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  • You and Your Parents
  • Dealing with Conflict with Parents

How to Argue With Parents Successfully

Last Updated: January 25, 2021 References

This article was co-authored by Tasha Rube, LMSW . Tasha Rube is a Licensed Social Worker based in Kansas City, Kansas. Tasha is affiliated with the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kansas. She received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Missouri in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 131,102 times.

Don't you just hate it when your parents back you into a corner and get everything out of you? Believe it or not, there is a way to get around this and hold your own when you get confronted. This method isn't about winning as much as it is about minimizing loss, but it should help.

Choosing the Right Moment for an Argument

Step 1 Pick your battles.

  • Weigh the benefits versus the costs. If the topic of the argument is significant to you, it might be worth the effort and the possible consequences of engaging in an argument with your parents. However, if there are minimal worthwhile results, it might be best to let this one go.
  • For example, if your mom hates it when you play your music loudly, the only real benefit of arguing about this is that you might get to play your music at a louder volume, and maybe only for a short period of time. It will also be perpetuating behavior that your mom doesn’t like and will lead to more arguments in the future.
  • But if your parents have a problem with your significant other and they don’t like you spending time with him/her, this might be an instance in which planning an argument is worth it because there are more possible benefits on the line for you.

Step 2 Keep the argument private.

  • If you start an argument with your parents in public, they will view it as a very immature thing to do and it will not be a good way to begin the argument.
  • Some people get embarrassed when they think others know their business or are listening to them talk. This is not a good way to get your parents to hear you out. Give your parents the courtesy of conducting your argument in private.

Step 3 Choose a moment when your parents are in a good mood.

  • Give yourself the best possible chance by starting your argument when your parents will be receptive to what you have to say.
  • You might even try putting them in a good mood by doing things you know will make them happy – like cleaning your room, doing your homework, or spending time with them.
  • Of course, don’t immediately bring up the argument after trying to get your parents in a good mood. That will be too obvious and they will think you only did the nice things for selfish reasons to get something that you want.

Step 4 Put yourself in your parents’ shoes.

  • This can also help you see if you are being unreasonable.
  • Try thinking about how you would feel if someone was treating you the way you are treating your parents.
  • There are always two sides to every story and a good arguer knows that they need to consider both sides.

Implementing Your Argument Strategy

Step 1 Think about the things you want to say.

  • Include all of the reasons why you’ve proven you’re responsible enough to handle it (not missing curfew in the past months, completing your homework on time, doing your chores, etc.)
  • Give counter reasons to eliminate their existing concerns – like if you know they are worried you will get in trouble because you are out later, you might mention that they already know most of your friends and their parents, so they don’t have anything to worry about.
  • Bring up why extending your curfew would actually be a good thing – like it will make you happy so you’ll be more enjoyable to be around, it will help you develop your friendships more fully, and it will help you learn to handle more adult responsibility.

Step 2 Write down your points.

  • Having a planned, organized argument already in your mind will help you navigate the conversation with your parents and might also impress your parents by showing them that you take this matter seriously.

Step 3 Remain calm during the argument.

  • In some cases it may feel like whatever you may do will cause your parents to become even angrier. That can be particularly difficult to deal with since you literally have no way of reacting without triggering a bad response. If that is the case, then possibly the best thing you can do is just stand silently, look at them, and do nothing until they calm down a bit.

Step 5 Acknowledge your parents’ views.

  • This will help your parents see that you respect their opinions, but that you simply want them to consider some additional aspects of the situation.
  • For extending your curfew example, try saying something like this: “I know that you think it will be easy for me to make poor decisions if I am allowed to stay out later at night.”

Step 6 Ask your parents questions.

  • Try something like, "What would you like to know?" or, "Could you be a little more specific?" By narrowing down the topic, you've limited the number of things your parents can go after.

Step 7 Explain your point of view.

  • For the example about extending your curfew, try calmly saying something like this: “I would like to extend my curfew because it is important to me to have more time with my friends. Most of my friends are allowed to stay out later and you know them and their families so you should feel at least a little comfortable with this. I would like to have some more adult responsibility in my life.”

Step 8 Stick with your story.

  • If your parents think you only want to extend your curfew because all of your friends are all out drinking at night, tell them your version of the story and don’t falter.

Step 9 Don't keep denying.

  • Just say something like, "That's what I'm telling you. Take it or leave it." This narrows down their options and allows you to take control of the situation.

Step 10 Tell your parents where you stand.

  • Tell your parents something like this: “I can’t help it if you don’t believe me. But I am here trying to have a conversation with you about it, which I think shows a lot of maturities. Whether you choose to believe me or not is up to you."

Preventing Future Arguments

Step 1 Avoid behaviors that displease your parents.

  • Remember to pick your battles. If the problem is not that big of a deal to you, then just change what you’re doing to make your parents happy. It will be better for you in the long run.
  • Eventually you will be out from under your parents’ roof and able to make whatever choices you want to make. But until that time, it will probably be beneficial to you to at least try to avoid doing things that make them upset.

Step 2 Show your parents how responsible you are.

  • Let your parents know when you have finished your homework or when you have completed your chores. Bring home good grades to show them. Send them a text when your plans change so they won’t worry about you.
  • The point here is visibility. It does you little good if you are behaving well but your parents never see the things you do.
  • But make sure you don’t seem like you are bragging about yourself all the time. That might be off-putting. Just simply let them know when you have done something they would be proud of.

Step 3 Don’t give your parents the silent treatment.

  • The silent treatment will just make your parents feel disconnected from you and they may start to resent you. It is better to discuss things with them instead.
  • Giving your parents the cold shoulder will also make them think that you are acting like an immature child. This will not help you win arguments in the future.

Step 4 Be willing to compromise.

  • When your parents suggest a compromise, accept it – even if you have to give up a little of what you want. You can also try suggesting compromises to your parents.
  • For example, if your mom wants you to finish all of your chores before you go out with your friends, offer to do half of them before and promise to finish the other half the following day. This way, you both get some of what you want.

