My Dad's negativity - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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My Dad's negativity


TLdr; My dad discourages me on goals I make to improve my life and delights in reminding me of my past failures

Getting tired of all my Dad's negativity. He seems to find enjoyment in pointing out all my failures.

I set a goal to average walking 25 minutes a day this year. I was doing great but got off track around July. He has to make remarks like, "always making stupid goals you don't stick to." He'll make these remarks when I'm talking about how I want to get back on my goal. If I talk about wanting to quit soda, he'll make similar comments about how I'll fail. I tell him that he makes it seem like I shouldn't even bother trying in life anymore just because I made past mistakes(ridiculous of course). That I should just give up.

Yesterday, I pointed out a couple fish had died in our shared aquarium since I last visited. He starts going off, "You just had to have an aquarium". He was the one who wanted the fish in there. I just wanted it as a small shrimp tank. He also originally wanted shrimp but then complained that they mostly stuck to the bottom. He feeds them but I do the weekly water changes, filter maintenance, and everything else.

I have two gardens at his house. This month some issues came up I haven't been able to maintain them as much, but every time I go to his house(2-3 times a week) I water and care for them. I consider them my responsibility so I haven't been asking him to water them in between, even though I haven't been able to visit as often. They aren't in his way and and loss of plants is my problem, but he still likes to go "Just had to have those gardens."

He points out mistakes/bad purchases I made 10+ years ago on a regular basis. For example he likes to say "Just like that metal detector you just had to have." It was a gift I got 16 years ago when I graduated.

He asks me to make him elaborate meals but then *****es about how I used so many dishes. Even if I do all the cleaning after he'll ***** a bunch before I get a chance to clean up.

He remarks how I put him to sleep when I visit. That he is never tired when I don't visit.

He brags about how he likes to get reactions. As in he likes to say stuff that stirs me up.

He makes fun of if I don't know where a city is. He is really into driving. Was a bus driver most of his life. Brags about how when he was 9 he was able to give his dad's friends directions to places like Detroit(Kind of reminds me of a young less geeky Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. To add to that he also likes trains). Makes fun of things I don't know about sports. I tell him he never taught me this stuff but he figures I should've just picked it all up because he did as a little kid. Makes fun of the fact that I don't know geography or history as well as he does.

I'll admit I have a lot going on at his house, but it gives me something to do when I visit. He used to go to sleep on me when I visited. Even if I got rid of everything I do at his house he'd still be making negative remarks about my past mistakes or if I talk about wanting to improve my life.

I tell him that he makes me feel unwelcome but he claims he still wants me to visit. I tell him that if he keeps up like this I'll remember him as being negative but he doesn't care. Told him that I'm getting so I don't want to share anything with him because of all the remarks he makes. Ignoring his remarks and not reacting to them doesn't seem to work either. He just doesn't care. I worry it could be something like dementia but he always has been discouraging to me. Despite all I'm complaining about he has helped me out a lot and does things like walking with me.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 12:23 PM
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Hit him where it hurts. I don't know what that is, but surely you do. What are his failures, insecurities, and fears? Attack all the nerves and sore spots - parents do it to their kids with impunity but somehow it's forbidden to return the treatment in kind.

Stop visiting and then tell him how much your life improved without him when you meet again. Be successful and make sure to point out he had nothing to do with it. Tell him another older male figure is your inspiration and role model.

Tell him when you have a kid, you hope to be a better father than the one you had.

Or more easily, go no-contact because who the f.uck has time for this kind of toxicity?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 01:51 PM
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pretty sure I would say "you just had to have children" etc etc. lol

my dad is pretty useless. disabled though, so yeah, they didnt treat disabled people very well when he was growing up I guess. seldom have anything to do with any of my family now though.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ― Mother Teresa
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by leaf in the wind View Post
Hit him where it hurts. I don't know what that is, but surely you do. What are his failures, insecurities, and fears? Attack all the nerves and sore spots - parents do it to their kids with impunity but somehow it's forbidden to return the treatment in kind.

Stop visiting and then tell him how much your life improved without him when you meet again. Be successful and make sure to point out he had nothing to do with it. Tell him another older male figure is your inspiration and role model.

Tell him when you have a kid, you hope to be a better father than the one you had.

Or more easily, go no-contact because who the f.uck has time for this kind of toxicity?
My grandpa did that to most people (my cousin, my mom and me were exceptions, he was always nice to us).
I guess it was mostly because he was a bit lonely and wanted to see them more or something along those lines.

He doesn't really do that anymore, and even took me telling him I'm an atheist pretty well, just throwing a few jokes about it and some life wisdoms. (He's all about religion pretty much).

I don't think insulting or attacking the person back, or starting a fight or cutting ties with them is going to do good for either side, to be honest. At least in most cases, because of course I can't know precisely what is going on in op's life.

I personally would recommend working to figure out what it is about, and working to a solution through discussion primarily (even therapy?), and only then if they don't help resort to anything more severe.

