How do I respond when my loved one says mean things to me? -Rose B.

It can feel so hurtful when people we love say things to us that they never would have in the past. It’s especially frustrating when you are doing your very best to care for them. Hard as it is, responding in kind, reasoning or scolding won’t help. The first time your loved one does this, it will take you completely by surprise. But once it happens, try to be prepared for when it happens again.  You need to develop a tough skin sometimes! Remember that this is not really about you, and difficult as it is, you shouldn’t take it personally. They are feeling frustrated and losing the ability to filter what they say. You are the closest and safest person to snap at. Take a deep breath. You and your loved one might need a few minutes away from each other. Consider what else might be bothering them at the moment: are they tired, hungry, in pain? As often as you can, take opportunities to spend “non- care” times doing something together to keep positive connections between the two of you.

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