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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hi, last night my husband and I went out to dinner with my

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Hi, last night my husband and I went out to dinner with my husband's brother, his partner and 3 other guests. I attempted to make conversation with my brother in law. On about the third occasion he interjected and, in front of a table full of 6 guests in total, he recounted a past incident whereby he had visited me at work last year and commented I looked "awful". Counsellor, I am by no means what is considered "ugly" in the traditional sense, ie I have long blonde curly hair, blue eyes etc and my brother in law has flirted with me in the past. I have since been very upset about this comment. The only thing that I can think about my appearance that day was that my business suit may have been in need of replacing but it didn't look that bad. Counsellor, can you please enlighten me about why he would do this?

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I can understand why this comment would be upsetting to you

DoctorZ :

May I ask, does your brother in law make any negative comments like this to other people?

Customer:

Yes he does

DoctorZ :

Well then most likely he has low self-esteem, and this causes him to try to bring others down to make himself feel better.

DoctorZ :

No you mention that you are in no way considered ugly, do other people praise you on your attractiveness?

Customer:

Yes they do

Customer:

But he never used to be like this towards me.

DoctorZ :

Well that is a positive outward quality that you have and that other people notice, so he is trying to bring you down with a comment that goes towards appearance because this is considered one of your strengths

DoctorZ :

Well his low self-esteem may be a recent development for him, it can be caused by many things, even mild depression

Customer:

OK

DoctorZ :

Most likely if you give him some flattering compliments that boost his ego, he will not feel the need to bring other people down

DoctorZ :

But a long term solution would be therapy to help him regain his self-esteem

Customer:

OK so next time we go out to dinner I should pay him a few compliments first?

Customer:

:-)

DoctorZ :

Yeah that will probably boost his ego, make him feel good and then he will not see a need to bring you down with a negative comment

Customer:

Ok and is there anything else I could do?

Customer:

By the way thanks so much for your help, it really helps if a psychologist gives their insight into why painful experiences happen

DoctorZ :

Well you can have your husband defend you more or talk to him about his behavior and how that it hurt your feelings, that could put a stop to it too.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always here to help.

DoctorZ :

Most likely he is not trying to be mean to you, he just has some negative emotions at this moment and to help lessen those feelings he sees a need to bring down others with negative comments, it is considered a maladaptive coping mechanism.

Customer:

I wish he would learn to channel it elsewhere...lol

DoctorZ :

Well therapy can help that, and usually self-esteem issues are easily treatable with the appropriate therapy .

Customer:

Thanks but I can't imagine him wanting to go to therapy but you never know...I will have a further chat to my husband about it ... thanks so much again, it always helps when a psychologist gives their amazing insight into why hurtful experiences happen.

DoctorZ :

I am glad that I was able to help you today

DoctorZ :

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me again at anytime

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service today

Customer:

Yes thanks so much Doctor Z

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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