I decided to make a plan to not wear things she didnt

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I decided to make a plan to not wear things she didn’t like in front of her. I knew that that would just cut out some of the opportunity to condemn my appearance. I would still wear the thing I liked, just the things that both of us liked when I was around her. Before this class, I would wear what I knew she didn’t like just to prove I could, and that I was different. I also decided I would call her more often so I was on better terms with her the next time I saw her. Once I applied this, something amazing happened. I found myself calling her everyday just to hear her say that she loved me, or wearing the best things I had when she was around to hear her say that I looked good. My whole life I’ve just been searching her
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approval. And I discovered in this whole process that I receive the approval I think I deserve. I could make both of us happier just by choosing a different outfit. She responded very well to this. She noticed I wasn’t trying to be so “wild” (as she calls it), and I noticed I got approval. It was a perfect way to apply what I learned! The next thing that I worked on was saying what I meant, and meaning what I say. The lecture in class where we talked about the principles of communication, one in particular jumped out at me. “We cannot not communicate” really made me think about my relationship with my Mother. I found that I was resenting my mother’s comments about my appearance, instead of communicating to her that it bothered me. How was she supposed to know if I didn’t tell her? I have always known that the things she says to me are really meant to help me. Sometimes it’s just how she says them that is hard to handle. It is possible to deliver a hurtful message in an affirming message, and vice versa. For example, my mom would say, “Why is a pretty girl like you wearing that unattractive sweater that doesn’t flatter you?” My Mom is just trying to say that I would look cuter in a fitted sweater, but I feel that the message is demeaning. I guess we are all born with requirements, what we need, emotionally and physically, to survive. In situations like this, messages that bring hurt feelings threaten these basic requirements by their very nature, because they induce emotional pain (Vangelisti, 1994, p. 74) and can be damaging to one’s self-esteem (Vangelisti, 2007, p. 358) rather than confirming young adult’s feelings of self-worth (Ellis, 2002, p. 325). My plan to change this was to truly communicate how I felt. Before this semester I would either lash back with an attitude, or just not say anything. I decided to stay composed as best I could, and tell her what I was truly thinking. For example, one day I
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was wearing a headband that she obviously didn’t like. She told me that I shouldn’t be wearing that ugly headband because it didn’t compliment how pretty I was. Instead of saying nothing, I simply said, “I’m sorry you feel that way Mom. I really like the headband. I’m not wearing it to offend you, I’m wearing it because I think it’s cute. I’ll try not to wear it around you again. It makes me feel bad when you say things like that. I feel like you are telling me that I don’t look good enough for you.”
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