Expert Q&A

  • Remember that your logic isn't infallible. Neither is theirs. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 3
  • Never answer more than you have to. By doing this, you are only giving them more ammunition to shoot you with, so to speak. Thanks Helpful 9 Not Helpful 0
  • Never lose your cool. This might be a little difficult for some people, but it has a huge impact on the argument's outcome. People will take you much more seriously if you speak slowly and confidently. Thanks Helpful 8 Not Helpful 1

good argument but your mother

  • People often talk faster when they're nervous, even though they may not notice it. You can compensate for this by speaking more slowly than you normally would. Thanks Helpful 10 Not Helpful 1

You Might Also Like

Make Your Parents Love You for Who You Are

  • ↑ http://personalexcellence.co/blog/choose-your-battles/
  • ↑ http://www.aish.com/f/m/4-Ways-to-Fight-with-Your-Spouse-without-Destroying-your-Marriage.html
  • ↑ http://www.rookiemag.com/2014/08/how-to-win-any-argument/
  • ↑ http://www.teenvogue.com/story/fighting-with-your-mom
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fighting-fear/201209/the-proper-way-argue
  • ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-chan/learning-how-to-argue_b_796300.html
  • ↑ https://hbr.org/2014/06/choose-the-right-words-in-an-argument
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/extreme-fear/201005/top-ten-secrets-effective-liars
  • ↑ https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/why-you-cant-really-win-an-argument-with-your-child/

About This Article

Tasha Rube, LMSW

Arguing with your parents can be frustrating, but with the right approach and timing, you can have a mature discussion about whatever’s bothering you. Wait until your parents are in a good mood and have time to talk. Plan your arguments ahead of the talk and express them clearly and calmly. Once you’ve explained your position, listen to what your parents have to say without interrupting to show that you're mature and willing to compromise. When they've finished speaking, try to acknowledge their points before you make another point of your own. For example, say something like, "I understand what you're saying. " Try to stay calm, even if they're being unfair, so the discussion doesn't escalate and get emotional. For more advice, including how to avoid arguments with your parents in the future, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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good argument but your mother

No matter how well your family gets along most of the year, the holidays are a particularly fertile time for a family argument . Put a lot of family members together in a small space for an extended period, add sugar and boredom, and submerged feuds, irritation and political disagreements are nearly guaranteed flare. It's extremely common and not the end of the world — but if your holiday gatherings inevitably end up in screaming matches, it's worth having a few things to say to diffuse an argument in your back pocket.

The term for defusing an argument among psychologists is "de-escalating conflict." While it's helpful to have these techniques in your arsenal, de-escalation isn't magic. It doesn't mean the fight comes to a screaming halt, or that everybody becomes best friends again; some disagreements are so intense that there's no real way to heal them, and often it's a good idea to get things out into the open. However, certain phrases and approaches can help take things down a notch, from all out war to more civil disagreements. If a clash is inevitable, it's wise to have a few tricks up your sleeve to lower the volume and inch closer to a resolution. The fights may range from the trivial — "Why does the stuffing taste like sawdust?" — to the more intense, personal arguments that seem to reoccur every few seasons, but each of these techniques can help calm them down. Here are a few things experts suggest saying to diffuse a family argument.

"What I Hear You Saying Is X"

"Repeating back what someone has told you (ideally in your own phrasing) is one of the best ways there is to keep a conversation from turning hostile," business writer Miranda Zetlin wrote for Inc. "You've just made it clear that you care about the other person's viewpoint and want to show you understand it," even if you don't agree with it.

Using this phrase is not a chance to explain their words back to them; it's a chance to show that you've heard their argument and that if you disagree with it, it's not because of a lack of understanding. Many disagreements begin as a result of not feeling understood, so making this point can help diffuse that particular tension.

"What Would You Like From This Argument?"

Reading it back, saying this sounds volatile or even sarcastic — but it's all in the delivery. Asking what somebody wants out of an argument is very different to demanding to know what they want once and for all. Lifehacker explains that asking "what they want from the argument" can uncover underlying issues; if they're picking a fight because they're actually unhappy you didn't bring home a date, or want you to admit that you've gained too much weight, at least they can be clear about it. Take care with tone when you deliver this, and maybe don't deploy it on your passive-aggressive parent, but this saying can help take the argument from the nitty-gritty to the big picture.

"It's Natural That We See This Issue Differently"

Conflict de-escalation in the workplace can offer several tips for smoothing things over at home. Getting into heated discussions? The Harvard Business Review suggests saying things that imply that "you value the other person and her perspectives." Even if you think what's being said is daft, you can still be the person who acts like an adult.

HBR suggest saying things like "Thanks for raising this issue," "I think it took guts to put that on the table," and what I view as a killer statement: “You come at this from a very different perspective than I do, so it’s natural that we see it differently.” Sometimes perspectives just can't be reconciled, but agreeing to disagree can be hard. Instead, thanking them for bringing it up is a kind way to suggest you'd like to leave it at that.

"It Was Not My Intention, But I Can Understand Why You Feel That Way"

This is a good one for arguments that arise from hurt feelings. Mom feeling neglected that you only visit at Christmas? Brother upset that you don't want to play video games like you did when you were 12? Lisa Firestone at Psychology Today explains that it's helpful to empathize and understand where they're coming from, even if it's not what you were going for. "It seems like this makes you feel X. I'm really sorry about that. It is not my intention to do X" is a helpful formulation. Compassion doesn't cost anything, even if you think the other person is being ridiculous for feeling hurt in this situation.

"Shall We Take Five And Come Back To This?"

This is not a conflict-avoidance technique; it's you allowing everybody to calm down before having a more rational discussion, when they're at the point of throwing the turkey at one another (or you). This is a particularly good way to deal with passive-aggressive people, says Berkeley's Greater Good Institute. "Attempting to begin a dialogue when one or both of you are in a very negative headspace will cause the person who behaves passive-aggressively to shut down or to escalate the situation," they explain. "Take a minute to chill out and calm down before approaching each other and the issue."


