Today we’re going to be talking about how to deal with parents who put you down or otherwise constantly make you feel bad about yourself.
We’re gonna have a look at how they do this, why they do this, and what you can do to reduce the impact that has on you and rebuild your confidence and self-esteem.
I got a question on Quora.com from a young girl:
“My mom is always comparing me to other people and it really gets to me. My self-esteem is so low because of her. Why do parents do this?”
This problem is really common. Let’s start by looking at what parents do to create this feeling of low self-esteem in their children, and then we’ll have a look at why they do it.
#1 Guilt-tripping and invalidation
A lot of parents control their children through the emotion of guilt. And they can do this in lots of different ways.
Maybe they do lots of favours for you that you didn’t ask for and then they expect something in return. Maybe they’re constantly picking away at the little things you did wrong, so it gives you a sense that you never really do anything right. Maybe they just outright insult you.
They have a way of just constantly creating a sense of guilt when you’re around them, like you’re constantly having to ‘catch up’ and earn some points back because you lost them through some failure or another. That’s guilt-tripping.
#2 Unfair comparisons
Comparing you to someone in a specific area where the other person’s always better than you.
Like if you got second place in the race, “Why didn’t you get first?” even though you ran your best time ever.
“Your brother’s earning so much more than you,” even though he’s three years older and had more time to do it.
“Your sister is so much better than you because she’s got a boyfriend now,” even though her boyfriend is a dick.
This constant comparison to whatever you lack, and no matter what you do your parent finds somebody else to compare you to, somebody who’s doing better. This creates a sense that you’ll never be good enough.
#3 Impossible standards
Setting the standards of what counts as ‘good enough’ impossibly high and constantly moving the goalposts so no matter what you do you’re never there.
Even when you do the best, you didn’t do it quick enough. Even if when you compete at the top level of your sport, you didn’t win the race.
There’s always this ‘never quite enough’. And even though they’ll set a standard for you to reach, when you actually meet it they’ll immediately set another standard that’s even harder to achieve (often including something they couldn’t achieve themselves).
#4 Outright abuse and violence
Some parents control with direct insults, violence, or neglect.
Abuse includes anything that shows you that you’re less than a human to them; you’re less important to them than something else, often something mediocre. If you interrupted them while they’re watching TV and they hit you for it, they’re saying the TV is more important than you.
This leads you to associate pain with yourself, so eventually, you start to believe you cause your own pain by merely existing.
#5 Being very controlling and strict
Making it very difficult for you to have autonomy and freedom of choice. Being really hard on you about schoolwork. Not letting you see friends. Having a ridiculously early bedtime. Being really pedantic about cleanliness and hygiene. Massive lists of chores that take up all your time.
The controlling regime of regulations. There are so many rules and you don’t know what they all are, you’re just constantly in trouble. And when you do get in trouble the punishments are unreasonable and unfair, like you get grounded for three months because you forgot to put the dishes in the sink.
This kind of really controlling, harsh, prison-style environment creates a constant sense of anxiety about being “wrong”.
#6 Spreading shit about you behind your back
Complaining about you to other relatives, talking shit about you to your own friends, or spreading filth about you, and sometimes in quite a subtle or even humorous way, so you can’t really call it out, but the whole time they’re just lowering other people’s perceptions of you, so you’re left with nobody else to support you.
This is a very common manipulation technique that keeps you trapped with the parents and under their control because no-one else seems to be available to you.
Why would someone do this?
Well, there are some reasons, and understanding these reasons will help you let go of taking it personally so you can free yourself from this tyranny.
When you understand that the people doing this to you are doing it out of some sort of mental disorder, then you can understand this isn’t actually about you. There’s nothing wrong with you; there’s something wrong with their parenting and their psychology.
A good parent would never treat their child this way. It’s as simple as that.
#1 Family legacy
Quite often, what you’re getting is simply a representation of the parenting they received. They’re passing on the illness to you. If you’ve got a mother who guilt-trips you, it’s almost guaranteed that her mother guilt-tripped her too.
You’re getting this thing passed down through the generations, and I’d like to put in a little note here: it’s your chance to break the cycle. If you can deal with this, then you maybe won’t pass it on to your son or daughter.
