Why family criticizes everything you do as a caregiver
Caring for your parent or spouse is hard. It’s even harder when family or friends feel free to criticize you. Especially when it’s coming from people who aren’t even helping!
Why are they saying these negative things to you? Understanding what’s driving these comments can help you deal with them, take the edge off your anger, and bring down your stress level.
Avoid fights with better understanding
It may sound crazy to try to figure out why someone is being critical of you, but taking a step back and understanding their motivation can help you see their comments more objectively.
It’s never OK for someone to talk to you in a disrespectful or mean way, but if they’re struggling with denial or clumsily trying to help, you might choose to handle their remarks in a different way.
The real goal is to reduce stress and keep your blood pressure from spiking. Not getting sucked into a fight and keeping those comments from getting stuck in your head goes a long way to improving your health and well-being.
3 reasons for caregiver criticism
1. They have their own issues and are taking them out on you.
That mean comment may have nothing to do with you! When some people feel badly about themselves, they take it out on other people. They feel “less than” so as a defense mechanism, they put you down to make themselves feel better.
They might be lashing out because they feel:
- Threatened because you’re doing a fantastic job caring for mom.
- Guilty for not participating in dad’s care.
- Insecure or hurt because you (spouse) are needed and wanted and they (adult child) aren’t.
- Jealous because you’re now the favorite person.
- Greedy. If they want your mom’s money, they might be worried that you’re going to get it because you’re caring and dedicated and they’re not.
2. They can’t cope with what’s happening.
Other people have a hard time dealing with illness or change. If your parent or spouse needs a lot of help, it’s probably because their health has gotten worse.
These type of critics might say mean things because they’re scared or in denial. Your caregiving actions are making the reality of the situation very clear, but since they can’t cope with what’s happening, they resort to inappropriate comments.
3. They’re trying to help, but communicate poorly.
In some cases, someone may be trying to make a helpful suggestion, but it’s coming across as a criticism. Even though they’re not expressing themselves clearly (or tactfully), their intentions are actually good and their comment could actually be useful.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Moving Solutions