Coleen Nolan – ‘Hyper-critical mum is driving me to throw plant pots

Dear Coleen

I’m a 25-year-old woman and I’m living at home at the moment with my parents and younger sister.

My mum has always been a difficult person – she has exacting standards and can’t accept it if people don’t think the way she does. She’s hyper-critical of us and while my sister is good at ignoring her or just playing along for any easy life, I can’t do it, which leads to a lot of arguments.

Lockdown has been an absolute nightmare, although it’s better now that I’m going back out to work and can see people more.

My dad is no help whatsoever – he just opts out and refuses to take sides or even have an opinion or mediate.

A couple of weeks ago, things came to a head when I had some friends over in the garden for drinks.

After they left, she was going crazy about the noise we were making and, because I’d had a few drinks, I said some horrible things, and even threw a plant pot in her general direction (not intended to hit her).

What can I do? I don’t think we’ll ever get along and I feel trapped.

Coleen says

I understand it’s not easy these days to afford to move out of the family home, however, I think that’s what you should be working towards – saving up and looking at the options.

Of course you’re going to get under each other’s feet and, during lockdown, emotions were bound to be particularly intense.

I think it’d be a lot easier to work on the relationship with your mum if there was some physical space between you. But, at the moment, you’re in her house and you’re seeing each other every day.

Also, I think it would help you to try to see things from her perspective – what’s she worrying about? What’s making her stressed or bad tempered? Have you ever asked her if she’s OK and why she’s so angry?

When it comes to dealing with your own anger, if you feel yourself about to blow, then stop, take a few deep breaths and walk away to calm down before it gets to the point of shouting or plant-throwing.

Have the conversation once you’ve calmed down. And don’t drink alcohol before starting a debate with her – that’s never going to end well!

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