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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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I want to have a serious conversation with parents, but I keep crying - April 28th 2010, 03:58 AM

Hi,
My parents and I don't have the best of relationships, meaning we don't ever talk about things. Its always, they set a rule and I'm expected to follow it without question. And they're also super strict. Whenever I try to talk to them about their rules and maybe finding a compromise it always turns out like this:
I approach them in a mature manner after rehearsing what I'll say over and over in my head
My dad listens at first but as soon as I say something he doesn't want to hear he immediately dismisses anything I have to say
I start to get frustrated and try to reason with my mom but she just says "listen to what your father is saying"
So dad says that I live in his house so I have to follow his rules, which he told me that he bases off of the rules he was raised with.
I then try to give him my side of the story but then he gets really angry and starts shouting and says things that make me feel ungrateful/selfish/like a bad daughter.
I start crying, lose my composure and then agree with whatever her says just so I can leave the room.
Even now I'm beginning to tear up a bit thinking about it. My parents just intimidate me so much.
I've tried communicating with them indirectly like through email, but my mom just says that I'm acting like those dramatic girls on tv.

What can I do to stop myself from crying so that for once I can have a real conversation with them?
   
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Re: I want to have a serious conversation with parents, but I keep crying - April 28th 2010, 04:39 AM

You won't be able to have a "real" conversation with them, as long as your father is yelling at you. So, the next time you approach them, preface the discussion with something along these lines:

"I want this to be a calm, non-confrontational conversation. We can't have that if we start yelling and crying. Can we please try to get through this discussion without letting our emotions get the best of us?"

If your father starts to yell, and you have a chance to talk over him, say something like "Can we please take a moment to calm down? My emotions are getting the best of me". That way, you're not ACTUALLY blaming your father for yelling at you, but you're letting him know that his yelling is counter-productive.

If your father starts to yell, and you can't talk over him, say "excuse me" and LEAVE THE ROOM. Don't go behind a closed door, though... just step into the other room and take a few minutes to calm down. If you run away and start crying, your mom will just accuse you of being "dramatic" again.

Another technique you could try (which worked for me, but may not necessarily work for you) is to become just as loud as your father. When he attacks you verbally, you defend yourself verbally. I don't mean that you should curse at him, but that you should stand up for yourself.

Unfortunately, you may never be able to have a "real" conversation with your parents. Some parents are authoritarian in their parenting style, and are unlikely to change just because their child starts crying. If anything, it shows that they can win any argument with their child by simply intimidating them into submission, and they are more likely to use those sorts of techniques in the future.


   
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Re: I want to have a serious conversation with parents, but I keep crying - April 28th 2010, 08:50 PM

Thanks for your reply
Those are some really good techniques and I'll definitely try them, although I don't think I'm bold enough to try that last one though

And I totally agree with what you said about them using intimidation to control me. Sometimes it just feels easier to give them what they want than to argue, I a very non-confrontational person. But I've just been feeling that I'm in college and independent and its time for me to start asserting myself.
   
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Re: I want to have a serious conversation with parents, but I keep crying - April 28th 2010, 09:23 PM

Yeah, the last technique definitely doesn't work for everyone. =P It did in my case, because 1) It was my mom (so she wasn't as physically intimidating to me as your dad probably is to you), and 2) She was all bark and no bite, so the moment I stood up for myself, she backed off (which dads are less likely to do).

I hate confrontation, too. I used to just stop talking and responding to anything my mom said, until she finally grew tired of yelling at me and let me go to my room. Sometimes, that's all you CAN do, when you're a minor living in your parents' house. Once I turned 18, though, I moved out. Ever since then, I've stood up for myself. Whenever I've come home to visit over the college breaks, I've made it VERY clear to her that I don't have to tolerate her crap anymore. I don't WANT to argue, but I'd rather stand up for myself than let her keep walking all over me.

It's all about picking and choosing your battles. You can't fight over EVERYTHING, because then you'll constantly be arguing with your parents... but you can't let your parents win every fight, either. When you strongly believe in something, know you can make a good argument on your end, and think you can stick to your guns for longer than your parents can... go for it. =) Life is too short... don't waste it by living for others, vs. for yourself.


   
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Re: I want to have a serious conversation with parents, but I keep crying - April 28th 2010, 11:02 PM

Thanks I wish I could give you a hug! lol

I actually made an attempt to move out (which is one of the things I've tried to talk to them about). This girl who is like a big sister to me and is also one of my mom's best friends offered to let me move in with her and her husband. But my parents made it clear that under to uncertain terms wold I be allowed to do that, even though I'm 18 and she's practically family!
Even the other reasons I gave them like the fact that 7 people plus animals are currently living in a house built for 4. And because of that I'm now literally sharing a bed with the maid and my baby sister.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable. I think my parents just don't trust me even though I've never done anything to lose that trust in the first place.
   
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Re: I want to have a serious conversation with parents, but I keep crying - April 30th 2010, 03:46 AM

To have a real convo with them (WITH OUT CRYING) is you must be able to take a deep breath and keep going! Dont EVER give up!
   
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