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Debamita Banerjee

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Poor relationship with parents

Humans are social beings. We are biologically programmed to interact with other people and form strong emotional bonds. It's natural to sometimes cut ties with a person who has been a part of your life but does not fit into it anymore.    

But, our parents hold a different place in our lives. They are supposed to be our primary caregivers and look after us till we're capable of doing it ourselves. Severity in a relationship with your parents can cause you terrible emotional pain and make you feel like you've lost your chief support system. It's also heartbreaking for your parents because while you have the freedom and strength of youth, their world starts to close in on them as a result of senility.  

Causes of a Bad Relationship with Parents  

There can be numerous causes as to why your relationship with your parents has always been poor or has been getting worse lately. Some factors can just be by-products of your separation from them as a result of your adulthood. These are easier to solve because it's often simply an issue posed by lack of time and attention.    

Although, if the reason for conflict between you and your parents is deep-set in your childhood and has to do with emotional and mental trauma, it can be harder to make amends.  

Here are some plausible causes behind the severed connection between you and your parents.  

Lack of Communication  

If there's no clear passage of communication between you and your parents, then it is bound to create problems in the equation. When there isn't an honest conveyance of thoughts and feelings, misunderstandings are bound to happen which when left unresolved will lead to resentment.  

If you live far away from your parents, then the lack of communication can be fatal for the relationship. Both of you might feel uncared and unloved. It's harder for you to assess their state as you cannot see them face to face.  

Physical Abuse  

Physical abuse has the power to ruin any relationship as it's not just a hit to one's body, but one's soul and self-respect. If your parents have raised their hands on you in the past or recently, it can wipe off any affection you feel for them as somebody who is supposed to make you feel safe causes you pain.  

Even if the situation is the other way around, it's just as wrong for you to take a hit on them to prove a point. It shows a complete lack of consideration for them not just as your parents but as fellow human beings.  

Verbal Abuse and Derogatory Comments  

If your parents are highly critical of you and have shown their disapproval for the things you do through bitter words time and time again, it will lead to the deterioration of your relationship with them. There's a difference between calling you out for things they don't agree with and demeaning you. If they use derogatory phrases that bring your self-esteem down, then it's only logical for you to feel indignant.  

If you use belittling language against a parent during an argument, you must rethink your behavior and treatment of them.  

Self-centered Behaviour  

All relationships are giving and take. A lot of children often fall into the habit of treating their parents like mere service providers. This habit can persist well into adulthood. They might leach off their parents for monetary resources, a roof over their heads, and even basic daily help. It's equally problematic if a parent starts using their child to fulfill all their wishes irrespective of the inconvenience the child might face.  

Self-centered behavior can surface in parents while a child is quite young as well. They might stay unavailable for long hours and repeatedly prioritize personal needs over that of the child. Bad parenting of this form can feel like sheer abandonment when you're so young and leave a lasting impact.  

Lack of Trust  

If you've lied multiple times to your parents about significant things and vice versa, then you might have developed trust issues. Any relationship with trust is weak and tends to get increasingly weaker over time. Also, making commitments that you cannot stand up to diminishes the sanctity of your words and you're bound to be taken less seriously.   

Solutions for a Degrading Relationship with Parents  

Some cracks can never be fixed when it comes to personal equations, but luckily, most can be. You and your parents love each other so forgiveness for past mistakes is much easier to receive. A terrible relationship with your parents can cause you excessive stress. Hence, you need to either implement solutions to repair it or find ways to just find peace elsewhere.  

Talk about Your Problems  

The first step to fix any issue between two people is to talk about it openly. Let go of your pent-up anger and frustration and just express your feelings to your parents. If there's a specific incident or action that has been bothering you, then bring it up. Until and unless both parties acknowledge the issue and are willing to fix it, everything else is futile. Do mind the words you use to verbalize your emotions. Avoid saying hurtful things in the heat of the moment, it might further aggravate the state of affairs.  

Spend Quality Time Together  

Rebuilding a relationship requires an ample amount of time and attention. Call your parents more often and check up on how they're doing. Drop in to see them when you're not too busy. If you live in the same house, then instead of spending all your free time alone or with your friends, find activities that might help you engage your parents. A simple thing that can really help is to ask them questions about their childhood, youth, and life in general. It'll convey that you're interested in their experiences as an individual.   

Express Your Love  

Society has somehow convinced all of us that saying "I love you" to your parents is supposed to be awkward. With fathers, the issue is even more severe as physical and verbal affection is kept to a bare minimum in most households.  

Make a move to break this unnecessary cycle. Simply expressing your affection for your parents can solve most of your problems. A heartfelt hug can cure any pain caused by either party. Be the bigger person and initiate it. It will help you break the invisible barrier that has been built over the years.

Mutual Respect  

The foundation of any relationship is laid on mutual respect. This dynamic is a complex one when it comes to child-parent relationships because children are expected to respect their parents without any questions since day one. Parents also get used to their opinion being the final one when the child is younger. As a result, it can be challenging for both parties to alter the dynamic as the child grows up.  

Respectfully listen to what your parents have to say even when you disagree with them. It's up to you to decide if you want to take their advice or not, but be mature enough to lend an ear to it.  

If you feel like your parents disregard your opinions and arguments, then actively express your concern over this treatment of you.  

Heal Yourself  

Parents are capable of toxic behavior too and it can traumatize an individual for a long time. As our parents are the first source of love and care in our lives, our relationships with them can impact how we view every other important relationship in our life. It also sets standards as to how we expect to be treated.  

If you're deeply shaken up by something that a parent did, take time to heal yourself. Sometimes you need some distance to look at things clearly so it is okay if you choose to cut contact for a while with your mum or dad. Evaluate your emotions and try to come to a conclusion as to if what has happened is worth forgiveness or not. If it is, then communicate your hurt feelings to your parents and if not, maintain a distant but cordial relationship with them. It's better to separate yourself from a situation you're not comfortable in rather than going through excruciating pain as a result of it.  

 

A poor relationship with your parents can make you feel extremely isolated as you cannot reach out to the people you love the most. At times like these, you need to vent out your overflowing emotions and disappointments. At iAmEars, you can find a platform to pour out all your thoughts and feelings unabashedly. What's even better is that Iamears assures you of complete anonymity. The forum also helps you find an online support group of people who have been through the same problems as you. Reading about their experiences can help you get a new perspective on your current situation. The experts and medical professionals on the panel can provide advice regarding the issues you're facing as well. If the anxiety of failed relationships is getting too much for you, then you can also sign up for an online counseling session with skilled psychiatrists and counselors.  

Conclusion  

Every relationship comes with its own set of problems. We often find solace in the fact that our parents can never forsake us just by the virtue of our blood relation to them. But, being related to somebody is not the same as having a relationship with them. If possible, try to make amends with your parents. It will make your life much happier as well as theirs. Although, do take your time with it as relationships require consistent efforts, patience, and care to flourish.