It’s mom’s job to stop you from making reckless decisions and help you make the right ones. All those lectures, fights, and punishments are necessary in order to raise a decent human being. Sometimes, however, there’s a limit to how much your mom can manage your life. If she’s constantly disapproving of every decision you make, chances are she’s trying to control you. It can, however, be tricky to distinguish if your mom just cares about you or cares too much. This is why it’s important to understand the signs your mom is too controlling.
Although, according to Psych Central, grief or feelings of loneliness could explain a controlling mom's behavior, overly-controlling parents can create lifelong psychological damage on children. In a study from the University College London, which tracked a group of people born in the 1940s for more than 70 years, those who reported their parents intruded on their privacy or encouraged dependence were more likely to score low in surveys of happiness and well-being throughout their lives. In other words, the effects of a controlling mom are real. If you’re unsure whether your mom’s behavior classifies as controlling, read on before her bad habits take a toll on you.
1. She's Overly Critical
Your mom will critique you once in awhile, be it your driving skills or your handwriting. A controlling mom, however, can be critical about everything in her child's life, including major decisions like your choice of career. Although she thinks she's helping her child, it's really making you doubt yourself. When a mom is overly critical, she's really causing her child to develop an harsh inner critic, according to LifeHack.
2. She's Dependent On You
Your mom is only human, and she might need to consult with you once or twice about an issue she's having. In an interview with Bustle, clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow warned that if your mom repeatedly goes to you for help, she may be overstepping boundaries. "Your mom should be able to make decisions about friends, work, life for the most part on her own," he said. "If this is not possible, it may not feel like she is controlling, but she is doing so through her dependence on you."
3. She Has Little Empathy
Some say that tough love instills self-discipline in kids, but too much of it and neglect towards a child's feelings are indications of a controlling mom. What's more, this could lead to further consequences in life. If you don't handle rejection well, for instance, it might stem from your mom's inability to give you enough affection as a child, according to LifeHack.
4. She Has Unreasonable Expectations
It's every mom's dream to see her child succeed in life. A controlling mom, however, sets unrealistic expectations and demands for her own selfish needs, like controlling her child's career path. By diminishing a child's own goals, the child becomes a product of the mom's personal desires, according to Psychology Today.
5. She Controls Your Relationships
Whether it's your friendships or your relationships, a controlling mom always wants a say in your social life. It's fine if mom knows who your friends are or who you're seeing, but stalking your every move on social media to see who you're talking to is a bit much. "Who you hang out with, who you date, should only be your mom's business, if invited," Kaplow said in the aforementioned Bustle article. "Your mom should not automatically be a part of these interactions."
6. She Manipulates You
If your mom guilt trips you on a regular basis, she's probably too controlling. According to Psychology Today, manipulation involves using love as a conditional reward, as opposed to being a natural expression of parenting. Conversely, a controlling mom withholds love as a means of punishment.
7. She Gives You The Silent Treatment
Because controlling moms withhold affection until they get you to do what's told, she's more likely to display passive-aggressive tendencies. She'll use the "silent treatment" as a way to control you, but this can damage any type of relationship, according to LifeHack. Even if your mom is too angry to talk, she shouldn't completely shun her child.
8. She's Over Protective
Part of a mom's responsibility is to bombard her children with texts and calls, all to make sure that they're alive. Although checking up on kids certainly keeps them safe, some moms will push the limit. Clinical psychologist Sarah Schewitz, told Bustle that controlling moms are often on edge about their children's whereabouts. "Being controlling is a way to protect her child from harm and a way to manage her anxiety," she said.