Dr. Angela Shiels sees a common problems every holiday season.

The holidays are when we get together with family, which can be joyous, triggering, or a combination of both, depending on who you're related to. Therapist and TikToker Dr. Angelica Shiels says that after the holidays, her clients' most common “hurt feeling” is from passive-aggressive and critical comments from relatives.

The pain stems from the disappointment people feel when trying to spread holiday cheer and are met with "negativity and criticism instead of positivity and enthusiasm" in return.

Dr. Shiels shared some examples of these comments in a video with over 1.3 million views. One examples is when someone is sharing their plants and is confronted with unexpected negativity. "Oh, you have a lot of plants in your house. Do you really need more plants?” Dr. Shiels says.

"When someone is trying to share something about their life, like applying to a new job, someone being negative, like, 'Why would you want to work for Amazon? Don't you know that they're ruining the economy?'" she continued.

"Or if someone's talking about painting their kitchen cabinets and someone says, I heard painting the face of the cabinets reduces the value of the house,” Dr. Shiels said.


#anxiety #criticism, and #catastrophizing lead to #negativity and damage #relationships. #family #holidays #therapy #couples #marriage #friends #parenting

According to Dr. Shiels, these negative or passive-aggressive comments are often honest responses that reveal your family member’s anxieties. Your aunt may be upset about how Amazon has affected the economy, and your brother-in-law probably believes you have too many plants.

The problem is that they took the wrong opportunity to share their thoughts with you and need to learn when it’s appropriate to be critical.

"Unless you ask first — oh, do you want my opinion on this? — It's not helping,” Dr. Shiels said, adding that "it's assuaging your own anxiety at the expense of your connection and relationship with others."


Michelle Obama sat down with Oprah for an important chat about criticism.

The first lady shares a bit of advice for young girls everywhere.

It's not every day that two of the world's most powerful women sit down for a heart-to-heart chat about life.

But that's exactly what happened in a recent interview between Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey (numbers 13 and 21, respectively, on the Forbes list of powerful women, in case you were wondering).

The wide-ranging interview tackled everything from the first lady's thoughts on the importance of ensuring a peaceful transition of power to her thoughts on what her husband's lasting legacy might be.

GIFs from OWN/YouTube.

In perhaps the most important portion of the interview, she discussed what it's like being on the receiving end of sometimes unfair criticism.

On Election Day, the New York Times Styles section tweeted "How [Michelle Obama] shed an angry black woman caricature and evolved into a political powerhouse." In 2012, the New York Post ran a headline reading, "Mad as Hell Michelle" on the front page. That line of criticism is bizarre not only because it's harsh, but also because it appears completely divorced from the reality of who Michelle Obama has shown herself to be as a public figure.

Asked about what it felt like to so frequently have the "angry black woman" stereotype projected onto her by her critics, Obama opened up about coping with that negativity and using it to fuel her work moving forward.

"That was one of those things where you think, 'Dang, you don’t even know me,'" she said. "You just sort of feel like, 'Wow, where did that come from?' And that’s the first blowback."

That criticism sparked something within her. She wasn't going to let someone else define her. Instead, she was going to live out loud.

Obama rattled off a list of things she's proud of and shared why it's important to speak up.

"We as women, we as minorities," she told Oprah, "We underestimate ourselves. ... I want young girls out there to understand that what’s in your brain is really useful. Do not hide it, don’t dumb it down, don’t apologize for it. Just put it on the table and let people deal with it."

The whole interview makes so many great points, but most of all, it's a reminder that Michelle Obama, just like you or me, is a human being with feelings, ambition, and dreams.

People talk a lot about whether spouses and relatives of politicians are "fair game" for criticism, but perhaps we need to look at that question with a bit more nuance. The issue shouldn't be whether Michelle Obama or Melania Trump or Laura Bush or any of their children should be exempt from any and all criticism — no one is. The issue should be one of whether such criticism is accurate, justified, and humane.

Flinging baseless insults and dehumanizing someone, even if they're a political opponent, doesn't add anything to discourse. Instead, it creates hate and resentment, and ultimately serves as a distraction from who we want to be as people and as a country.

As first lady, Michelle Obama was dealt a lot of low blows. But as she says, "When they go low, we go high."

That's her approach to offering help and advice to Melania Trump. It's something that can be incorporated into our own lives, as well.

You can watch a clip from the interview below and on the OWN YouTube channel.


How a DIY dress helped one woman reclaim the power words had on her body.

'We should all be able to celebrate and love ourselves without fear of criticism from others, whatever shape or size we are.'

News flash: Words have power. This is something Jojo Oldham knows all too well.