My grandmother was very brutal and controlling with my mother. My mother, in turn, was merely a little paranoid and strict with me. Your parents are probably a less harmful version of their parents. You can carry on the work of reducing the harm.
#2 Need for control
Simply put: low self-esteem children are easier to manage.
If you need your parents’ approval to feel good about yourself then you’re very easy to control. From your parents’ point of view, it might not be a conscious plan on their part but it’s very simple for them to realize: “Hey, every time I put this kid down they do what I tell them to do. It’s a very easy process for me.”
So sometimes – as terrible as it sounds – your parents might be being mean to you just to make you less of an inconvenience, less of a hassle. That’s how bad it can be. Some people just aren’t meant to be parents, but they are anyway.
Consider this: if they really are just making you feel bad so that life is slightly easier for them, it shows that there is nothing wrong with you – they’re the bad guys in this movie. You’re the hero struggling to survive.
#3 Fear for reputation
Quite often, your parents are simply afraid. Maybe they see your “failures” (by their own judgmental standards) are somehow a reflection of their own inadequacies as parents. Everything that they don’t like about you they don’t like about themselves, and so there’s this fear that you represent them.
Maybe it’s even quite literal, like they don’t want their church to see how “bad” you are as a kid or else their snooty friends will think they raised a bad Christian. They might be afraid that your behaviour will somehow reflect on them negatively, and they try to control you to avoid that judgment on them, especially if they’re very judgmental and they’ve received a lot of judgment in their life.
If they come from a very harshly judgmental community or family background themselves (e.g. conservative and religious), their reputation will be a big deal to them and you’ll be directly responsible (in their eyes) for that reputation.
#4 Competition for love
I found this to be really common: you’re their competition for love from others, particularly the other parent.
A lot of emails I get are about the mother/daughter dynamic. The daughter has just an awful relationship with their mother but it’s alright with her father. There’s something about mothers – two females in the house with one male, perhaps – that leads to competition for the love of the male.
Some mothers resent their daughters for the father’s love. Some fathers resent their children for the attention they’ve “stolen” from the mother. They lose the other’s love and attention to you and you’re now seen as the barrier and the competition for getting their own needs met.
#5 Mental illness and Personality Disorders
There are millions of people out there with Personality Disorders and some of these can be really, really brutal.
Like if you’ve got a parent who has Borderline Personality, they may be incapable of preventing themselves from causing destruction. It’s common for somebody with Borderline to do the most harm to the people closest to them; they just can’t help themselves. You can have a parent who has this and takes it all out on you and they don’t even know what they’re doing.
Or they may have a diagnosed (or undiagnosed) mental illness, e.g. if they’re bipolar, their moods might range from wildly manic to massively depressed, and because you’re the child – you’re closest to them – you’re the one who gets the worst of it. They control themselves in the presence of other people, so other people don’t see it as much and don’t believe your stories.
There are a lot of people out there with undiagnosed mental disorders and Personality Disorders and you might simply have a parent who has mental problems and they’re taking it out on you.
How to deal with it
Firstly, you have to see this for what it is: manipulation.
Not love, not discipline, not good parenting, just manipulation, okay?
If you’re receiving good parenting, you’re gonna feel love and warmth and safety in the presence of your parents. Even when they’re hard on you, you’re gonna feel that it’s fair, that you deserved it, and that you can still talk about anything with them. You’re able to set boundaries with them but you’ll still respect their boundaries. You can be honest without fear.
You won’t have constant feelings of guilt and anxiety and a compulsion to please them or any of that if you’re having healthy parenting. If you’re afraid of your parents, if you hate your parents, if you never want to be like your parents; that’s a bad sign.
And it’s not a sign that you’re bad as a kid; it’s a sign that they are manipulative (or neglectful). Understand that if you’re having a lot of negative emotions in relation to your parents, your first port of call: manipulation. Call it what it is.
We’re all raised to think the parenting we received is ‘normal’ because that’s the only parenting we know. It’s not until we get older that we start to see, “Hey, other parents don’t behave like this!”
Sometimes the trouble is you may even be in a community – especially if it’s a small close-knit community of people – where all the parents are like this and there aren’t many exceptions. But just because you haven’t seen anything else doesn’t mean that what you’re receiving is normal or healthy.
If you don’t feel good about the way your parents treat you, that’s all you need to know. They’re not doing it very well.
