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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call this afternoon from a friend and wondered if anyone else knew of someone like this... and how you dealt with them.... (posting for a friend with this problem)

How do you deal with someone (parent) who REFUSES to listen to you when they call you..... Calls and talks when and about what THEY want to talk about, but as soon as you start talking about something that interests you or happened to you, you can hear their tone change, their impatience and suddenly they have to go??

At first, I thought perhaps it was the "subject" being discussed... but "S" steered clear of several subjects she thought were upsetting her mom.... then she noticed it was even when she was discussing things about the children..... now, it seems to be with EVERY subject she tries to talk about..... As long as they are talking about dear old mom, whatever mom is doing at the moment, or whatever mom wants to talk about, everything is cool.... but forget it if my friend wants to discuss something - either trival or important..... Time to go!

At first we thought it was lack of practice.... Mom hasnt had any REAL friends in 10 years.... (I'm beginning to see why) Hasn't worked out the in public for at least 7 years.... (always has an excuse why won't go get a job usually related to her medical history - which is extensive but by no means debilitating or disabling - She DOES NOT collect SSI or anything like that, FYI) Is on medications for different health issues and seems to always BLAME the meds when she is confronted with issues regarding her behavior.... The siblings just ignore it and won't confront mom because they don't want to upset the apple cart.... But she thinks that its doing an injustice to mom because mom used to be a good friend to all those she knew.... she just has gotten selfish and mean spirited about almost everything..... to the point that my friend KNOWS its RUDE and passive aggressive behavior but doesn't know what to do about it......

Yes, her mom is on anti-depressants... and yes, she sees a dr. regularly... in her late 50's and already been through menopause about 10 years ago; She also competes for VICTIM status on a regular basis.... "whoa is me" sort of thing....everything is worse for her because of her medical history... (I have witnessed this conversation a dozen times in 9 months!)

What should my friend do? This is her mom... they have been close in the past, but in recent months things have been deteriorating because of her mom's attitude.... Should she confront her mom? (Because it would be a confrontation... mom is not about to admit she has a problem!) Or should she just keep quiet and put some space between them.... avoid the calls or answer short and sweet.... ????

My advice was to avoid long conversations and CALL ME when she had info she wanted to share or discuss... GIVE AND TAKE is what real friends do.... :)

What do you think? What would you do if it was your mom acting like this?
 

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My mom is this way. It is pretty sad to me but I call because I am her daughter and she needs to talk. Sometimes, I can tell she is trying to listen, so I make sure I comment about it to her - as in thank her for listening and how much it means to me. My Mom needs to be needed and I guess I don't make her feel needed, so she gets involved with those that are more needy - like a younger sister. Alas! I live 5 hrs away, 4 sisters live withing 25 miles.....
 

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texastami said:
How do you deal with someone (parent) who REFUSES to listen to you when they call you..... Calls and talks when and about what THEY want to talk about, but as soon as you start talking about something that interests you or happened to you, you can hear their tone change, their impatience and suddenly they have to go??
Just start out talking about yourself and refuse to be diverted.
 

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I might approach her in a neutral setting and tell her how it affects me, without placing blame.

Tell your friend to tell her Mom:

"Mom, when we talk, I feel hurt that as soon as the subject switches to me or my children, you aren't listening to me. And I need someone to talk to and to listen. Can you help me with this? I feel that you don't care about me anymore."

DO NOT tell her that she is self-centered and that she talks about herself, Keep it all about you and how you feel.
 

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Dh has a neice who is a drama queen. She calls me almost everyday, I don't always answer because she always has to say how tired she is, signs so loud and long and then goes on to tell me everything she has done. When I start to say something (anything) she suddenly has to go, has a call coming in etc. It's so funny, that now I do it very early in the conversation. The only exception--She loves gossip and will try to 'pick' you for anything she can. She is friends with the lady who does my hair and she does her the same way--while she is trying to work.
 

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You're describing my sister. It took me a long time to figure it out. She was always in crisis, I was always there to listen--I mean long distance several times a week.

Finally she got out of the situation, and I was having some terrible stuff happen (concerning my son). I had already told her about it. I finally realized it when she called me and went on and on for over 30 minutes...I listened...and she never ONCE even inquired about how my son was doing.

After that I finally realized how self-centered she is. There's more, but that's enough.

If I were the girl, I'd just be good to my mother but not expect much from her. Obviously, she's not capable of much more.
 

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Funny you should mention this because my MIL has started doing that in the last year or so, I've noticed.

Today she called and as usual, was telling me all about everything she's been doing, who she's been golfing with, etc. etc. Then she asked how I'd been feeling and I told her "Good!" then added "But DH hasn't been doing so good." She replied "Good to hear... I was thinking of..." I interrupted her and said "Mom, did you hear me?" She said "What?"

So I explained to her that she asked me how I was and after responding, I was trying to tell her that her son wasn't feeling well. OH! Now I got her attn. LOL.

Usually I let things like that pass, but yeah, she's been doing that a lot. If it were my mom or dad doing that, I'd have a talk with them. Another point of view is - if it's a long distance call, she's calling on HER dime. Maybe you should call back immediately after she hangs up and say "Oh I just thought I'd call on MY dime and tell you a little about what's been going on here." LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thought of the long distance thing as well, but its FREE for both of them - so no worries there..... nobody's dime....

She has even gone as far as letting her mother talk the entire call until she is all talked out and then calling back later (thinking she might be tired of being on the phone all in one session) but that was just as bad.... even worse... "I WAS watching a movie" - "I WAS trying to get some laundry done"

Oy! I told DH to gag me if I get so nasty that I can't have a civil conversation of both talking and listening when I get old!! :) He assured me he will "monitor" it for me!! :)
 

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Wildwood Flower said:
You're describing my sister. It took me a long time to figure it out. She was always in crisis, I was always there to listen--I mean long distance several times a week.
I had a "best friend" like that. She always had some drama or another going on and I'd always listen, that's what friends were for.

Then I was going through some heavy, heavy stuff and tried to tell her about it and she interrupted with "I think you should tell a therapist about that". Ex-friend.
 

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Shepherd said:
Funny you should mention this because my MIL has started doing that in the last year or so, I've noticed.

Today she called and as usual, was telling me all about everything she's been doing, who she's been golfing with, etc. etc. Then she asked how I'd been feeling and I told her "Good!" then added "But DH hasn't been doing so good." She replied "Good to hear... I was thinking of..." I interrupted her and said "Mom, did you hear me?" She said "What?"

So I explained to her that she asked me how I was and after responding, I was trying to tell her that her son wasn't feeling well. OH! Now I got her attn. LOL.

Usually I let things like that pass, but yeah, she's been doing that a lot. If it were my mom or dad doing that, I'd have a talk with them. Another point of view is - if it's a long distance call, she's calling on HER dime. Maybe you should call back immediately after she hangs up and say "Oh I just thought I'd call on MY dime and tell you a little about what's been going on here." LOL.
Might also be true for the 50ish OP problem mom; but this lady might have had a ministroke or something to change her personality some...
 

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She could also be suffering from personality disorder, which can happen later in life. If that's the case (and you said she was dealing with depression) then she really should be in therapy..or she might end up being a recluse because she can just not deal effectively with people and they shun her.

I have a sister like this, and I tend to avoid her, because everything is all about her. It doesn't matter what the family says...they are wrong and she is right, and she's very difficult to deal with for everyone.
 
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