Post # 1
My mom is a super-emotional person (as, to be fair, am I), and she has strong opinions on pretty much every detail of my life. She expresses these opinions really bluntly, and sometimes it honestly crosses the line and makes me really upset.
Just as one example, this morning she found out I wasn’t planning to get my hair done for the rehearsal dinner and she got super upset. She said it was a personal insult to her that I don’t take care of myself (she works in the beauty industry) and that she’ll be embarrassed at the rehearsal dinner. And that her friend’s daughter looks better when she’s out walking the dog than I will at my rehearsal dinner. She says similar things about my personal appearance, things I choose for the wedding, my career choices, relationship with Fiance, the way I do housework, and just about everything else.
I’ve tried to talk to her about it, and her response is: “This is just the way I am, if you want a relationship with me, you have to accept it.”
My dad recognizes that this is a problem and he tries to encourage her to be more calm and express disapproval politely. But the bottom line is, she won’t change and he’s not going to leave her over it, so really that leaves him no option but to keep putting up with it.
My mom and I have always been close, and she is so amazing. The idea of cutting off contact or even threatening to do so kills me. But I am so tired of her making these comments to me.
What should I do?
Post # 3
Have you considered talking to a counselor about this? My mom has major problems with her mom and how she treats her. She went to a therapist who gave her advice on how to deal. My gramma has personality disorder, as well as a substance abuse problem, so it might be worse than your situation, but either way I think a therapist would be able to help you figure out ways to deal.
Post # 4
The only thing you can do is to try to communcate your feelings to her and let her know how much her words are hurting you. Have you tried crying??? That might work.
Post # 5
Aw, I am sorry you are going through this situation. I really have no useful advice at this time.
If that is her attitude, you should give it right back (politely of course). If she doesn’t like you for the way you are then tough. She has to accept you!
But I’m interested in what the other bees think.
Post # 6
Ouch! I would hate to have a mom like that. Has she always been so cruel?
Post # 7
If she’s not going to change, I would just ignore the comments or not get upset. Unfortunately, she might be feeding on the fact that these comments upset you.
I would just ignore her, say “that’s not very nice to say”, or say something like, “I’m sorry you disagree, but I’m doing XX.”
Post # 8
Have you tried shooting this stuff back at her? I know it’s not a tit for tat kind of thing, but maybe she would be nicer if you gave her a taste of what she gives out to you? So, in the example above, can you say to her, “Thanks for your insight on my appearance mom, but I couldn’t give a crap about what your neighbor’s daughter looks like when she walks her dog. And if you’re so embarrassed by me, you’re very welcome to skip the rehearsal dinner…”
Post # 9
I’m so sorry, sweetie. (((HUGS)))
I agree with hotchild. Either ignore her, or call her on it or both. She’s being cruel, and she knows that she’s being cruel which is not an okay thing. Whenever she says something like that, tell her “that’s very hurtful”, and then change the subject. Keep doing it until she gets it.
ETA: Have you considered recording her and playing it back? This worked for my Mom years ago. She didn’t realize how mean and cruel she was being until she heard herself on playback (which was an accident, but it worked!).
Post # 10
I don’t think I can give truly helpful advice because I don’t know your mom or your relationship. However some random ideas that might work for some people.
1. Say similarly rude things to her. My friend’s mother is more supportive and loving when they fight than when you and I don’t. For someone in the beauty industry your eye make up is embarassingly loud and ugly. You’re always so made up you look fake. When you used to do X when I was a kid I hated it so much and it’s traumatised me. Now, these aren’t things I think it’s generally okay to say to one’s mother. Not at all. But. If she won’t get the point any other way? It might shock her into rethinking things.
2. Say, fine, if thats the only way you can be I don’t want a relationship with you. If you want a relationship with me you will learn to cut it out. Cut off contact. I gaurantee with 90% certainty that she’ll cave.
3. A softer version of 2. whenever she says something like that take a minute of silence to look at her and let the silence build, have this disapointed disgusted look on your face. Say “I hate it when you’re like this” and turn around and leave, right then and there or hang up etc. No matter if you’re in a restaurant or if it’s the friday of a long weekend. Then reguse to discuss it.
