Most people make practical New Year resolutions, like losing weight, taking more exercise, drinking less alcohol or saving more money. Yet only eight percent of people actually keep them.
We at My Horrid Parent would like to propose you take a different line. We suggest you look back over the year at how your horrid parent has behaved, how you have reacted and what you might do another way.
First of all it is important to accept that whatever age and stage of life you have reached, your parent is extremely unlikely to behave differently. So just hoping they will change won’t work.
The second thing is to talk accept that how your horrid parent behaves is not your fault. That nobody’s perfect and that overall you have done your best.
Then itemise the aspects of your horrid parent's behaviour you no longer wish to tolerate. Write down as far as your memory lets you when they were rude,, spiteful, aggressive and demeaning to you and what, if anything, was happening at the time that might have provoked them.
Take a long hard look at what you have written and then write down what if anything you did that helped you and/or defused the nastiness. This could be as simple as listening to soothing music. Tick the item so you know to try it again in 2018. But tell yourself not to be disappointed if it doesn’t work. Horrid parents are often irrational and unpredictable.
Then comes the difficult bit. Note down a couple of things that they do that really upsets you and try to think strategically on how to deal with it. Experiment changing your response when they are rude and see if it works any better. Our Coping pages on www.myhorridparent.com have some suggestions. Also try joining our Forum – reached via the website to see if others in the same situation can make suggestions.
Then make the New Year one when you don’t argue or try to get your own view across, because that won’t work. But be pleased that you have gathered some ways to help you cope. For example if you live at home, work out excuses for you suddenly having to go out. If you are visiting your parents, have ready some ideas that will enable you to leave early.
If you can’t distance yourself physically do so in your mind. There are hints on this on the website too.
Of course do make practical New Year’s Resolutions as well should you want to, but make sure they are realistic and you don’t feel bad about yourself if they don’t work for you.