Your relationship with your parents will go through many changes as you transition into adulthood, so you may be wondering how an adult man can have a relationship with his parents that is on good terms. Since you are becoming more independent, parents may want to protect you like they did when you were little. It can be uncomfortable when they insist on telling you what to do and are disapproving of your choices or views. To help you out in this time that can be awkward and annoying at times, here are five ways you can encourage a healthy relationship with your parents.
Become an Individual
Confronting your fear of independence from your parents is a complex, yet rewarding process. You may feel comfortable under the wing of your parents, but at the same time feel unsatisfied that your actions and lifestyle are dictated by your parents at the same time. Maybe you feel that you cannot be competent on your own so you feel anxious about asserting yourself and coping with the reaction of others. Becoming self-sufficient over time can also be scary and leave you wondering what life will be like as a responsible adult.
Living in a co-dependent state may keep a roof over your head, but it forces you to continue childhood conflicts with parents and in the end, leaves you unprepared to live on your own in the real world. Understanding the origins of your difficulties is the first step in overcoming codependency. Exploring what makes you dependent on your parents is probably best explored with the support of a counselor or support group. The work you do to unravel the codependent state you are living in can gradually shift your relationship with your parents into a healthier one in the long term.
Continue To Communicate
Along the journey to adulthood, there will be a few speed bumps and rough roads in your shifting relationship with your parents. It is important at this very fluid time in your relationship with your parents to continue to communicate in a respectful manner. Here are some tips for optimal communication with your parents:
- Stay calm in the conversation, even if you are discussing a disagreement
- Do not blame, especially with absolute phrases like “You never let me do anything I want!”
- Keep your conversation to the issue at hand and resist being sidetracked
- Identify things that you want that are in common, such as less arguing, and make that the primary goal
Truly Listen to Others
One of the most important skills in communication is listening. It is a great way to reinforce emotional bonds with others. People feel understood and cared for when someone listens to them. If you listen to your parents, then you can feel justified in asking them to listen to you as well. Mutual respect modeled by listening to both sides can go a long way in forging a new peer relationship with your parents.
Celebrate Your New Skills
Moving into a mutually respectful peer relationship with your parents is really something to celebrate. In addition to feeling better about your interactions with them, you have also learned some new interpersonal relationship skills that can be used with friends, coworkers, and other family members.