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laura98's avatar

Why is my mom being so mean?

Asked by laura98 (151 points ) February 15th, 2014

My mom keeps calling me a disappointment because I forgot to do my wash and clean my room. She tells me I never do anything even though I do so much for her. One time she even called me a disgrace after I took two pretzels to eat after she told me only to take one. What can I say, I was hungry. I just don’t understand what I do that is so wrong to deserve such names? Also, we’re not poor or anything too so the pretzel thing kind of came off as weird to me.

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15 Answers

Coloma's avatar

If your not sugar coating your story here then you have done nothing wrong and your mother is using guilt trips and other emotionally manipulative tactics to shame and control you.
In other words, she is behaving in an emotionally abusive manner.
No parent is perfect and we can all say something we regret later, but the key word is regret and apologize for. Parents that do not feel they ever need to examine their own behavior and refuse to hold themselves accountable for their human frailties have psychological issues that need to be addressed.

Simply being an “adult” and a parent does not automatically mean you are or should be respected without question.
I would start calling your mom out and telling her that you do not deserve to be shamed for such minor infractions and that she is setting in motion a potentially irreparable split between you.
There is no place for shaming a child for normal kid stuff like needing extra reminders to do their chores. Your mother sounds childish and manipulative to me.

Judi's avatar

I think your mom has some stress going on in her life and she’s taking it out on you. It’s not fair and she probably doesn’t realize it.
I’m so sorry you’re stuck with the reprocusdions of her personal issues.
I doubt this has anything to do with you at all. I hope knowing that will make it easier to not take it personally even though it feels real personal at the time.

GloPro's avatar

She shouldn’t be calling you names or shaming you, but maybe she is feeling frustrated because she feels like you don’t listen to her, or “obey” her now that you are a teenager. She may not know how to communicate her feelings.
Be honest with yourself and your part in your scenario… No one “forgets” to clean his/her room. You just prioritize other things. If what you are prioritizing involves video games, television or your friends I could see why she would feel frustrated. Again, she should not call you names or shame you… But please consider how much she does, too. She may just want you to pitch in a little more to help her now that you are old enough.
Try asking her how she feels and see what she has to say. Try to really listen to her. My guess is she does not think you are a “disappointment” at all.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Maybe she’s simply a bitch. Moms aren’t excluded from bitchdom just because a human once came out of their vagina.

gailcalled's avatar

Tell her you’ll cut a deal. Stick with your agreement about doing your laundry and cleaning your room and in return, ask her not to use judgmental language. No calling you a disgrace or disappointment, no rationing out of pretzels. Remember to clean out the lint filter in the dryer and notice when you are running low on laundry detergent and need to restock.

Cruiser's avatar

I have personally witnessed similar situations where the accuser is merely projecting their own shortcomings and frustrations upon others in their lives. Your mom may have issues she is dealing with and it is not incumbent upon you to resolve them but you can at least voice your need to better understand why it is she is feeling that you are falling short of your expectations. Ask her directly what is up and what you can do to meet her expectations and do not be afraid to press her to qualify any expectation that is unrealistic or inconsistent.

Coloma's avatar

@Judi Yes, I was going to say that oo, sounds like the mom is taking her stress/unhappiness out on her daughter, good call. :-)

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

There are usually three sides to every conflict – Person A’s version, Person B’s version, and the truth. We’re hearing only your side of this story, so it’s impossible to know the real situation.

But, if your mother frequently calls you a “disgrace” and a “disappointment,” she needs to stop. Even if you sometimes disappoint her, that doesn’t make you a disappointment; it certainly doesn’t make you disgraceful. That sort of absolute, critical language can be very damaging.

LostInParadise's avatar

You have to tell your mother what you told us. Here is the key thing. You absolutely must not do it in an angry tone. It is not so much what you say that counts. It is how you say it. When your mother says something that is unfair, tell her that it really hurts when she says those things and that you do not think she is being fair. Point out that we all make mistakes and that it is not right to overgeneralize for occasionally doing the wrong thing. Tell her how much you love her and point out the things that you do for her. If you mess up, like not clean your room, quickly acknowledge your mistake and promise to do better in the future. In the case of the pretzel, you should have asked right away why you could only have one.

CWOTUS's avatar

A lot of people – and it sounds from your description like your mom is one of them – don’t know how to express disappointment, deal with frustration or criticize except in ways that are hurtful, cruel and unhelpful. Sometimes it’s just because that’s how they were raised: they absorbed the terrible lessons that their own parents taught them, and never moved on from that point. Sometimes it’s a problem with language and culture; in some cultures it is not considered so damaging to children to upbraid them very strongly, as your mom is. Sometimes, let’s face it, it’s because they’re awful people. I can’t judge your mom.

So without knowing more about your mom and her own upbringing – and believe me, I’m not asking for details about your mom and your family life! – it’s not possible for me to say “why she is acting this way”. But really, even if we know that, it doesn’t get us any nearer to a solution, does it?

I’d recommend – as I often recommend – changing the question. Ask instead, “How can I deal with my mom’s hurtful comments?” or “What can I do to calm my mom so she won’t say such mean things?” or even (though I do not recommend trying to answer this, at least it would gain positive suggestions to change your own behavior, which is within your scope of control) “How can I be the perfect daughter?”

And you can probably answer all of those questions yourself, or ask any one of them and get some very helpful responses.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Does your father live with you and your mother? If yes, does your Mom call you ugly names when your father can hear her, or does she save it for when he’s gone? Can you talk with your Dad and ask him for help?

laurenkem's avatar

Oh my, I had no idea so many jellies were fully licensed and qualified psychiatrists!

XOIIO's avatar

Two whole pretzels? How greedy!

Or are they bigger than usual ones, like the ones they sell at stands.

@laurenkem And you added that in why? You contributed literally nothing with your sarcasm.

Coloma's avatar

@laurenkem One doesn’t need to be a mental health professional to deduce unhealthy behaviors and communication styles. Toss in personal growth and independent studying and well, knowledge is knowledge, no misinformation here just observational and learned sharings from people in the know.

Ninasimon's avatar

May be your mom is not mean but exacting?
Despite the fact that there can be some stress in her life, she just wants you to be better. She knows that life can be difficult and wants you to be ready for it. She is not mean on purpose, she just doesn’t know how show her feelings properly.

My mom used to criticized me a lot and I got upset. Now I know that she didn’t mean to hurt me. She was showing me her love the way she felt would help me.

Don’t know your situation, but I would recommend you to talk this situation with your mom. May be she doesn’t realize that she hurts you!

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