How to deal with it? The short answer to dealing with all manipulation is to call it out.
Treat everything as manipulation and label it as such. When Dad says, “I wish you could be more like your brother,” you can respond with, “That’s pretty manipulative. You’re guilt-tripping me by comparing me to someone who’s different to me, that’s really unfair to do. Don’t do it again.”
Call it out for what it is every single time, using the word ‘manipulation’ as many times as you can. It’s very hard to manipulate someone when they call it out; it’s very easy when they take it personally and try to fix it and hide their hurt feelings.
If Mum’s like, “Oh, finally you remembered to call your poor old mum,” you respond with: “Mum, that’s guilt-tripping. I don’t want you to do that anymore. Just tell me how you feel but don’t try to maneuver me with guilt. That’s manipulation. Stop doing it or I’ll stop calling.”
You need to be able to have these confrontations all the time. I know; it’s a lot easier said than done. I actually have a whole course on confrontations and I’ve got a podcast where I covered manipulation in great detail.
And when they don’t change, you must walk away.
Never condone it. Never make it okay for them to talk to you like this and treat you like this. It’s on you to control how you respond to them. You can’t stop them being the way they are – that’s a dead-end road where they’re just gonna end up controlling you. But you can control yourself. Make sure that anytime they behave in this way, it is punished by you walking away every time.
You can be like, “OK, you’re doing that guilt-tripping thing again. We’ve talked about this. I’m not putting up with it. I’ll see you tomorrow, goodbye,” and walk away. It doesn’t matter how young you are, you can still walk away. You don’t have to cut them out of your life forever (though some people will need to seriously consider this option), but you do need to walk away right now.
You must understand that if you stick around, trying to talk them through it or argue against them, you’re actually condoning it. You’re making the manipulation a normal part of the conversation. Instead, you have to treat it like they’re throwing rocks at you, or like they’re pissing on the carpet. You can’t allow it to be okay at all. It must be dealt with immediately and seen for what it is.
It’s self-respect that will solve this problem for you. They may never change, but you can.
Dan’s Top Resources
Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:
- The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
- Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
- The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle
Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform
- Nice Guy Recovery: how to transform from a people pleaser into a confident beast.
- Shamelessness: how to relieve yourself of the “not good enough” story
- Powerful Honesty: takes you through step-by-step development of your communication skills to be more charismatic and powerful in your honesty
- The 3X Confidence and Authenticity Masterclass program: use the famous 3X Model to build confidence in all areas of life
- Financial Freedom for Beginners: includes everything from budgeting, to getting a raise, to investing in the stock market, to starting a side-business and more
- Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection… Permanently!: covers the psychology of “rejection” and what actions to take to make yourself immune to the fear of it
I called them out on it, but they just denied it, and started picking on me again. What do I do now?
Unfortunately, doing it only once will not be enough to correct a lifetime’s worth of bad habits. Call them out on it EVERY time it happens, and then walk away when they refuse to change. Never allow them to treat you that way, and eventually they’ll learn that if they want to be in your life, they have to change.
My Father has always had to have someone to devalue. After 45 years of putting up with it I went to the police. He has not come around once since I threatened to take him to court 7 years ago. Abusers almost never change. It’s not your job to change others anyhow.
I thank you for this but I have a issue and irdk what to do about it… like my mom is always talking me down, everytime when I try to talk to her it’s like shes not even on my side…She’s lowering my self esteem and now I always feel depressed…This hurts it’s like she doesn’t care about my emotions…I just have that feeling now that I wanna go to sleep and not wake up…please help…someone
I’ll be in touch privately to help you with this
Thank you very much for this article. I too have Parent issues, and I’m 32yr. Where I suffer manipulation, guilt tripping and just down right disrespect. I’m dealing with a situation with my dad currently and your article absolutely helped me find an answer to help myself. Thank you😊
So glad it could help, it’s never too late, and unfortunately getting older doesn’t make much of a difference with trauma like this. Get in touch any time if I can be of further assistance email@example.com
Thank you for this soooooo much!
I really appreciate this
My Mother is complaining about her pain. I do the best I can to take of her. My Father passes away last year. So I am the primary care taker. When my nerves get bad my skin breaks out. She constantly talk about my skin, but when I get under stress I break out. She really do not care how much I do for her. I cannot work due to the fact that she needs constant care. I am almost at my limit. What should I do?
