Relationships between mothers and daughters can be some of the best and strongest around. They can also be contentious, fraught, and filled with conflict. This can be especially heartbreaking if you have friends who are very close with their moms, because you see what you and your mom could be. Sometimes, the dysfunctional relationship can come from moms "meddling" in their daughters' lives. The intentions are good, but there might be signs your mom is projecting her issues onto you.
"Moms are predisposed to want more and better for their children," counselor Dr. Dee Ray tells Romper by email. "A mom who has lived through certain experiences is likely to want to be involved or influential in the lives of their daughters approaching the same experiences." It makes sense that your mom would want to make life easier on you by sharing her experiences — and you likely want that too, sometimes — but projection can occur without her even knowing what's happening.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Angela R. Wurtzel agrees, adding that projection can begin before a child is even born, and is often the result of a mother disliking certain characteristics about herself. That doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt if your mom thinks you should be a different size than you are or should change your personality or appearance in ways that just don't feel "you." It's important to recognize, however, that projection is often not really about you as a person — it's about her. There are a lot of different ways that your mom may be projecting her issues and insecurities onto you. If you notice the following signs, it could actually help your relationship.