update: my mother keeps telling me I won’t get the jobs I interview for

Remember the reader whose mother kept telling her that she wouldn’t possibly get any of the jobs she interviewed for? They live together, which made the situation harder. Here’s her update.

When I wrote to you originally, I was at a point where I was really feeling defeated. You weren’t the first person to tell me to stop talking to my mother about interviews and my job search at large.

Prior to your posting my question, I knew I was going to limit what I told my mother about the interview I had that day. And when I got home, although my mom started off by asking how it went, it quickly segued into, “Why do you keep going after these jobs that are so far out of reach?” I said, “I don’t think that’s a fair assessment.” She said I was taking it too personally, and I explained that this is the way her statements are coming off. We ended the discussion soon after that.

While I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, it was truly one of the best interviews I’ve had in a long time – if not ever. I left the interview feeling excited, that I could do the job and do it well and that it would have been a good fit. It really provided the confidence boost I needed. I can take that positive experience with me, as I continue to interview for the foreseeable future. I truly believe that I’m on the right track as far as my job search goes. I’m continuing to get interviews (and now that I’m a regular reader and have gone through some of your older posts), and I’ve seen you mention in the past that when you stop getting interviews it’s time to make changes.

Over the last month, I’ve really tried to take your and the readers’ comments to heart and tried to put your advice into action. I had an interview recently and it happened to fall on a holiday. I tried to claim I was off because of the holiday, but it didn’t work very well. I didn’t tell her where I was interviewing and didn’t really provide any details until I came back. I provided as few details as I could, when pressed. I thought this was the best course of action.

Unfortunately, I just found myself in another discussion with my mother about my job search. Clearly, my efforts to deflect are not going as well as I thought. She feels that I should start looking outside “the box” and not just look at colleges – look at hospitals, banks, residential facilities/psych wards. She feels the competition for administrative positions in higher ed is too high and I just don’t have enough concrete experience to result in a job offer. I know competition is high, especially for administrative positions. And I understand what she’s saying, that I shouldn’t only apply to one type of job, which I can attest to that I’m not. But her suggestion that I apply for things so far outside the box, like a psych ward, isn’t likely to serve me well or get me where I ultimately want to go. They’re more likely to pigeonhole me in a whole new way.

At this point, I’ve come to realization that I may just have to listen to her (though not act on her advice), and let her say what she needs to say.

{ 65 comments… read them below }

  1. fposte*

    I think you make the call that works for you. But I also think even when she comments, whether you end up in a discussion or not is completely your choice, and that a “Thanks for the thought, Mom/I’ll think about that, Mom” rather than engaging with her premise may allow you to find things less depleting.

    Sounds like the interviewing is going pretty well, so it’s just a matter of time and fit until you get what you want. Good luck!

    1. Kit M.*

      Yes, exactly, re: not engaging with the premise. Don’t think about what she’s saying, don’t formulate responses that address her points. It’s smile-and-nod time. Another good phrase: “I never thought about it that way.”

      1. Jessa*

        This is where the bean dip works very well, “thanks, Mom, I’ll take that under advisement, what’s for dinner?”

    2. Rana*

      Yes. The script “Thank you, I’ll think about what you say” is a great one because it’s absolutely true. You’ll think about what she says… there’s no promise there at all to act on it.

    3. Bea W*

      When my dad starts spouting off I just sit quietly and wait for it to pass. It’s better if a sibling is in the room and we can exchange pained looks.

  2. Meg*

    I’m so sorry you aren’t getting the support you deserve at home. It sounds like you’re not taking her pessimism to heart though, and are doing the best you can in this situation. Good luck, and I hope you find something!

  3. Just a Thought*

    Now that I am a parent, I can see how sometimes parents make comments or give advise thinking they are helping you. My dad does this to my sister in a way. He tries to help but his words are harsh and do more damage than good; yet he doesn’t realize it.

    Maybe she means well but you’re best off keeping your search to yourself.

  4. Shelley*

    I sympathize–parents really aren’t the best source for job advice a lot of the time. I think a lot of parents just want to feel helpful, and telling them that they’re NOT…will be poorly received. I’ve finally learned to “uh-huh, thanks” my way through her advice and just not take any of it.

