Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul

Thirst quenchers

Stay hydrated and do your bit to help the environmen­t with one of these reusable bottles

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ALL-ROUNDER

Complete with a spill-proof lid, double-walled design that allows you to keep drinks hot or cold for up to 12 hours, and even a tea strainer, this stainless-steel bottle is ideal for days spent on the run. All Fenix Double Walled Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $29, theiconic.com.au

“I’ve reunited with my estranged sisters. But, all these years later, the same old feelings are back”

From unsisterly acts to other family issues, reader questions are answered by clinical psychologi­st Jo Lamble

After an almost 20-year hiatus in our relationsh­ip, I’ve reunited with both of my older, estranged sisters. But I’m finding that the same old feelings have come back. They’re very close and I always feel like I’m not part of their sisterhood. They rely on humiliatio­n and degradatio­n at every opportunit­y. Why can’t I be immune to their predictabl­e behavior? Where’s the line in the sand?

Was your sisters’ reliance on humiliatio­n and degradatio­n the reason for the hiatus? It would be understand­able if it was. Why do they do this? Did one or both of your parents communicat­e in the same way? Such behaviour is usually learnt. If they share this habit, it’s no wonder they’re close and that you feel on the outer. But do you want to be a close member of this sisterhood? Wouldn’t it be better to stay on the outside and have a slightly removed relationsh­ip?

It would mean you could still see them and communicat­e regularly, but could happily step back if and when those patterns resurface. Be proud that you haven’t adopted those bad habits and pleased that you’re not part of the inner sanctum. Enjoy the fact that you’re no longer estranged, but realise that won’t necessaril­y mean you’ll be the three musketeers. Having realistic expectatio­ns should help develop your immunity. Wishing things were different will only make you more sensitive and disappoint­ed. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself because they’re fun, affirming and supportive. And keep people who put you down at arm’s length – they’re there, but not close enough to hurt.

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