Hi Katrina, I feel your pain! Sounds like you’ve taken on a role that isn’t yours to take: her caregiver. There are others who can do that job, professionals who are better suited and will suffer less. You need to consider your future here – do you go down with her, or do you get someone else to bear that burden while you take care of yourself?
Contact me if you’d like to discuss this privately firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for this article. It’s illuminating. I agree with you on so many points. The problem that, I believe, deserves extra attention is how to deal with abusive or just extremely difficult partents when they are old and expect help from you. I am 41, have my own life and a demanding job. My mother (my only surviving parent) lost eyesight and is lonely. I do my best to help her, assist her, talk to her everyday etc. She has no friends and no family members want to be close to her as she is extremely negative and antagonistic (in other words: characterwise, she’s a real bitch). Over the years she managed to offend or push away everybody. Now she turns to me for attention. I do not want to abandon her but I pay an extremely high price for helping her by being on the receiving end of all her negative, spiteful, hateful, condescening and otherwise abusive talking. Still, she demands a hell lot of attention and time (at times it conflicts with my work). For me, it feels like a trap where I have to endure regular shitstorms just to satisfy her (also psychological) needs. Not to mention that even at my age (and being a professor) I feel completely and constantly devalued. I feel exhausted.
Hi Anna, yeah mothers are tough. You want to help and yet it drags you down. There must be another way – a way of supporting her but without being dragged into her mess. I’ll email you privately to discuss further
Unfortunately I have been dealing with this my entire life and never realized what it really was. Manipulation. I’ve always known my stepdad talks to me in a degrading way. He has always compared me to my siblings or friends. He convinced me to hate the things I love about myself. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and his solution to make it easier to control me, was to heavily medicate me. He kept telling my doctors the dosage they had me on wasn’t doing enough, so they kept upping the dosage. I was on the highest dose of whatever stimulant I was on at the time. He still kept saying it wasn’t enough. I was always grounded. Rarely allowed to spend time with the two friends I had in middle and high school. He would often try to make me question my own reality when I was younger.
I have blocked his number/email many times. When he realizes I’m not getting his messages he will send me letters with no return address and mail them to my house.
He has started his manipulation again. I am 27 years old. I will absolutely start calling him out as I see it for what it is now. I know he will deny it to try and make me look bad. Again a form of manipulation.
I’m at a loss for what to do. I cannot have a relationship with my mother (whom I love) without having to deal with him as well. I would love to cut him out of my life as he is extremely toxic, but if I cut him out I have to cut my mother out as well. I’m at a loss for what to do.
Hi Megan, that’s a tough situation. Long story short, you need to arrange a relationship with your mother that excludes him (e.g. only see her outside of the house etc). I’ll email you privately with more
Me and my boyfriend live with my dad, and he puts me down about everything, generally the little things. He’s really manipulative and I don’t know what to do. I will tell him at times but it’s hard as he doesn’t change, however I’ve never said about how he treats me. I would like help with this please
Hey Ella, this might help (and I’ll email you privately) https://soundcloud.com/thebrojo/how-to-set-boundaries-through-healthy-confrontations
Thank you very much for this article it was very illuminating.
I have to mention that it can be quite dangerous advice to constantly call them out on their behaviour. Especially for someone who is younger or more vulnerable.
Calling someone abusive out on their behaviour can actually escalate the abuse. Sometimes it’s better to stay quiet until you are able to safety leave or distance yourself.
Absolutely, this advice was aimed at parents who put kids down, not parents who are high risk of physical violence and abuse. For them I’d call child services/police
My mom is absolutely terrible to me. When I called her out on abuse she kicked me out then when I tried staying at a friends house she called the cops on me. And the cops didn’t believe me. They gave me the same line that burns everytime they feed you, you should be happy. But this comes at the cost of my happiness. I attempted suicide and she blamed it on me saying I was in my head. I finally found this guy I fell in love with and feel like I can truly move on with and start a family with. We have been dating for a year and my mom constantly guilts me for not being home and she tells me that she should be my number one. She tells me how she gave up everything for me. This morning I woke up to her calling me a bitch saying how no matter how good she raised me I’m still a bitch. I’m 17 and I’m so close to being 18 but I don’t know what to do when I turn 18. My biggest dream is college but for financial aid and loans I need her to sign off meaning I’m stuck with the abuse for longer. I can’t take much more of it and I need a therapist so bad. I don’t want to ever treat my kids like this and I’m scared I will.