    (e.g. my mom wants me to make “jokes” to my bosses about getting raises at every “opportune” moment, and can’t understand why that it’s passive-aggressive because it’s a “joke”. Sigh…)

  5. VictoriaHR*

    “Mom, the things you say about my job search really drag me down and put me in a negative mindset. I need to be positive about this. Please – I am doing the right things and it takes time to get a good job. I need you to leave me alone about it.”

    Repeat ad nauseum.

    1. Bea W*

      “Mom, I’m not discussing this with you.” Physically remove yourself from the room if you have to.

        1. VictoriaHR*

          I disagree. She’s going to be all like, “But why? Why? WHYWHYWHYWHY.” OP needs to tell her why and then leave the room and not discuss it further.

          1. Bea W*

            You only need to tell someone why once. After that, you’re under no obligation to keep repeating yourself over and over and over again. It just opens the door to getting sucked in to the discussion. It ends up being no different than having to tell a begging child who won’t take “No” for an answer, that the issue no longer up for discussion, end of story. Prolonging the conversation just makes things worse.

            When the other person is being emotionally manipulative or keeps repeating the same thing over and over and over again, despite giving reason after reason after reason, it’s time to start cutting it short. Otherwise, you are likely to get worn down into the ground by the WHYWHYWHYWHY until you capitulate and have the discussion you said you would not have. This only teaches the other person that if they whine and poke at you long enough that they will eventually get their way. The best way to avoid that is to stop giving it any room to happen.

  6. Anonymous*

    I am glad things are going better for you. It is difficult to transition to adulthood while still living at home (if you don’t, my apologies, that is how I read your follow-up). I think you are right that you will probably at least have to listen to your mom for the time being, but do listen to yourself first, and plan your escape to your own place as soon as you can!

  7. TBoT*

    I had a similar situation with my father when I got out of college. I was looking for writing or editing jobs, and as the months dragged on he started pushing for me to apply for things like customer service positions. I eventually relented and wound up with my first full-time job in an administrative support role in the sales department at an HMO. It was a terribly negative work environment, and my job mostly involved copying information from one form onto another form, copying contracts, and mailing things. I was miserable, and five months later I got offered a job as a copywriter.

    That job wasn’t all sunshine and flowers, either, but it was in my field, and I still would have found and gotten it if I hadn’t made that five-month detour into standing next to a photocopier all day. (And, if I’d waited, I wouldn’t have wound up with a job in my work history where I only stayed for five months.)

    1. Lynn*

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the 5-month gig. Hasn’t Alison given past advice about leaving unnecessary positions, especially such brief, irrelevant ones, off of your resume?

      Congrats on the job in your field!

    2. LizNYC*

      Plus, I think you can leave that job off if it was your first FT one and esp. if an interviewer wouldn’t question a gap otherwise. You can always say in an interview that you were working during that period after college, but in an unrelated area. I think most interviewers would understand, given the tough job market today.

    3. Anon*

      Eh – but you did get 5 months of pay. That’s a big deal imo. I have a friend who has been jobless for years because he hasn’t been willing to do customer service and can’t even get an entry level job in his field. Now he’s finally relented and is trying to get a customer service job, but he’s been unemployed for soooo long that no one will hire him.

      What if it had taken you a year or two or three to find that new job? Who would have supported you during that time…?

      1. Anonymous*


        Not to sounds rude or condescending, but that was my thought too. Who would’ve supported you during that time if you hadn’t held that job for 5 months?

      2. Jamie*

        Eh – but you did get 5 months of pay.

        This. Sure it’s great when a job is in your field and aligned with your goals, but sometimes it’s just money and that’s okay, too.

        I have kids in food service and retail while they are in college and they aren’t standing at the copier – they are standing at a cash register …but they aren’t hitting me up for money so I am all in favor of working just for the money.

  8. Ruffingit*

    It’s OK to make a concrete statement such as “Mom, I’ve heard your advice and suggestions. I appreciate that you care, but my job hunt is no longer up for discussion. Please respect that.” Repeat ad naseum as she continues to try to drag you into it (because she will). You don’t have to engage her or listen to her. It’s OK to tell her it’s no longer up for discussion, not provide details of what you’re doing when you’re interviewing and leaving the room if she tries to talk to you about it. You’re not at her mercy here, as much as it might feel like you are. Setting those boundaries is HARD (I’ve had to do it with a parent so I know this from experience), but worth it for your sanity.

    1. Jaimie*

      Totally agree. You are more in control than you think.

