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How do you deal with critical and/or nasty parents? watch

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    My parents aren't horrible people but they can be very critical and mean at times and then it really hurts me. I never care what people think of me in the slightest but with my parents its different. I do want them to be proud of me and to like me which is only natural.

    They rarely praise me or compliment me and seem to get annoyed with me easily. They will also often come out randomly with a really harsh comment that they think is constructive. I have spoken to them about their comments and they did stop for a while but have gone back to being harsh again.

    Im 25, live in my own home 100 miles away but come back to visit regularly as my parents are lonely and like seeing my son, I always feel that I'm compromising my mental health when I come here though. Every day they manage to knock my confidence.

    Any one else have parents like this? How do you deal with it?
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    (Original post by Mezza362)
    My parents aren't horrible people but they can be very critical and mean at times and then it really hurts me. I never care what people think of me in the slightest but with my parents its different. I do want them to be proud of me and to like me which is only natural.

    They rarely praise me or compliment me and seem to get annoyed with me easily. They will also often come out randomly with a really harsh comment that they think is constructive. I have spoken to them about their comments and they did stop for a while but have gone back to being harsh again.

    Im 25, live in my own home 100 miles away but come back to visit regularly as my parents are lonely and like seeing my son, I always feel that I'm compromising my mental health when I come here though. Every day they manage to knock my confidence.

    Any one else have parents like this? How do you deal with it?
    It's tough, especially when it comes from people that are supposed to boost your confidence. I think you should just accept that it's not malicious, and talk to them about it again? Perhaps they were just raised to believe harsh criticism always works, whereas in reality it rarely does (unless you seek to prove that person wrong, but seeing as you're already 25, not much you can do I would imagine in this case).
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    I'd have a serious talk with them. They want the right to see your son? Then they have to behave decently and not push you around so much. I'd make it clear that you very much want you and your son to be a part of their life, but that the current circumstances are unacceptable.

    If you tell them all that and they keep on as is, ditch them. Or at least minimise contact. I know they're your parents, but compromising your mental health is not on, especially since any ill effect on you is going to rebound upon your child too. So I'd give them one decent chance to prove they can change, and if not then out the window with them!
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    I’m really sorry your parents have such an attitude towards you, and I can understand how you feel that your mental health is compromised whenever you visit. My parents are also very critical and I have always felt that they fail to see me as a whole, but rather they fragment me into bits in order to make petty criticisms. It’s very insidious and it does affect your confidence. You can easily internalise that critical voice too, so you end up becoming your own most cruel critic, without even knowing it.

    I think the best thing to do is, as you have done, to move away and have an alternative support system of people other than your parents that appreciate you for what you are. Also, try to cut short any in depth personal conversations with them. Just don’t give them any sensitive or personal information that would make you vulnerable, even if it means that you are coming across as rather guarded or secretive. Let them deal with that. As hard as it sounds, you need to put some boundaries between you.

    I live very far away from my parents too, and I try to keep our communication on the surface when we meet or speak on the phone. I prefer that they talk to me about themselves, rather than me talking to them about anything personal of my own. If there is even the slightest hint of criticism or disapproval, I shut down the conversation pretty quickly, and even cut the visit or phone call short – in a polite way, and without opening a conversation or making a scene. They soon learn that in order to enjoy your company they have to be a bit more careful in what they say in front of you…
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    I can really relate to the comment about parents not seeing you as a whole. I have many great things about me but my parents seem to only see the bad. I used to have very low confidence but this has improved after meeting friends who build my confidence and make me feel good about myself. I think it will be best to limit my time with them.
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    It is very difficult. We want our parents to love us, and be proud of us, and support us, but some parents just aren't like that.

    I moved away from my parents as well - to a different country in my case. Our relationship was better over a distance, but I've come to realise that no matter what I do, no matter what I achieve, I will never, ever be good enough in their eyes (especially my mother's). Now, I'm not perfect, but I don't think that I am a bad person, either. But our relationship is only good on her terms - so long as I agree with her about everything, so long as I do what she wants, am what she wants. As soon as I have a different opinion, she cuts off all contact. The last time that happened was about two and a half years ago, and when I tried to reestablish some kind of relationship about half a year after she kicked me out of her life again, she told me she didn't love me. After which I just gave up, though I do send birthday and Christmas cards because it seems the polite thing to do.

    It was painful, but I have learned that just because people are related, that doesn't mean that they'll get on. I have a very different personality to my mother. I was also an unwanted child, and I guess that that didn't help.

    Now, sometimes I'm sure that family relationships can be restored, and I hope that that is the case for you, OP. Sometimes, though, for your own mental health, it's a case of accepting what is, instead of dreaming of what could be. I still miss my family, but I know that even if we were to get back in touch, I'd constantly be treading on eggshells, waiting for the next time to be cut off. And that's not healthy.
 
 
 
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