It can be difficult to deal with annoying people, particularly if they are your family members. What can you do? We don't choose who we are related to. And many cultural norms dictate that we cannot simply abandon these ties.
Here are some tips for how to deal with frustration toward your parents:
1. Compliment them.
Example. "Wow mama this meal was amazing! Thank you for always thinking of others." Often our parents just want their efforts to be acknowledged. Remember the last time someone complimented you? It likely pacified your anger didn't it?
2. Take a time out.
While this can be difficult to do in a busy household, there are ways that we can take time out to destress so that we avoid acting out toward our parents instead. You can go for a quick walk outside or offer to water some plants out in their garden. The key is to give ourselves time to de-escalate our anger and stop ourselves from making the situation worse.
3. Offer to take care of some household chores.
Often frustration amplifies when your parents feel that everything around the house is their responsibility. They may feel that you simply come home to sleep and eat a home cooked meal. While this may hold a certain degree of truth, your life will be a lot easier if you acknowledge the extra resources that living at or visiting home provides you. Pitch in for 15 minutes a day and see how your relationship is impacted.
4. Set boundaries.
If your family is making comments that you find unacceptable--for example, insulting your spouse, making racist or colorist statements, or reading through your mail, set a boundary. Often our family members think it's ok to speak or do certain things because that's how their parents did it. If you don't explain to them how their behaviour makes you feel or impacts your life, and ask that they stop doing it (within reason) you can't expect them to automatically know how much of an issue it is until you have that conversation. Of course, there's always the risk that they will simply laugh in your face and continue onward, but you never know unless you try.
5. Remove yourself.
Obviously if there is any abusive behaviour going on, seek help. Too often we accept abuse towards us if it's culturally sanctioned. That kind of behaviour is unacceptable. Abuse can occur toward adult children--it's not limited to when you are a child or adolescent. Remember that abuse is not only physical, it can be verbal or emotional as well. Reach out to someone you trust. Try to spend more time outside of the home, at work or at school.
Remember as much as your parents annoy you, you probably annoy them too. They sacrificed many sleepless nights to provide the best for you and ensure that you have a better life than they did, particularly those of our parents who immigrated to a new country. As we get older, many of us find it easier to cope with frustration with our parents. Using these tips as suggestions will hopefully get you started on the right track.