      The best bet is to stop hiding what you are doing, that’s going to make you crazy. But either ignore her advice or just don’t engage. Firm but polite “thanks for the advice.” Then distract “What’s for dinner? Wasn’t it beautiful out today.”

      1. Meg*

        This is what I have to do. Let her say her piece, and instead of continuing the discussion, I’m like, “Okay, thanks Mom. [New subject].”

  9. A Teacher*

    I started to use the “it is my life and I’m not asking for permission or comment” with my sister and my parents. I live on my own now but every once in awhile my sister will try to dictate or “fix” something for me and I have to revert to the “I appreciate what you are trying to do but it is my life and I can handle it.” It took some time for my family to get used to me saying it as I didn’t say it rudely but they weren’t used to me having a backbone–I guess I’m saying if I can do it, I know you can. Hang in there OP and good luck!

  10. Cadie*

    I once heard something that really resonated with me and was relevant to the discussions I often I had with my mom: “Parents don’t want what’s BEST for you, but rather what’s SAFEST for you.” Obviously this doesn’t apply to all parents, but for mine it’s certainly true – my mom has always discouraged me from doing anything that, from her perspective, was “risky” (like moving to another state, good god!), even if it was something I was excited and confident about. I find I can ignore her hedging/negative-perspective comments when I realize it’s coming from her own worries/insecurities about keeping me in a bubble vs. any “inadequacies” of my own.

    1. Jamie*

      OMG that is awesome, and in my case, true.

      I’m going to keep this in mind when I clench whenever my kids need to venture off the safest route.

      But safe is so…safe…I love safe. I know they need more…but they just need to do it safely.

    2. Jen*

      I love that – very true in my case. I moved away from home (many states away) for my first job and I had brief periods of homesickness where I’d call home crying. BUT in the long run, it was the absolute best thing for me and I gained a lot of good experience and I really learned how to be independant. If you ask my parents, that was the worst thing. My brother said that my dad still talks about what a huge mistake it was for me to move away because I was so upset for so long – which is a complete exaggeration.

    3. PJ*

      Oh, this explains so much… like why my folks couldn’t understand why I was ending a marriage that was misereable for both of us. “Well, he doesn’t beat you or gamble away the rent money, does he? So why?”

      It’s wonderful to be so thoroughly loved, but…

    4. Anonymous*

      I moved from a small town to Hollywood (yeah, that one) on a whim after grad school. It was awesome, I got a slew of temp jobs, worked for Mr. Max Factor (yup he was real!), at Disney Studios, at Lawry Spices (can’t stand cumin to this day), etc. Then I got a job going to the beach to check the water. Really.

      1. Anonymous*

        …and none were even close to my field or my passion or whatever, but they paid the few bills I had.

    5. Bea W*

      That’s an interesting take on it. I never thought of it that way. It would explain my mother’s weird attitude toward my brother whom she was most protective of.

      My brother struggled some in school early on due to a mild language learning disability. He became an average student with average grades places in average classes when he got to high school. He did very well in some of those classes, and those teachers and adviser recommended he move into more difficult college prep level classes for certain subjects. He really wanted to do this, because he had every intention of going to college. My mother was against it. She said to me, “I’d rather he take the lower level classes and get As than take the higher level classes and get Bs.”

      I was appalled. FFS her son who had struggled in school for so long was now doing well in some areas, was ready for more challenging classes, and she was discouraging that progress?! WTF? To put it in perspective, the rest of us were expected to attain the highest level we could. She had always been a grade stickler, but had never said we should avoid the hard stuff to get more As. If we weren’t getting As, it wasn’t the class, it was us not working hard, but I digress.

      It never occurred to me that any part of her thinking could have been protective because she had all kinds of other dysfunctional motivations going on, but it makes sense. She did think my brother would struggle too much in more advanced classes, and that he didn’t have much chance to succeed in college. The sure thing, continuing to do well where he was at, was safe.

      Thankfully, he did not listen to her!

  11. Seal*

    It took me many years to realize that by far the worst career advice I got was from my parents, bar none. They both settled for career paths that were “safe” rather than fulfilling and were consequently miserable. They were convinced their children should do the same, because it was better to have a “secure” job you hated rather take risks with a career you loved. As a result, all of their kids passed up great career opportunities when they were in and just out of college; all of us were pushing 40 before we finally launched successful careers. I will always regret the years I wasted working dead-end jobs I could do in my sleep instead of going to graduate school or pursuing a real career, all because I made the mistake of listening to my parents.

