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Judgmental family(11 Posts)
I find my family rather judgmental. Everything I do gets commented upon. Often negatively. I'm almost 34, so I'm not a child. My parents and brothers seem to think it's perfectly okay to tell me my decisions are wrong, what I should be spending my money on, etc. I don't listen and make my own decisions, but I feel that it is affecting me, especially now I have my own child. Please note, I am
not in any financial difficulty and I am happily married!
I have told them all repeatedly that I don't want their negative judgment. It doesn't make any difference. They are all rather nice otherwise, however, I would never discuss anything of deep importance with them for fear of their judgment. Is this normal?
I live in another part of Europe and return close to my home town next month. My family are nice otherwise but this really does piss me off! Is this normal? I have only ever discussed this with my husband.
This isn't normal and it's not acceptable. You're a grown woman with a husband and financially independent. You MUST create boundaries. When they start to criticize end the conversation, even if that means you calmly walk out of the room. Stop giving them an ear to spout off to. They need to know in no uncertain terms that their judgemental behavior is totally unacceptable.
I live in Europe, they are in England, so it's on Skype! I am sick of the disapproving attitude over some of my choices. It's never over anything drastic at all. Literally over the choice of a purchase, a change to my appearance. I am, however, the only person in my family who has managed to make a marriage work for almost ten years, so I must be doing something right.
I find the prospect of moving home less and less appealing!
Thank you Aquamarine, I don't know how to tag yet
No, they've no right to do that - this is the general view of our western culture, however if your family comes from elsewhere such enmeshment might be seen as normal.
If you've told them how you feel and they still don't get it, next time just get VERY upset with them and outright demand they stop. if they don't you have a choice to make on how much time you want to spend with them.
I feel your frustration. My family is also habitually judgemental. I grew up with it and it resulted in me having some hangups as a young adult which I am only just getting over now.
- Always ALWAYS disapproving of my partners and slagging them off. No matter how nice they are.
- Criticising our financial decisions and not letting it drop. Eg deciding to get a car on finance was apparently a ridiculous idea, we should have got something second hand cheap. The fact we didn't do this allegedly makes my DH irresponsible with money and not having his priorities in the right place.
- "pregnant women and mothers who swear are disgusting and bad parents". Not aimed directly at me. Although they know I swear..
- Judging people's worth based on appearance and/or how much they earn.
- "Brides who wear white and have slept with their partner before getting wed are hypocrites".... Immediately after showing a photo of my (white) wedding dress. And yes we had slept together before marriage!
I could go on. Its tiring. These days I tend to try and shut down the conversation when it starts getting judgey. Mum usually reacts well to a lighthearted jibe about how judgemental she is being, and is a bit more self aware. I don't think she always realises she's doing it.
My brother on the other hand is relentless and I have to be more blunt. Its hard not to get sucked in to "defending myself" and explaining choices (the explanations are never adequate), im still perfecting the best way to deal with those kind of situations!
You can't change them, all you can control is your reaction. Best of luck
I feel for you. My DM is lovely and has helped us with childcare over the years. She's great with the DC etc.
BUT for many years she would subtly criticise my choices and it gets very wearing. I'm not like her and enjoy different things.
I sucked it up for many years because I know that she sometimes can't help herself however she kept saying 'it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks' about her own DM and finally it got my goat. I thought she could learn to change too.
I started by saying thanks but that would suit you not me and when that didn't work I then started criticising her choices back. I gave my opinions unasked in just the same way. 'Oh, you've bought a cheap second hand car. Oh dear. Which car? say it can be a false economy as you spend so much on maintenance and are less fuel efficient. They don't have modern safety features either. Ah well. Too late now'.
In the end it triggered a row so I told her exactly how I felt I'd been undermined over the years. We both got chance to air our views.
It took a few uncomfortable years but we're now in a place where she buttons her lip unless I actively ask for advice. We're both happier for it. .
My mother can be negative. I manage it in two ways:
1) I don't tell her anything important, generally. If I can't avoid it, I tell her then cut the conversation off before she can comment.
2) If she starts criticising out of the blue I say 'Oh good are we telling each other what we think of each others' lives? Can't wait for my turn.' That shuts her up quick smart.
When your family criticise you, tell them very calmly, "It was the right decision for me," or, "I like my hair this way," and if they continue criticising, say, "This is not up for discussion," and change the subject. The more clumsily you change the subject the better, really, as it makes an awkward pause which they will feel.
If they continue, stare at them. Say, "Really?" or "Wow." Then continue with the changed subject.
If they continue after that, don't say anything. Just end the conversation. So, if you're Skyping, end the call. If you're at their house, quickly and quietly pick up your stuff and walk out.
It takes a while but eventually they will either get it or you will realise you're having to end all your calls and visits because of their rudeness, and you'll wonder why you're bothering with them.
They are not treating you well with this constant criticism and you deserve better.
I get that it's hard not to have your family's approval. But you don't need it. They can have opinions all they like but really they don't matter. Not having support is really disappointing but learning to have faith and confidence in your own decisions is great and totally worth it.
I've suffered this and it's demoralising, crushing self esteem and confidence. The people concerned think they can say what they want, call me mad if I do anything they wouldn't do...can't seem to get that all human beings are different and actually have feelings, wants and needs.
It's had a bad effect on my life but I walked away from it all some years ago [birthday and Christmas cards only] and couldn't give a stuff what they think. Despite the constant snipes at me, they were also not interested in any good thing which happened to me. Recently I was asked if I wanted to see their new house? Nope! They didn't like that. Oh the irony.
Do what you want, don't tell them too much, don't let them in. Talk about things/life in general....what's in the news/weather/the latest car/latest film s etc. Do not tell them your feelings, hopes or wishes only for them to stamp on them. If they steer the conversation to anything controversial just end the conversation or change the subject, don't be drawn in. You are in control.
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