"If you need a safe space, see a therapist" - Jordan Peterson
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:08 PM
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Yeah my dad was pretty negative, what with the poor personal hygiene & suicidal ideation, I often wonder why negative people have children, hell doesn't need more minions.






And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death
Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow,
A poor player that strut's and fret's his hour upon the stage and is heard no more,
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:30 PM
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That sounds awful and discouraging. Don't know what you want to do, but it is up to you.You can't change him only how much you want to deal with him.

I feel better not always being around my parents, but I still talk with them and have visits occasionally. If it were me I would probably reduce the visits, maybe just for walks. And you could do a weekly phone call, that tends to be shorter than a visit.

Can you move the plants and aquarium to where you are? Or maybe just join a community garden.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:41 PM
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I've found that it is best to compartmentalize some friendships and relationships.

For example, I have one friend who is a very selfless and giving person. He also has a very competitive and defensive attitude that makes him unpleasant to have conversations with. He's a good person just has flaws like the rest of us. I enjoy hanging out with him and going to sporting events, trivia, and watching movies. I try to keep the conversations with him about him and ask his advice on things he's interested in... It makes him feel good and keeps things positive.

I save my personal conversations for those in my life that don't judge or argue as much. They have different interests as me, but we connect on a deeper level.

I try to find what works best in each friendship. That way I get to have fun with people that have similar interests as me, and I get to open up to those that I feel comfortable talking to. It seems to work for me.

- Strong
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:42 PM
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You've pretty much said it in your post - he likes the reactions, even if there are none since he probably knows deep down that it does bother you. Unfortunately, people like this are hard to change (if at all) and it can clash with personalities that have less of a militant or superior complex (to put it nicely.) I can't say on whether if you should still visit or not, but you shouldn't feel like you need to endure what he says either. Try switching topics if he does try to lead it in a negative direction. Give less response when it's necessary that you speak to him.

Again, at this point in time it's very unlikely that he will change. If you can try to find ways to have less interaction then it's highly recommended to save you from any (further) stress. Take it from one person who has a father similar as this to another.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Raies View Post
My grandpa did that to most people (my cousin, my mom and me were exceptions, he was always nice to us).
I guess it was mostly because he was a bit lonely and wanted to see them more or something along those lines.

He doesn't really do that anymore, and even took me telling him I'm an atheist pretty well, just throwing a few jokes about it and some life wisdoms. (He's all about religion pretty much).

I don't think insulting or attacking the person back, or starting a fight or cutting ties with them is going to do good for either side, to be honest. At least in most cases, because of course I can't know precisely what is going on in op's life.

I personally would recommend working to figure out what it is about, and working to a solution through discussion primarily (even therapy?), and only then if they don't help resort to anything more severe.
Someone who takes pleasure in your pain (or uses it to make themselves feel better) isn't someone worth negotiating with.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by leaf in the wind View Post
Hit him where it hurts. I don't know what that is, but surely you do. What are his failures, insecurities, and fears? Attack all the nerves and sore spots - parents do it to their kids with impunity but somehow it's forbidden to return the treatment in kind.

Stop visiting and then tell him how much your life improved without him when you meet again. Be successful and make sure to point out he had nothing to do with it. Tell him another older male figure is your inspiration and role model.

Tell him when you have a kid, you hope to be a better father than the one you had.

Or more easily, go no-contact because who the f.uck has time for this kind of toxicity?
He has helped me a lot. Know that doesn't give him a pass to always be putting me down.

He lives alone since my Mom passed away. If I try to cut him out of my life for awhile worry he'll die during that time.

Have tried pointing out his failures a few times but didn't seem to do much good. I would really like to show him and succeed in some of my goals he puts down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raies View Post
My grandpa did that to most people (my cousin, my mom and me were exceptions, he was always nice to us).
I guess it was mostly because he was a bit lonely and wanted to see them more or something along those lines.

He doesn't really do that anymore, and even took me telling him I'm an atheist pretty well, just throwing a few jokes about it and some life wisdoms. (He's all about religion pretty much).

I don't think insulting or attacking the person back, or starting a fight or cutting ties with them is going to do good for either side, to be honest. At least in most cases, because of course I can't know precisely what is going on in op's life.

I personally would recommend working to figure out what it is about, and working to a solution through discussion primarily (even therapy?), and only then if they don't help resort to anything more severe.
I don't think he'd be that open to therapy. He doesn't take many of my concerns very seriously. Like for example he climbs the basement steps everyday a bunch of times for exercise. He's never listened to me about putting his cell phone somewhere at the bottom of the steps. I keep telling him that he lives alone and if he falls down there he is really going to regret not having a way to call for help.

He did go to a session I had with a counselor once. It has been awhile but I think he viewed it as an opportunity to complain about how weird I am or something like that. He literally told me this before the session. Don't think he liked that I talked with my counselor about issues I had with him.

