Tag Archives: self-esteem

My sister is the problem

Dear global counselor,
I am 50 years old and my sister is 52. Our parents were immigrants and they are both dead. Eversince we were children I felt my sister was jealous of me and always tried to put me down. That feeling has never left me but yet I cannot seem to be able to not have her in my life on a regular basis even though after most of our encounters I am left feeling worst than when I met her. To get her to share anything with me is like pulling teeth. She rejects my attempts to hug her and brush it off as me being too emotional. She has everything – the perfect family house, husband, children, grandchildren and her lily-white picket fenced yard. She has her Sunday family dinners at which I am never invited. I on the other hand am a single parent never married spinster of sort. Thank God I have many good friends who make me feel like a human being but why cannot I shake this need for approval from my sister, why do I put myself in harm’s way with her. Many of my friends say that I have to let it go but it is not that easy. I seem to want to be part of a family and she is the only family I’ve got. I should say that I have four nieces and nephews whom I love and very close with but I feel my sister gets in the way of that relationship too. How can I get over this feeling of insecurity and break free.
Insecure
Dear Insecure,
You are not alone. There are many people who experience this sort of family dynamics which is unhealthy. You are hooked on an idea and cannot let it go. You are hooked on the idea that sister should love each other and be there for each other. Just remember you do not choose your sister, you choose your friends. Your friends approve you so what’s the problem. Where does this need for approval of your sister come from? why is it so important to you? Is your sister picking up on this neediness and so push you away. How do you feel about yourself? Do you approve of yourself, do you love yourself? If you do not approve or love yourself it will be impossible for anyone to love or approve you. On the other hand if you love and approve yourself, people will pick up on that and will love and approve of you. Instead of looking outside of yourself for approval, try going inside and embrace yourself including all the things you think are faults. You would be surprised how others perceive you will change. I believe that the problem is not with your sister but it within you and you have the power to change. You have to see yourself as worthy of love and approval because you are. When you change the way you look at yourself, the way you see yourself will change.

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Closure is necessary

Dear globalcounselor,

I was miserable in my marriage because I felt my husband and my children did not respect me. I was the door mat for all of them throughout my marriage. Well, I got up the courage and walked out of the home and found myself a little apartment. I am happy being on my own but I still feel the need to return to the home I shared with my husband and then we get into big disturbance. My children who live nearby come over and get involved and it is as if nothing has changed. Everytime I return to the house I realize why I left. I do not know why I go back. I don’t even care for him that much but like it is out of habit or something I go there and get all hurt and frustrated all over again. My husband was my best friend, my childhood sweetheart and my husband. He is the only man I ever knew so I walked away from my entire history and I don’t know if that is why I keep on going back. How can I find true closure and move on with my life.

Closure

Dear Closure,

At the best of time it is difficult to walk away from what you know to go to the unknown at the worst of times you second guess yourself, you long for companionship, familiarity, love and respect. Even though you know that you would not find it in your past. You may find it in your future but unless you look to the future and give it a chance, that too might slip away from you. So here’s the plan.

He honest with yourself – list all the good and bad about this relationship

Ask yourself why do you still allow yourself to be abused, what are you feeling when you go there? Optimism, comfortable, relief, guilty or less guilty, they need you – deal with those feelings – chances are it is all in your head. They are doing just fine and may just miss not having you like a ball to kick around.

Release any grudges you might have for your ex or your children. Bless them and wish them well. Sometimes a little prayer helps.

Find new friends and whenever you are tempted to go over to your old house call a friend and go out for coffee or invite them over. Develop a couple buddy friends who will support you through this period and you have to work on it. Your children and ex will respect you and appreciate what they have lost when you not longer allow yourself to be abused. They will be forced to look at you with new eyes but that won’t happen if you just lie down and let them do the same thing over and over again. You are worth the effort girlfriend, like Aretha say RESPECT.

I feel lonely

Dear globalcounselor,

I have been separated from my boyfriend for about 4 months and I still feel a hole in my heart and I get so lonesome that I sometimes want to run back to him. Then I think about how unhappy I was being with him and that does not seem appealing anymore but why can’t I be alone, why do I feel like I need someone by myself all the time. I feel so needy and although people say I am beautiful I cannot feel it. What is wrong with me?

Something’s wrong.

Dear Something’s wrong,

You need to get busy and keep yourself occupied so you do not pine away for that exboyfriend of yours. You need to spend time with yourself and get to know and love you. Unless you love and respect yourself no one else will. You need to get in touch with the Source of your being, your higher self, that part of you that is divine and embrace it.  (Some folks call it God, some higher consciousness, some Source energy – these are  semantics) You are not how you look, how much someone loves you, you are way more than that. You are a divine creative being. Think about that and find a way to see yourself as that.  What we think is what we manifest and what we attract into our lives, so be aware of your thoughts. Change your thoughts, change your life. While it is okay to want companionship at times it should not be a need. Neediness creates a clinging personality and that’s not attractive at all to anyone. Neediness makes you settle for anything that creates more pain for you, it does not fill the hole in any heart just makes the hole bigger.