This isn't just saying something random to derail the situation (though, depending on your family's sense of humor, that might work too); it's a code word. Relate suggests pre-agreeing on a family word to say when things are escalating. "Try to find a code word that either of you (or the children) can say out loud when an argument is getting out of hand," they say. "This often diffuses the tension, and sends the message that whatever the argument is about, it will not be resolved in that moment. Each family could have a code word that is only known to them." Sounds ludicrous, but it's a technique to get people to settle for a minute, even if the argument flares up again when they're calmer. No, it doesn't have to be pineapple.

The key to getting people onto your side in a serious family argument, or at least getting them to listen, is to "communicate your views in terms of their highest values," according to NPR. That means framing what you're saying in terms of what they want and prioritize: "Help them fulfill what they desire and they in turn will soften their stance and turn around to assist with what you desire." If the argument isn't getting anywhere, though, shout "Pineapple!" and go off and have some eggnog. Your family will be still there when you get back.

good argument but your mother

Tiny Changes Matter

Why Does My Mom Argue With Me About Everything?

  • July 5, 2022

Carol Gravitt

Authoritative mature mother sit on couch at home fight quarrel with grown-up adult daughter

Nothing is worse than when you mind your business and the argument suddenly starts.

You didn’t do anything to provoke it. Maybe you just came home from work or got out of bed, but those harsh words and objections awaited you like poisonous needles.

What is on today’s arguments menu, you are wondering. Is it something big like who are you dating? Why didn’t you go to college?

Girl annoyed by authoritative lecturing senior mother.

Or it is something small and trivial like why are you wearing that ugly T-shirt? Whatever it is, you are just sick of it and want it to stop.

Every argument is worse when the person you care about is on the opposite side of you. It’s horrible when you fight with your mother. Mother is the most crucial person in our lives, and our relationship with her is significant.

You can’t help but wonder, how did the two of you get into that situation? Why did you lose the idyllic relationship you once had? Who’s to blame? Is it her, or is it you? Or is the guilt shared?

All these questions bother you and disturb your daily life. The most important question to which you need to find an answer in this situation is: How to fix the relationship with your mother and stop all those toxic arguments?

In this article, by explaining why your mom argues with you constantly, we will try to give you some pieces of advice on how to fix your relationship with your mother.

Your mother didn’t have good role models

Unfortunately, parents often pass on their parents’ mistakes to their children.

If your mother was subject to the same toxic arguments from her mother when she was younger, there is a possibility that she adopted the same behavior.

She does not recognize that this system is terrible but thinks it is normal and justified. Maybe she even believes that this way, she is developing a strong character for her child.

Toxic perfectionism

Authoritative mature mother sit on couch at home fight quarrel with grown-up adult daughter.

It is usual for a mother to want his child to succeed in life in every aspect. But what if that need becomes a nuisance and a burden to the child.

Parents often want their children to be the best in everything. But your mother’s vision for you sometimes does not match the image of life that you want for yourself.

Maybe your mother is an overachiever, career-driven, and expects the same from you. She expects you to do what she wants and doesn’t respect your wishes.

When there is so much desire present, the disappointment can be huge. That disappointment quickly becomes complaints and arguments.

Victim mentality and blame game

Many arguments await you if your mother decides to fall into victim mentality or play the blame game.

You will probably hear the sentence: “I sacrificed everything for you, and this is how you repay me” . You will undoubtedly hear a lot about her dreams, what she could have been, what kind of career she could have had, and so on.

Whose fault is it that none of that happened? In your mother’s opinion, it’s yours. She sacrificed everything for you but will use every opportunity to remind you.

Even if you succeed in life, according to her, it is because she decided to play the holy victim so that you could achieve.

You and your mother are too different

You share the same blood, but that does not mean you are the same person.

You can have different views and opinions on all possible topics, and this can cause many potential arguments. Your mother may disagree with your lifestyle and choices in life.

It can be a generational thing. You know that different generations, such as boomers and millennials, do not understand one another.

You and your mother are too similar

Yes, even this can be a reason for burning arguments. You both are easily annoyed and offended. The same nervous personality is what describes you both.

In such a heated atmosphere, arguments are inevitable. Now, here are some strategies to stop or at least minimize the arguments:

Talk with her

Happy older retired woman mother chatting with pleasant smiling grown up daughter, sitting together on cozy sofa, drinking tea coffee.

Sounds pretty obvious, but it does matter how you approach it.

Tell her how her constant complaints ruin your inner peace and that you want to stop it. If you think it is necessary, you can go to psychotherapy together.

Try to step into her shoes

It is always tricky to look at the situation from a different perspective. The more complicated is when our mother is on the opposite side.

Try to understand her, what made her be this way. Acknowledge and respect her. Show empathy.

Set some boundaries

Healthy boundaries should exist in all relationships, and even with the mother.

It may be challenging to set boundaries with your mother, but if you set healthy boundaries, you will save yourself from unnecessary criticism.

Limit the time with her and choose what to tell her and what not

These are not permanent solutions, but they will help you listen to complaints a little less than usual.

If your mom does not respect boundaries, try limiting your time with her. Maybe she will realize how her objections create a rift between you two.

You probably already know which topics will start an argument, so avoid them.

You may not be able to change some of your mother’s habits, but with these two methods, you will at least minimize her arguments.

To Conclude

Constant arguments lead nowhere, and there are no winners in them.

Even minor complaints usually hide some bigger problem behind them.

You don’t want that feeling of emptiness and anger over you after an argument anymore. It’s up to you to decide the best way to stop your mother’s toxic nagging. Arm yourself with patience and positive energy.

You are thankful to her for everything, but you are grown up now and make choices for yourself, and your mom should respect that.

