Do We Become More Negative with Age?
My mom has always been negative. She’s always been a victim. So why does it bother me so much now? Is it getting worse, or am I just growing weary of it? Hard to know…
I find that it doesn’t matter what I say to her. She finds a way to give it a negative spin. Last week we invited a young couple to lunch. They are our son’s age—late 20s—and he was one of my writing students. His parents recently died, so we invited them for lunch. I mentioned it to Mom. Her response: “Why would they want to have lunch with you? You’re too old.” Excuse me! I get along just fine with young people. We had a lovely time. But it stung to think that Moms first response was critical.
I could go on and on, but then I’d be negative too. Just once I’d love for my mom to delight with me. To rejoice with me. To celebrate me and what I do. I guess the good news is that her attitude has caused me to work extra hard a being positive with my son and DIL. When they come, we celebrate them. When we talk on the phone, I encourage them even when I know I’d have done it differently. I want them to know I’m on their side, no matter what.
So what do you do with a negative parent? And how do we avoid becoming one? I’ve tried correcting, cajoling, and countering Mom. She just gets upset. So now I just ignore here and move on. And meanwhile, I remember that I’m becoming the old woman I will be. So I’m developing an attitude of gratitude and a positive mindset. What do you do?
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