How to Make Your Overbearing Parents Respect Your Independence

    August 19, 2013 at 2:08 am

    This one’s a real bitch, both literally and figuratively. Fuck off, mom. I’ll do what I want! Seriously though; there comes a time when you need to spread your sheltered little wings and fly at least a short distance away from your overbearing parents, who love you very much but are ultimately flawed human beings who make mistakes and overstep their boundaries just like every other person on this planet. So how can you deal with that, gain the independence and respect you need to stay sane, and avoid getting cut out of the will?

    Set some boundaries.
    You have to figure out a reasonable line to draw between you and your parents. You probably don’t want to hurt mom’s feelings or make her feel unwanted by telling her not to call you 20 times a day, but it’s okay to let her know that you can’t always answer the phone because you have other obligations in your life that won’t allow you to spend four hours talking about when you’re coming home and why you’ll be 20 minutes late and yes everything is okay I promise and no you’re not out drinking and yes you put gas in the car Jesus Christ would you stop already?

    Stick to said boundaries.
    This is the hardest part of the boundaries thing, mostly for your parents but consequently for you due to how much infuriatingly annoying bullshit you’re going to have to put up with after they begin to have frequent meltdowns at your attempted distancing.

    Not only is it important to remain rigid and resilient when it comes to the new rules you’ve set in motion, but it’s even more important to remain calm. When your mother is desperately trying to break your door down with a vacuum cleaner because you took too long to answer a casual text about how your day was going, calmly tell her that you don’t want to speak to her when she’s so angry and will gladly call her in a few hours once things have calmed down. All the screaming and crying will die down and she will eventually relent once she realizes that you’re serious and seriously not going to open the door for her crazy ass. And yes, that is a real thing that happened to me.

    When your parents are threatening to call the police because you haven’t called them back in four whole hours even though they are 100% aware that you’re working at your part-time job that day, send them a calm text message politely telling them that you are busy and will call them back before the day is out.

    It’s also important for you to explain that it should be considered normal for a delayed response unless there was an urgent matter or emergency at hand, and especially imperative to reiterate that you love them and care about them very much. However, you are an adult now and adults need to do adult things like jerk off to porn for six hours straight and then pass out reading Blood Meridian at three in the afternoon. Basically, explain why your boundaries are what they are, even if you have to do it multiple times and feel like you are talking to a wall. A wall that needs you to repeat things. A lot.

    Courtney's parents weren't overbearing enough.

    Move the fuck out.
    This is essential. It is going to be extremely hard for you to gain independence from your parents with a bunch of gloating “Not in My House/My Castle, My Rules” bullshit hanging over your head. It is up to you to make yourself independent, so begin by making yourself move into an apartment where you can live by your own rules without having to engage in a daily power struggle over menial bullshit like whether or not you have the right to close your door when there’s a girl/boy in your room or having to take out the trash right this fucking second because I asked you to because this is my house and as long as you’re living in it you’ll follow my rules and my rules are take out the garbage right goddamn now!

    Have a conversation with them about it.
    If you can’t move out, expect the inability to escape from certain rules. You can, however, sit your parents down and try to respectfully explain why you think you deserve a little more leniency. Even if you don’t live at home, it is still important to engage your parents in the “I’m a grownup now although I love you both, please fuck off a little bit” discussion. Because if you just suddenly make a bunch of changes without saying anything about it, they might think you hate them and cut you out of the will.

    Before you talk to them, ask yourself:
    – For those still living at home: have you been doing everything you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing for at least two months prior to this planned discussion? I.e. completing any and all chores you are assigned in a timely manner and without having to be reminded, following all if not most rules you are given even if you find them unfair, and cleaning up after yourself at all times.

    – Do you know what you’re going to say? You should probably figure it out beforehand so that you don’t look like the child that you still are.

    – Are you calm? You better be. Getting upset or angry is exactly what you need to not do; leave the melodramatic freak-outs to your parents. Staying calm in the face of this will only make you look rational and mature. More points for you. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get your point across when you are being calm and kind; so really, calmness and kindness are selfish actions in this case, and the benefits are endless. Suck it up.

    Remember that your overbearing parents, being the unreasonable lunatics that they are, are not going to like what you have to say. They will accuse you of abandoning them, of not loving them, of being a total dick, and a bunch of other frustrating things that will make you physically ill to hear. This is just their way of saying “I’m sad that you’re growing up and I don’t want it to happen.” Don’t take it personally and stand your ground throughout the storm of erratic lunacy and mind-boggling craziness and you will come out a billion times better for it. Once they realize that you mean business and are a competent adult, they’ll back off. But you have to wade through the Swamp of Sadness to get to the princess, or whatever, Artax.

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