How to Handle Your Mother When You're Nervous: 14 Steps

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How to Handle Your Mother When You're Nervous: 14 Steps
How to Handle Your Mother When You're Nervous: 14 Steps

The relationship between mother and child can be quite difficult. The mother is usually used to telling her how to act, what to wear and what to eat, but this dynamic must change as the child grows. The child's quest for independence often causes tension and arguments. As natural as it is to be nervous and irritable at times, you must learn to act without hurting yourself or your mother.


Part 1 of 3: Confronting your mother

Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 1

Step 1. Postpone the reaction

Sometimes the worst thing you can do is let go of the first things that come to mind during a nervous breakdown; you will likely say something you will regret and hurt your mother. Stop for a minute (or as long as you need to) to process the anger. Try saying something like:

  • "Mom, I'm really frustrated right now and I need some time to think about all this."
  • "I'm kind of annoyed right now and wanted to discuss this later, alright?"
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 2

Step 2. Calm down

It is very important to take a moment to contain your irritation before confronting your mother. When you are feeling very nervous, try some of the following techniques:

  • Calm down by repeating relaxing phrases such as "You're fine, calm down" or "Relax, everything will be fine."
  • Leave the place and go for a walk or run. Exercise helps to alleviate the intensity of nervousness and the time spent will help you to think.
  • Count to 10 before speaking (or a higher number if you need more time).
  • Focus on breathing. Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat until you feel your heart slow and the anger subside.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 3

Step 3. Identify possible solutions before answering

After controlling the immediate anger, determine the desired outcome (getting car keys or permission to go to a party, for example) and think of ways to calmly discuss it with your mother. Keep in mind that it is almost always possible to find a happy medium. If your mom won't let you borrow the car, say something like "I know you don't want me to drive the car, but what if I put $20.00 worth of gas before returning it?" and see what she responds.

  • Try to find a happy medium and be prepared to make a sacrifice.
  • Offer to do extra chores around the house, like washing the dishes or cleaning your room.
  • Show that you are making an effort to get things done without her asking. Help set the table for dinner or get ready to wash the dishes.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 4

Step 4. Express yourself calmly and respectfully

It's okay to disagree with your mother as long as you're not disrespectful or aggressive. Obviously, such a statement applies to everyone, not just one of your parents! To maintain a constructive conversation:

  • Speak in first person singular to discuss your feelings and thoughts under your perspective, which slows down the discussion and helps steer the conversation in a positive direction. For example, say "I feel too much pressure to do all the chores when I have so much homework to do" instead of "You force me to do so many chores that I can't make time for myself!"
  • Avoid belittling her ideas or beliefs. As much as you don't have to agree with everything she says, saying things like "This idea sucks" won't help you at all.
  • Focus on the present and don't dwell on past issues. The past will only confuse your point of view and turn the conversation into an argument.
  • Be respectful and avoid sarcasm as much as possible, as it can derail the conversation. Instead of answering "Yeah, I'll do it Mom," say "I know you want me to do it now, but could I do it as soon as I'm done with this lesson?"
  • Don't play your parents against each other. You will only make the situation worse and everyone will be hurt.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 5

Step 5. Listen to what your mother has to say

As hard as it is to believe she might be right, it's still important to hear her side. You may not know all of her motives and you should respect her listening as you want to be respected.

  • When she is finished speaking, summarize what she said in your own words. For example, you can say something like "Mom, let me get this straight. You're saying I can't use the car during the week because of college, but I can use it on weekends as long as I fill the tank. That's right?".
  • The benefits of this approach: You will demonstrate that you were listening to your mother and allow her to clear up any misunderstandings.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 6

Step 6. Know that it is not always possible to "win" the discussion

You may not win now, but that doesn't mean you didn't handle your mother correctly. She is the authority figure and you should respect her, but know that your calm and rational discussion will make her respect you more and benefit you in the future.

Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 7

Step 7. Get on with life after the discussion

When you've expressed your opinions efficiently and properly, it's time to move on. You have two options:

  • If you haven't reached an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people for a discussion, right? If you don't see the conversation going anywhere, stop and move on. Say something like "Mom, I think we're going around and we won't reach a consensus. How about we shelve this discussion for now?"
  • If they reached an agreement, acknowledge the achievement! Apologize if you need to and speak humbly if your mother apologizes. End the conversation by saying something like "I really like how we worked this out. Thanks, Mom!"

Part 2 of 3: Understanding Anger

Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 8

Step 1. Recognize that anger is not bad

It is a normal emotion and a common reaction to things that bother us. Realize that expressing anger can be a good thing, as avoiding it completely can cause even more heated arguments with your mother in the future.

Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 9

Step 2. Explore the possible causes of your anger

Getting angry at your mother is often a way of hiding your real feelings or expressing that you have needs that aren't being met. As you feel anger building within you, stop for a minute and ask yourself, "What am I nervous about?" Some common causes for rabies include:

  • Vulnerability.
  • Shame.
  • Fear.
  • Insecurity.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 10

Step 3. Think about the things that make you mad

As you deal with your mother, analyze the "triggers" of nervousness so that you can not only avoid such situations, but also prepare yourself to deal with anger in a healthy way when it is impossible to avoid situations. Some common triggers include:

  • Invasion of space or privacy.
  • Discussion of grades or school responsibilities.
  • Removal of privileges.
  • Discussion of relationships, whether they are loving or not.
  • Discussion of household chores.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 11

Step 4. Identify whether the anger is chronic or situational

If you are often nervous about your mother because of specific words or circumstances, your anger is likely to be situational; try to avoid such situations and talk to her about the words that bother you. If the anger is extreme and occurs with minimal teasing, the problem is likely to be chronic; seek outside help, such as a therapist, for these cases.

Part 3 of 3: Dealing With Long-Term Anger

Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 12

Step 1. Build security into the relationship

Try to address issues with your mother as soon as they arise and in a calm and respectful way so that she recognizes that you are growing up and becomes more confident in your decisions and opinions. Set some ground rules and build a relationship based on trust and security; you will certainly be less nervous about each other in the future.

Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 13

Step 2. Find healthy outlets for anger

In addition to healthy and respectful discussions with your mother, strive to prevent anger from building up within you. Some possible relief valves:

  • Listen to music.
  • Practice exercises.
  • Write your feelings and thoughts in a journal.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Chat with a trusted friend.
Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad Step 14

Step 3. Own your feelings and behaviors

It's common to feel misunderstood by your mother and blame her for all your problems, but these reactions are quite counterproductive. Instead of wondering why this is happening to you, take responsibility for what you're feeling and for your part in the whole situation. If you don't, you will continue to make the same decisions and fight over the same things with your mother.


  • If you feel that you or your mother need professional help, see a therapist.
  • Anger can be expressed, but never with violence. If you or your mother experience violent reactions, call the authorities.

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