How to Silence Your Critics
THE MOTHER OF ALL CRITICS: YOUR MOTHER continued...
"Your mom has spent a lifetime pouring her hopes and dreams into you, so
when you fail to live up to her ideals, she often can't help but take it as a
reflection of her own failure," adds Newman. The result: She ends up
running her mouth when she probably shouldn't.
The best way to cope with her critiques is to not allow yourself to slip
into that damnable inner-child mode. For instance, instead of feeling like a
pudgy, sullen 15-year-old the next time she makes a comment about your weight,
remind yourself that you are a capable, enlightened adult.
Then talk to her. "Explain exactly how her words affect you,"
suggests Newman. ("Mom, it really makes me feel lousy when you say those
things. Is there a reason why you keep doing it?")
If she can't stop criticizing you, simply don't engage in discussions of
sensitive subjects with her — your child-rearing methods, your marriage, your
weight. If need be — and this may be tough — stop talking to her completely
until she understands that you're dead serious. And don't be afraid to ruffle
her feathers, says Newman: "As a child, you weren't allowed to challenge
her. But doing so today allows the relationship to evolve from a parent-child
dynamic to a mature friendship."
Originally published on May 14, 2008
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