From my clients, who are mostly 30+ and 40+, I often hear the following stories: “I’m already an adult, but my mother doesn’t seem to understand this! Calls 5 times a day. And if I do not answer, then immediately hysteria … “
Indeed, the situation is very common and cannot be called pleasant. The good news, however, is that it is “cured.”
1. Divide responsibility in half – between yourself and mom
In communication, this is always the case – the responsibility for interaction is divided 50 to 50 between the participants. The second participant can be:
- friendly company;
But your 50% is always yours.
And this means that if something does not suit you in communication, then half of the contribution to this situation was made by you. This is an unpleasant and painful moment for acceptance, but it is from this moment that the change in the situation begins.
If mom gets bored with calls, it means that you did something so that mom understood – this is possible. If your mother constantly pokes her nose into your life, it means that you once opened a gate for her there.
Recognize that you have contributed in some way. At this stage, you may not even understand which one. Just admit it is.
Read also: How to say “no” to maintain your boundaries and not offend a person – 4 practical tips from a female coach
2. Discard accusations and claims
If a person has really contributed to a relationship that is unhappy, psychological defenses may be triggered. In this case, a person will begin to perceive himself as white and fluffy, and ascribe all the flaws to another.
Outwardly, this manifests itself in the active use of you-position when describing the situation:
- “You keep calling me, well, how long is it possible?”
- “You do not understand me!”
- “You treat me like a little girl all the time!”
When such a “accuser” tells someone about it (for example, a friend or a psychologist), he is using a third person (she constantly calls she treats me …).
Try to describe the situation, putting your self in the first place – formulate the problem in the self-position:
- “I probably made some mistakes in my relationship with my mom, which makes her think she can call me 5 times a day.”
- “I cannot convey my thoughts to my mother so that she understands exactly what I want to tell her.”
- “I behave in such a way with my mother that she does not see me as a grown woman.”
This will be the first step towards resolving the situation.
Read also: How to set boundaries and maintain dignity?
3. If the other person does not understand that you are “already an adult”, then you are not an adult
Being an adult according to your passport and being an adult psychologically are two completely different things. And the former does not at all imply the latter by default.
And at 30+, and at 40+, and at 50+, you can be predominantly in a non-constructive child’s ego-state and use children’s behavior patterns to build relationships. For example, blaming others, taking offense, expecting the other person to change, etc.
What we are inside, psychologically, is transmitted to the outside world, read by our communication partners.
We are always treated the way we have people to treat us. Moreover, as a rule, others treat us the way we treat ourselves.
In this sense, communication is the most ruthless and most truthful mirror in the world.
4. Begin to behave like an adult
One of the most important signs of an adult, mature personality is the presence of personal psychological boundaries. Equally important is the ability to make decisions and act on them.
First, decide what kind of relationship you generally want with your mom? You can, after all, break off relations and simply forget about the existence of each other. Do you want that? Or is this person dear to you?
If you choose a relationship with a person, accept the fact that this is your decision and you need it for some reason and for some reason. If you choose a relationship with a person, then you have to decide what they will be:
You can build and improve any relationship. Provided that it is necessary for one and the other side.
If you decide that you need this relationship with this person (in this case, with your mother), then this decision entails some consequences.
You will have to act, undertake something, invest, but the main thing is to build your own boundaries with your own hands.
5. Mom is not a telepathic – tell her about your boundaries
The classic option in this case is to use the self-message. That is, tell your mom how you feel about her actions and ask her to respect boundaries.
For example, it might sound like this:
“Mom, when you call me so often, I feel irritated, I start to get angry. It seems to me that you graze me, control me. I do not like it. Please, let’s agree that we will only call twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. In the morning I will call you myself, and in the evening you will call me. “
Using this approach, you will eventually be able to transfer mom to one call a day or even a week – at your discretion.
Surprisingly, for many moms it really comes as a big surprise and discovery that you can perceive her actions as control and obsession. Sometimes this solves the whole problem – When you talk about your feelings, your mother begins to perceive the situation as a whole differently.
6. Protect borders not with words, but with deeds
Personal boundaries have one interesting feature: they are nearly impossible to defend verbally.
No matter how much you verbally demand respect for yourself, in fact, no one will respect you just for the fact that you loudly demand it. But if you show respect for yourself in practice, most people will automatically take this as a “guide” for communicating with you.
If you’ve set a border of two calls a day, please respect.
Do not get fooled by your mother’s manipulation. In practice, it often happens that the mother calls for the third time, and the daughter answers and begins to pronounce: “Mom, I told you not to call the third time!” But you answered.
This means that you can call the third time – the goal will be achieved, you will respond to the call.
7. Understand, finally, why mom actually calls you so often.
The reasons here can be different – everything is individual. But in all cases, it is true that your mom has some reason to call you so often. Perhaps she is really worried and worried. Give her this right. Maybe she is bored or she lacks your attention, manifestations of your daughter’s love.
Try to understand (on your own or with the help of a psychologist) what motives and needs are hidden behind your mother’s frequent calls.
8. Give mom in a constructive way what she is taking non-constructive steps for.
If this relationship is necessary, valuable, important for you, think about how you can give your mom what she is trying to get from you. If she lacks your attention and care, think about how you can give it to her.
It may be worth visiting mom more often than once every five months. Perhaps a video call will give her more emotion. Perhaps one of your calls in the morning will be enough for mom to calm down.
Anything is possible – you probably know your mother very well!
9. Do Your Side of the Bargain Yourself
Relationships are a kind of deal in which partners are invested equally – with time, energy, emotions. And if you, marking the boundaries, have taken on some kind of obligation, then the success of the relationship is 50% dependent on how you fulfill these obligations.
Very often, daughters promise to call their mothers in the morning, but then they themselves neglect this obligation. Excuses are always found:
- emergency at work;
- I collapse from fatigue.
Yes, make this call in the morning, and that’s it!
Think of it as brushing your teeth in the morning. You are not indignant, but go and clean, because hygiene is important. Hygiene is also important in relationships.
Find time to shower, brush your teeth and have a cup of coffee? Find Mom too. Fit mom into your time management plan, your balance wheel, and to-dolist.
As a rule, mothers are so happy with such an initiative that they have enough emotional charge for the rest of the day.
Note: mothers, as a rule, start calling and annoying with their calls precisely in those cases when the daughters were the first to break the agreement.
If you do what you promised, Mom is also keeping her side of the deal – what you agreed with her at the I-message stage.
If we talk about my private practice, then I have to work with such a request quite often. And there was never (not once!) That the client followed all these recommendations, and the mother would continue to call 5 times.
Usually, within one month, the situation changes – mom (and sometimes dad) very willingly begins to play by the rules. Relationships in general only benefit from this – they become more even and benevolent.
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