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Negative critical parents

(16 Posts)
AIMD Wed 19-Aug-20 16:11:17

Anyone have a constantly negative parent?

Any suggestions on how to deal with it? I’ve stopped the majority of the negativity from my mum by limiting contact, being outright rude back and telling her directly she is rude. So things have improved a lot over the last 5-10 years. However she is naturally a negative person so still often makes negative comments to me. As an example this is what she has said since being at my house today....

“Does your label hanging out not annoy you”

“Don’t you have any friends at work then....ooooo”

“Why have you got hair all over your jumper”.

It’s all quite minimal things but there is never anything positive and comments of that type are constant. I usually just ignore her and barely respond but I’m wondering if there’s other suggestions on how to manage it. I’ve tried exposing how negative she is but she doesn’t recognise it and has very little ability to reflect on her own behaviour or talk about emotions.

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AIMD Wed 19-Aug-20 16:12:03

Explaining not exposing

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Bigparrot Wed 19-Aug-20 16:16:21

No suggestions but getting the same thing off my mum at the moment. Lots of questions that sound small but are basically little digs and questioning my judgement. Really frustrating.

MrsOldma Wed 19-Aug-20 16:17:16

Can you turn her negative statements into positives? Like oh thanks for pointing that out I’ll tuck it back in. Or I have hair on my jumper because my cat loves a cuddle (assuming it’s cat hair)

Bit of a head scratcher...,why do you think she’s like that?

AIMD Wed 19-Aug-20 16:44:46

Bigparrot

No suggestions but getting the same thing off my mum at the moment. Lots of questions that sound small but are basically little digs and questioning my judgement. Really frustrating.

Nice to know someone else has similar anyway!

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AIMD Wed 19-Aug-20 16:47:27

MrsOldma

Can you turn her negative statements into positives? Like oh thanks for pointing that out I’ll tuck it back in. Or I have hair on my jumper because my cat loves a cuddle (assuming it’s cat hair)

Bit of a head scratcher...,why do you think she’s like that?

Might give that a try, though it won’t come natural to me, but it’s worth a go.

It’s my hair not cat hair.....I’m malting worse than most animals at the moment. 😂

I think maybe she has always been negative. My Nan was quite negative too as is most of her siblings. I guess it’s learned behaviour. I think I can be the same and have to work hard to look at the positives. I also think she struggles to manage her feelings/worries so is often focused on the negative. It’s really hard to talk about anything like that with her though because she doesn’t engage with conversations like that...I don’t think she’s able.

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MrsOldma Wed 19-Aug-20 16:51:58

It’s good you’re aware of your tendency to be negative. It can be all too easy to fall into a glass half empty mentality as looking for the positives takes effort sometimes!

Do you think she’d listen to a podcast? There are so many useful mindfulness and positive thinking ones but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea

AIMD Wed 19-Aug-20 16:55:22

MrsOldma

It’s good you’re aware of your tendency to be negative. It can be all too easy to fall into a glass half empty mentality as looking for the positives takes effort sometimes!

Do you think she’d listen to a podcast? There are so many useful mindfulness and positive thinking ones but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea

I don’t think so, but I could give it a try. Might look for some positivity stuff Podcast and suggest them to her. Good idea.

I might download some too

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TenDays Wed 19-Aug-20 22:46:20

Yes, I had similar.

Me: I saw my friend at the park and she said -
Mother: OOOOH she's got a FRIEND!

etc forever

She will never change. There is no way of dealing with it that won't exacerbate it.

noego Thu 20-Aug-20 08:46:52

Gray Rock. Google it

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 20-Aug-20 09:54:22

Use the grey rock technique on her; however, that can be itself exhausting to do as time passes.

Further lower all contact levels with her too; you're not getting anything good out of this relationship and you would also not tolerate this from a friend.

BTW you do not mention your dad here; where is he?

DDIJ Thu 20-Aug-20 10:11:47

My parents both do this, but they both pick up on different things to be negative about. Accepting they will never change was helpful for me.

Is your mother negative about everyone, or just you? Does she lavish praise on randomers while slating you?

Choppedupapple Thu 20-Aug-20 10:26:03

Grey rock with occasional head tilt, “are you ok?” To draw her attention to it. She likely doesn’t even know that she is doing it

yesterdaystotalsteps123 Thu 20-Aug-20 11:51:09

Mine is the same. Yesterday she asked me why I didn't do more exercise, I pointed out I'd been on a bike ride. She countered with yes but you hardly do that. I said yes, that's why I try and walk every day, can you stop being so negative, to which she got the huff on and left the room. So it's digs followed by manipulation. So annoying

AIMD Thu 20-Aug-20 13:39:42

I’ve looked up the grey rock method. Very interesting and I might give it a go. Though I think I do some of the strategies already. I barely talk to her a lot of them time and usually give short answers to anything she asks. Interesting. Thanks everyone who suggested that.

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AIMD Thu 20-Aug-20 13:42:08

DDIJ

My parents both do this, but they both pick up on different things to be negative about. Accepting they will never change was helpful for me.

Is your mother negative about everyone, or just you? Does she lavish praise on randomers while slating you?

She’s negative about everything ....it’s not me specifically. Even things like having a meal out I know if I ask how it was her answer will be negative. It’s just how she has always been and I suspect she is not even aware of it.

I should share thought that after writing that she has no insight yesterday she did say something actually surprisingly insightful. She said about how my dad plays with my children and commented that her dad never did that with me and didn’t play with her as a child either. Didn’t tho further than that but it is interesting that she even thought to question something like that....unusual for her to question/ponder things like that.

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