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Philippa Courtney



How Can I Tell My Sister that She's Dating a Dud?


Dear Philippa,

I'm worried about my sister. She is a successful attorney but she keeps dating, and marrying guys who treat her like garbage. She is so passive with them. It's like she has a split personality or something because I know she's not like that at work. Being her older, married sister she probably won't listen to me. But I wish I could get through to her. Any advice?

�Judith, Pasadena, CA


Dear Judith,

It's hard to see those we love not love themselves. Yes your sister deserves better treatment from the men she's dating. But if she doesn't think she deserves better there is no way you can help her.

Even successful attorneys can have low self-esteem in the relationship department. I know from my own life that you can feel powerful in your career and powerless in your personal life. I spent years going around with a sign on me that said, "DOORMAT". Here's what helped me and may help your sister.

First, I had to change my negative belief system. For some reason I had this idea that the really great guys wouldn't want someone like me. The other negative belief I had was there weren't that many great guys around so I had better settle for what I could get. Now when I look back I cringe at how I used to think. Let's face it I probably made even Woody Allen movie characters seem emotionally balanced.

Even if I could get to the point of believing there were some great guys out there, I didn't know how to recognize one. I spent loads of money on dating services and met lots of guys but I always managed to meet the wrong ones. It wasn't until I really figured out who was the right kind of man for me that I started meeting a better quality of wrong guys before I met the right one.

After I had a clearer understanding of the kind of man I wanted to meet I started working on the other side of my thinking. I wanted to get excited about the possibility of meeting a great guy so I wrote about it, dreamed about it, and visualized it. I prepared my unconscious long before I started to meet the right kind of guys. It took a good deal of work and I still made mistakes and got disappointed, but things were improving�I wasn't as devastated when I discovered that I'd met a wrong one.

I knew I had won the battle with my negative thinking when I was able to tell which guys were wrong for me. I realized that I could choose who I wanted to meet. Then when I knew that I deserved better and could let the wrong ones go, the right ones started to appear.

It sounds so simplistic on paper and it is, but it isn't easy to do. You can't make your sister do anything. She has to recognize that there is a problem and she has to want to change for herself, not for you or anyone else.

Recognize that your silent caring is healing. Let her know that you are there for her and you want to see her happy with a man who appreciates all she is. See her in the kind of healthy relationship she deserves. One day she may surprise you (and herself) by becoming the powerful women she is meant to be.




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