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Dealing with difficult parents
This deserves its own guide, although it's a pretty difficult subject to write a guide for. Each family situation is different, so there's no way to write one guide that will work for everyone.
So this will be a collection of everything I've ever found that might be useful in some way. I will try to organize it as best I can, but you're probably going to have to dig around a bit to find what you need.
Are your parents abusive?
A good first step would be to figure out if what they do counts as abuse. So here are some things to help you figure that out...
Physical abuse is usually pretty easy to figure out, but there's another type of abuse that people rarely talk about: emotional abuse.
Emotional Abuse - Introduction to emotional abuse: what it is, types of emotional abuse, etc.
Parent Test - Take this test to figure out if your parents are abusive (it's specifically designed for mothers, but could apply to either gender).
Toxic Parents / Narcissists
A lot of people on the rest of the internet call abusive people 'toxic'. Some of their advice is good too, although it can be really hard to implement a lot of it when you're legally stuck with them and financially dependent on them.
Dealing With Difficult Relatives - A guide to standing up for yourself aimed at adults, but depending on how abusive your parents are, doing some of these things might not be safe. Still worth a read.
Raised by Narcissists - This is a community on Reddit where people talk about the crazy stuff their family members do and say. It's probably worth exploring there to see if your parents match up with any of the narcissist traits or behaviours.
General Emotional Intelligence Info
Knowing more about this will help you deal with people in general.
Invalidation - Invalidation is to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish someone's feelings. It is an attempt to control how they feel and for how long they feel it.
Respect - Real respect is something that is earned. One earns another's respect by voluntarily taking that person's feelings, needs and thoughts into consideration.
Understanding Yourself Better
There are different personality types, and many of them are so different they may actually be incompatible unless they're willing to put in a lot of effort to understand each other.
Here are some tests to help you figure out which type you are:
The above tests are quite different, and often give me different results, but it's still a good starting point for your research.
Information about all the types: (you could possibly use this to guess which types your parents are, and figure out strategies for dealing with them based on that)
- Personality Type Explained
- MBTI functions explained - In-depth information about how all the functions work.
Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) work a little differently than most other people's brains - they tend to be more easily overwhelmed by crowds of people, loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, etc. They notice finer details in things that most people don't. Here's more information about this:
- Are You Highly Sensitive? – The Highly Sensitive Person - A self-test made by Elaine Aron, who has done lots of research on Highly Sensitive People. There's also a lot of other good info on that site.
- Highly Sensitive Person page on EQI.org - Steve from EQI.org (which I've linked to several times already in this post) is most likely a HSP, and this is his page about it.
Adaptation of the story, "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz (Adapted by S Hein) - Most people are 'domesticated' by their parents, teachers, society, culture, religion, etc. This means that they tend to follow the same beliefs of whoever they were brought up by, without really questioning things.