One essential element that needs to be in place when you’re dealing with a high-conflict situation—or trying to change it—is self-love. Okay, so the very phrase is associated with cheesy, new-age-y, navel-gazing or, ha, perhaps an uncomfortable reference to something more private, but how you feel about yourself really does determine how everything else “seems” to go in your life.
It’s too bad we don’t have some kind of public version of a self-love rain gauge that we can all read to show us each other’s levels of self-esteem. Then we might be more apt to depersonalize hurtful behaviors from other people and instead, simply say, “Wow, their self-esteem is really low today: need to be extra nice. Or give them a wide berth. Or put up an extra force field of protection to protect my own….”
We can have high self-esteem in certain areas—and then confound ourselves by repeatedly feeling like a dork in others. Maybe we could all have fancy gauges that measured our sense of self-confidence in different areas: work, financial success, meaningful friendships, parenting, romantic relationships, physical health, being of service… and maybe even one related to old baggage from our childhoods.
Wouldn’t THAT be handy.
It’s all too easy to point the finger at someone else and blame them for making you feel bad when there are problems between you. But what if it’s YOU that’s making you feel bad, from the get-go? What if you already know that you have these particular areas of weakness and sensitivity — and you’re blaming the other person for feeling lousy instead?
Kind of obscures the path to creating healthy change, huh? You’re saying it’s A, when it’s really B, or maybe Q… or X.
So what about you? How’s your self-love these days?
Coming Monday: a simple technique for boosting your self-esteem that only takes about five minutes a day. And no, it doesn’t involve exercise equipment that says, “As seen on TV!”
I’ll also talk about some other techniques that you can use to put yourself in a good place if you’ve been thrown off balance by something nasty the other woman said or did — or center yourself if you’re preparing yourself to make some incremental changes in your relationship.
© 2010 Jennifer Newcomb Marine All Rights Reserved
Our book No One’s the Bitch: A Ten-Step Plan for the Mother and Stepmother Relationship is a hands-on manual designed to help you navigate some really strange, disorienting territory. Get your bearings, learn tips and tricks for diffusing conflict and creating cooperation, and create inner peace no matter what. Coming this month! A beta version of a brand new, in-depth, stepmom/mom transformation course… and details on private consultations.