Dealing with Negative, Critical Parents

Critical and negative words hurt the most when they come from your own parents. Words that make you feel inadequate, broken, angry, and unloved. Instead of taking accountability for their words, they shift blame by saying you are being too sensitive or too serious. Which hurts even more. You then feel unheard, rejected, and powerless. And because of that you say nothing. In return, they have no clue how their words affect you - so the cycle keeps going.

So how do you break that cycle? How do you deal with it? How do you get free from their hindering words even if they never speak love toward you again?

Accept that criticism and negativity is just a part of how they are.

To accept does not mean to roll over and just let it be or to agree with it. To accept means to understand that's just who they choose to be and you can not change or fix them. To stop expecting them to just 'wake up and get it'. Because they don't. At least not now for some. Deep down, we all want our parents love and approval and we have picture of what that should look like. And when that picture doesn't match our reality we end up frustrated in failed attempts to paint that image. Accepting them will free you from needing them to be different in order to be at peace.

Let me offer this perspective: They may just struggle with being a negative critical person. This may just be a weakness for them! And their struggle is really a reflection of the internal dialogue they are having with themselves. In other words, it's not about you - their words are a reflection of them. So every negative word that still lingers in your mind from the past and present, count it as null.

Again! Accepting does not mean to agree but to understand!

Now, choose your response to what you now accept. What actions can you take to guard your heart and create boundaries? You need to protect yourself! That may mean minimizing your time with them, not bringing up triggering subjects, taking some time apart, or addressing the issues head on. But getting frustrated that they won't change is only wearing you out.

I know this is easier said than done to 'just accept and respond' and the above methods may seem counter-intuitive. But it's true. The moment I decided to accept my parents for who they were even if I didn't agree was the moment my pain melted. So yes, take an action above. Remember, what you hold in only hurts you. What you do not deal with doesn’t just disappear. If you truly want to break free from this type of cycle, then you have to take a step of courage.

Ask for the courage you need from your Inner Source. It may take some time but just keep at it - you will build yourself up enough to choose a response.

Confronting your parents, especially, with challenging emotions takes a lot. You may even go back and forth in your head about “is it even worth it to deal with”. And the answer is YES, it is worth it. It's worth your peace, your protection, your healing.

Plus, it may be an opportunity for them reconsider their behavior. This is want most of us want so envision the best outcome. Just as much as their words mean to us, our words are just as important to them, and an open honest dialogue can create a powerful breakthrough in the relationship. But if you end up just talking to a brick wall, it's still okay, address it for you. Clear it out for you. I wrote on how to move on without closure if your outcome is different than expected.

Also, speak to yourself they way you want to be spoken to! Drown out the negative critical messages with loving words directly from the most important person, you.

Love and Light,


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