The way I communicate with my parents now is not all that different from when I was a child. My mom patiently listened to my thoughts, and after I finished, she would tell me where I went wrong and what I should do – It is still the same. I hear her saying the same things to me as she did 20 years ago; “Britney, you’re too emotional,” “Well, Britney, the only person you have control over is yourself,” and so on. And she still steps in with practical solutions and her own experience to tackle the issue. The bonus is that the older I get, the more she asks advice from me. It’s such a great feeling to have that mutual relationship with my mother. Because we have such an open and honest communication, I have learned that sometimes I am too emotional and need to stop worrying about the things I have no control over.
The communication between my Dad and I hasn’t changed much in the last 28 years either. He always offers his experience, analogies, and history to explain his reasoning. He still “tells me the ways it is.” Even if I have an iron-clad case against what he is trying to prove, he will always be right. And he picks apart my words to the point of making me want to stay silent. As frustrating as it can be to have conversations with my Dad, he has taught me to be extremely mindful in my communications with people. What you say isn’t always what someone hears and vice versa. It is important to state what you truly mean.
I know my parents and I will have to have difficult conversations in the future. I understand that we won’t always see eye-to-eye but the important thing is that we continue learning how to communicate. Please read this week’s article for excellent tips on communicating with your parents.