DEAR HARRIETTE: My father has an issue of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. He does not have a filter, and he often comes off as offensive when he speaks. Specifically, he does this with my siblings and me.
All three of us have been having a hard time finding good jobs and getting on our feet. My twin and I have been out of college for a few months. Our brother has been out of school for a little more than a year, and it’s rough right now. I am beginning to doubt myself, and it doesn’t help how my father talks about us.
When my dad talks with others, he will tell them of our failures in life instead of accomplishments, almost as if he is bashing us. This makes me feel as though he is spreading his true feelings of disappointment with where we are in life with anyone who will listen. How can I get my dad to stop talking bad about us? -- Stop Bad-Mouthing Us
DEAR STOP BAD-MOUTHING US: Consult your siblings to learn if they would like to join you in talking to your father. Either with them or independently, sit down with your father and tell him that you are struggling to find work -- even though you are trying really hard to find a job. Tell him that it hurts your feelings when he talks badly about you and your siblings to other people. Admit that you are not feeling very confident right now and ask if he knows anyone who may be looking to hire. Tell him that you need him to spread good news about you and your siblings as that may attract the right opportunity for you. Point out that if he keeps telling people about your shortcomings, it will not help you to succeed. Ask him to support you by singing your praises -- or at least not spreading bad news about you.