Source: Photograph by Jody Hong Films. Copyright free. Unsplash Recently, I reposted an article I'd written about estrangement—or “No Contact” as it’s informally called on Facebook—and got pushback from mothers who were estranged from their adult children and who did not initiate the cut-off. What they had to say was achingly familiar—it’s what I and other daughters who’ve made this painful but sometimes necessary decision have heard from our mothers, family members, people we know, and strangers alike. It was a consistent narrative composed of declared innocence (“I was a good mother"; “She was loved and cared for”), defensiveness and rationalization (“She didn’t like being held as a baby”; “She resisted any effort to discipline her”; “Everyone agreed she was a problem”), and downright blaming (“She has always been difficult”; “She is extremely … [Read more...] about What Science Knows About Adult Child-Parent Estrangement
Source: Lavazzamoon/Shutterstock In a recent article, Kristina Scharp, a Communication Studies professor at Utah State University, and I detail three ways people distance themselves from their family. While none of these is exactly the same as divorce, they are all painful paths that parents and children use to pull away from one another—and they are more common than you might think. Marginalization Marginalized family members are commonly referred to as the “black sheep” of the family. Family marginalization is the chronic experience of being treated differently, feeling excluded, or being disapproved of by the rest of the family. The communication of that status to the marginalized person is key in making them feel marginalized. Marginalized family members are told they are not like others in their family, either explicitly or “between the lines” in conversation. These family members are often not treated with respect, and are devalued and judged by … [Read more...] about Can You Divorce Your Family?
Source: PixieMe/Shutterstock Being the black sheep of the family is undeniably hard. Black sheep are treated differently, excluded, or disapproved of by the rest of the family. People are considered black sheep for a wide variety of reasons, including leaving the family religion, not following prescribed gender roles, having different values or beliefs than the rest of the family, or loving/marrying an “undesirable” partner. Recent research identified five ways black sheep stay resilient despite their stressful position in the family. Resilience is all about adapting, moving forward, and coping with marginalization without ignoring or forgetting about one's negative family experiences. The five strategies described below come from interviews with black sheep from across the United States. 1. Seek support from your communication networks. Resilient black sheep invest in the relationships in their lives that are genuine and loving. They focus on those who include … [Read more...] about Are You the Black Sheep of Your Family?
Ever have a small setback or fall into a bad mood and throw your resolutions to the wind? Ever say to hell with it because you blew your eating plan when you polished off that chocolate bar in the morning, so you decide you might as well have dessert after dinner? Or after missing a week of exercise, you chunk the whole idea of physical fitness? Welcome to the Club. How To Lift Yourself Out Of A Bad Habit Source: Photo By DESIGNECOLOGIST On Unsplash Change Is A Cha Cha It has been said that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster; it’s a cha-cha. When you’re grappling with changing a bad habit, relapse is often part of the package deal. If you were to plot the average person’s progress of changing a habit, it would make an upward zigzag, not follow an ascending straight line. When you have a setback, it’s tempting to condemn yourself and give up. This impulsive reaction is an attempt to bring quick relief to your misery of … [Read more...] about How to Break a Bad Habit and Cha-Cha Your Way to Success
They drive you crazy with their tedious self-defense and self-certainty. They spend their days broadcasting their worth, but why? Is it because they think so highly of themselves that they have to crow about it, or just the opposite—they have to prove their worth to themselves because they just don’t feel it? You make a subtle suggestion to them and they wear you out with their deflections. You’re no longer hearing from them but their inner PR agent hopped up on Red Bull, insisting that their client is exceptional and exempt from all criticism. All you said was, “you might consider doing this a little differently,” but apparently, they heard it, as “you’re a fundamentally horrible person.” And so they’re fighting tough and proud like their lives depended on it. That’s the paradoxical thing about self-esteem: When we run a deficit, we talk like we’re running a surplus. It makes it hard to know whether to harden … [Read more...] about 10 Uncommon Tips For Addressing The Self-Esteem Paradox