Yeah therapy is probably the right way forward. You need to start thinking of life as not having her at all. Imagine she wasn’t alive – how would you go to college then? Learning to extract your independence and not rely on her will go a long way to healing your poor psyche.
Come and join BROJO – lots of sympathetic people there who understand what you’re going through http://www.brojo.org
Thank you Dan. Your article is very helpful and accessible. I find the point on consistency in calling out abusive/manipulative behaviours and walking away, totally crucial. It is important to remove yourself from these dehumanising situations as they really affect the perception of yourself as an individual that is worthy of respect. However, I would do that for self-protection and healing rather than for punishing your parents. That is very tempting but focuses your work more on them than on your well-being 🙂
Couldn’t agree more Ambra – the healing has to be about you and not them. Good point.
A good read!! Thank you for putting this down. However walking away is not an option available to me as of now amd neither will they change.
Dan I am preparing for this highly competitive exam and success rate of passing it is 0.001%. I am living with my parents and studying v. hard. No one in my family has prepared for it or have much knowledge about the preparation. I had a bad breakup last year, my parents don’t know of it as my parents are super conservative and don’t allow me to be in relationships. Thanks to lockdown I recovered and started my prep from july 2020. My exam is on june 27,2021. My dad every single day criticises me and tell me that i won’t be able to make it. I don’t know anything, I am so behind everyone, etc. etc..
Tbh I don’t know who is everyone he keeps comparing me with because i am studying from home taking my tests and increase the number of tests in coming months. I know it’s hard but I do have certain amount of belief in myself that i can do it.. that’s why i decided to risk 2 years of my life on it. I understand that he doesn’t believe in me or that i will make it or not. That thing doesn’t affect me much. But constantly belittled every day and on some days straight in the morning does affect my mental health and my daily schedule. Please respond on how can i be strong enough to not let anyone voice rule me.
Sorry to hear you’re going through that mate. It will be good when you can finally escape their discouragement and go out on your own. My latest podcast might help you detach from their criticism: https://soundcloud.com/thebrojo/advice-psychopath-how-to-stop-caring-what-others-think-of-you
Super conservative: parents who never had any sexual pleasure and take it on those who can have it. Anal retentive people who project their frustrations on you but believe me you are just a mirror of their twisted sad selves, return t them what belong to them. It is not your fault. You are perfect as you are. Love is never outside. Trust yourself. You are Infinitely Loved
my mom does all of this all the time and when i call her out for it she just acts likes its normal and it gets worse. she doesn’t let me do school and takes my phone and her reason is”because i can” then she yells at me for being sad and staying in my room all day sleeping. i don’t know what to do.
My mom is exactly the same. I am an only and a love child. My relationship with my mom has rather been erratically healthy over the years (I’m 18 years old). Money wise, it’s okay. But emotionally, it only started to fully develop in my late high school years as she was extremly critical when I was younger, until it all falls back down again, but now only for the worst. I am slowly learning her true colours and now she has deliberately done something to make sure that I fail and don’t succeed. Sometimes I don’t want to blame her but now she’s crossed the line and I don’t think I will ever respect or view her the same way again. She’s ignorant and cunning at the same time, so yeah, I feel stuck. Not only is it “manipulation”, there’s so much more to the plate, including jealousy.
It hurts that I need to google all this to see if it’s normal. My mum and dad aren’t together. My mum had a man living here for 7 years turns out he was a disgusting man that put me down all those years calling me names such as “slag” everytime I went out with my friends. He’s gone but my mum still hasn’t changed. I disappoint her with everything I do. She puts me down everyday. Tells me I will never achieve anything in life. I show too much skin such as wearing crop tops. I’m an embarrassment to the family. I get called every name under the sun but it’s not like I can say this to her face because if I try tell her how I feel or if she catches me crying I get called attention seeking or acting the victim. She always gets annoyed when I stay in my room but doesn’t realise it’s because as soon as I come out my room she shouts at me for something. She takes her anger out on me like everything is my fault. I feel like I’m a failure and I shouldn’t of been put here. How do I find away to cope?
