Many grown daughters struggle to find balance and perspective with their mothers, and it leads to a heavy strain on their relationship.
Dr. Linda Mintle provides helpful insight for women as they navigate challenges in their relationships with their mothers.
“We cannot control what other people do to us, but we can control how we respond to those things.”
This principle can be especially helpful for women who are struggling in their relationship with their moms. Dr. Mintle says it’s important to reflect on past experiences to identify the root of your pain.
“Maybe your mom did some things to you that were hurtful, wounding or upsetting. Maybe you didn’t feel like you got the validation you needed. Maybe you feel that she’s critical or controlling, or maybe you feel like at times she’d neglect you; doesn’t understand who you are as a person, etc.”
Daughters, you are encouraged to take the first step and approach your mother with grace and truth.
“The very first place to start is to always try to have a conversation with your mom about the areas that you feel hurt in.”
If you sense that there is a heavy strain on your relationship, Dr. Mintle says that avoiding difficult conversations with your mom is not the best approach. It only leads to negative communication patterns.
“Whenever you run into difficulties in other relationships that involve problems, you’re going to respond the same way; you’re just going to want to flee because you don’t know how to deal with conflict and problems and how to bring them up.”
By opening up about the ways that you feel hurt, you are opening up the door to healing and renewal.
Dr. Mintle reminds us that not all mothers will respond in the same way, so it’s important to pay attention to your delivery. She shares a few practical examples,
“I always tell to women work out how you say it. Start soft, use an “I” statement: ‘This is how I feel,’ or ‘this is what I see; maybe I’m not exactly right, but this is how I have seen it.’
“Always couch it in terms of, ‘I want to talk about this issue because I want our relationship to be better. I want to be able to do this to talk to each other, to feel good with each other, and to bring up problems when they come up.’
“That isn’t always easy for us to do but it’s really important as a first step.”