    1. Anonymous*

      My mother told me not to major in Applied Math, she said I would have to sell insurance. Let me think, who in Seattle in the early 80’s would have been hiring mathematicians…I would comfortably retired right now if I had not been a good kid.

    2. Bea W*

      My mother felt the same way about relationships. Better to stay in a crappy relationship than to get out (without a replacement in the wings – I really need to qualify that!) and risk being alone. :-/

  12. some1*

    “But her suggestion that I apply for things so far outside the box, like a psych ward, isn’t likely to serve me well or get me where I ultimately want to go. They’re more likely to pigeonhole me in a whole new way.”

    While I think your mom needs to mind her own business, I’ve been in admin roles for over a decade and I can tell you it’s really not that hard to cross over industry-wise, and it’s easier the closer you are to the beginning of your career. (I *never* thought I’d be working in my current industry.)

    If you don’t want to work in a psych ward, then you shouldn’t; but I don’t think a couple year stretch at one would immediately make higher ed place you apply to throw your resume in the trash.

    1. Zahra*

      As far as hospitals go (and I’m sure you’ve thought of it), research units might be closer to higher ed than regular admin work. Especially if it is a teaching hospital, since research units there are more likely to be linked to professors and the like.

  13. Helen*

    If you live at home, the comments that you should broaden your search and not be picky are understandable. Maybe what your mother really wants to fight about is you saving money from your current job or earning more at a new job so you can move out. Instead of being direct, your mother’s frustration could be manifesting itself as arguments about the job search. Maybe that’s not the situation, but there might be a root cause for why your mother even cares so much about your job search.

    1. Ruffingit*

      I can understand why you’d think that, but the OP commented in the original letter and cleared this up. It’s just the opposite. Her mom doesn’t want her to move out at all. The original letter and comments are really illuminating.

      1. Bea W*

        Sounds like my mom and my brother. If she had her way, he wouldn’t have moved out ever. (Couldn’t get ME out of the house fast enough, and the feeling was mutual!)

  14. Anonymous*

    I think it is important to find out why. Is mom (or other parent) worried about money and can’t afford to support you much longer but doesn’t want to tell you that? Are they frustrated by supporting you? Is this ARG I WANT YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE?! Or Oh god I can’t afford to pay rent next month if you don’t start to chip in.

    I’m not saying the parent is doing the right thing in going about it by saying broaden your search or get any job you can. I’m just saying there may be reasons that haven’t been considered. (I also think this is true of spouses who we often say should butt out, but may have a real serious financial stake in things. If their home depends on you sucking it up and taking a slightly crummier job for a while, I think they have a right to want to continue to live in a home, or leave you.)

    That said if you aren’t being supported (student loans, dinners, living space, etc) by parents then shut that right down.

    1. Mimi*

      That’s what I was wondering. Is mom pushing OP so hard because she thinks OP will never leave her house? Does she think OP isn’t “trying hard enough” to find a job?

  15. Mena*

    Why are you so dependent on Mom’s thoughts and opinions? It is time to develop your own, and live by them.

    1. Jamie*

      It’s not that simple when you still live with your parents.

      Ideally an adult should not have to deal with this type of parental involvement, but when an adult child is still living at home parents have a vested interest in the income situation.

      And even without that – relationships with parents can be complex and if it were as easy as just breaking away emotionally we wouldn’t have so many family sitcoms.

      “Besides, parents know how to push your buttons…they installed them.” I have long since forgotten where I first heard that quote but it needs to be stitched on a sampler.

    2. TL*

      It depends a lot on what kinds of parents you had as well. Mine allowed me a lot of independence and taught me how to make decisions by involving me in the decision-making process from a fairly early age, so becoming independent wasn’t that hard. They also took on the mantra “it’s your life/money/car/whatever” when giving me advice; they’ll tell me what they think but not what I should do.

      I have friends whose parents are the exact opposite: You can’t pick the restaurant for your college graduation, you’ll screw it up. Need to buy a plane ticket at 20? Let me give you my miles and then you’ll stay on the phone with me as I guide you, step-by-step, through the online forms. You don’t need to make any finical decisions, and if you make one, call me and I’ll walk you through how to think and then give you “our” decision.

