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How do I deal with the pressure my parents put on me to be who they want vs. who I am?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 04/06/2020 at 7:36pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
March 22nd, 2015 2:42am
Life's not fair; no doubt you know that already, so expecting to get your way all of the time is unrealistic. When you parents pressure you, they do so because they are passionate about You . Show your parents that you understand at least some of their passion by being willing to compromise. Try to find a middle ground into what you'd like, and what they would like. Showing you understand them will make them want to understand you.
February 1st, 2016 11:57pm
coming from an asian background and always having this in the back of my mind growing up, definitely put a lot of pressure on me. all in all, i take care of myself first. without my happiness, and my piece of mind, i wouldnt be able to have a clear mind to communicate to my parents about compromising, or ultimately following my own dreams.
January 14th, 2015 6:49pm
That kind of pressure, especially if it begins at an early age, can be tough to deal with. Children and teenagers naturally want to please their parents, and receive positive rewards and feedback when they do. Conversely, when they resist the pressure parents place upon them to act or be a certain way they may receive negative consequences such as anger, or parental disapproval, and that often makes resisting this pressure very difficult. When you find it difficult to be who you truly are it can be very helpful to tell yourself that no matter how hard it is for you now to resist the pressure from your parents, it will be even harder living a life that is not satisfying or fulfilling because you have accepted the one your parents have chosen for you and not the life you would have chosen for yourself. If your parents truly love you, they may not be willing or able to admit it, but in the long run they will be thrilled to see you living the life that is right for you!
May 23rd, 2015 6:52pm
you need to tell your parents how you feel they put pressures on us because they want us to succeed so they do whatever it takes. tell them that you love them but that's their dream not yours
May 2nd, 2017 6:58pm
It can be really difficult when your parents expect something of you, regardless of whether you want it or not. They most likely have your best interests at heart but sometimes they don't express it that well. Be clear with them who you are and what you want, and be consistent. If you have say a job in mind, or a life path, share your plan with them. This will let them know that you are serious and have thought this through. It may also help to explain to them how you're feeling, and that the pressure they're putting you under is hard to deal with. Most importantly, always be yourself, even when it is difficult. You are amazing exactly the way you are, and your parents will come to realise that sooner or later.
June 29th, 2015 3:59am
Treat your parents with respect, and never be close-minded to their ideas, but adopt a sense of mature independence that shows them that you're confident in who you want to be, and this will send signals that not only are you able to handle your own choices with your life, but you're happier living as who you want to be.
July 26th, 2016 5:42pm
Stay true to yourself and overtime they'll accept you. No matter how hard it may be, always remember you are perfect the way you are.
August 4th, 2015 2:42pm
Talk openly with your parents. Tell them that you feel pressurised. i am sure they will go easy on you
October 25th, 2016 6:18pm
I deal with the pressure by trying to explain to them that I might have different views and priorities from what they might expect me to have.
April 1st, 2015 4:16am
Finding a happy medium is important. Listening to your parents may be helpful but as an adult you must be true to yourself.
April 10th, 2015 1:45am
It's always a hard one to determine how to draw the line between yourself and who others want you to be! It may seem like a headache, but with a little time and a little chatting with them(if they're the kind of people you can talk to), I'm sure it can be worked out. I used to have some preconceived notions about what my parents wanted me to do and I did my best to do them. But it always flopped and it sucked because then I felt like a horrible failure. My point is, sometimes parents aren't the best at communicating what they want for their children. Sometimes they're too pushy and don't realize that you're growing up and going to be an adult with real thoughts and feelings like any other person living. Talk with them if you can. If you can't, try to keep a journal. Writing down how you feel about the frustrations it causes you is a good way to get feelings out and it helps you be mentally clear later. Find friends to vent with and always make the decision to just be your best self. Good luck!
May 17th, 2015 4:51am
Open a dialogue that takes as a bridge between who they want you to be and who you are. Open up to them. Allow your parents to understand you. But also understand them. Both of you need to feel heard. You need to reassure them and make them feel included and heard just as much as you need to feel accepted.
September 22nd, 2015 3:17pm
Be who you want to be but have a speech in mind if your parents complain and make a compelling argument.
March 21st, 2016 4:34am
At the end whatever decision u make, u will be the one that will have to live with it. So it is good that you can explain to your parents that the choices that you make will be the choices you have to live it when they are not around.
May 17th, 2016 7:26pm
Stand for your life or follow the followers, your life is yours not them, You have to choose who you are because at the end they will not care about what you feel and your parents will leave you one day with their choices and your pain. You have to choose for yourself and never let others choose for you.
July 11th, 2016 10:25pm
I have found the best way to deal with this is calm, open discussions with your parents. It is never good to approach this as if you are blaming them for doing something wrong. It also helps to be patient. Your parents are trying to do the best they can for you.
October 24th, 2016 1:42am
Always be true to yourself. Don't do things or not just to make others happy, even if it's your parents. Because you will become miserable and unhappy... and it will be hard to find your true self again.
October 25th, 2016 5:24am
Gratefully, all of society's rules are made up. The only rules are the ones you set for yourself. The optinos are limitless, which is beautiful and frightening! Your parents are being good-intentioned, but not supportive to your personal well-being. Remain calm, open-minded and honest during conversations like these with your parents (and all others). Explain to them, "I appreciate what you are trying to set forward for me, but I'd like to find my own way, follow what I think is best for my well-being, make my own mistakes, and know that I can count on you for advise along the way." Try to think of ways you would be agreeable to your parents being involved, like maybe if you would be agreeable to them limiting where you go to college, or similar. If they are being head-strong and not open to negotation, well, there isn't much you can do but follow your own dreams respectfully. We cannot control what other people think, do, or how they react, and often others good-intentions are not in our best interest.
June 12th, 2017 5:46pm
You may feel like you want to please your parents, and even feel pressured into being someone you`re not. Your parents should love you for who you are, and more often than not, they just want the best for you. Stand up for what you believe it, keep hold of who you are, as being who we truly are is one of the bravest things we can ever do.
July 25th, 2017 9:06pm
I deal with the pressure my parents put on me by taking time out of my day to have some mindful meditation - I try not to focus on what they say for too long. I'd rather follow my own path than the one they want to shape for me. They sometimes accept it, other times its not about acceptance its just basic understanding. Talking definitely helps, or they wouldn't know how I felt.
December 5th, 2017 4:41pm
It sounds like you are overwhelmed not having your parents on your side. What do you think your parents will say when you talk to them about how you really feel?
April 6th, 2020 7:36pm
This is a problem that a lot of individuals face and I would like you to know that you are not alone in this fight. It is frustrating when your parents expect something of you and you have some other expectations for your life. The first thing to do is have an open and honest conversation with your parents. A lot of times we assume that our parents know what we want. One should remember that they should be able to advocate what they want. They should be able to give compelling answers to why they want to do what they want to do. It is natural for parents to be worried about their child's future and your parents might have reasons as to why they want you to pursue a certain field. Open communication is key.