24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

Skip 
Navigation Link
Ask Dr. Dombeck
Ask Dr. Dombeck
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

standing up for oneself

Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with public social slights and criticisms? I am in my thirties. When I was a child, I would not say anything when I was insulted or slighted publicly because I didn't know what to say. I never had much confidence. I don't want to be walked on anymore.

I am regularly around a group of women for an ongoing social event. I used to be a valued part of the group but it seems to have been collectively decided that I am not good enough for them because I am not longer greeted warmly, I no longer receive social invitations and my invitations are rejected, etc. I get the sense that "the group" now considers me beneath them. No obvious event caused this but my best guess is that this new attitude toward me came about after one social event when I (emotionally) disclosed to three of the women feelings of insecurity because of a difficult childhood. (I think this was too much information for them.) I can't avoid them entirely and when I see one of them I am subtly criticized or made fun of in front of the others. Any thoughts of how I can handle this? Directly addressing public slights seems so confrontational and it makes others in a group feel uncomfortable. For example, say I make a mistake and get the date wrong of an event and get a contemptuous correction from one member of the group in front of the others. What kinds of ways can I react to stand up for myself? Is there anything to do except take it or announce that I don't appreciate being treated with contempt for any mistakes I might make and if my presence is unwelcome I will happily leave? (I imagine this is a good way to burn bridges.) Any thoughts would be appreciated.

THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.

Disclaimer

  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Resources