We always do the worst to those we love. I don't think this is intentional. I think it's a by-product of that closeness. A nobody on the street can stab me in my weakest spots and I'd be fine because I can always tell myself 'What does he know?' But the close ones know you. They're very aware of your weakness.
I've been really unfair to my little brother. I think about this a lot. I feel like I failed him. He's a few years younger than me, both of us in our early 20s, and I thought that I could help him out one summer by taking him to do a door-to-door sales bit. I thought I could teach him some of my tricks, help him establish confidence, work experience, and the character building that comes from working hard. But it was harder than I thought... He didn't get along with the guys in the office. They thought he was weird, in a looking down your nose sort of way. No one wanted to work with him.
I'll admit, my brother's got his weirdness (I think our whole family does...) but he's a good kid. He just hasn't ever been in a non-sheltered environment away from family. No roommates, no college, no mission, nothing. Always been at home. He tries to be funny and sometimes misses (remind you of anyone you know?) so he put himself out there and it just didn't fly. And I didn't stick up for him. I was especially bad about bashing him with another guy because I wanted the other guy to like me. I didn't want to work with my little brother-- I wanted to work with the successful guys. I was stupid. I was wrong. I feel horrible about it, but I don't want to hurt my little brother by telling him what happened. I just wished I would have stood up for him, something I'm resolved to do now. I wish I didn't see him as an embarrassment.
Not only did I fail him in that respect, but since summer sales was a Failure for me(note the capital 'F'), it was doubly so for him. I had no confidence in him, so I couldn't teach him that. He didn't make any money, so that was a failure. He went home early, which is a major no-no in summer sales... Man. If I would have just carried him like I meant to, I think he'd have done better. I'm ashamed of what I did, and I hate that.