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Why Do I Get Annoyed So Easily With My Family? 5 Possible Reasons

  • July 14, 2023

How to Resolve an Argument with Your Mother

Published by graham stoney on february 4, 2012 february 4, 2012.

I just got this question about resolving an argument with your mother in response to my article on How to Recover From a Controlling Mother . Steve asks:

I just got off the phone with my mother who was berating me because I had not responded in a timely fashion to an email, which made her ashamed and disappointed. I went to my computer and looked up “how to deal with a controlling mother”. Your article looked interesting so I began to read it, and as I did my eyes opened up as if you were speaking directly to me! I would love to speak with her about these things, and also with my father, but her defense is locked down tight: she is a psychologist of many years, and would just discredit anything I had to say. She also insists that my father would not want to talk to me about anything on an emotional level (he really doesn’t like to be dragged in between us), and therefore I shouldn’t bother. I also run the risk of making her angry, which is VERY easy to do, and then I worry that I’m hurting her. Just writing this really exposes to myself the psychological mire I exist in… Advice?

This is a great question Steve so thanks for putting it out there. Our relationship with our mother can have such a powerful controlling influence over us and really undermine our self-confidence. Most men are reluctant to admit how powerfully influential our mothers still are even long into adulthood, and this can have a massive effect on eroding our sense of self.

It's important to stand your ground and be assertive when resolving an argument with your mother.

It’s important to stand your ground and be assertive when resolving an argument with your mother.

Mother issues are a very common problem for men (and women!) who lack self-confidence. Just yesterday I was on the phone with a friend whose childhood was dominated by his mother and other women around him. My [intlink id=”480″ type=”post”]controlling mother[/intlink] article consistently gets more hits every day than anything else on this site. It’s a big problem.

We grow up emotionally attached and enmeshed with our mothers, and controlling mothers resist the normal detachment process that begins during adolescence. When mothers complain about their adolescent boy’s bad behavior, what they’re really feeling is the normal pain of separation that parents go through as we individuate and become men. A mother with insight will grin and bear this pain as she allows you to separate; but many parents lack this insight and try to maintain control. A power struggle results, which is particularly intense when each side has their self-esteem invested in maintaining control (for her) and gaining freedom (for you).

You might think that a psychologist would have a better insight into this than most; what I’m talking about is basic attachment theory and she’s almost certainly read Bowlby’s work on it. But we never see our own emotional responses objectively so the fact that she should be an expert in this kind of thing isn’t really relevant. In fact I’ve noticed amongst my friends with psychologists as parents that they often seem worse at this kind of thing. Your mother may feel extra defensive when her relationships aren’t working well since she’s supposed to be an expert; perhaps you’re projecting higher expectations onto her due to her expertise; or perhaps she became a psychologist in the first place because she had issues to work through and it’s still a work in progress. Either way it doesn’t matter; forget about her being a psychologist and start looking at her as just another fragile, defensive human being who is herself hurting as much as she’s hurting you.

Going through a period of conflict where you learn to stand up to your mother is a normal and necessary part of developing your individual identity as a man. Ideally it happens during adolescence, but in the case of a controlling or hostile parent it’s understandable that we avoid conflict like the plague. From my experience, it doesn’t matter how long you delay or avoid this conflict: it doesn’t go away until you really face it and stand up to her. It seems to be just an unavoidable part of life, but there are a few things you can do to make the conflict more bearable.

The most important thing is to learn to tolerate your mother’s emotional state regardless of whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, while you also learn to express how you feel in a constructive way. Over time you can learn to be less emotionally meshed with her and transition from a parent/child relationship to an adult/adult relationship which is more fulfilling for both of you. I’ve done this really well with my father; with my mother it’s a work-in-progress, but it seems to be getting there.

I had a similar experience on the phone with my mother last year where she got extremely angry with me after I rescheduled a lunch outing at the last minute because I had a bad headache. It was very heavy going, and I could see that the anger she was showing me was out of proportion to what had actually happened, so something else had to be going on. For the first time I could remember, I actually acknowledged her anger rather than avoiding going there. All I had to say was “You sound angry” in response to a few of her comments, and her anger appeared to skyrocket. Previously I would have just avoided this and skirted around it, but this time I wanted to face it full-on.

People who are easily angered typically have a backlog of unexpressed and unprocessed emotions which are unleashed on unsuspecting family members when they do something that upsets them. The truth is that you can’t make your mother angry. What happens is we do things they don’t like, and they have an emotional response. If they’re self-aware, they’ll own this response and say “I feel angry when you do that”. But self-aware people don’t become hostile and controlling in the first place, so you may need to model assertive communication of emotions for her. In my conversation with my mother, I said to her “I feel really nervous saying this, but you sound really angry with me and I’d like to hear what’s really going on for you?” She hung up on me three times as I kept ringing back to get to the bottom of the what she was really upset about.

I knew that after 77 years feeling ashamed of how she really felt, my mother wasn’t likely to go along with this new way of communicating easily, but it was still really important to me to be direct with her and ask what the real problem was. It turned out that rescheduling the lunch date was just the tip of the ice-berg. She was angry about a lot of things, and most of them didn’t even involve me. My mother has a store of resentment towards my father that she projects onto me; it’s a dead give-away because she uses his name whenever she’s at the height of anger at me. You don’t have to study psychology to see that this is displaced anger: my mother is angry with my father, but is too afraid to express it in her closest relationship, so she fires it at me instead where the stakes aren’t as high.

The challenge is standing up to dysfunctional behavior from your mother and responding with your true emotions regardless of whether it goes well or not. We build confidence by exercising courage in situations like this. Courage is the willingness to take action even when we don’t know how it will go. When I stood up to my mother by acknowledging my fear and her anger, it didn’t appear to go well. She went even deeper into her anger and then my father weighed in as well. He’s also afraid of her anger, so it’s easier for him to get angry with me for “upsetting her” than it is to back me in doing what’s best for the relationships between us all: acknowledge each other’s true feelings.

