Home » Ask the Therapist » My Best and Worst Self

My Best and Worst Self

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Why is it that my family brings out my worst self? All this bunch has done is treat me with pity, contempt and display their disappointment in me…maybe bc they know the “real” me and I’ve got everyone else fooled. I can never show a good mood around them bc as sure as I do they’ll bring me crashing down. Also, this all happens in the context of a family business (no, I don’t recommend joining a family business unless you have a somewhat functional relationship with your family; as for me I’ve been treated like I’ve been stealing. FYI…boundaries were never an option; you’d have to respect the person first.

My Best and Worst Self

Answered by on -


Thank you for your email. The normal process of development is for families to foster individuation for the children. As you state your age as 53 and immersed in a family business, this process may not be fully completed.

To individuate means that you become more self-reliant. What your family may have done for you as a young person to help you grow may be limiting you now.

I don’t believe the shift has to be overnight, but you need to be working on greater independence, more autonomy, and better self care. Moving toward greater independence will help to alleviate these feelings.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Best and Worst Self

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Best and Worst Self. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.