7 Ways to Cope with Critical Family Members ...

Chelsie

7 Ways to Cope with Critical Family Members ...
7 Ways to Cope with Critical Family Members ...

Unfortunately, every one of us has to deal with at least a couple of critical family members. While they love you, their critical nature can be frustrating and upsetting. If you happen to be the target of their judgment, it may be tempting to become defensive. However, there are much better ways of coping with critical family members than becoming defensive and hostile. The following methods of coping will allow you to maintain your dignity and preserve the peace in the face of someone being critical.

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1

Ignore Them

If you have family members who are being judgmental of your decisions, you can choose to ignore them. You don’t have to respond to their judgments. This method of coping with critical family members works best when you're at large family gatherings and the person being critical is a part of your extended family. While this coping method is situation specific, it's extremely effective because it allows you to have the chance to walk away.

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Maintaining your inner peace is crucial, so consider their critical comments as background noise. Visualize their words losing power and floating away, enabling you to stay focused on the joy of the gathering. Remember, your self-worth doesn't hinge on their approval—it comes from within you. Resilience in such situations builds character and signals your emotional maturity. It's not about winning arguments but about preserving relationships and your own well-being.

2

Stop the Conversation

Since you can’t always ignore critical family members, another good option is to put a stop to the conversation. All you have to do is tell the person being critical that now is not the best time to talk about that particular subject. Then, change the subject right away. This prevents the critical family member from being able to continue a potentially hurtful conversation.

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It's important to be assertive yet polite when implementing this strategy. You might say something like, "I appreciate your concern, but I would prefer to focus on more positive topics right now." Offering an alternative discussion point, such as a recent family event or a shared interest, can smoothly transition the conversation. Remember, you have the right to steer your own conversations, especially if they affect your emotional well-being.

3

Make a Joke

If you happen to be blessed with a great sense of humor, you can always make a joke when a family member is being critical. Personally, this isn't my strong suit, but I have several family members who are quite funny and find this method of coping effective.

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Using humor can diffuse tension and redirect the conversation. It's akin to emotional judo—where you use the critic's momentum to flip the situation on its head. When a family member serves up a critique, consider responding with a light-hearted quip. "Oh, commenting on my cooking? Great! Next week, you’re hosting dinner!" It won't just ease the sting for you; it might also remind your loved ones to be more thoughtful with their words, all while keeping the atmosphere cheerful.

4

Set Aside Time to Talk to Them

If someone is being particularly critical and won’t back down, set aside some time to talk to them privately. Ask them why that particular thing is so important to them and why they are so concerned. You may find out that that the judgment is coming from a place of caring, and they don’t want to see you make a mistake.

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Consider this as an opportunity for open and honest communication. Express your feelings calmly, acknowledging their perspective while also sharing how the criticism affects you. Setting boundaries on what is acceptable to discuss can also be advantageous. Remember to listen actively; this not only helps to defuse tension but also strengthens your relationship. It is possible that through this dialogue, you both will come to a deeper understanding and respect for each other's viewpoints.

5

Stick to Your Beliefs

When family members become critical of your beliefs, it can be very difficult not to get upset. You just need to remember that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. Your family members don’t always have to agree with what you believe in, but you can still stick to your beliefs with confidence.

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Maintaining your inner strength and self-assurance is key. While it's natural to seek approval or understanding from those we love, your self-worth shouldn't hinge on others' acceptance. Expressing your beliefs with respect and openness invites peaceful dialogue and can help bridge gaps in understanding. However, if a middle ground seems unreachable, it's perfectly valid to agree to disagree. Protecting your mental and emotional well-being sometimes means setting boundaries in conversation. Remember, respecting differing opinions doesn't mean you have to dilute or abandon your own.

6

Share Your Feelings

If your feelings are constantly being hurt by a critical family member, you need to tell that person. Tell them that their judgment is very hurtful and share your feelings. In most cases, they will apologize. If they don’t, at least you communicated with them.

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When approaching the conversation, it's crucial to focus on your emotions rather than their behavior. Use "I feel" statements to express yourself without sounding accusatory—for example, "I feel hurt when my opinions are dismissed." Remember, this isn’t about their intent but rather the impact their words have on you. If the situation doesn’t improve, consider setting boundaries. Let them know that certain topics are off-limits or that you'll need to step back from the conversation if it becomes too negative. It's important for your well-being to prioritize a healthy emotional environment.

7

Shrug It off

Shrug something off is easier for some people than it is for others, but if it is possible, you are much better off letting the whole thing go. Your family member’s critical nature and judgments don’t have to affect you. That is their problem, not yours. You just need to have confidence in your decisions.

Critical family members can be difficult to cope with. However, if you use these techniques for coping with critical family members you can hopefully walk away feeling much better than you used to when you were faced with a judgmental member of your family. How do you deal with critical family members?

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Awesome! Had a situation like this recently and most of the time I face this. I think more articles should be made on this one

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