You know you’re a man when you’re isolated like this and doing the right thing by everyone anyway, regardless of their childish resistance. No-one said growing up would be easy; that’s why so many men are still children walking around in a man’s body.

If you find your mother’s emotions overwhelming, you may need to put some emotional distance between the two of you. Many men move cities or countries for a while in order to add physical space between them and their mothers on the pretext of moving “for work”. Don’t expect her to be happy about this, but you’ll notice how much better she treats you on your occasional visit back home. Stay too long though and you’ll probably regress back to parent/child again. Moving away is only a stop-gap measure, but it can give you the space to build your confidence without her constant influence undermining the everyday gains you make. On the other hand, simply running away from the problem won’t help because we all take the baggage from our mothers into our relationships with women until we really deal with it.

Note that unless you’re doing things that are deliberately hurtful and vindictive, you aren’t “making your mother angry” or “hurting her” when you acknowledge her feelings and allow her to feel them more deeply. That’s just how feelings work: when another person acknowledges how we feel, it gives us permission to go deeper into our emotions. Not only is this a healing thing, it’s also the basis of intimacy in all our relationships.

The normal separation and individuation process we go through in growing from a boy to a man is inherently painful for mothers, and that’s part of what she signed up for when she became a parent. You can’t tip-toe around this or protect her from it if you want to be your own man. We all have to learn to do what’s right even in the face of resistance from our parents, and this is particularly difficult when they’re used to exercising control over us emotionally.

When someone affects you emotionally, you give your power away to them. This can be a positive thing when we fall in love with a woman, and it can be challenging when our parents use emotion to manipulate us. But nobody can affect you emotionally without you letting them do so. And the same goes for your mother: you don’t “make her angry”. You do your thing and when it triggers her insecurities, she responds with anger because in the past that was an effective way of stopping you doing whatever reminded her of her unhealed pain.

Circumstances that create an emotional reaction in us typically do so because they remind us of an unpleasant event in our past that we need to work through. You can’t force your mother to do the hard work of healing emotional pain from her past, but you can’t really be free by tip-toeing around it either. The key to emotional healing is to stop avoiding unpleasant emotions, so you’re actually doing your mother a favor whenever you do the things that make her angry… provided you’re doing them because they are the right thing to do, and not out of malice. Her anger isn’t really about you at all; it’s just a projection of some hurt in her past. Each time she goes to the pain, she has the opportunity to heal it. If you learn to be steadfast and meet her anger with love, it will soften over time. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll have learned to stand up for your emotional truth in the face of a woman’s volatility; and other women will love you for this.

I don’t pretend that this is easy. I was stressed out and tense for at least 3 days after the argument I had with my mother. I’m still learning to unmesh emotionally from her. I also had fallout with my father to deal with: we ended up having a conversation where I told him I was upset with him for getting angry with me, that I wasn’t perfect and needed to be free to make mistakes, and that I didn’t want to keep relating to either of them by avoiding how we all feel. He apologized and started asking me how I thought he should deal with her moods. Talk about irony. My advice to him was much the same as what I’m saying here: learn to identify how she feels, reflect that back to her, and acknowledge how you feel. Stop avoiding her emotions. This is the basis of emotional intimacy, and it takes time to learn to do it when we’re out of practice.

Interestingly enough, despite a lack of apology from my mother, she has been treating me with greater respect since our “argument”. I wouldn’t say I handled the situation perfectly, but the main thing I did differently was I acknowledged how she was feeling, and I sought to understand what was really going on behind that rather than getting defensive about it. I suspect my mother felt quite embarrassed about what she said to me on the phone but is too ashamed about it to offer an apology.

I could bear a grudge and feel resentful towards her, but shortly after my conversation I was thinking about how people in my family seem to deliberately withhold what other people want from them. It’s like we all know what each other wants, but we don’t give it to them because we know they want it. What’s with that? I started feeling angry with my parents and siblings. Then it occurred to me that I was doing exactly the same thing with my mother. I know what she wants from me: a quick phone call roughly once a week just to see how she is, with no other agenda. But I don’t give it to her.

I had a bunch of excuses for why I didn’t do this, but it really boiled down to a self-righteous attitude that she didn’t deserve it. She doesn’t give me what I want (emotional support, warmth, kindness) so why should I give her what she wants? Pretty petty really. So I thought to myself: what would happen if I were to drop my self-righteousness and just start giving her what she wanted? I began calling her regularly just to see how she was. And what do you know: she started responding to me with warmth and kindness instead of criticism, hostility and anger.

I also recommend that you don’t get involved in discussions about your father with your mother, or vice-versa. Don’t try to drag your father into what’s going on between you and your mother, and don’t bitch to your father about her either. The closest allegiance a married person has is to their spouse so if being true to yourself triggers your mother’s fear and anger, it’s natural that she’ll want your father on her side rather than yours. Let it be. Remember that to really be your own man, you need to be able to stand true in the face of criticism, judgment, anger or whatever from your father too. This is part of transitioning from father/son to adult/adult in that relationship. Get support from other men so that your father isn’t caught in a parental love triangle; it’s no wonder he hates being in this position.

Doing all of this requires self-awareness and emotional healing for your past hurts. Otherwise you remain vulnerable to your mother’s moods. I don’t recommend attempting this healing with your parents initially; they’re too close to the action and are likely to be triggered by your attempts to heal your own stuff. I’ve done a lot of [intlink id=”181″ type=”category”]different types of therapy[/intlink] to deal with the anxiety I inherited from my parents and emotional healing was really crucial for me. Exposing our psychological mire is precisely what we need to do in order to heal the shame that is beneath it, so good on you Steve for going there. Be patient with yourself because this stuff is dealing with really core issues that can take time to heal.

