In fact, talking to you at length about their problems in a non-constructive way will likely leave your parent worse off than if you didn't talk at all — many experts believe that venting leads to more anger , not any sort of emotional release. But in an unhealthy relationship, the counseling only runs one way — you're to listen to your parent go on about their problems for any length of time that they see fit, but they are not interested in providing the same support to you. Love is about caring for someone and connecting with them; it isn't putting yourself last, or letting others hurt you — no matter what you were raised to believe. And by "extra stresses and challenges," I mean that the next month or so might be a head-long dive into anxiety, depression, panic, guilt, shame, and all those other fun emotions that make you want to hide under your comforter. Among your friends, it might be the eggnog-filled, tinsel-wrapped, most wonderful time of the year, but for people who grew up with toxic parents , the holidays can often mean extra stresses and challenges. If your parent has a pattern of doing this — say, every time you visit, the entire weekend is spent going over every detail of your mother's professional disappointments — there are two main options you can take. This is where boundaries come in — your emotional blackmailer believes that you'll feel too guilty to put taking care of your own mental health over their needs. In my own life, I found that imagining how it looked from the outside was a great help — while I felt like I was being crushed by the weight of my mother's rants, someone passing by the scenario would probably just roll their eyes at my mom. You may or may not love your toxic parent, but love doesn't mean you have to let them hurt you.
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