Is­sue a hard “no”

First For Women - - Insight -

You know who to call when you need to be taken down a few notches. “There are many rea­sons we keep peo­ple in our lives who tear us down or are com­pet­i­tive with us in a neg­a­tive way,” says Su­san For­ward, Ph.D., coau­thor of Emo­tional Black­mail. “But it’s im­por­tant to stop ra­tio­nal­iz­ing that she’s only be­hav­ing that way be­cause she’s stressed or up­set.” If her be­hav­ior com­pro­mises your dig­nity, there are no ex­cuses.

“Your heart will be pound­ing, your palms will be sweat­ing, but next time she dishes it out, garner your courage and say, ‘It’s not okay to talk to me that way,’” en­cour­ages For­ward. “Say, ‘I’ll give you a chance to change this be­hav­ior, but fail­ing that, I’m go­ing to have to do some sep­a­rat­ing from you for my well-be­ing.’” Pay at­ten­tion to how you talk to your­self too: “Neg­a­tive self-talk like, I won’t have any friends if I end this re­la­tion­ship, keeps you from getting to a health­ier place of

I don’t need her ap­proval.”

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