      I think it would be a lot scarier to strike out independently from there, where you’re told your whole life you can’t do basic stuff, than from parents who are like, “I taught you what I know, now go and screw up in new and inventive ways. You’ll be okay.”

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Job hunting sucks bad enough. Add to the mix mom pointing out every. single. thing. you are doing wrong and it becomes unbearable.

      REALLLY? A psych ward? That is not something just anyone can do. It takes a special person. I seriously don’t believe mom is thinking through some of her suggestions. It’s these type of random suggestions that serve to bring a person down lower than they already feel.

      I think that mom is inside OP’s head so much that OP does not have space for her own thoughts on things.

      OP, take time each day to collect up your own thoughts on what to do next. Even if you only take five minutes of time out. But do it each day. If you want to, journal those thoughts so you can read and reflect as you go along.

      I agree with the other posters who said to ask your mom why she is so invested in your job search. If she says “I dunno.” Ask her about her experiences job hunting. Just get her to talk about stuff that happened to her. Barest minimum she will be able to vent and you will at least know why she is the way she is.

  16. Amy*

    If you live with your mom because you can’t afford to live on your own, she absolutely has a stake in your job search, because she has an interest in knowing how much longer she’s going to have to support you financially. If you’re an adult who can’t afford to pay her own bills, you actually do need to stop being so picky, broaden your job search, and apply for everything you can find that might actually allow you to pay your own expenses. Sometimes, as an adult, you have to suck it up and take a job you don’t love in order to support yourself financially. And your mom is well within her rights to comment when you refuse to take steps that would make you financially independent because you’re holding out for the ideal job.

    (If you’re living with your mom for other reasons, such as because you both enjoy being roommates and pay equal rent, or because you’re helping her care for a sick relative or something, then ignore my comments and carry on living your own life as you see fit.)

    1. fposte*

      I think there’s a third category, too; the parent who grew up in a culture where kids don’t move out, and the kid who’s trying to negotiate that expectation in her own way and time.

      1. Jen in RO*

        The OP commented in the original thread and said that she wants to move out, but *her mother* doesn’t.

        (As an aside, around here – and probably all Eastern Europe – parents would be insulted if their children offered to pay rent. It would imply that they are bad parents who can’t even support their kids. Though sometimes I really, really wish my parents would ask my brother to pay rent, maybe it would get him off his ass!)

    2. Rayner*

      I think though there’s a difference between having an adult discussion of, “Look, Mary, I’m going to need you to start paying rent in some form or another by the end of THIS DATE because I can’t afford to support you this much. I know you’re looking for jobs in this particular field, and I wish you all the best with that. I’m also here to help you if you want it but I’m just letting you know the financial situation,” and then letting someone figure it out from there with the offer for help still standing, as opposed to nagging constantly and pushing inappropriate job advice onto their child just because it’s for A job, Any job, just A job.

      Which sounds like the OP’s parent in the original letter.

      To be honest, living with parents doesn’t give you the right to bum off them for years. Fair point.

      But in return, it doesn’t give parents a right to dictate which jobs to take or not, to insist on their children moving into a field ‘just’ to earn money when it’s a backwards move – there’s a lot of give and take there. It has to be a balance between what the parent is willing and able to do and what the child is willing and able to do.

      And that doesn’t mean taking the first job that the child sees, or accepting every and any bit of cruddy advice parents throw their way.

  17. Anonymous*

    In my head, I just keep hearing Carrie’s mom in the movie admonishing her over and over again right before the prom, “They’re gonna laugh at you. They’re gonna laugh at you.”

  18. Anonymous*

    “I wouldn’t do that/say that if I were you.” ~ My Father

    He says that all the time when I ask for advice regarding either career search or how to approach my boss on a topic, especially regarding schedule. It makes me upset as I begin to think I live in a different universe and not able to decipher adulthood. It makes me feel stupid. So now when I get to a decision or need to discuss something with my boss, I get the deer in the headlights feeling because I don’t know if I should be saying or doing something and feel as if I must run it past him. I might be wrong, again. On the other hand, my mother tells me to take it with a grain of salt and do what I feel is best. *headdesk*

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I so relate to this. And yeah, it does make a person feel stupid.
      Sometimes I think that is what the remark is designed to do- make a person feel that they have major deficiencies in understand.

      For years, life and relationships seem to be loaded with mysterious rules that made no sense.

