I’m glad that you’ve recognized your father’s passive aggressive remarks for what they are and acknowledge their negative impact on you. The author, Peggy O’ Mara, offered a cautionary note to parents by saying: “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” Through the years, you have internalized your dad’s hostile comments and now need to reprogram your thinking. If you’re struggling to do that, cognitive therapy can help.
Focusing on positive self-talk and daily self-care will be invaluable as you heal. You need to replace your father’s negative words with your own kind, supportive ones. You need to develop habits such as exercising, meditating, and writing in a journey to promote your well-being. The good news is that this is all within your control.
There is no better way to build one’s self-esteem than by setting goals and working hard to achieve them. No self-help book, no assertiveness training workshop, no hours of therapy will be as effective. Our self-confidence increases when we do hard things and make ourselves proud. They can include losing weight through a daily exercise regime, signing up for classes to learn a second language, mastering a new style of cooking, or training for a marathon. Conversely, when we set out to reach a goal but then quit, we get down on ourselves and our self-esteem slips.
As you move forward, it will be important to limit contact with your father. Moreover, you’ll want to spend more time with friends and family who are positive and supportive. Best of everything to you!