4 Ways to Deal with Your Mother

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4 Ways to Deal with Your Mother
4 Ways to Deal with Your Mother

You can feel great appreciation for your mother and still get upset with her from time to time. There are many types of relationships you can have, from a happy and satisfying relationship to an abusive and humiliating relationship. If you work hard to get along with your mother, realize that as much as you can't change her, you can change the way you interact.


Method 1 of 4: Dealing with Disagreements

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Step 1. Take the first step

You may think it's fair to wait for your mother to make the first contact, but don't be afraid to initiate it. Your mother may want to talk to you but doesn't know how, or she may fear rejection. If you keep waiting for her to make the first move, don't be surprised if your relationship stays in the same place.

Before contacting us, decide what you want to discuss and how you want to approach it. Talk for the purpose of solving problems, not blaming the culprits

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Step 2. Redirect the fear

Instead of internalizing anger and fear, realize that you don't need to be afraid to react. Ask yourself: “what can I do to alleviate this situation?”. You're not responsible for your mother's emotions, and it's not up to you to make her anger and frustration your problem.

Acknowledge her emotions without taking them for yourself by simply saying, "I see you're upset."

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Step 3. Make choices

If your mother tries to influence you to make certain decisions or makes you feel like you have no choice, ignore her. Remember that you always have options, no matter how powerless someone makes you feel. When you reach an irreversible point, be firm and don't give in.

Verbale to your mother that you have choices and that it is up to you to make them. Appreciate her perspective, but feel free to make your own choices

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Step 4. Forgive

Don't get caught up in resentments. Forgiveness doesn't mean justifying her behavior, pretending a situation didn't happen, or releasing her from responsibility. Forgiveness allows you to let go of any resentments or negative feelings toward your mother. The sooner you forgive, the quicker you can start repairing damage.

Method 2 of 4: Dealing with Specific Situations

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Step 1. Reject her attempts to control your decisions

Your mother may try to control your life, who you are with, where you go, or how you do certain things. She may try to do everything her way and show complete dissatisfaction when you go against her wishes. It takes determination to make your own choices regardless of the mother's judgment. When you make a choice, don't let her opinions interfere.

  • If you're buying something, say, "I need this because it meets my needs."
  • If you're doing something that she thinks should be done differently, say, "I'll do this my way because it works well for me."
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Step 2. Ignore her criticisms

Remember that just as you make mistakes, your mother makes mistakes too. When she criticizes your boyfriend, your way of life, or your parenting skills, it's okay if you admit that you're doing the best you can and that you're probably going to make a mistake. If she points out her mistakes, it's okay to admit them. “Yes, Mom, I made a mistake. What's important is that I learned from him.” A succinct comment can put an end to the matter.

  • When your mom makes a critical comment, respond with, “Thank you for your contribution, Mom. I'm doing my best to handle this situation.”
  • You can talk about her criticisms if you feel uncomfortable. “I don't know if you realize this, but I feel like you criticize me a lot. I really want us to have a good relationship, but it gets tough when I feel like you want to criticize the way I live my life.”
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Step 3. Deal with her anxiety

Remember that being a mother is difficult, and that no one chooses to suffer from anxiety symptoms. Still, it can be irritating and frustrating to be the object of your mother's anxiety. Don't blame your mother for her anxiety; having anxiety is not a pleasant experience.

  • Tell your mom how you feel. You might say, “I don't like it when you care so much about me. It makes me feel like you don't trust me.”
  • If you think your mother suffers from anxiety disorders, bring it up gently to encourage her to seek help. “Mom, I noticed you spend a lot of time worrying. I want you to know what it's like to enjoy life to the fullest, and I think therapy can help in this situation.”
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Step 4. Deal with her overprotection

As a child, you had no choice but to follow your parents' demands. But as you grow up, you gain more and more control by allowing yourself to have it. Your mom may not want you to have more control, but ask yourself, "Am I in control of my life or is my mom?" It is unlikely that you will be able to break your mother's control while you please her. Changing the way you interact may upset her, as she will no longer control you the way she would like.

  • It's up to you to allow her to continue to have the same interference and control or adjust them.
  • If you get irritated when your mom calls several times a day, make a choice between answering the phone or not. If you're unhappy talking to her frequently, make the choice whether or not to answer the phone, and know that while your actions may upset her, it's okay to take control of your life.
  • Consider saying, “Mom, I want to be a responsible and productive adult, and I would like to do it myself. I would very much appreciate your support as I mature and become independent.”