The ultimate destination is to be able to show your mother love and kindness regardless of how she acts towards you. That’s what they mean by unconditional love. Any man can love the lovable; it’s loving the unlovable that makes you a hero and sets you free. This requires us to deal with our own emotional baggage sufficiently that we don’t get triggered and overwhelmed by hers. Then we can be free to weather the storms of our mother’s emotional state so that we can act with personal integrity. Hard as it may be to believe, she’ll end up being grateful for your ability to do this and you’ll end up copping less hostility from her. Or even if she doesn’t, it won’t affect you as much and this skill will be brilliant in your relationships with women. Either way you’re a winner.

You’re on the right track, so hang in there. For more on transitioning from a mother/boy to woman/man relationship with your mother, see Step 8 in Confident Man : Forgive Your Mother .

Build your self-confidence faster with The Confident Man Program

good argument but your mother

Graham Stoney

I struggled for years with low self-esteem, anxiety and a lack of self-confidence before finding a solution that really worked. I created The Confident Man Program to help other men live the life of their dreams. I also offer 1-on-1 coaching via Skype so if you related to this article contact me about coaching .

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Matt · March 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I’ve now read both this article and the article, ‘How to Recover From a Controlling Mother,’ and I have to admit, Graham, that I’m certainly one of those who had NO IDEA that men struggled so much with controlling mothers!

I was always under the idea that the father/son dynamic would cause the most headaches when it came to growing as a man, emotionally, but your two articles have really put a new spin on it for me.

Brilliant to see also that people are feeling that they can reach out and approach you with their issues. I think that has a great to do with your personable writing style.

good argument but your mother

Graham Stoney · March 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

I think this is an even bigger deal when the father/son dynamic isn’t strong; which often happens if you have a passive father. Unfortunately a passive father and controlling mother often tend to team up and give a double-whammy blow to a man’s confidence. Cheers, Graham

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Frances Amaroux · February 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Excellent article Graham!! Wonderful, balanced, realistic advice. So important for all of us to deal with our families of origin. And especially important for men to deal with their mother stuff if they want to be in a mature relationship. Its slightly different for women and fathers, as the fathers usually had less of a parenting input than mothers.

Graham Stoney · February 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks Frances; I really appreciate the positive feedback. This article sure hits a lot of buttons for me! Cheers, Graham

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George Clooney

When I argue with my mother, what is it really about?

It can’t just be generational differences that turn George Clooney’s facial hair into a row

M y mother and I are very close, but we have our differences. I’ve tended to think they’re generational, even though suggesting so can lead to a familiar place (eg, Mum, intentionally in earshot, pleading with the heavens: “What did I do to deserve this ungrateful daughter who does not respect her elders’ wisdom?”).

Sometimes our happiest chats become arguments, the flame of fight ignited subtly, catching us unaware. For a while I thought this was an inevitable byproduct of our differing worldviews, which (conveniently) fit an “old v young” or “west v east” narrative. Even idle chats about personal preference went this way. Take beards: I like them, she doesn’t. I say they might be popular with younger men because they demonstrate carefreeness, and she says that’s a western perspective because for many beards are a sign of religious dogma. The latest one: working from home. Her being older is surely why, no matter how many times I explain that I am not available for calls, errands or impromptu meet-ups when working in this new norm, the requests still come.

But when I hear Mum talking beards with someone else – no spikiness in her voice, nor snipe in her rebuttals – I can no longer deny the truth: differing worldviews doesn’t explain how George Clooney’s facial hair became a row. Indeed, it is only with those we love that such madness is made – a personal tension or anxiety unresolved.

How many heated family debates are merely proxies for something else, I wonder? I’m not sure I’ll ever know. But when the tears next stream and the voices next shout, I’ve learned to ask: why are we really fighting? Because sometimes the argument isn’t the point, but finding out what is just might be.

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I've had an argument with my mother - how can I make up with her?

Relate counsellor christine northam suggests how to extend the olive branch to your mother after a rift , article bookmarked.

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good argument but your mother

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If your heart is sinking at the thought of Mother’s Day because you don’t get on with your mother, try to take some comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

In a recent study by Relate, Marriage Care and Relationships Scotland, 22 per cent of people said they didn't have a good relationship with their mother. And if you are like that fifth of people, Mother’s Day can feel lonely and upsetting. Often people who don’t get on with their mums feel like they’re going against societal norms. The expectation is that you should love and accept your mother as she is and be the dutiful child. However, the reality is that some parents can’t or sometimes simply don’t put their children’s needs before their own.

For some people with a truly toxic relationship with their mother it might be emotionally healthier for them to create a safe distance. That’s an incredibly difficult decision to make, so if I work with people who feel they should do that, we explore all the angles and implications of the issue to make sure that when and if they decide to take action, the decision is thoroughly thought through rather than an emotional reaction.

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If you feel that your relationship with your mother upsets you and there are things you’d like to make her aware of, then this Sunday probably isn’t the best time to try it. It’s a day fraught with emotion and, as with Christmas, birthdays and weddings, everything is much more intense. So I’d suggest you just try to get through the day as best you can. Perhaps sit in the car before going in with gift, take some deep breaths and promise yourself you won’t bite bacl when your mother says something that usually infuriates you. Family games, as we counsellors call them, can’t work if one of you won’t play ball. I f she’s always critical and you’re defensive, refuse to play the game.

Instead, think about what you can reasonably do to acknowledge Mother’s Day without it causing you too much stress and strain. Then if you do want to repair the relationship, there are some steps you can take after Sunday.

Assess your situation

Firstly you need to take responsibility for yourself. You have to face the reality of how your mother is and not how you may wish she’d be. Being real about your parents is part of growing up. If you have children of your own, learning from your parent’s past mistakes can help you to be a better parent yourself. If you can acknowledge and understand how your mother and father figures parented and how it impacted on you, it can help you to avoid repeating history. What’s great about focusing on this is that it puts you in a position to make a choice of how you want to be, and that’s really positive.

