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Why does your Mom constantly compare you to your successful talented gorgeous sister? Why does it make you feel so irritable and hostile?

You’re shopping with your Mom. She says: "Why did you choose that? You should dress like your sister –she has good taste." You sigh. Mom continues: "You know, if you had a job like your sister's, you'd make a lot more money. You could afford to dress nicely." You say, through gritted teeth "Mom, I'm happy, OK? This is my life, not my sister's." "Well," Mom says, "As long as you're happy. I guess that's all that matters. Of course, if you had a husband like your sister's – " "Mom!" you erupt, "I'm ME, not my sister. Stop talking about her!"

It's more like, stop comparing you to her. Your Mom undoubtedly only wants the best for you, and she doesn't realize that each time she compares the two of you, she puts you down.

But how to get her to stop? Say to your Mom: "Mom, you're right. My sister has great taste, a wonderful job, a terrific husband, and would put Martha Stewart to shame. I agree 100%. Now that we've gotten that out, let's make a deal. Whenever it's just you and me, let's only talk about you or me. OK?"

Your Mom, having been totally acknowledged in her opinion of your sister, will probably be willing to go along with your idea. And whenever she does start in again with "Your sister" you can just remind her "Mom – our deal!" and chances are, she'll respond appropriately.

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Episode 542: How Does Society Effect Marriage?

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