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Me Time

"How Do I Gain Confidence After Mistrust?"

Introducing our new advice column.

When we launched Sisters last year, readers almost immediately started sending in questions. About dating and relationships. About friends. About personal issues they just needed to bounce off of someone else. This is your space to be heard — that’s what this whole newsletter is about — in an even more intimate way. Welcome to the inaugural installment of “Hey Sis,” a monthly advice column. We want to make you feel like you’re sitting with your best friends, your favorite coworkers, your sorors or whoever your trusted tribe is made of. We’re here for you.

Hey, Sis:


How do you get your confidence back after mistrust in a relationship?

Signed,

Unsure

 

Dear Unsure,


First of all, who did it, sis? Because I’m ready to ride out if you are! I kid, I kid. But seriously, I have your back.

Confidence comes from knowing and trusting who you are. When we experience betrayal, we start second-guessing ourselves. So to rebuild that confidence, start simple. Reflect on what happened and recognize that you’re on the other side of it now. You’re actively seeking ways to persevere, grow and be better. That alone is a testament to your strength. Give yourself credit for getting up and taking action to mentally recalibrate.

I know all of that is kind of woo-woo and honestly, it’s more easily said than done. So while you’re reflecting on your inner strength, here are some practical suggestions for you:


  • Start a new hobby or return to an old one. Are you a trivia extraordinaire or amateur ballroom dancer? Have you always wanted to try karaoke or learn soccer? Go do it! It’s not about distracting yourself from what you’ve been through. It’s about rediscovering what makes you feel alive.
  • Hit the gym (a video workout works, too). The self-discipline we use to exercise breeds confidence and pushing your body physically will remind you how strong you are. Adding a form of fitness to your weekly routine — or trying a new one if you’re already active — will mentally reinforce that you can trust yourself..
  • Share your pain. I’m not saying post a drawn-out Instagram story. And please don’t subtweet your betrayer. Sit down with a close sister/cousin/friend and tell her what happened. When we’ve been duped, our first instinct is often to hide it. But don’t let your betrayer’s actions make you feel ashamed. Another person’s dishonesty with you is not a reflection of you. Sharing your truth with someone close to you takes the shame out of your situation.

With love and support,

Your Sister

 

Need some sistergirl advice? Write to us at sistersletter@aarp.org with "ADVICE" in the subject line.

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