      The best remedy I ever found was reading. Find more sources for information- not just your father. Sources that you trust. This takes time and determination but you will find material. This blog is a huge start.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        ** in understanding**


        Too busy thinking about how much I agree with you and not busy enough proof reading…

      2. Jazzy Red*

        I agree with your last paragraph, No So New.

        Anonymous, you need to find someone at work who can informally mentor you – someone you can take your questions to, who can guide in Workland. I’m not saying to bother busy co-workers, but there’s usually someone in a similar type job who’s been there longer than you, and knows how the office works. That’s the person to start with.

    2. Bea W*

      *sigh/groan* “Don’t do/say that.” (and other advice that amounts to “keep your head down and just keep doing whatever they tell you) – My Father
      “You can’t fight city hall.” – My Grandfather

      These things went against my inborn nature though, even as a kid. The advice never stuck. My dad doesn’t take his own advice often enough. He may keep his head down at work (who knows) but outside of that, some outrageous stuff slips out of his big mouth.

      My father is also fond of saying (and apologies in advance if this is racially offensive – he tends to cross that line) , “Too many chiefs and not enough indians.” – by which he means, “Too many people are not standing the eff back and letting me call the shots.” His advice to me is basically rooted in this whole “I’m the chief…” mentality.

  19. RW*

    Have you ever considered the fact that your mother is sabotaging your job search? You go on these interviews only to not get the job, your mother is sure you’re not going to get. This same thing has happened and is happening again to my wife. She and her mother are not very close, but my wife still keeps trying to bridge the gap. She does so by trying to include her mother in her life, mostly by telling her our day to day business. Inevitably, her mother will ask her if she either has a job, or is actively looking for one. And inevitably, my wife will not only tell her, but will tell her where. Then suddenly all those great interviews my wife’s been on, including the ones that tell her “she’s practically got the job” will suddenly shun her as if she has full blown AIDS or something. I finally figured out this only happened after she talked to her mother, and after numerous arguments, finally got her to agree to not talk to her mother about her job search. less than 3 weeks later she was gainfully employed and along with my job(Which pays decent, but with child support, and medical insurance coming out doesn’t leave much for us), almost ALL of our problems went away.

    Unfortunately, I listened to my wife when she said she wanted to start her own business selling jewelry she makes(Which I must say is very good), and I let her quit her job. I say unfortunately because instead of immediately starting the business(Which would have been two weeks before labor day), she sat around the house watching TV and messing around on the internet for 6 weeks. What would have been a great opportunity to use her last check and launch what I’m sure would have been a lucrative business, I had to take out payday loan after payday loan, just to get her a booth at the flea market, and then I had to use half a month’s rent to buy her everything else she needed once we got the booth.

    She finally realized, “Oh I need to get a job again.” before we lose everything, but instead of keeping her mouth shut, she’s been blabbing her job searches off to her mother again. And now three weeks and at least 20 interviews later, she still doesn’t have a job! And this is at places she’s calling back to that she keeps getting told they just hired a bunch of people with less experience than she has.

    Take my advise. Keep your job searches to yourself, and see how fast you get a job!

    1. Ruffingit*

      No offense, but I have to ask – why on earth would you take out a payday loan to get your wife’s business started when she made the poor decision to sit around for six weeks instead of launching the business? The natural consequence of that should have been “Sorry wife, but you made that poor choice so now you need to get another job and save the money to start this business on the side.” Seems like wife is not the only one making bad choices here in terms of employment decisions, you all are.

      Also, just to be clear, but it would appear your mother-in-law is calling places that your wife has interviews at and telling them bad things about her? That’s what it sounds like you’re saying and if so, take the money you’re spending on the jewelry business and spend it on therapy instead so your wife can learn boundaries with her mother as in never speaking to her again because that kind of interference in your wife’s life is pathological and is hurting you both financially.

  20. Anonymous*

    To the original poster:

    You need to draw some boundaries with your mother. Tell her that her advice is not needed or wanted since she is so negative. And if that doesn’t work, simply tell her to back off and mind her own business. It’s your career, it’s your life and you know what’s best for you.

    I assume that you are moving out a.s.a.p.??

  21. Anna*

    To the OP; it takes practice. You’re not going to be an expert on how to deal in this new way with your mom. You’ve been dealing with her the old way for a long long time, so just keep at it until this new deflection thing becomes second nature instead. Practice makes better (I won’t say perfect; I don’t think any of us are perfect when dealing with parents).

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