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  1. #1
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    Default Tactics to ignore criticism

    Hi, I need help to somehow not let 3 significant people in my life’s comments or actions bother me anymore. These people are my partner, his Mum and my Mum. We have 3 kids under 5 and my partner has subtlety criticised me for 12 years and I’m done with it. I actually really dislike him now. He still says ‘what have I done’ when I explained I’ve lost feelings for him. Anyway, his Mum started on me a year ago trying to tell me I can’t leave him, he’ll be devastated if the kids aren’t with him and telling me I can only work 2 days a week with young kids. She also says nasty things about my finances and investments. Recently she has brushed off myself and Kindy regarding my son needing help with OT (Kindy also picked up some problems he is having). My Mum isn’t too bad but still criticises some things. Anyway, I feel so alone, burnt out emotionally and like nobody has my back. I feel really depressed and as if I’m spiralling downwards most days. I need strategies to ignore their comments or just not care what they say. I’ve tried a few tactics but I can’t help but be affected by them. I don’t have time for their crap and want to be unaffected by their comments and happy for my kids’ sake. Thanks!

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    Starfish30 (06-07-2019)

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    I have no advice regarding your partner, but as for your mil and mum, you can use a few strategies to lessen the opportunities to criticise you.

    One is grey rocking. Give short, boring answers while not showing your emotions and keep to a minimum the information you share. The less they know, the less they have to criticise you for.

    Another is to call them out and put the onus back on them or shut the conversation down;
    "Why would you say that?"
    "My finances/lifestyle choices are none of your business"
    "I didn't know you were a doctor/financial advisor/other profession"
    "Wow, that's a mean thing to say"
    "You can do it that way, but I'm doing it this way"

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    Chippa (06-07-2019),greeneyes81 (06-07-2019),Mod-LIKE A BOSS (06-07-2019),Mod-Uniquey (09-07-2019),Mum-I-Am (06-07-2019),SheWarrior (06-07-2019),SuperGranny (08-07-2019)

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    With your mil and mum, I would just tell them “thank you for your advice but I am a grown woman capable of making my own decisions” and leave it at that. Or what pp said. As for your partner... sounds like maybe he is gas lighting you a bit. What sort of things does he criticise you for? Do you pull him up on it at the time?

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    Thanks atomicmamma. I’ve done a bit of the grey rocking but if I do this she will often keep questioning. I get really anxious now whenever she brings things up, especially regarding my finances (my partner and I have never had our finances together). I really think she’s being abusive psychologically to me so it’s probably best I organise childcare instead of her looking after the kids. This way I won’t see her as much.!

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    Thanks SheWarrior. Even when I brush her off she’ll keep questioning me. I think she’s so scared I’ll leave her son. My partner will get annoyed at how close I park to his car in the garage if it’s not the distance that he likes, told me I’m a messy cook (I’m definitely not because I always put ingredients away as I go), blocks anything I suggest to improve the house or garden, indirectly blames me for the dryer breaking saying I use it too much and I put too much in it (which I don’t)! It’s winter and we have 3 kids under 5 so yes, I use it every day, criticises my family and friends. Anyway, I could go on and on. I’ve always pulled him up on it but he just brushes it off like he does with anything that concerns me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happymummy5 View Post
    Thanks SheWarrior. Even when I brush her off she’ll keep questioning me. I think she’s so scared I’ll leave her son. My partner will get annoyed at how close I park to his car in the garage if it’s not the distance that he likes, told me I’m a messy cook (I’m definitely not because I always put ingredients away as I go), blocks anything I suggest to improve the house or garden, indirectly blames me for the dryer breaking saying I use it too much and I put too much in it (which I don’t)! It’s winter and we have 3 kids under 5 so yes, I use it every day, criticises my family and friends. Anyway, I could go on and on. I’ve always pulled him up on it but he just brushes it off like he does with anything that concerns me.
    He sounds emotionally abusive to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happymummy5 View Post
    Thanks atomicmamma. I’ve done a bit of the grey rocking but if I do this she will often keep questioning. I get really anxious now whenever she brings things up, especially regarding my finances (my partner and I have never had our finances together). I really think she’s being abusive psychologically to me so it’s probably best I organise childcare instead of her looking after the kids. This way I won’t see her as much.!
    I know that it's easier said than done, but you have to stick to your boundaries. If you've tried to change the topic and she keeps going, walk away. You're allowed to decide what you accept in life, and good people will respect that. If someone doesn't, they're not the kind of person that you want around anyway.

    Now knowing that she babysits for you, it makes a little more sense. She probably considers herself an important person in your/your children's lives and that she has the right to an opinion on everything. If you can afford childcare, it's a good idea. There will be an outburst from her because you're taking that control away, so be prepared for it.

    If you want to stay with your partner, I would look at couple's counselling. It gives you a safe space to be heard and to hopefully have him realise that the way he treats you is not okay.

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    Very good suggestions from PPs.

    Another strategy (which I use at work for difficult conversations too) is the following:

    Inform: Do you realise... (your asking a private questions/you’re making me very uncomfortable, you are yelling at me etc).
    Puts the spotlight back on their behaviour and is often to stop the behaviour.

    If that doesn’t work, move to
    Request: Can we focus on (another topic that you are willing to engage in convo on).
    Try to phrase it in a positive manner

    If that doesn’t work, move to
    Instruct: Please don’t ask me any more questions about .... or I will ... (leave, ask you to leave etc)
    If they persist, carrying out consequence.

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    I always respond with "And what would you like me to say to that?"

    It is very hard to ignore, but really that is all you can do. Usually criticism says more about the person criticising you than you. It usually comes from their own issues.

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    SuperGranny is offline Worlds best grandma! Winner 2012 - Most Helpful Member
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    hi happymummy5 . You have every right to set boundaries regarding what you share with others, and how you are treated by others. Walk away when people cross those boundaries. I am afraid that you have lost your inner strength after 12 years of emotional abuse from your partner. If you can't find a way to remove yourself from the bad situations, focus on your mind space. If someone upsets you, allow your mind to think it over for only a few hours. If you find yourself going back over and over the incident, stop yourself and say that is enough of my time with this rubbish. You will be able to build your inner strength if you stop giving them your mind space. I hope that makes sense . marie.


 

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