View Full Version : I need help to save my relation w my old man


Gilthranon
07-13-16, 02:22 PM
How do I deal with someone who is 75% of the time in their own world ? I can't believe I'm finally writing this thread, but it's time to face facts and be rational.

A close friend of mine was talking about it and as much as I think that wasn't her place, this particular family member is making relations so hard over the years I, despite liking them, prefer not to be around. I just don't know what to expect anymore.

An extremely smart man, high in empathy, human encyclopedia, definitively role model and was/is a good father, and in four years will go in retirement, but I want to save this relation before I actually take distance. Very hard to approach. I can just take distance and only approach when I know he's relaxed but I hate having to run from my own father, my hero (well... you know). It's ridiculous. But I'm too sensi(tive right ?) and he can easily stress me, him being on his highway.

To give an indication - Calculus from Tintin



I hate complaining and can't believe I'm writing this. But I search my feelings and I think suggestions are helpful. The day after tomorrow he leaves for two weeks and I hate looking so much forward to that. I'm prone to social anxiety and, all reasons and facts and excuses aside, it doesn't make it better.

Fuzzy12
07-13-16, 02:24 PM
What exactly is it that bothers you about him? Is he short tempered and therefore give a you anxiety when he's at home or the feeling of having to walk on egg shells because you never know when he might lose his temper? Or something else?

Gilthranon
07-13-16, 02:35 PM
Hmmm yeah, but it's unpredictable when and not. He goes so much his own way. Interrupting, focusing on his thing, some things very upset him (taboo level) and often doesn't want to hear a bad word about his idols. Talk to him when he's working and he is tense. His place on the table, his rules, feeling can't stay up later than parents for he has to close the house... Apologizing isn't easy for him and certain things in the past he said to me really stuck with me. Once asked me to not talk to his friends for he wants the evening with them. Can't play on his piano anymore despite having done it for years.

Of course I'm only giving the negative now so it seems worse. He will always be my father whatever we have to face of crouse.

Little Missy
07-13-16, 02:58 PM
Be open yet quiet and patient.

Gilthranon
07-13-16, 03:08 PM
My anxiety intervenes. I wish I could.

Fuzzy12
07-13-16, 03:52 PM
It sounds difficult. I hate hate hate having to deal with unpredictable people. It really ramps up my anxiety sky high.

The only thing I can recommend is to try to ignore it when he's being unreasonable and can't be reasoned with. I don't know. I'm terrible at family relations.

Gilthranon
07-13-16, 04:08 PM
It's fking difficult. I suppose so, thnx for the advice anyway

However, and this is difficult part, I'm going to have to ask this friend of mine to not talk about my family members in ways that are displeasing. Even though I know how well they mean it. It's private and not dinner table conversation. Feels good to vent but if she has something to notice about him she should be more careful to not let outsiders in on discussions that don't concern them and might be subtle for me or others. I'm bits angry now.

Should I let it go or subtly ask her friendly to next time keep it between her and me ? She's neighbor's mother and knows us since thirteen years.

Fuzzy12
07-13-16, 04:20 PM
I don't like anyone trashing my parents. Though I complain a lot no one else has got the right. It's definitely not dinner table conversation. I'd gently tell her that's it's not fair and you don't like it.

Gilthranon
07-13-16, 04:25 PM
Yeah, tomorrow I will tell her. oh god oh god ho god I hate this. i suck as this. this is exactly the sort of confrontations that i'm terrible at ughhh good thing she's very much of a hippie pleassse let it not go wrong. Ok I'll have to be really easy about it. i'll say 'hey E thnx for the amazing dinner but the discussion about my father with everyone made me a bit uneasy. If you feel like talking about it we can do it between 4 eyes, I'm very open, but it's a bit personal to me so I prefer to keep it so, hope you understand, right ?'

or 'Hey yesterday's dinner was really nice, thnx again. By the way I was thinking about the discussion about my father we had and I would prefer to keep it private next time. I'm sorry about that but it's kind of a personal thing'

KarmanMonkey
07-14-16, 10:48 AM
There's a principle I try to adhere to:

Praise publicly, criticise privately.

With your friend, the best strategy I'd have would be: "I know you have strong feelings about my family, and we can work together to see if there are ways of changing the situation. In the meantime, I feel being publicly critical of my family is disrespectful of me, and do nothing to improve the situation. Try to keep your criticisms private."

With your dad I'm thinking it's about getting emotional distance. Learning to listen to him with a certain amount of detachment. There are some tricks to this, including changes to your posture when you're with him, but mostly it's about changing your internal dialogue when you hear him.

Gilthranon
07-15-16, 04:02 AM
Yeah I can do that. Great help Monkeyboy (yeah I tend to do that sorry)!

I have experience with emotional detachment, but either yesterday went great and we hugged.

On the subject of telling my neighbor, considering the mutual amount of trust, no surprise when I got to the home and talked to her son (good friend of mine but should've talked to her though) I simply said 'it made me uneasy though I know you mean well' then he apologized and said it was just for jokes. I then thought though, yeah but to me it wasn't that funny so repeated 'I know but it made me uneasy nonetheless' and he said they wouldn't talk about it again.

So simple. Still wandering if I should also tell her, considering it's the second time she's opening the topic.

KarmanMonkey
07-15-16, 08:50 AM
I like how you handled it; you focused on how he made you feel, rather than making statements about his intentions.

When you say it like "When you say X, I feel Y" it's hard to argue with. It's not passing judgement on the person for saying X; it just talks about the effect it has on you. It's an important distinction, but saying "When you say X, you MAKE me feel Y" it suddenly goes from a fact to a judgement.

As for talking to his mom, it sounds like she's wanting to talk about the subject, so you can either bring it up with her directly, or wait until the next time it comes up in conversation. Most people are pretty decent folk as long as they're not put on the defensive.

Gilthranon
07-20-16, 07:45 AM
I like how you handled it; you focused on how he made you feel, rather than making statements about his intentions.

When you say it like "When you say X, I feel Y" it's hard to argue with. It's not passing judgement on the person for saying X; it just talks about the effect it has on you. It's an important distinction, but saying "When you say X, you MAKE me feel Y" it suddenly goes from a fact to a judgement.

As for talking to his mom, it sounds like she's wanting to talk about the subject, so you can either bring it up with her directly, or wait until the next time it comes up in conversation. Most people are pretty decent folk as long as they're not put on the defensive.
Amazing help ! Was I out of line with the nickname I used ?

KarmanMonkey
07-21-16, 11:23 AM
Amazing help ! Was I out of line with the nickname I used ?

Didn't even notice at first, so it's fine. You did get the gender correct; not that I'd care much if you hadn't. :)