Hey Tam, that’s a rough situation for sure. You’re not alone! Just read the other comments to see that.
One way to cope is to create an “escape dream”. Plan how you’re going to leave and create your own life. Research how to make your own money, get a part time job and start saving up. Get yourself ready to get out of the house as soon as it’s legally possible. Once you’re away from her, you’ll find the space needed to rebuild your confidence.
Thank you so much for this article its really helped 🙂 it’s just a shame this happens. It’s a bit scary how accurate some of these articles can be, but I’m thankful for those who write them to give me some guidance and help. Continue to self-love everyone that’s all that’s important❤️
Thanks Millie, stoked that it helped
Hello Dan! When I was 23 years old I was supposed to get married to the woman of my dreams! I told my parents the news and my mother said why you better let your dad know you getting married so I told my father hold down said to me no you can’t get married and just a little guy whatever you getting a fight on argument and she kick you out of the house what are you going to do that you can’t fight yourself! So long story short I turn the woman down now I have no self esteem no self company don’t talk no now I’m just sick my child home with my mother will be married and tell me what I can and cannot do because I live in her 🏠 and
Hey mate, sounds like a tough situation. I didn’t fully understand your message here, but what I would recommend is first getting some independence. Get a job (ANY job), save up enough to move out, then move as far away as you can. That’s the first step. Once you’ve done that, you can start to rebuild your confidence and make decisions for yourself. But you’ll never heal while staying in your parent’s house.
Story of my life at Age 4 my mother says I made faces in the mirror and I lost my ballet slippers so that’s why she never took me back again to ballet class!
I’m fifty-nine now and realized when I’m around her my self-esteem is s*** I literally get physically sick cuz of her mental and verbal abuse! I just had to tell her she can’t tell me to shut the f up that I would never talk to her like that ! She gets mad when I talk to people when we go out and asked if I’m exaggerating I don’t even want to go out with her anymore! I have to really prepare myself watch what I say to my mother when I’m with her knowing that she is my mother and I want to respect her I know she’s not very nice behind closed doors and likes to me you make me look dumb!
Amazing how long the trauma lasts, isn’t it? Having a parent who isn’t good at compassion and love can stay with you forever if you never get the support and help you need. It’s not too late for therapy or coaching if you want to redeem the rest of your life
Thank you so much for this. I’m currently a year 12 student undergoing my final exams (in Australia) and my parents always seem to ridicule me for not studying enough. I told them that I studied for 5 hours by 1pm, my dad automatically responded with ‘not enough’. They don’t understand that this type of downgrading does not motivate me at all. They compare me to their past selves or other students and expect me to wake up at 4am and study, or study for 8-10 hours a day. I’m just noticing that this is all due to a fear for the reputation, and a desire to live through my life. But this article was very helpful and hit close to home. Thank you so much for this and I will definitely implement these strategies.
Hey Bella, yeah sounds like you’ve got what I call “Pressure Parents” who think applying pressure through criticism is helpful. They are probably trying their best but ultimately just making you resent them. I guarantee the amount of study they think will be “enough” would kill you – you’ll never meet their standards. So don’t bother
Thank you so much for this article Dan. This is a situation I have been dealing with for a long time with my dad, especially as a woman in my early 20s who had to move back in from college with my parents during the pandemic and had to take my classes online since during the time. Every time I have a conversation with my father, he always finds some excuse to bring me down emotionally and acts like a hypocrite about it, by projecting his actions and comments onto me when he is called out for it. It makes it harder to stand up for myself as a result, because no matter what I say or do (whether it’s nothing or something), it’s always held against me. After each talk, I always feel so low and depressed to where I can’t even think of speak. I reflect on it after, but I am never sure if I was right or him with every situation. Even saying sorry to him isn’t enough, and he will hold that against me too. When he was sick last year with a serious infection (not with Covid-19 thankfully), he showed his true colors, admitting that my siblings and I were losers, because he wasn’t okay with the fact that we didn’t grow up the “way he wanted us to be as people.” He always had high expectations, and it doesn’t make sense at all. My siblings and I always did well in school, got good grades, never got in trouble, worked, and went to college. Even a college degree wasn’t enough for him to say “I’m so proud of you.” I have even been criticized by him for getting a job and looking to travel abroad for school and work, because I was not as “smart” nor “capable enough” to do those things in life. He even criticized me when he was sick, then saying that I should have traveled abroad before the pandemic and that I should have known better. It really stinks to deal with something like this, and I try to keep my distance from him, despite how much it’s a struggle when living with my parents. However, I plan to move out in the next year or so to regain my independence. I know I will be judged for it, but I don’t care at this point. I am always judged either way by my dad, and I am so sick and tired of it. I am going to not tell my parents though, because I don’t need their approval to move out. I’m an adult, I’m a grown-up, and I’m a strong, independent woman. No one should tell me otherwise to try to define me as someone else. Anyway, have a good day and take care of yourself Dan.
