What to Do When Non-Violent Communication Doesn’t Work?


What do you do when non-violent communication does not work in your family?!Felicia Day_don't know how to respond to that

Before school started, Mom was already constantly asking me about work habits, etc. On one hand, considering last semester, she has valid concerns. On the other hand, her constant nagging is frustrating, unhelpful, and anxiety-provoking. I attempted to express myself using the DEAR MAN cognitive behavior therapy skill, which I learned in inpatient treatment because (as I’m realizing more and more!) my family fails at communication. It helped a tiny bit for the first day, but Friday and last night she was at it again, with renewed vigor. I appreciate her advice. Also, I realize she knows more than me. However, I resent her micro-management. It is one thing to suggest I start homework on Saturday morning instead of Sunday night. It is an entirely different thing to suggest that once and then continue suggesting and/or asking how much work I completed every few hours all night! I was mad, but I tried using skills. When you ask me the same question numerous times and make the same suggestions over and over, I feel annoyed, angry, and resentful. I need you to only make a suggestion once and let me decide whether or not to heed your advice and please ask about progress less often. Fine, I did not include the “please”, but that is the essence of my plea.

It didn’t work. She just got angrier and yelled at me, hitting the table hard enough to break some fragile glass ornaments left there from Christmas. Then I started crying, yelling, and cursing. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cursed at my parents. I feel like a teenager! On one hand, I am living under her roof rent-free. Plus, I admit the eating disorder stunted my emotional growth because once I started using eating disordered behaviors, I stopped learning to deal with emotions healthily. Therefore, although I’ve made tremendous progress over the years, I still view myself as a little behind my peers in emotional maturity. I’ve had more than one therapist tell me this and I know my parents agreed, but no one has said it for a few years. Perhaps I am on par with other early 20-somethings now.

On the other hand, I am 23! I am not a teenager! I am old enough and capable enough to make my own mistakes. Hell, I made a ton last semester, but I am aware of that! I know what I need to do differently and just because I did not study last night, does not mean I am not fixing my mistakes!

I feel suffocated. At the moment, when I see her my first thought is: Regina_don't talk to me

It wasn’t just last night. If it was just one night of needling, I wouldn’t be angry. Even so, I don’t know if I am right to be annoyed or not. Maybe this is that whole teenage-rebellion stage coming a few years late and I should simply listen to her…BUT I am not a teenager and I should be able to make my own choices. I know I owe a lot to her, I know my parents are extremely kind to pay for my first year of grad school and let me live at home without rent. Yet, their generosity doesn’t change the fact that I am an adult.

Ha, the problem is this post feels so whiney! It IS whiney and that is characteristic of a teenager. On the other hand, sometimes people have legitimate reasons to complain.

Last night moving out sounded nice. At this point, it is not worth the extra few thousand in student loans. Inevitably, I’ll have student loans, but I can avoid ~$12,000/year by living at home until the end of school.

I know I can’t give an objective view of all our interactions, the scope, or the frequency of the interactions, but based on what little albeit biased information you have, what should I do differently? Did I do something wrong in my initial attempt to use non-violent communication skills? How can I make things go more smoothly (I.e., no fighting, yelling, screaming, hitting of tables – or people)?

Her advice has merit. In fact, I know it is the best course of action. The way she tried to change my behavior is irritating. Should I do what she says, don’t procrastinate, just to avoid conflict?

I think I’m over-reacting. Then again, I wasn’t the first one to yell, cry, etc.!

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First Semester of Law School as told by Felicia Day


Before the semester starts you’re excited! You think you’re opening the doors to a solid pay check and a great way to help people.

Felicia Day_satisfied smile

 

As the first day draws near, anxiety creeps in, but you remain relatively confident. After all, you’ve never really had to work hard in school.Felicia Day_start with a smile

 

After the first day, you’re upset; you’re already overwhelmed.Felicia Day_smarter than me

 

Two weeks in and things begin to unravel…

Felicia Day_don't know how to respond to that

 

But at least you have friends.

Felicia Day_it is easy to bond over hating something together

 

The weeks pass quickly. You’re getting worried. You’re further behind in reading.Felicia Day_am i a zombie now

 

Finally exams week is here! At least the end is in sight.

 

You procrastinate…

Felicia Day_i think that is why I like video games

 

then panic…

 

24 hours before exams begin you start making an effort.Things seem so pointless; you aren’t scared because you know you’ll fail.

Felicia Day_Peace out Bs

 

Right before the exam you get nervous. It turns out you do care!

Felicia Day_this is madness

 

You try to put on a brave face and take the exam.

 

You vow to study more for the next exam. You don’t. In fact, you don’t study at all.

 

Yet, you feel strangely confident before your last exam.

 

..Then you wait weeks for your grades…

 

YOU PASSED the first two classes!

 

What about the class you didn’t study for?

Felicia Day_happy danceFelicia Day_happy dance1

 

Wait, if I can pass without studying, reading, or attending 20% of the classes, what can I do if I stay on my meds and don’t give in to maladaptive behaviors?!