I live and work around a person (relative) whom is constantly negative in my life. He always belittles me about what I do, and whenever I succeed at something, he claims it was luck. When I fail at something, he usually mocks me or says it was my fault, or calls me deragatory terms. Given this is a relative, he does care about me, but I think it is from caring too much that he always puts me down or spreads negative karma when I am around him. If I am too afraid to do something, he calls me a coward.
Being that my environment calls for existing around this person for much of the time, is there any way I can respond as a Buddhist? It will be awhile before my living condition changes. I tried Metta and showing compassion, and I read stories on how Buddha had historically handled insults from strangers. The hard part about this is that this person is a relative and family member. I tell myself to not be attached to my ego or self image, but I am very much a beginner, and when reality hits me, I find my peace broken by the negativity. I find the day poisoned by this bad karma.
It is like I wish for others' opinions to not bother me or steal from my inner peace, but somehow what others say or think about me eventually robs me of the day's equanimity. Eventually I succumb to the negative energy. I always feel low in self-esteem after this happens. I always think as if I have failed in my practice by being bothered and robbed of my sense of harmony. One morning I woke up for Samatha meditation, and as soon as I left my room to begin the day I was greeted with a barrage of cold remarks.
I'm wondering what Buddha taught on this? I feel as if I am wrongly clinging to my self image or sense of self-worth in life. Sometimes I am mindful of it, and realize the attachment is there.
Thank you, peace on you all.