The mother-daughter relationship is a delicate one that goes through a series of ebbs and flow. Unfortunately, not all dues are able to work their way out of the difficult times and find themselves in a toxic mother-daughter relationship. Knowing you have a more volatile relationship, however, isn't always as obvious at is may seem. It turns out there are some subtle signs that you have a toxic relationship with your mom.
My own mother toes the line between loving and toxic. Some days, she's a doting mom; one who cooks me comfort food when I need a pick me up or listens to me vent about my stresses. Other days, she's a judgmental mom who criticizes my fashion choices or tells me that I've gained weight. Our latest fight came courtesy of some wedding planning and her insisting that I invite people who I do not know. I've often wondered if these type of fights mean we have a less-than healthy relationship. But after looking into it, I've learned this is just typical mother-daughter behavior.
If you're wondering whether or not you might have a toxic relationship with your own mom, take a look at these 13 subtle ways to tell if you and your mom are in an unhealthy mother-daughter relationship.
1. She Is Overly Critical
According to Lifehack, a toxic mother is overly critical of everything you do. All parents criticize from time to time, but toxic moms take it to the extreme by being critical of basically anything their child does.
2. She Is Dismissive
According to Psychology Today a dismissive mom is a toxic mom. This type of mother undercuts her daughter's achievements and attempts to grow closer.
3. She Always Picks Fights
If you and your mother fight regularly, then Reader's Digest noted you may have a toxic relationship with your mother. The constant misunderstandings and bickering can be emotionally exhausting, especially if the fights stem from something she dislikes about you or your life choices.
4. She Demands Your Attention
According to the aforementioned Lifehack article, a toxic parent will often create a parasitic relationship between themselves and their child by constantly demanding their attention at all times. Although it can be seen as bonding, it's actually very harmful since it requires too much of the child's time and energy.
5. She Is Emotionally Unavailable
According to the previously mentioned Psychology Today article, a toxic mother is often emotionally unavailable and withdrawn. They also tend to withhold love from one child while granting it to another. This type of behavior can include no physical contact, not responding to a child's cries or displays of emotion, and literal abandonment.
6. She Makes "Jokes" About You
It's OK for parents to occasionally pick on their children. But the aforementioned Lifehack article noted that, those so-called jokes can become commonplace and cause a problem. When your mom constantly "jokes" about your weight or job troubles, she's using an undermining tactic to make you feel very badly about yourself.
7. She Dismisses Your Negative Feelings
According to Bustle, a toxic mother will often dismiss your negative feelings and make you feel as if you're being a nuisance. This kind of emotional abuse can be very damaging, as Mean Mothers author Peg Streep told to Psychology Today: "Daughters raised by dismissive mothers doubt the validity of their own emotional needs," she said in the previously mentioned article. "They feel unworthy of attention and experience deep, gut-wrenching self-doubt, all the while feeling intense longing for love and validation."
8. She Reverses Roles
Another sign of a toxic mom is one who takes on the role of child, according to Psychology Today. In this scenario, the daughter, even at a young age, has become the caretaker, the helper, or even the "mother" to her own mom.
9. She Is Constantly Dramatic
According to the previously mentioned Reader's Digest article, toxic moms like this engage in high theatrics such as screaming, accusations, hands, and words flying. There may not be any physical abuse but contemptuous or hateful words are not uncommon.
10. She Makes You Responsible For Her Happiness
According to the previously mentioned Bustle article, a toxic mom will often make you feel responsible for her own happiness. She might speak about all of the things that she sacrificed in other to raise you and, in turn, ask you to make certain sacrifices to keep her happy. If you don't comply to her demands, she could explode into a rage.
11. She Uses Guilt And Money To Control You
According to the aforementioned Lifehack article, toxic parents resort to using guilt and money to control your actions. A certain level of guilt may be totally normal, but by giving you expensive gifts and then expecting something in return, your mom is engaging in a toxic relationship with you.
12. She Ignores Healthy Boundaries
You might attempt to set some healthy boundaries with your mother, but she isn't having it. According to the previously mentioned Lifehack article, that is because toxic moms ignore healthy boundaries. This might include snooping on their kids in order to keep them "safe."
13. She Won't Let You To Stand Up For Yourself
According to the aforementioned Bustle article, toxic moms won't allow their children to stand up for themselves. This means being even harsher to you when you try to argue with her about her cruel comments or treating you badly whenever you try to distance yourself from her toxic habits.