Whether you're a soap star hearing lewd comments made by a politician 10 years ago or the average woman getting catcalled on her way home from work, what other people have to say about your body leave a lasting impression.

Over Oldham's 31 years of existence, she's received countless comments about her body — both good and bad.

After years of letting these words affect how she sees herself, however, Oldham was finally ready to release them and embrace herself.

She took all the comments she's heard about her body over the years and painted them on a dress. Posing for pictures, with a smile on her face, she took the power those words had over her and refused to let them dictate her self-worth any longer.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

"The love I have for my body these days is something I've had to learn. And it requires constant maintenance," Oldham wrote on her website.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

Like so many of us, Oldham says she's been in a love-hate relationship with her body for as long as she can remember. There are days when she's thrilled with how she looks, and then there are days when she wants to delete every unflattering photo ever taken of her. The comments she would receive fanned the flame of her own insecurities.

"I had 31 years-worth of other people’s comments about my body swirling around my head and popping into it on a daily basis, and I wanted to do something positive with them," Oldham explained over email.

The dress is a badge of honor, symbolic of the fact that, while Oldham may have been called these things, she is not defined by them.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

"The comments that made the final cut have all stuck with me for different reasons," Oldham wrote. "Some because they’re really weird, some because they’re really lovely, some because they’re funny, and some because they’re particularly nasty and they really crushed me at the time."

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

"Once I learned how to be happy with myself as I am, the negative things that other people said about my body just stopped mattering to me," Oldham explained.

Photo via Jojo Oldham/Lovely Jojo's, used with permission.

Comments can do serious damage to even the strongest, most self-confident people. Oldham hopes her dress will help curtail some of that damage.

"We should all be able to celebrate and love ourselves without fear of criticism from others, whatever shape or size we are," she wrote on her website.

She hopes the work will inspire women to remember they are not the sum of the comments made about their bodies; they are so much more.

I didn't like Antonin Scalia.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

I never met him, but, boy, did I not like the guy.

I think most of his votes on the Supreme Court made the country worse.

I think too many of them made ordinary people's lives more difficult.

He said some pretty horrible things about gay people. In Lawrence v. Texas, the case that ruled sodomy laws unconstitutional, he made jokes about "flagpole sitting" during oral arguments.

In that case, he argued in his dissent that because "many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, [and] as teachers in their children's schools," that was reason enough to keep Texas' sodomy ban intact.

He called the Voting Rights Act a "racial entitlement."

His dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey — the 1992 decision that affirmed a woman's right to chose — alludes to Nazism and slavery.

His last vote — in a lawsuit brought against the EPA by 29 states — made it more difficult for the United States to enforce regulations designed to combat climate change, one of the greatest existential threats to humanity in the 21st century.

Literally, the last act of his professional life was to make it harder to prevent global ecological catastrophe.

Like an actual supervillain.

Pretty much. Photo by J.J./Wikimedia Commons.

There are a lot of reasons not to like the guy.

And now he's dead.

I'm sad he's dead. He had a family, who must be reeling. He had friends, who are certainly devastated. His fellow justices liked and respected him. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, his ideological opponent in every way, was reportedly one of his closest friends.

I'm sad he's dead. And I think his professional legacy is a highly destructive one.

I'm sad he's dead. And I still don't like him.

There's no "but." It's just "and."

I think that's fine.

It's complicated, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

I can be angry at him for steering our society toward more racism, homophobia, and sexism without being happy he's dead.

I can be excited that someone new will replace him on the court without being happy he's dead.

Just because someone dies doesn't mean you have to stop disagreeing with them. And disagreeing with them doesn't mean you're glad they're not alive anymore. When public figures die, it's natural to want to assess their records. It's not too soon to criticize them.

It's more respectful to his legacy, honestly — to remember it clearly, the way he laid it down.

"It would be not much use to have a First Amendment, for example, if the freedom of speech included only what some future generation wanted it to include," he once said. He'd almost certainly support the right to call him out on his worst tendencies, even after death.

It wasn't all negative, of course. It never is.

Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images.

There were a couple of moments where he came down on the right side of history, mostly in favor of people's right to free expression.

He was a terrific writer, even if he frequently wrote odious things. He was funny.

"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie," he wrote in a footnote to his stinging dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that finally made marriage equality the law of the land in 2015.

Unlike many political figures, he knew how to take a joke.

In my opinion, Scalia was a pretty terrible Supreme Court justice. But you know what? I don't think he'd really care how much I couldn't stand him. His opinion, when he was alive, counted way more than mine when it mattered.

He was a giant. He was a huge jerk. He was human.

Rest in peace.