That sounds like a good plan, and I’m happy to hear you’ve reached a place mentally where you understand that he’s the one with the problem, not you. These podcasts on managing manipulation might also help (from what you’re written he’s using the ‘gaslighting’ and ‘invalidation’ techniques mostly)
Hi Dan I really appreciate this article currently having a terrible time with my mum right now she’s currently pregnant and her hormones are through the roof, she’s been giving me mental abuse for this entire year now. She started slagging me off and scoffing whenever I told I went to the gym, she never liked that fact, she eventually accepted it but constantly mocks that I’ve not made any progress, currently I switched gyms and she is angry at me because in her eyes im isolating my self from my past gym friends, which I don’t think I am, she wants me to be exactly like her, a party social butterfly animal that drinks all the time because that’s what she done in her teens and she doesn’t understand that im not like her, she also told me that I won’t have a future with my current gf and that she wished I get into a normal relationship, for an entire year she has been putting me down about my gf and how we won’t last, I am 17 btw coming up 18. Thank you for reading this if u could reply to let me know your opinion or solution I’d be so thankful.
Many thanks Andrew
Hey Andrew, pretty rough being critized for trying to better yourself and get your life together. Parents often try to impose their view of the “right” way to live on their kids, which usually just means the way THEY chose to live (even if it’s awful). I’d encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing – basically, if it upsets her, it’s probably a good thing to do!
You’re almost able to move out. Get a part time job and start saving, get ready to move out. That’s step one. Once you’re away from her physically, you can build a life without her inteference.
My mom She keeps coming in my room and I would like her no longer to come in my room and stop talking to me.
Have you confronted her directly about it? i.e. told her to stop coming in?
My mom she came in my room again I would like her to not be coming in my room anymore. Stop talking to me and I would like her to stop with this ridiculous bug nonsense there’s no bugs.
Might be time to buy a lock for your door. If you words won’t keep her out, then create a physical barrier
I will be living in the basement soon and it has a lock on it I’ll be able to lock it and my mom won’t be able to come in there and be talking about nonsense anymore.
Yeah you can’t change your mum, but you can protect yourself from her. She might never get therapy and you have to take care of yourself
My mom I would like her right now to quit with this ridiculous bug nonsense wants me to believe there is bugs in my room there is not. I would like her right now to stop talking to me and stay out of my room. And I would like her right now to stop with this bug nonsense.
This is my 84yo “Father” I went full no contact with him and my 50yo flying monkey sister 7 years ago – best move ever. I was about to get a AVO (restraining order) on them. He just can’t survive without someone to putdown, devalue and belittle.
I was also very low contact for many years before that. He turned on the flying monkey sister, he has to have that emotional punching bag she still will side with him. She wants his will I suspect – she can have it.
That’s horrible to hear. You definitely have severely abusive parents. The way they treat you is not normal, it’s not even legal. I would recommend you call the police on them. You need to get out of there as soon as possible, you are being abused to a very extreme level
My mom right now I would like her to be staying out of my room no longer be coming in my room and right now stop talking to me and I would like her to no longer be going on with this bug nonsense any more I would like her today to make an appointment to see a therapist.
My mom she keeps talking to me and I don’t want her talking to me I want her to stop talking to me right now and I want her to stay out of my basement and stop with her stupid bug and parasite nonsense right now she has a mental illness there is no bugs.
My mom keeps talking to me and I want her to stop talking to me and I want her to stay out of the basement she’s a nutcase who has a mental illness and she tells everybody that there’s bugs and parasites upstairs and in the basement and there is none.