I think anything but fairly drastic measures won’t get through. People don’t change these kinds of aspects of their personalities unless someone makes them.
Post # 11
My mom makes a lot of similar comments to me. Of course, she also does this to my sister, my niece, etc. Every detail of my life is fair game to her. The most recent was (I’m an encore bride) “You two don’t plan on having any more children, do you? I think you already have more than you can deal with.” Most of her comments are directed toward my hair, my makeup (or lack thereof — “You’re going out? Can’t you at least put on lipstick?”).
When I mention that her comments are hurtful, SHE appears to be the one that is hurt and says “But I’m your mother. It’s my job to tell you the truth. Everyone else thinks it, but I can tell you.”
The only way I can deal with it is to tune it out. It really is just the way she is and I doubt anything I can do or say will make her change. My sister and I now laugh about it. When my sister walked in the door the other day and my mom said, “I see you gave up on your diet” we both started cracking up.. Our private joke is “Oh, today must be YOUR day to be picked on”
I guess what I’m trying to say is try not to let it get to you. You may not be able to change her, but you can change the way you react to her comments. You don’t have to let her make you feel bad about yourself. If your relationship is otherwise good, you may just want to write this off as one of her quirks. I don’t think you’d be happier without her in your life.
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
My mom can be critical to and if I complain she just says I take everything too personally. Ha. You just criticized ME and I take it personally. Okay.
So sometimes I may quip back. And she huffs a little and that’s the end of that. Not every relationship can be completely functional, especially ones with parents.
Post # 13
I’m sorry she’s so mean to you. And I agree that you don’t want to kick it up to nuclear level by threatening to cut off all contact – but what about just refusing to take the abuse? When she starts being mean, just say “this is hurting my feelings so I’m going to leave/hang up now. Talk to you later.” Don’t hold a grudge, don’t argue with her, just disengage. And take her next call or visit until she starts in, then do the same thing again, and again and again. If she gets all upset, stay calm and tell her you love her but you’re not going to listen when she’s hurtful. The key is to not react emotionally, and to show that you want to spend time with her, but not when she acts badly. You probably can’t change her, but you might be able to change her behavior towards you, since she won’t get your attention unless she’s nice, and there’s no drama to get attention from others. Good luck!
Post # 14
My mom is like that to some extent and I know how much it sucks. She’s made comments about my weight and appearance before when she knew full well I was struggling with certain things and the comments were very hurtful. She’s a very tell-it-like-it-is person, and I do respect that about her, but she does cross the line sometimes. I’ve learned that the only thing you can do is voice your displeasure with her comments and just let it go. You’re an adult and you can make decisions for yourself. It’s tough when someone you care about makes hurtful or insensitive comments, especially if that’s a pattern of behavior, but you just have to find confidence in yourself and know that she’s not in control of what you do or do not do. If you believe in your choices and stand by them, that should carry you through. It’s normal to feel hurt but it sounds like she is the way she is and you can’t let yourself dwell on something you can’t change. Definitely speak your mind, though. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with speaking hers.
Post # 15
Perhaps you could avoid her for awhile, ignore her calls and after about a week or so tell her that you are doing it because you dont appreciate the way she is treating you and if she continues to be this way youre going to cut off ties.
She is going to hate the idea of no relationship just as much as you do. THe other bees have good ideas too!
Post # 16
I can understand why it would be tempting, but disagree that giving it back is a good idea. A friend of mine took this approach after years of being badgered, and it ended with her in tears and her mother threatening to disown her for being a terrible daughter.
You don’t have to cut off contact, but I recommend removing yourself from any conversation once she starts handing out these “honest opinions.” Interrupt, tell her you have to go and hang up. Leave the room. Etc. Change the subject. If you can bear it, cut her out of wedding planning. You and Fiance are, if I recall correctly, paying for your own ‘do, so keep her involvement to a minimum. Not to punish her, but to save yourself the heartache.