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Ma, let?s talk out our differences

The most treasured mother-daughter bond can come to a breaking point if it is not resolved immediately.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2007 15:08 IST
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She is the first person to come into your life — literally. She nurtures you, teaches you the first words, holds your hand as you falteringly take your first steps, and gives you wings when your ready to fly.

The word mother instantly brings to mind feelings of unconditional love. Of course, the levels vary from person to person. And then as one grows up, the equation changes for some.

The first treasured relation can be pushed to a breaking point when small disagreements escalate to larger conflicts.

Here are some tips on how to bridge the gap:

Acknowledge her Don’t be judgemental about your mother’s perspective. Instead, try to understand her more. Take time to think about your mother’s experiences and why she may disagree with you on certain issues.

This includes listening. Everyone wants to be heard, but it’s good to listen to your mother for a change. Remember how she used to patiently listen to you babbling about your friends at school and colleges?

Just a nod or a smile is enough for her. Or phrases like, ‘I hear what you’re saying’ or ‘I guess that you’re feeling pretty upset about this’ are enough to comfort her.

Empathise with her Recognising her stance, even if you don’t agree with it, will mean that you are making some efforts for her. By saying, “I can see that this is really important to you” will make her feel wanted. Use ‘and’, not ‘but’ If you have an argument, which you will, use the ‘and’ word, not ‘but’.

For example: “And, Mom, I have a different perspective on…” This will neutralise the argument. Your mother will respond to your choice of words right away.

The right way to argue 

Timing is important. A lot of times, we’re so upset that we feel we have to deal with the situation right then. This leads to bitter war of words, and a greater regret later.

Visualise a positive outcome. Don’t imagine that your mother will lose her temper on a particular issue. Visualising a positive outcome may lead to a fulfilling discussion with your mother.

Be willing to disagree. It’s as simple as saying, “Mom, we just may not agree on this, and that’s okay.”

Tone is important. We often think we have the right words, but don’t have the right tone. Use a curious tone instead of a blaming or defensive one. Changing the way you communicate takes time.