My boyfriend is obsessed with my weight

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a little overweight not obesely overweight, but my boyfriend of two years keeps on  bugging me to go to the gym and tells me how better I would look with a few pounds off.  At first I went along because I didn’t want him to leave me for a hotter girl but I am feeling that my self-esteem is slipping away.  Whenever I go to the gym I feel I am letting myself down because I am doing it for him. If we are together walking down the street he always turns his head to look at thin girls and I told him he is rude and that it hurts me when he does not and all he says to be is that I can look like that if I wanted to please him. How can I get him to appreciate me as I am.

Overweight

Dear overweight,

Your boyfriend is rude indeed.  He obviously does not like you for yourself but wants a trophy girl to hang on his arm. While losing weight is a good thing you have to do it for you not for him and if he makes you feel like crap I suggest you move on and find someone who can appreciate all of you.  Forcing or trying to persuade someone to like you as you are is a lost cause.

My weight is bearing down on me

Dear globalcounselor,
I’m 15 years old.  My problem is that I feel very bad about the way I look. I feel fat and ugly.  My friends and family reassure me that I am good looking and not overweight but whenever I look in the mirror I see a lot of negative things about myself.  What can I do to change this behaviour. I am tired of feeling so down.

Dear Feeling so Down,
  There are many young girls who feel exactly the way you do. I think the media pressure to be thin has had a bad influence on women and especially young girls like yourself.
   Sometimes the feeling we have about ourselves is a symptom of some other issue we are facing. I suggest you talk to your school counsellor and perhaps you could be referred to an appropriate service. I want you to know that you are not alone. It is a societal problem and if your family and friends tell you that you’re okay perhaps you can pretend they are telling the truth and go with that.  Good luck.

 

Dear globalcounselor,
  I am 16 years old. I had a boyfriend who is three years older than I am.  He is very nice and caring but I don’t feel as if I am ready for a steady boyfriend. I want to take things easy but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.  He is quite serious and very intelligent. I am so confused because I like him but I don’t want to be serious. Confused.

Dear Confused,
I think in this case honest would be the best policy. Talk to your boyfriend and express how you feel. Tell him you are not ready for any big commitment and how would he feel about giving you the time and space you need to grow up.
  At 16 it’s difficult to know what you want.  Let him decide what’s best for him. You have to be prepared that he might want to call it quits.
  I know that once you tell it like it is you will feel much better and there will be greater understanding between the two of you if he is intelligent as you say he is.
  The truth never hurts when told up front but it does hurt if you tell only when caught.

Why can’t I keep a man?

Dear globalcounselor,
I am a 35 year old divorced woman. I look very young and I am quite an attractive blond but I cannot seem to hold on to any man and I do not know why. I am giving, I am loving and I am no feminist. I like nice things and I aim to please my man. Why am I having such a hard time holding on to a man? What is the problem?
I was about to marry this fabulous guy who is rich. He took me for  weekends in Paris, Bahamas and the Caribbean. We bought a home and was about to move it when everything fell apart and I don’t know why. Am I jinxed or what.  What is wrong with me.
Broken

Dear broken:
You sound like the perfect person but no body’s perfect. Perhaps you sell yourself short by giving too much. Unfortunately, but true, things that come too easily are not valued by many people. Respect yourself a little more and do not go out of your way to please because that can backfire on you. You are seen as boring and a push over. As yourself why you try to please people – is it because you are a nice person or you just want to be loved and so you give more than you receive. Maybe you need a self-esteem makeover, eh.

Show off makes me mad and hurt

Dear globalcounselor

There is a girl in my school who is a big show off. She wears the most expensive clothes and make up and those of us who are not allowed to dress that way feel like dirt. She thinks she is better than everyone and she is not even that beautiful though she thinks she is. All the girls follow her around like a puppy dog because she buys them bones. She comes from a rich family and she uses her allowance to bribe her friends.  She goes around with a group of about five girls.  They are all tall and thin and wears cool clothes.  She makes fun of me because I wear glasses that are a bit think she says my eyes are like fish eyes because they bulge out of my face. That hurts. The stupid girls around her just laugh at me,  One of those girls used to be my best friend but she too has turned against me. I don’t care about them because they are all so shallow.  I’m going to be like Bill gates because he used to be teased and look who’s laughing now. I am sure those kids that used to laugh at him wished they didn’t because he is the richest person in the world and could put them out of a job. I’ll study hard to be rich and famous when I grow up just like Bill Gates. Do you think this is fair?

Really mad and hurt

Dear mad and hurt:

All showoffs are attention seeking persons. They do not feel they have enough going for them. They generally feel insecure and must bring themselves to the attention of people, sometimes through tacky and thoughtless ways. There is not much you can do about what others do but you can do a lot to change your feelings about it.  Instead of judging her give her your sympathy and know that she is acting from a place of low self-esteem.  You may not know what is going on in her life but it must be something not so good to make her such a person.

You need to build your internal resources. You are good enough and you are a human being like everyone else. You are worth it and you do not need fancy clothes and that kind of stuff to let your good heart shine through. Build bridges, smile at people be nice to those who are nice to you and even those who are not so nice, be nice to them. One day if not today they will thank you for it.

   You can also complain to your teacher and ask them to intervene on your behalf if the bullying becomes more serious.  Surround yourself with friends, people who really care about you.