Question: “The relationship with my mother is draining me. In our interactions, she is throwing in negative remarks about me and my life and has a cynical way of projecting her feelings around her. I have started to ignore her comments by not responding to them, but they still linger in me.
She is not open to taking any kind of personality test or trying to better our relationship. I have tested as INFP. How do I protect myself from this negativity and not take everything she says personally? And what can I do to make our relationship more honest and respectful?”
This is a great questions. Firstly, I want to acknowledge that both INF types are challenged by this energy draining. We can feel drained in our energy by the people around us. That is usually to do with poor personal boundaries about other people’s emotions.
It’s like you are still looking for validating reflections about yourself from other people. Once your inner parenting gets stronger, you “hear “ those negative and cynical remarks less.
How to protect yourself from negativity?
Step 1. Get the inner parenting going, so that you are strong and hear less of it.
Step 2. Ask for your boundaries to be respected.
When you find yourself in that situation, you can say to her in a very calm way: “Listen, what’s happening right now doesn’t work for me. Can we make this more positive? Are you willing to do that? Or just not go into this at all.” Start bringing those questions to her.
Step 3. Talk honestly about your feelings
You can say: “I care about you very much, and I’m very affected by how you are feeling. You are projecting a lot of negative energy into this situation. I don’t know if you are aware of it but I would like you to become aware of it, because it’s draining. If you want to continue with that negativity, I will have to physiologically spend less time with you, because I need to protect how I’m feeling.
Step 4. Stop taking it personally
The way that you stop taking things personally is basically realising that your mother is only projecting onto other people how she feels about herself. What she is saying doesn’t actually have anything to do with you.
Step 5. Stay honest and respectful
To make your relationship more honest and respectful, ask for what you need directly. Be respectful, even if she is disrespectful. That’s her lens that she sees the world through. When you stay honest and respectful, what will happen eventually is that you will have conditioned them to treat you in the same way.
Good luck with all of that, I hope that helps.
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