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Learning to not care about parental disapproval

(13 Posts)
Kernowgal Sun 16-Mar-14 18:07:32

How do you do this? I feel like my parents disapprove of my every decision, sometimes with outright hostility, and as I am an adult I shouldn't care. But I do, and their reactions make me feel childish and like I haven't thought it through.

I have tried not telling them about certain things but I do want to discuss bigger decisions eg deciding to leave a 'good' (in their eyes, anyway) job, mainly because I don't really have anyone else to discuss that with.

I imagine this is a very common problem, but I would appreciate any stories of how you (politely or not) told your parents that you are big enough and old enough to make your own decisions?

I am 36 by the way...

Logg1e Sun 16-Mar-14 18:13:14

I don't think that you need to tell them. A big announcement can back you in to a corner. I'd have a think about how you'd like to manage things differently and then do it.

Logg1e Sun 16-Mar-14 18:14:34

For example, if you are big enough to make decisions on your own, just do so. If they give an opinion, react in a kind of distracted "oh, yes, I can see that you would think that".

Kernowgal Sun 16-Mar-14 18:27:48

Well the thing is, their disapproval hasn't stopped me making big decisions so far!

But I suppose I need some kind of sounding board. I am quite isolated where I am and getting to see friends isn't very easy, so it's convenient to discuss things with the folks. And every time I kick myself because it's always a negative response.

Logg1e Sun 16-Mar-14 18:33:09

It sounds as though you just have to practice not telling them anything. I know what you mean though, you have one good chat and you are lulled in to having a normal conversation before you know it.

Deathwatchbeetle Sun 16-Mar-14 18:52:31

Use mumsnet rather than your mum!!

LastingLight Sun 16-Mar-14 18:53:04

In some families adult children will always stay "children" in the parents' eyes. I suggest you try to improve your relationship with friends via phone, email and social media so that you can discuss big decisions with your peer group rather than your folks. Specifically regarding the job, for our parents' generation a good job was something that you kept for a lifetime, they don't understand our good reasons for changing jobs.

Doratheexplorersboots Sun 16-Mar-14 18:59:11

Either you don't tell them anything; no disapproval. Or you change the way you react to them reacting (IYKWIM) if you feel too isolated and that you can't do without the sounding board. If you react maturely and with confidence that you're doing the right thing for you, it will likely change how they treat you (though it may take a while and a few go's!)

Incidentally, I'm the same age and have a similar issue with my mum. How I dealt with it was always being calm and self assured when discussing things with her, particularly focusing on being non-emotional. Actually, she didn't like it one bit!! BUT I was happier being that way; an adult and in control of my own life.
Good luck x

Kernowgal Sun 16-Mar-14 19:50:35

Deathwatchbeetle - careful, you'll open the floodgates and I'll be on here blethering about all sorts. You're right though, and sometimes it's the simple act of writing something down, maybe not even posting it, which can really help sort things in my mind.

LastingLight you are right, they don't understand why I might want to leave this 'good' job. But I find we clash on a lot of things like that and it's a generational thing, plus they are very comfortably off and I am barely making ends meet, and they seem unable to understand what life is like when you are struggling financially.

It's so annoying though. As soon as I reveal what I've been thinking about to my mum, I do a Homer-style "D'oh" and wonder why I couldn't just keep schtum.

Kernowgal Sun 16-Mar-14 19:52:43

And thank you Dora smile

My mum does occasionally admit that she's envious of me and my relative freedom.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 16-Mar-14 20:26:04

I tell my DM nothing important until I've decided what I'm going to do. In other words I present fait accompli only and drip feed her small domestic dilemmas the rest of the time. Then she can ramble on to her heart's content about things that don't matter and I just get on with more interesting stuff. However, I also cock it up from time to time and let something important slip.... <facepalm> smile

Kernowgal Sun 16-Mar-14 20:47:19

Thanks Cog smile

This was all prompted by me wondering who I was trying to please by staying in this job, and the answer was: everyone but me, but especially my parents. I need to have more trust in my own judgement.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 16-Mar-14 21:12:47

I was lucky, if you can call it that. DM broke her hold over me with violence and contempt when I was 16. After that I observed the decencies for food and shelter until I could leave.

She attempted disapproval over my choices in life: women, career, DW, DD, kitchen utensils. I would raise an eyebrow and occasionally growl. Sorted.

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