Method 3 of 4: Improving Your Relationship

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Step 1. Practice self-acceptance

Realize that no matter how hard you try, you cannot change your mother or her behavior. You may have to find a way to accept her, your relationship with her and other 'eccentricities'. Learn to accept it, both positive and negative qualities.

If you feel it's your responsibility to change her or make your younger siblings have a better life, be aware that you are very unlikely to affect her to the point of changing her behavior. It's not your responsibility

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Step 2. Control the contact

While this is more difficult if you live in the same house as your mother, it can be more helpful when you visit her if they live in separate places. Instead of going to her house or welcoming her to yours, arrange to meet in neutral territory. If you meet in a public place, it's easier for you to leave, and it can defuse the conversation as it's generally rude to blow up or behave inappropriately in public.

If you don't like it when your mother comes to your house because you fear she might criticize your belongings and your cleanliness, don't invite her. If she shows up uninvited, tell her that this behavior is unacceptable

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Step 3. Be empathetic

Your mother may find it difficult to empathize with your wants and needs because of a lack of empathy. You may wonder why your mother treats you in such a way, and this could be related to her lack of understanding of what it's like to hear or be criticized the way she does to you. Although the natural reaction is to reject or avoid her, choose to be kind. Give her the empathy you would like her to give you.

When you want to react in an angry or frustrated way, take a deep breath and respond in a kind and gentle way

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Step 4. Keep your expectations realistic

When you were a kid, you needed a lot of attention, affection, and guidance. If your mother lets you down now, you tend to remember it forever and possibly use it against her for not meeting your needs. Keep realistic expectations for your mother and your relationship without expecting an unattainable standard. It can be hard to accept at times, but mothers are human too, and they make mistakes or don't meet their needs.

It can be helpful to talk to your mother about your relationship. She may expect to see you three times a week while you want to see her once a week. Knowing the other person's expectations and how they differ from your own can help relieve relationship stress

Method 4 of 4: Changing Your Actions & Mindset

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Step 1. Focus on your own feelings

Instead of blaming your mother and making accusations (which may be true), focus on your own feelings and how you are affected by them. You can't change your mother's behavior, but you can change your reaction to it according to how you feel. Even if she rejects your feelings, you've already created emotional barriers to show that she's overreacting.

Instead of saying "you are so cruel" say "it hurts me so much when you talk to me like that."

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Step 2. Change your own actions

Your mother's behavior can drive you crazy, but remember you can't change her behavior but you can change your own. If you tend to snap at her when you guys argue, try responding in a different way, such as responding calmly or not joining in with her anger. See how the change in her behavior affects your relationship and how she responds to it.

If your mother constantly criticizes your lack of effort in one area (for example, putting away the dishes), see how she responds when you complete the task and when she asks for it

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Step 3. Practice keeping boundaries firm

It can be helpful to set physical and emotional boundaries with your mother. It might be time to get out of her house, or cut off some visits from her. It can be helpful to set limits on her visiting your home uninvited or cleaning up for you. Emotional boundaries can include being firm in the way you choose to be treated. You can say, "I want a good relationship with you, but when you criticize me I need to leave because it's not healthy for me."

It can be helpful to communicate your boundaries clearly with your mother. Say, "I don't want you to come into my room when I'm not home, and I hope you respect my privacy."

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Step 4. Agree to disagree

You may fight and run in circles until you realize that there are certain topics that you may never come to terms with, which could include religion, dating, marriage, parenting styles, or career choices. Learn to listen and respect the other's opinion and don't insist on the matter. Accept that there are fundamental issues that you may disagree on, and let it be.

Don't make decisions just to make your mother happy if that decision is going to make you unhappy; ask yourself: "is it worth it?"

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Step 5. Cut off contact

If you feel like you can't turn anything positive and your mother's presence in your life feels toxic, it may be time to take a break or sever ties. Consider your options if your physical and emotional health are suffering as a result of this relationship. Recognize that this is an extreme option and should be considered carefully. If your mother is a hateful and harmful person, you don't need to see or spend time with her.

  • You can cut off live contact and consider communicating via email or phone.
  • Ultimately, do what's best for you. Prioritize your health and your happiness.


  • If you get too stressed when dealing with your mother, create outlets for your stress. Exercising, writing in a journal, and talking to someone can all be helpful alternatives for stress relief.
  • No matter how frustrated you feel with your mother, avoid giving in to drugs or alcohol.

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