What can I say to make my parents understand the way I am feeling?
Last Updated: 03/05/2018 at 8:32pm
Cynthia Stocker, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
My approach is direct, kind, honest & collaborative. My clients appreciate that I help them in a way that cuts through the jargon and gives clear explanations.
Top Rated Answers
Try asking them to do something specific to an active listening skill, like "can you tell me what you're hearing me say after I finish sharing?" It might help them actually listen and take in better what you're saying, and will help you feel heard more (even if they get it wrong, it helps to see them trying)!
Explain them every single thing you are experiencing right now. Sit down with them, take the time to let them sink everything in. Parents will listen to you, cause deep down they'll love you no matter what. You were born to be loved not hated
Before expecting to be understood, try to understand them as well. Understanding is best when mutual.
You have to think about their point of view. Assuming you know your parents relatively well, think about past talks you have had with them and what you did that made them respond understandingly - a certain way of phrasing something, for example. Try to think of their character and situation and put your feelings into words they can comprehend, while staying as close to the original meaning as possible.
You are a very capable person and you can find a way to show them. What if you try thinking of different scenarios on how to tell them. What does your heart say?
That should probably take more than one conversation with them. You can start by getting comfortable with telling them about you and how you spent your day for every day. Then follows, telling them your deep and personal thoughts.
Tell them to sit down, calmly, and talk this through. Nothing can be solved if there's no communication in it.
Parents, just like all people, are not psychic. I know it seems like they always have been. As a baby they knew when to change your diaper, when to feed you. As you grew up they knew how to cover your scratches and how to do your math homework. But now you are older and more of an adult. Answers no longer come out as easy as if you were a child. Now you have to communicate. It's one thing to have issues bubble up into an argument, but just like any other person telling the other what you think makes them know what you feel. You just have to understand that they may feel different about it.
Write down all your feeling from your perspective, take them out to eat/make them something, and have them read it
Make sure the atmosphere is calm. Words that are shouted are rarely listened to. Sit your parents down and explain to them calmly, in the best way that you can, and answer their questions.
If you have not approached them yet about something you would like to talk about, maybe try writing it down so that you can communicate it clearly to them. Sometimes it is hard to say out loud what we want to say.
Say exactly how you are feeling when you really need to. Getting things out to other people really feels good when you can say it right as you are feeling it.
You can't always make someone understand your emotions and it's important to accept this first. Know that they might not understand, but understand that it is still important to persist and try to keep expressing yourself to them. If your parents truly care for you, they will do their best to at least try and see your perspective, even if they truly can't understand your emotions.
Best is to sit them down and be honest with them. They are your parents and if you be honest with them and explain to them in detail they will understand.
All you can do is be calm, honest, and open-minded. We can't control what other people think, do, or how they react. Stand your ground calmly, and always do what's best for your personal well-being. It's okay to reach out to another adult if your parents aren't emotinally supportive: like a school counselor, therapist, or group support sessions that may meet in your area. You may say something like, "I feel __ when __. I really need ___. I feel that I'm having trouble explaining how I feel the right way, and I might look for some help for that. This is really important to me."
Try to sit them down and let them know that you're doing your best to make sure they understand exactly how you're feeling. I know it seems like parents just don't understand, or can't relate to what we're feeling - but believe it or not, they can. Let them know you are reaching out to them for help - and you need them to understand exactly what you are feeling.
Sit down and talk to them. Try and educate them as much as possible on your feelings. Be open, calm and be ready to answer any questions. If you want them to understand, try and access online videos or books that can help you.
Try writing them a letter. As someone who has always had trouble voicing my feelings, I find it easier to write it out on paper or on my laptop. This way, you are able to mention all the things you are trying to tell them without the fear of being interrupted or stared at and you can always edit later!
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