A bad relationship with your mom can make your life miserable. There is a different type of hurt that comes from a toxic mother – someone who is meant to love you, hold you.
Whether you’ve had this lousy relationship for quite a long time, or it’s a newer development, in both cases, you’re dealing with toxicity which is never fun. It’s draining, dramatic, and upsetting to be around, so the early you can learn the art of handling your toxic mom, the better.
Of course, you cannot fix your mom and cannot force her to do something. The least you can do is to take care of yourself. In this blog post, we will provide you with some way to do just that.
Give her a chance
If the relationship between you and your mom has not been good forever, it may feel like a lost cause. But never hesitate in giving her a chance to change. If you have never sat with your mother and she doesn’t know about how her toxic behavior affects you, how you expect something good from her?
Sit and chat with your mother and discuss whatever it is. In the end, you will at least feel better that you tried your best.
Own your right to love and respect
Owing your right to love and respect from the people is one of the most incredible self-love acts. As other people are entitled to set the conditions for their relationships, you are also entirely allowed to do so. We all have to treat those close to us with love, generosity, and respect if we want the same back. If you receive the opposite in return, you’re allowed to close the door.
Set and enforce boundaries
If you want to set clear expectations and limits on how others can treat you, enforce boundaries. These boundaries create physical and emotional space between you and your mother. You might feel uncomfortable setting boundaries and start telling your mom how you want to be treated. She will probably resist limitations because toxic people don’t respect limits, but don’t let that deter you. Boundaries play a vital role in building a healthy relationship.
Get yourself to a therapist
As I mentioned above, dealing with a toxic mom is very difficult. And at a stage, if you think it is out of your control to deal with this bad relationship, then going to a therapist may be your best bet. Some psychologists would suggest you make it your number one priority. They can offer you advice and coping skills and many ways through which you can vent and unpack all that’s happened in the past.
Don’t try to reason with them
There’s no way to reason with anyone who is emotionally immature, irrational, or intoxicated, so don’t spend your precious energy trying to convince your mom on a point. I know it can be sad and frustrating for you to accept that you can’t have a healthy relationship with her because she is closed-minded or empathy challenged. Don’t expect your mom to care about or understand your point of view. However, try to be assertive about issues that matter to you.
Try to avoid arguments or power struggles resulting in nasty bouts of name-calling and other disrespectful behaviors.
Consider cutting off communication
If things are getting worse, it may be best to avoid talking to each other. Sometimes it becomes necessary to cut off all the communication. And yes, it’s appropriate in case of abuse. At that time, work on yourself and plan on how to handle the relationship in the future. You will have so much time and, more than that, a free and peaceful mind to think about issues from every aspect and come up with a solution.
Limit the amount of time you spend together
If you aren’t in favor of cutting off all the communication, at least try to limit the number of interactions you have with your mom. Whether you’re talking to her on the phone or visiting her, reduce the amount of time and back off slowly. If you currently see or speak to your mother daily, make it to five to six days per week.
Remind yourself that this has nothing to do with you
In this whole process may be, a thought hits your mind that you’re responsible for this destructive relationship. It is important to remember that it has got nothing to do with you. Of course, your mom is also doing the best she can but maybe her best is not good enough. These thoughts will take off the pressure from you. You must not internalize or absorb her toxicity, or you will carry it around for your whole life.
Figure out how this relationship will be
Your mother’s relationship was on her terms as she raised you and took good care of you. But now you will have to decide how you want your relationship because now you’re an adult. Work on identifying what an adult relationship would look like on your terms. Make topics clear with your mother that is off-limits and on limits. And go forward from there.
Build yourself up; you can’t change her
Dealing with a bad relationship with your mom is stressful, and that stress takes a hold on your physical and emotional health. Always keep in mind that she’s your mom, and you can’t change her unless she seeks therapy. Her toxic ways won’t leave. So, it’s essential that you monitor your own emotions, create boundaries, and take good care of yourself. Start with basics like getting enough rest and sleep, eating healthfully, exercising, and having fun. Only then will you be able to set boundaries, choose to respond differently, or detach.
Dealing with a bad relationship with your mother is hard, but hard never meant impossible. Your mom will resist the changes you try to make, and it is natural. But follow the ways mentioned above to get freedom from that toxic relationship. Remember, you’re the only one who can turn this toxic relationship into a positive one.