Be honest with her

We all owe it to ourselves to try to achieve the utmost emotional health we can. So if your relationship with your mother is 70 percent OK but there are niggles, you might feel confident enough to sit down and talk it through with her.

Explain gently and honestly how you feel, but without being accusatory or blaming. Say something like: “I find our relationship difficult at times - shall we chat this through, see if we can improve it for both of us?” That is much more likely to work than barging in and having a go at her.

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Don't feel guilty.

It’s worth trying to improve your relationship with your mother if you possibly can. But if it still doesn’t work out, at least you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that you tried.

Some children feel that they’re in some way set up to fail by their mothers – there’s absolutely nothing they can ever do to please her. If that’s you, think about seeing a counsellor to get some help dealing with this, as it’s very hard to face alone. If the relationship is so toxic that it’s damaging you into adulthood, you may need permission to break off contact with your mother entirely. Again, a counsellor is someone who can give you that "permission" and sometimes that’s all that people need.

See life from her perspective

For those who feel their relationship isn’t beyond repair, try to remember that there are usually reasons behind why people act in the way they do. Perhaps your mother’s relationship with her own parents wasn’t all that it could’ve been. Maybe your mum didn’t achieve everything she hoped to in life and that’s why she pushed you so hard at school. Trying to understand what causes her to act in the way she does can help to create greater empathy and tolerance. If she wants to make up for lost time or rebuild your relationship then see if you can find it in your heart to forgive her.

Consider your own behaviour

It’s also worth considering if there’s anything you would or could have done differently. Perhaps you’ve said or done things to her in the past that you feel bad about. Making the first step and apologising can be hard, particularly when you feel that she’s also in the wrong, but the potential rewards are enormous.

Don’t expect everything to be mended overnight, but in time it’s possible to get things back on track and for Mother’s Day to conjure up more positive emotions in the future.

Christine Northam is an experienced counsellor working with individuals and couples coping with relationship difficulties. To find out more about Relate’s services, visit the website .

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Screen Rant

10 arguments every how i met your mother fan has been in.

From which of Ted's girlfriends was the best to whether or not Barney was problematic, these HIMYM debates will be argued for years to come.

How I Met Your Father is  confirmed to be receiving another season , despite having garnered mixed reviews on its premiere. Season 1 had only ten episodes, forcing the characters to develop at a pace that might have been too fast for audiences to fully get on board. However, the season finale undoubtedly had that  How I Met Your Mother feel, leading fans of the original series to feel that the spin-off just might work.

The release of a spin-off has reignited some big fan debates surrounding How I Met Your Mother . The morality of the main characters, who should have ended up with who, whether the series ultimately flopped in the end, and more are all common arguments within the  HIMYM  fandom.

Did The Show Have A Plan From The Beginning?

Season 1 caught audiences' attention with the mystery of Ted's future wife, but the subsequent seasons had them feeling a little confused. While the show's story surrounded Ted telling his children how he met their mother, very little of his tale seemed to have anything to do with her.

This led viewers to wonder if the writers even had a plan. Even now that everyone knows the story had always been about Robin, there is still debate about whether that premise was thrown in at the end. While parts of the finale must have been filmed years before the episode aired, the existence of an alternative ending seems to support that the writers weren't entirely sure of their plan.

Was The Gang Too Mean To Ted?

The protagonist of  HIMYM had a great love for history, conspiracies, and architecture. He also enjoyed demonstrating to others just how much he knew about these topics. This sometimes made him appear pretentious, especially in flashbacks to his younger years.

However, even once he had significantly toned down his know-it-all tendencies, the gang frequently mocked Ted for his interest in obscure facts. This would go as far as blowing raspberries when he tried to talk or walking out of the room while he was in the middle of speaking. Some fans argue that Ted's friends mistreated him, while others saw the behavior as typical banter between buddies.

Was Barney A Good Friend?

Barney considered himself to be everyone's best friend, but he rarely put in the effort to deserve that title. He had very selfish tendencies and was known to throw his friend under the bus if it meant landing himself another date.

Many wondered why Ted and the others even bothered having Barney around. It's true that each member of the group had a moment in the series where they needed space from Barney because of his chaotic selfishness, but other fans can also argue that Barney proved his loyalty, such as when he ran to the hospital after Ted had been in an accident.

Was Marshall Too Good For Lily?

Lily and Marshall are introduced as the perfect couple. Not only were their affection and pet names cute, but they proved that they had a genuine friendship as the foundation for their romance. However, the end of season 1 saw Lily break up with Marshall and move away to pursue an art career.

While Lily did realize her mistake and worked to earn their relationship back, her decision left a bad taste in some viewers' mouths. They argue that Marshall shouldn't have forgiven Lily and that in later years she proved again and again that she was still selfish. However, other fans can relate to Lily's discomfort over settling down and defend that she only needed to get away and clear her head.

Who Was Ted's Best (Or Worst) Girlfriend?

Ted had a lot of girlfriends throughout HIMYM . Some were serious contenders for the position of "the mother," while others, audiences immediately knew wouldn't last (like Blah Blah, for example). Of course, fans were very vocal about their thoughts on these women.

None of Ted's dates were perfect. However, something can be said for each of them regarding their impact on Ted's life and growth. Some loved Stella because she showed Ted he wanted a family, while others hated her because of the Wedding Bride fiasco. Victoria was memorable because of her spirited nature, but some audiences found that nature to be a bit over the top.

Was Ted A Good Guy?

Everyone has moments from their past they are not proud of. This is often a part of growth. However, Ted seemed to have a lot of these "growth" moments, making him  unpopular with several  HIMYM  fans .

Where Barney embraced his moral ambiguity, Ted considered himself a truly "good guy." But some argue that by going along with Barney's schemes, Ted was just as misogynistic. The opposition contends that Ted still demonstrated his ability to make the right choice and often went out of his way to make up for his misdoings.

Was Robin A "Pick-Me" Girl?

