When we think of mothers in the general sense, they are expected to be people who care for you, love you and make your life better and easier. However some mothers can seem to make your life difficult and show little or no signs of caring for you, those kind of mothers are what we are referring to as toxic mothers.
But before we go into how to deal with a toxic mother, let’s take a deeper look into what a toxic mother is.
Who Is A Toxic Mother?
A toxic mother is a mother that is overly negative, unempathetic, not respectful of her children’s boundaries, thoughts and feelings, overly perfectionistic and sometimes verbally and physically abusive.
What Are The Signs Of A Toxic Mother?
Have you noticed some signs of a bad mother-daughter relationship or a bad mother-son relationship between you and your mother? To really know what to do with a toxic mother, it is important to know if your mother is truly toxic. Below are tips on how to know if your mother is toxic.
- She Is Selfish and Self-centered.
A toxic mother’s behavior shows that she only cares about herself and everything revolves around her and what she wants without caring about any other person.
2. She Is Overly Dramatic.
A mother who is toxic sees everything as triggers for a dramatic emotional outburst.
She gets upset at the slightest things and she makes sure that everybody knows about it.
3. She Is Always Critical Of Everything.
It’s almost impossible for a toxic mother to praise her children. She is a super critic that always has something bad to say about everything every time.
4. She Is A Control Freak.
Toxic mothers are control freaks and everything has to be done the way she likes and when she likes. She makes you feel like you are not your own person and wants to control everything you do.
5. She Doesn’t Respect For Boundaries.
She comes into your room without knocking, she shows up at your doorstep without calling, she opens up your phone and checks all your socials, that’s what a toxic mother will do.
6. She Is A User And A Manipulator.
All she cares about is using you to get what she wants, and she will use every trick she can you get you to do what she wants.
7. She Doesn’t Show Love or Care.
There’s always a huge attention deficit with her children. She doesn’t take time to show that she loves or cares for them.
8. She Is Always Right In Her Eyes.
She can never do wrong and everything she does is perfect to her. Sometimes her actions may have very bad effects on others but even then she will always find ways to blame others but she but never blames herself.
9. She Puts Down Your Accomplishments.
In healthy relationships a mother is proud of her child’s accomplishments, but if you have a toxic relationship with your mother then she will never appreciate your achievements instead she will make it seem like it’s not a big deal.
10. She Is Deliberately Hurtful.
A toxic mother has no concern for your feelings so she will intentionally say and do things to hurt you. Such actions will make you wonder if she really gave birth to you.
11. She Doesn’t Take Your Emotions and Opinions Seriously.
Since everything is about her, your opinions and emotions are trivial and insignificant to her, and she will make sure you know this.
12. She Compares You To Other Children.
You’re never perfect for a toxic mother, she will always find another child that she thinks is better than you and she might say things like “Why can’t you be more like that child” or “I wish I was that child’s mother and not yours, you are no good”.
13. She Shames You For Little Mistakes.
Children make mistakes and it’s a mother’s responsibility to correct the child, a toxic mother doesn’t correct the child, instead she tries to shame the mistake out of the child with really hurtful words.
14. She Guilts You When You Haven’t Done Anything Wrong.
A toxic mother doesn’t need an excuse to take her child on a guilt trip. Even when in all honesty you haven’t done anything wrong she will find somehow find something, somewhere to make you feel guilty in some way.
15. She Always Plays The Victim.
In every situation she is always the victim of circumstances and it’s everyone’s fault that things don’t go her way but never her fault.
How To Deal With A Toxic Mother?
If not addressed properly, growing up with a toxic mother can cause you to develop psychological problems that can last for a long time. So how do you deal with having a toxic mother? Here are some tips to protect yourself from her toxic behavior.
- Spend Less Time With Her.
It’s very difficult to completely cut out your mother completely out of your life no matter how toxic she is. However, you can reduce the time you spend with her, doing this will limit the amount of her toxicity that you’re exposed to.
2. Have “The Talk” With Her.
Find a good time and a good place to talk to your mother about how her behavior makes you feel, make sure you don’t criticize her or label her as bad in the way you talk. Simply, give her examples of something she did in the past and how what she did made you feel. You never can tell, she might just tear up and apologize or tell you why she acted that way.
3. Set Up Boundaries.
You can never entirely get rid of her controlling behavior, however, you can set up some boundaries for some things that you won’t take her opinions on. When she sees that you’re serious, she’ll gradually come to the understanding that she can’t control that part of you, and from there you can increase your boundaries. If you don’t what boundaries to start with, you can find a therapist who will help you determine what boundaries you can set to curb her controlling behavior.
4. Don’t Tell Her Everything.
Part of the characteristics of a toxic mother is that she is overly critical and she puts down your accomplishments. So to avoid unnecessary negative feelings, don’t tell her everything. Find a friend or another relative who will appreciate your accomplishments and who cares about your opinions.
5. Ignore Her Toxic Comments.
No matter how hard you try, you can never control what she says to you, she will be mean and critical and there’s very little you can do about it. What you can do, however, is ignore her toxic comments on whatever you do, don’t engage her or try to defend yourself, if you do so she’ll only come back harder and the toxicity will never stop. Let her say what she wants and then you be on your merry way.
6. Don’t Take Her Comments Personally.
No matter how hard it is to believe, your mom is just the way she is and you can’t do much to change her, but if you can keep it in mind that that’s the way she is and she doesn’t know better, you will find some rest and peace of mind knowing that her toxic comments about you are not true.
7. Respond To Her Kindly.
Believe it or not, but no mother is born toxic. Something, somewhere happened sometimes back that made her become the way she is. If you can understand this, you’ll know that behind her toxic behavior is someone who has been hurt in the past and then you can be empathetic to her and treat her nicely even when she doesn’t do the same. Besides a kind response from you can kill the toxic manner she talks to you.
8. Try Therapy.
If you’re someone in a toxic mother-daughter relationship or toxic mother-son relationship, there are different types of therapy that can help heal your relationship. You can try family therapy with your mother and other family members to help all of you rebuild healthy relationships or even personal therapy to work out how to deal with a toxic mother.