In this counseling answer:
“It is clear that your father is in pain and is not happy. We don’t need to judge him. It is possible to balance your natural human need to honor him for he is your father while being wise enough to take the steps to ensure your own stability and security. Difficult as it may seem, separating the issues will help you focus on what you need to focus on. Shift the focus away from changing your father and toward building a stable environment for yourself.”
Wa `Alaykum As-Salam Sister,
Your concern is very commendable, and I can see that you care about your father. His business situation is also likely affecting your own sense of security. We cannot predict whether your father will be able to change, but you can be supportive of him if he makes the choice for change.
However, you also need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Rather than putting your hopes in the possibility that your father will change or be trying to change him, it is time for you to assess what your needs are and then proactively seek ways to meet those needs with tact and integrity. You can do this without being disrespectful.
It is clear that your father is in pain and is not happy. We don’t need to judge him. It is possible to balance your natural human need to honor him for he is your father while being wise enough to take the steps to ensure your own stability and security. Difficult as it may seem, separating the issues will help you focus on what you need to focus on. Shift the focus away from changing your father and toward building a stable environment for yourself.
Some things you can do to support your father is to listen to him if he is upset and to not take what he says personally. This is a very difficult skill for a daughter, but you can do it, in sha’ Allah. It can help you to be strong if you let a best friend know what you are trying to do and see if you can have this friend available to you for processing as well.
When I say processing, I mean to talk through your issues with someone who won’t judge you or give you a lot of advice. Processing helps the person who is talking to get clear about what s/he feels, needs, and wants while empowering the individual to move forward in a better way.
If you can’t find a friend who can do this for you, then you might consider finding a therapist. This will greatly reduce stress and increase your own clarity about what your problem is and what is not, and how to be supportive without being controlling while taking care of yourself.
With that said, you can encourage your father to see a therapist also. If you can help him to see that seeking consultation and counseling is a strength rather than weakness, he will be more open to it. If you approach him in anger and tell him that he has a problem and that he needs to fix it, he will become more defensive. But if you suggest that he could enhance his performance and get clarification on his goals for success with a counselor who can coach him and introduce new skills, he might be more open to it.
In other words, acknowledge his desire for success (every human desiring to be successful in life) and give him the “tip” on how to hook up with someone who can help him achieve that success. Many men have a great fear of becoming dependent, and some men fear that a “therapist” will foster dependence. Yet just the opposite is true.
One main function of a therapist is to facilitate the empowerment and acquisition of skills so that the individual who is seeking therapy can become more independent and even learn interdependence in a healthy, social system. The fact is, many men really don’t understand the role and function of therapy and that is why they do not want it.
If you cannot afford psychotherapy, you might look for self-help books on anger management or emotion regulation. This will help with the surface issues of having a bad temper and exhibiting angry outbursts. Naturally, if your father learns these skills, he will likely be able to retain his employees longer. Still, it would be helpful if he could see a therapist and unveil the core wound that causes him to be so unhappy, dissatisfied, or upset so he can work toward changing that.
Change is always required for transforming unhappiness to happiness. The change includes changing the inside of the self, including beliefs and thought patterns, changing behaviors and approaches that are not working, and changing outer environment when appropriate and possible. Remember, all of this is a natural process and we all have this ability to change as Allah put this ability inside each human being. When a person has suffered enough and truly wants change, that is when the person will open up to ideas that will support that desire. One day at a time.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.