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My Dad's a Jerk

Ophelia writes:

My dad is a jerk. He is manipulative and condescending. Sometimes he even calls me up just to yell at me and call me names.

He is not understanding, he expects me to be superwoman. No matter what I do, he doesn't seem to realize that im 20, intelligent and artistically talented - he thinks I need or deserve his every bit of advice, name calling, whatever.

His tone of voice when giving compliments always seem insincere and he contradicts them later. It seems like he will do anything to have me obey him even lie to me or pretend he finally decided not to be a jerk in order to infiltrate my life.

Dear Ophelia,

You've described your problem very clearly; now all you need to do is prove that you are right, and he's wrong. If you are still at home, move out. Prove you can survive and thrive.

If you have already moved out, and you are still getting the phone calls, write this down, paste it on the phone, and read it every single time he starts: "I'm sorry Dad, I'm happy to hear from you, but I don't need this. I'm hanging up now."

You need to make a plan and be cool calm and above all consistent. Once he knows he can't control you - and he might lose you - he'll learn, or not. But every time you let him see that he's got you rattled, he's won. It's your life, take it back.

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