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Email of the Day: Learning to Take a Stand

By Dr. Laura on May 22, 2024
Older woman arm-wrestles a younger woman on wooden table

I heard a caller recently on your show who was afraid to tell her mother “NO.” I had a similar problem with my mother-in-law.



I began visiting a therapist because I was so frustrated with my fiancé’s mom telling me everything that I should be doing and pressuring me about the upcoming wedding. The therapist said to tell her “to go to hell” every time she got on my case. These words helped to start the growth of my new backbone!


Eventually, my future father-in-law took me aside and told me that his wife had never been told “no” and that I should do what she says, “or else.” My response was, “I guess she will learn a new word.”


On rare occasions, she still made attempts to pressure me but was rapidly dealt with. Even though I didn’t like acting that way to my mother-in-law, I had to watch out for my mental health. We have now been married for 57 years, and my late father-in-law and I were the best of friends!




Learning to Take a Stand


How did you finally learn to say 'no?' I'd love to hear what that was like for you. You can share with me by sending an email to drlaura@drlaura.com!


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