Nancy Colier

Stop Apologizing For Your Truth

Women are trained to take care of other people’s feelings; through our conditioning, we learn early that it’s our job to make other people happy, to take care of other people’s experiences. And that it’s our fault and we should feel guilty if we don’t. Sharing a truth we think will be displeasing, inconvenient, or […]

How to Become Someone Who “Matters”

While “codependent” is not a clinical diagnosis or recognized personality disorder, it remains a widely-used term for someone who’s self-sacrificing, a caregiver who gives at the expense of her own well-being, and who enables her partner’s addictive or self-destructive behavior. Breaking behavior that could be described as codependent starts with greater self-awareness. Notice when you’re ignoring your own […]

When You Keep Getting Triggered by the Same Person (Part 1)

Dealing with a relationship that brings you back to old—and unwelcome—feelings and behaviors Jane, a client, was heading out to see her stepfather. She had described him as someone who talked incessantly about his importance and the remarkable things he’d accomplished (a lot of which weren’t true). At the same time, he’d never expressed curiosity […]

Do You Feel Like A Hostage to Your Partner’s Anger?

This is the third in a series of posts. Read part 1 and part 2. In this series, I’ve been looking at the experience of living with a partner with anger issues, as well as ways to shift your thinking so as to maintain peace of mind, regardless of your partner’s state of mind. Now I want to offer some […]

It’s Time to Get Off Our Screens and Back to Real Community

Human beings harbor a deep need to belong. The well-known psychologist Abraham Maslow established a hierarchy of human needs in which he placed the need to belong just above food, water, and physical safety. At the most basic level, belonging is survival and safety: if we’re not part of the herd, we’ll be left behind and unprotected, […]

Recovering From Mom Guilt: Dropping the Never-Enough Mom Story

“Mom guilt” is the feeling of not being a good enough mother. It can come in many forms: We’re not spending enough time with our child; we’re not patient, loving, fun, or interested enough in our children; we’re not offering our children the life, family, and opportunities that we should; and so on. The list of […]

The Guilt That Women Suffer

Women struggle mightily with the emotion of guilt. I’ve observed this truth for nearly 30 years as a psychotherapist, friend, mother, employer, neighbor, and in every other role I play with fellow women. When it comes to emotional well-being, guilt may be the greatest obstacle we face. Men struggle with guilt, too — it’s a human emotion […]

How to Relax When You Don’t Have the Answers

The first time it was suggested to me that I stop trying to think up a solu­tion to the situation I was trying desperately to solve, to figure it all out, it sounded a lovely idea. But truth be told, I had no idea how to put this advice into action. Resolution, for me, had […]

Putting the Brakes on Overthinking

I talk and write a lot about why we overthink and ruminate so much, and keep thinking about all the worst parts of our lives, all the things that bring us pain. At the most basic level, we stay hooked on our thoughts because thinking gives us a sense of control. It makes us feel […]

When COVID Threatens to Break Up Your Relationship

The pandemic has massively disrupted normal life, creating conflict and suffering in innumerable ways. This much we know. But what I didn’t know, or expect, was how much disruption and the particular kind of conflict the pandemic would create in marriages and long-term relationships. For the first year of the pandemic, couples actually managed well. […]