself wanting to hide my successes from her.
I think my mother and sister are autistic. What should I do?