Growing up (and still to this day), I walk on eggshells around my own mother. I have come to the realization that my mother has been trying to control me my entire life. How do I distance myself from her control, while still being a good daughter?
In these situations, I recommend you get some clarity around what drives your mother’s controlling behavior — so you can see it accurately and not take it personally — and then create some good boundaries and lovingly enforce them.
Most controlling parents love their children. They just don’t know how to stop letting their own needs and fears cloud their vision. They truly cannot see past their own issues.
Your mother may be bored or lonely. She may feel unimportant or useless if her children are grown. She may feel like her purpose for being here is gone. She may be controlling your life as a way to feel useful. She may really need to get a life of her own, but she may not know how.
Or she may have a fear of looking bad to other people. This could make her feel the need to control her children, because how they look reflects on her value as a mother. Many parents are afraid of how their children and their choices make them look. Her fear of not being good enough could be a large part of the problem.
Or she may have a fear-of-loss issue. This means she is afraid of losing you physically or spiritually and this fear could drive her to hold on way too tight. She could also have fear around losing her reputation if you make mistakes.
Do any of those seem accurate in your situation?
Once you understand why she feels the need to control you, you can figure out which of these suggestions might help:
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in overcoming fear. She offers a free webinar every Tuesday night with info on her website.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.