(Closed) How do I stop my mom from making hurtful comments?

posted 1 year ago in Emotional
Post # 2
2705 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Next time she says something, end the conversation immediately.  Hang up the phone, walk away, leave her house, usher her out of your house (although it sounds like she doesn’t visit you there).  Say “mom, I’ve asked you not to make personal comments.  This conversation is over.” Keep repeating every time and she will either learn or she won’t; if she doesn’t, stop seeing or talking to her.

Post # 3
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

If you can’t go no contact then you should go as minimal as possible.

Nothing you say or do will change her. You can only control your own actions. So you need to protect yourself from her negativity by limiting the amount of contact she has with you.

Post # 5
672 posts
Busy bee

hikingbride :  I totally agree with this. What she’s doing to you is emotional abuse. I’d cut her out as much as possible. 

Post # 6
6323 posts
Bee Keeper

You can’t. You can’t make her stop, she doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong.

Echoing PPs–limit contact. As soon as she starts in you need to get off the phone, leave the room, walk out of the movie theater if you have to. You can’t prevent her from going there but you can stop yourself from listening to it. Hugs.

Post # 7
1532 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I agree with the pp’s.  If she can’t behave then you should not be available at all to her.  Cut her off completely or at least limit your contact with her.  Then get thee to therapy because if she’s been doing this all your life you can bet your ass this has negatively affected your perceptions of yourself.  You’ve been allowing her to do this to you bee and its only because she’s since childhood conditioned you to not have the ability to stand up to her.  The therapy is to help fight the conditioning so that you can take your power back and change the dynamics of your relationship for the better.

Post # 8
389 posts
Helper bee

My mom does the same thing. Every time I talk to her, all she wants to talk about is how I drink too much and it’s making me fat, I eat too much and it’s making me fat, my clothes don’t flatter me (bc I’m fat, duh!) My hair looks greasy and I really should get it blown out. My business isn’t doing well enough. My apartment is too dirty and it’s just so charmingly small. (FWIW, I’m a size 6 and while I’m bigger than I want to be, I think her complaints about my weight are excessive. I make more at 28 than she ever did in her career and my 1 bedroom apartment is valued at at least 2x her 4 bedroom house). I just kind of tune her out. She wants the best for me but doesn’t really know what “best for me” looks like. I’m sure your mom is the same way. Try not to dwell on it too much. I’m sorry you are feeling so down.

Post # 9
8770 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

pumpkinwaffle :  You can’t make her stop, sweetie. You can’t control someone else’s behavior, no matter how wrong it is. You can only control your own behavior. Come up with a phrase and practice saying it. Somethig like “Please stop verbally abusing me. If you don’t stop, this conversation is over.” Whenever she starts, say that and if she doesn’t stop, hang up or leave. At family gatherings that you don’t want to leave, try something like this: “Please stop verbally abusing me. I don’t want to leave but if I have to to protect myself, I will. Can you agree to stop saying hurtful things?” Say it right there in front of everyone, in a normal voice. She’ll be embarassed, and she should be. Hopefully it will stun or shame her into behaving, but if she doesn’t, tell the rest of your family — again, out loud in front of everyone — that you’ll make plans to see them without her, then leave. 

Your mom should be your biggest fan and supporter. I’m sorry yours is mean to you instead, and so glad that you know she’s wrong and are not taking it any more. It’s hard to stand up for yourself at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. 

Post # 10
4388 posts
Honey bee

You can’t make anyone do anything.  That is not in the locus of your control.  There is no magic anything that will make her change, particularly if you have repeatedly talked to her about it.

What is in your control is how you choose to respond to it.  You are choosing to engage.  You get to choose to walk away or hang up the phone and not tolerate being talked to that way.  Asking to stop is perfectly fine, but when you let it continue after that you are basically telling her that you will tolerate her behavior without consequence.  You have to be the master of your fate – you can’t control whether she criticizes you, but you can control whether you just sit there and keep taking it and putting yourself in the position to allow it to happen.  Yes, it would be nice if she just magically became a decent human being who didn’t act this way, but that isn’t the reality you live in.  You only get to control you, so start doing it.

Post # 11
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

pumpkinwaffle :  from what you have said, it seems your mother may have a personality disorder of some sort. If you can’t cut contact, you should massively limit contact, as PPs have said. I would recommend checking out the DWIL board on Baby Centre, and also the Out of the Fog forum; I’ve found both very helpful dealing with my Mother-In-Law.

As well as limiting contact, there are a couple more things that may help:

Grey rock/medium chill: this is essentially where you make yourself boring/uninteresting. You don’t give any personal information, you stick to neutral topics like the weather, etc. Eg, let’s say your job has been stressful: if she asks how your job is going you say ‘fine’ and change the subject, you don’t tell her it’s stressful as she can and will use that information to attack/get at you. When you become boring, people like your mother lose interest eventually as they LOVE drama

Boundaries: next time she mentions how you dress, or your weight, tell her that she is being rude and you are not prepared to listen, and that you will hang up/walk out if she continues. If she continues, hang up/walk out. Think of it as how you might parent a child: you set a boundary, you give a consequence of that boundary being broken, and then you follow through

Another boundary I would strongly consider (if she likes to call you) is communicating via text and not through phone calls. The reason for this is that a) you control the conversation in the sense that you decide when to respond; b) you have a record of the conversation, so it is much harder for her to twist what was said, or to gaslight you; c) it gives you space; you can mute her texts and respond when you feel able to deal with her.

Hope this helps

ETA: I would also echo PPs who said that you cannot make her change. This is another big thing: accept that she is who she is and that you cannot control what she does; all you can do is control your reactions to what she does, and your interactions with her. I found this invaluable when dealing with my Mother-In-Law

Post # 12
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

My mother went on an extremely long, negative rant after I cut my hair off. “your nose looks so big now, short hair doesn’t suit you at all, please tell me you’ll let it grow back, god your face seems so fat, Its just UGH” etc., She literally said UGH about her own childs appearance and still thinks she did no wrong. I let her know I was happy with my choice and the matter was no longer up for discussion, she continued and I hung up. I agree with pp’s, you can’t make her stop. All you can do is either eliminate or minimize contact. When she starts give one warning, if its ignored then hang up or walk away. If you’re at a family gathering then I’d simply walk away from her but not leave the event entirely. She needs to understand this isn’t acceptable and won’t be tolerated.

Post # 13
886 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Why bother trying to change her with conseguences: warnings and leaving and times-out? She feels entitled to be awful to you. Stop talking to her. Block her on everything. Don’t go where she’s going.

And yes–you will need therapy to undo the damage of growing up with someone determined to destroy your self-confidence and happiness.

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