Robin remains a favorite for many  HIMYM audiences, and her appearance in the season 1 finale of  How I Met Your Father was a welcome sight. However, several viewers accused Robin of being a "pick-me" girl, or a girl whose inadvertent sexism leads her to believe that her "masculine" traits make her better than other women.

Those who believe so have pointed out that Robin frequently bragged about shooting guns, drinking whiskey, and smoking cigars, as well as claiming that she didn't have any girlfriends because they were "weepy." However, others argue that while these traits often describe a "pick-me" girl, it could also just be because Robin likes those things.

Was Barney Too Problematic?

Ted's "best friend" had many problematic traits, and a majority of Barney's  HIMYM  quotes did not age well . There is no denying there is a lot wrong with how he treated women, and several of his "plays" to get women often disregarded the concept of informed consent. This has led many to believe that Barney was not as lovably comical as initially intended but just misogynistic.

However, Barney's fans have argued that since Ted was only telling a story full of gross exaggerations, it's possible that the infamous "player" never actually went as far as the show made it seem. There is also the fact that Barney loved to spin yarns, so much of what his friends knew was likely fiction.

Should Barney And Robin Have Been Endgame?

After an entire season building up to Barney and Robin becoming engaged and then another season getting viewers pumped up for their wedding, it was a major disappointment for many when the two got a divorce in the very next episode (though after a two-year time jump.)

However, fans were split about whether this pairing ever could have worked out. While some felt that Barney and Robin were a relatable couple in  HIMYM and brought out a vulnerability in each other that was enjoyable to see, others could not foresee a future in which either would give up their independence for the other.

Did The Series Finale Ruin The Show?

Audiences watched  How I Met Your Mother for nine seasons, and their anticipation to discover who the famous "mother" grew with each one. For this reason, many fans were devastated when they finally met Tracy McConnell, only to discover that she had been deceased for six years before Ted even started his story to his children.

Between this, Barney and Robin's divorce, and the revelation that Ted and Robin were destined to be together all along, many fans felt like the series finale was a complete disappointment. On the other hand, some audiences argue that the series always hinted that Ted would be with Robin, and the question had only ever been, "How?"

NEXT:  8 Biggest Similarities Between HIMYM’s Ted & How I Met Your Father’s Sophie

Supreme Court skeptical of limiting access to abortion pill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed skeptical of efforts to limit access to mifepristone, a key medication used in more than 60 percent of U.S. abortions and first approved more than two decades ago.

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Here's what to know:

Here's what to know, live coverage contributors 16.

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  4. Great argument! However, your mother : r/mbtimemes

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  6. Your mother ;) : r/dankmemes

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  2. How to Argue With Parents Successfully

    Give your parents the courtesy of conducting your argument in private. 3. Choose a moment when your parents are in a good mood. They will probably not listen to you if they are upset. People are more likely to hear what you say to them and really consider your opinions when they are in a good mood.

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  6. How can I stop my mother's constant criticism bringing me down?

    Your mother isn't young, but late 70s isn't old, either. It might be worth trying to explain, at least once, how you feel and letting any subsequent explosion be her responsibility to contain.

  7. 6 Things To Say To Defuse An Argument With Your Family

    7. The key to getting people onto your side in a serious family argument, or at least getting them to listen, is to "communicate your views in terms of their highest values," according to NPR ...

  8. Why Does My Mom Argue With Me About Everything?

    Arm yourself with patience and positive energy. You are thankful to her for everything, but you are grown up now and make choices for yourself, and your mom should respect that. Nothing is worse than when you mind your business and the argument suddenly starts. You didn't do anything to provoke it, and you just want it to stop.

  9. How to Resolve an Argument with Your Mother

    Talk about irony. My advice to him was much the same as what I'm saying here: learn to identify how she feels, reflect that back to her, and acknowledge how you feel. Stop avoiding her emotions. This is the basis of emotional intimacy, and it takes time to learn to do it when we're out of practice.

  10. Good argument. However, your mother… : r/teenagers

    However, your mother… : r/teenagers. Therefore any further argument you make is automatically rejected. Is a hamster. is a perfectly good person and deserves the respect, admiration and appreciation that an hard working mother strives to achieve.

  11. When I argue with my mother, what is it really about?

    Coco Khan. M y mother and I are very close, but we have our differences. I've tended to think they're generational, even though suggesting so can lead to a familiar place (eg, Mum ...

  12. great argument! however, your mother.

    About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features NFL Sunday Ticket Press Copyright ...

  13. I've had an argument with my mother

    In a recent study by Relate, Marriage Care and Relationships Scotland, 22 per cent of people said they didn't have a good relationship with their mother. And if you are like that fifth of people ...

  14. The ultimate tool to win any argument you're in, works even if ...

    The ultimate tool to win any argument you're in, works even if you're losing. That's a nice argument you have, but unfortunately, I had sexual intercourse with your mother, therefore rendering any point you make null. Nice opinion. Just one tiny problem with it.

  15. Best argument against "I am your mother, you will respect me ...

    Nmom frequently uses these arguments "I am your mother, you will respect me", "Don't talk back", and especially "calm down". She loves to use calm down when I am winning an argument even when I am calm. ... The good argument wins that's why she uses these phrases, she knows she lost but the only way she can "win" is by putting herself on top ...

  16. 10 Arguments Every How I Met Your Mother Fan Has Been In

    Season 1 caught audiences' attention with the mystery of Ted's future wife, but the subsequent seasons had them feeling a little confused. While the show's story surrounded Ted telling his children how he met their mother, very little of his tale seemed to have anything to do with her. This led viewers to wonder if the writers even had a plan.

  17. Supreme Court skeptical of limiting access to abortion pill

    5 key moments from Supreme Court arguments on the abortion pill case. March 26, 2024. 5 key moments from Supreme Court arguments on the abortion pill case. March 26, 2024. View 3 more stories.

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