How can I avoid family members who stress me out?

My mother takes care of niece whom my sister abandoned. She calls me every day complaining, but I don't want to hear it anymore.

Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry
Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry

Sounds like it is time to set some boundaries with your mom.  You can do this by letting her know that you understand how she is feeling and you understand that she is under a tremendous amount of stress.  Validate her feelings and words.  After you do that, tell her how hearing about it daily is affecting you let.  Let her know that it is hard for you to hear how stressed she is, how hard it is you to have these daily calls.  Let her know that you are feeling stressed about her own well being.  You can then suggest that she find a therapist to speak to about how she is feeling and what she is going through.  I suggest writing out what you want to say, before you say it.  Practice saying it a few times so that it flows naturally when you do have the conversation with her.

Also, when you start setting boundaries with people they don't usually like it.  They give some sort of push back either by expressing disappointment or anger towards you.  This has nothing to do with you.  This is them having a hard time hearing and accepting the boundary you are setting.  The other thing people tend to do when you set a boundary is to test it.  In this situation it might look like your mom calling you the next day as if the two of you never had the conversation.  In this situation it falls on you to set the boundary again, by having the same conversation again with her.  Over time she will accept the boundary and she will be OK with it.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

View 11 other answers

More Answers