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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I recently watched Oprah with Dr. Phil and Sarah Ferguson. He told her that she has an ad

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I recently watched Oprah with Dr. Phil and Sarah Ferguson. He told her that she has an addition for approval and acceptance. It is the same as a drug addict, etc. She mentioned that everything she does, she has to stop and ask herself am I doing this to please or get acceptance. I suffer terribly from this and have for 44 years. It was not explained the process to overcome this. When someone is rude and bitchy to you, it hurts me terribly. Am I to be rude and bitchy right back? I hold all this inside and let it eat me up. Sarah Ferguson told Oprah if she doesn't call or text right back, she thinks she doesn't like her. That is so me. I anger easily the minute my feelings are hurt. I was always the one 1st grade thru 12th, that didn't fit in and I was always the one dropped or left out at school. I feel that has carried on in relationships and jobs as well.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is actually very common for people to feel the way you do. Some hide it well behind masks of arrogance or indifference, others decide they are going to be self centered and not care (that way they don't get hurt first), and still others, like yourself, feel it strongly and are often hurt. It is the people like you that have the most sensitivity and selflessness with others.


It is alright to feel hurt when others treat you badly. Almost everyone does. The difference is how you react. You may feel like you have no defenses or you may chose to not have any defenses and therefore you feel rejection much more strongly. That is ok. But what you might want to change is how you react.


Acting mean or hurtful back is only going to be against your nature and therefore make you feel worse. Plus, it will change the other person's perception of you which you probably do not want. What you can do is see other's for who they really are. Most people who act out in mean or hurtful ways are hurt themselves. They may not come across that way, but if you think about it, there is no other reason to be hurtful to others except that you are hurting yourself. The person may be afraid they will get hurt or they already have been terribly hurt so they lash out each chance they get.


Accepting that you are a kindhearted person and that you are sensitive to others is a good step. See yourself in a good light because very few people are like you are. When others hurt you, remember they are acting out because they don't know a better way to deal with their feelings. So it is not you they are reacting to, but their own hurt.


Also, work on your self esteem. Educate yourself about how to increase your esteem. Read, consider therapy, and talk to others who do care about you and understand who you are. Ask for insight and help.


Here are some resources to help get you started:


Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew, Ph.D. McKay and Patrick Fanning


The Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi


Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame by Beverly Engel


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


To find a therapist, talk with your doctor for a referral. Or, if you attend church, talk with your pastor. You can also search on line at:


I hope this has helped you,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

For example a coworker snaps real snotty and says why do you wear your hair the way you do? I say nothing. Hold in their rude comments for months until I finally blow. How would you respond to that.


Should I not let it bother me that some people don't like me. On jobs should I just do mediocre instead of trying to be a perfectionist and do the best job, because it seems you can never please some people.


Another example my mother-in-law never seems to have anything good to say about me. In fact this is not just me, but does this with all her kids. I am so soft hearted that I can't take the digs and rejection, that I refuse to see her. We don't go holidays or anything with them anymore. I remove myself from the hurt. Is this the wrong way to handle it. I could confront her, and have done that with others, but if they are two faced what is the point. They will just tell you what you want to hear.

You should respond how you feel it would benefit you the best. For example, to your co worker you can say "sorry you feel that way" and walk away. I understand it hurts, but dealing with it by seeing that it is the co worker is the one who is hurting helps to understand it has nothing to do with you. If she is rude to you, she is most likely rude to others as well. It could also be that she feels you will allow her to get away with acting out towards you so she does it just because she can.


On your job, you should do the best job you can do for yourself. Whatever your standards might be should be what guides your work ethic, not what others think. Worrying about how others view you is only interfering with your potential. You have learned already that pleasing others does nothing to benefit you. So if it doesn't work, stop doing it. Start listening to yourself and what you want to be like. Then follow that guideline.


If your mother in law is unhappy with everyone around her, then it is easy to see she is the problem, not you. If she hurts you, then you choose how you want to respond next time. Ask yourself what would work best for you. Then follow through. If ignoring her and not going on vacations with her makes you feel better, then do that. You have rights as a person, just like anyone else. You are just not using those rights. Instead you are handing them over to others in your life and giving them power. If you choose to stop doing this, you will feel better.



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