My first question is from an email by someone who identifies herself as Peggy.
Dear Uncle Bradley,
I don’t know what to do about my mother. It seems that nothing I do is right or good enough in her opinion. I usually go to her house to spend time with her on the weekends but it’s reaching the point that she’s unbearable. She never likes the guys I’m dating, I never dress right, I don’t know how to cook. It’s nothing but nagging and I just don’t want to go over there anymore except I’d feel guilty if I didn’t. I want to have a nice relationship with her but it’s getting to be too much. What do I do?
The answer is you need to get some balls and not take this kind of crap from your mother. As it stands right now you’re eventually going to snap, have a major blowout and make matters worse. If you want to keep her in your life, and it sounds like you do, then some things have to change.
It sounds to me like you think you only have two options. Either visit her or don’t visit her. It’s not that black and white. There is a third option and that is to visit your mom, but do so on your terms.
The first thing you need to do is talk with her. This may not be easy, but you need to let her know that her behavior is not okay. If you’ve had the conversation before you need to have it again. Tell her that you care about her but her criticism hurts too much and you’re not going to put up with it any longer.
If you follow my advice you have warned her. If you go to visit and she acts with the same behavior then tell her “I’ll see you next week” and leave. If you continue this week after week she will hopefully get the point. If not, then she has made her choice by refusing to listen to your feelings. She’ll probably think you’re bluffing so it may get a bit hairy the first few times around. Keep in mind one of my favorite sayings: “You can’t be a doormat if you don’t lie down”.
You may not want to hear this, but you need to cut her a little slack too. I presume this isn’t a behavior that she suddenly woke up with. I’d venture to guess that this behavior has been an ongoing issue for awhile. If so, then don’t expect her to change overnight. What I’m suggesting is that you not leave after the first or second judgmental comment she makes. Give it a half hour or an hour, whatever you feel is appropriate based on her behavior. Then simply tell her it’s time to leave.
I wish you the best with your mom. I think seeking advice on how to resolve the problem is a loving act in and of itself. I hope it works out for the both of you.
My second question comes from Immi of migrainchow.com
Dear Uncle Bradley,
Hey Uncle Bradley, what’s the best way to deal with being so danged uncomfortable notifying bloggers on my blogroll to help build the directory? I don’t have a clue what to say or how to approach and feel nervous about it all.
I understand your reluctance to suggest that your blogroll friends sign up for The Mental Health Blogging Directory. I’m guessing it’s because you’d feel like you were doing a sales job. I think you first should think to yourself what positives are there and what negatives are there with the directory.
Maybe I’m biased since I created the directory, but I can’t see any negatives. There is no cost to sign up, it gives exposure to help draw traffic, and we are doing a service for those who are searching the internet for support.
Also, there is no need to contact everyone on your bloggroll, unless you want to. There are those on my blogroll that I enjoy their blogs, but don’t really know well. Then there are those on my blogroll who I communicate regularly with, even if it’s just via comments section. If necessary, just focus on the ones you consider cyberfriends and don’t worry about the others. If each person could refer five people, then we’d see the directory grow quickly.
In a nutshell, if you think the directory is important, then focus on that. Focus on believing that it’s an important service we’re offering, by helping others understand that they aren’t all alone. We’re providing a list of various blogs for them to choose what may work best for them.
Also, to make matters easier, I am working on a widget that can direct people to the directory from your blog.
I hope that helps. If you need further direction, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Uncle Bradley is here to offer his advice ever Friday. Feel free to leave questions in any of the comments sections or by sending an email if you prefer privacy.
I am not a trained professional, just a simple guy giving my own personal opinions.