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Originally Posted by blue2 View Post
Yeah my dad was pretty negative, what with the poor personal hygiene & suicidal ideation, I often wonder why negative people have children, hell doesn't need more minions.
Sorry your dad was negative as well. I think my mom kinda pushed my dad into having me.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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That sounds awful and discouraging. Don't know what you want to do, but it is up to you.You can't change him only how much you want to deal with him.

I feel better not always being around my parents, but I still talk with them and have visits occasionally. If it were me I would probably reduce the visits, maybe just for walks. And you could do a weekly phone call, that tends to be shorter than a visit.

Can you move the plants and aquarium to where you are? Or maybe just join a community garden.
Shorter visits and more walking might be an idea.

Planning on reducing the gardening next year. He claims he likes the aquarium at times. He really loves to just complain sometimes.


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Originally Posted by The Strong Silent Type View Post
I've found that it is best to compartmentalize some friendships and relationships.

For example, I have one friend who is a very selfless and giving person. He also has a very competitive and defensive attitude that makes him unpleasant to have conversations with. He's a good person just has flaws like the rest of us. I enjoy hanging out with him and going to sporting events, trivia, and watching movies. I try to keep the conversations with him about him and ask his advice on things he's interested in... It makes him feel good and keeps things positive.

I save my personal conversations for those in my life that don't judge or argue as much. They have different interests as me, but we connect on a deeper level.

I try to find what works best in each friendship. That way I get to have fun with people that have similar interests as me, and I get to open up to those that I feel comfortable talking to. It seems to work for me.
Good advice. He definitely is not someone to go for encouragement when trying to change your life. Some people are just best as activity partners.


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Originally Posted by CNikki View Post
You've pretty much said it in your post - he likes the reactions, even if there are none since he probably knows deep down that it does bother you. Unfortunately, people like this are hard to change (if at all) and it can clash with personalities that have less of a militant or superior complex (to put it nicely.) I can't say on whether if you should still visit or not, but you shouldn't feel like you need to endure what he says either. Try switching topics if he does try to lead it in a negative direction. Give less response when it's necessary that you speak to him.

Again, at this point in time it's very unlikely that he will change. If you can try to find ways to have less interaction then it's highly recommended to save you from any (further) stress. Take it from one person who has a father similar as this to another.
I do feel I should talk to him less about things he puts down. Just don't have many people to share with so can be hard to do that at times.

Sorry you've had to go through similar
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 07:12 PM
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My Dad isn't anywhere near as bad as yours and he does have quite a few redeeming qualities but he does have the tendency to be just as toxic with his negativity at times. As I've gotten older I've learned that it's a case of 'water off a duck's back'. He is going to be an *** and say whatever he thinks whether I invite him to have an opinion on it or not so the idea is to just remind yourself that that opinion is inconsequential as it always has been. The negativity does affect you when you're young but the more people you speak to about it the more you can figure out healthy ways around it.

All the best.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 08:05 PM
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TLdr; My dad discourages me on goals I make to improve my life and delights in reminding me of my past failures

Getting tired of all my Dad's negativity. He seems to find enjoyment in pointing out all my failures.

I set a goal to average walking 25 minutes a day this year. I was doing great but got off track around July. He has to make remarks like, "always making stupid goals you don't stick to." He'll make these remarks when I'm talking about how I want to get back on my goal. If I talk about wanting to quit soda, he'll make similar comments about how I'll fail. I tell him that he makes it seem like I shouldn't even bother trying in life anymore just because I made past mistakes(ridiculous of course). That I should just give up.

Yesterday, I pointed out a couple fish had died in our shared aquarium since I last visited. He starts going off, "You just had to have an aquarium". He was the one who wanted the fish in there. I just wanted it as a small shrimp tank. He also originally wanted shrimp but then complained that they mostly stuck to the bottom. He feeds them but I do the weekly water changes, filter maintenance, and everything else.

I have two gardens at his house. This month some issues came up I haven't been able to maintain them as much, but every time I go to his house(2-3 times a week) I water and care for them. I consider them my responsibility so I haven't been asking him to water them in between, even though I haven't been able to visit as often. They aren't in his way and and loss of plants is my problem, but he still likes to go "Just had to have those gardens."

He points out mistakes/bad purchases I made 10+ years ago on a regular basis. For example he likes to say "Just like that metal detector you just had to have." It was a gift I got 16 years ago when I graduated.

He asks me to make him elaborate meals but then *****es about how I used so many dishes. Even if I do all the cleaning after he'll ***** a bunch before I get a chance to clean up.

He remarks how I put him to sleep when I visit. That he is never tired when I don't visit.

He brags about how he likes to get reactions. As in he likes to say stuff that stirs me up.

He makes fun of if I don't know where a city is. He is really into driving. Was a bus driver most of his life. Brags about how when he was 9 he was able to give his dad's friends directions to places like Detroit(Kind of reminds me of a young less geeky Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. To add to that he also likes trains). Makes fun of things I don't know about sports. I tell him he never taught me this stuff but he figures I should've just picked it all up because he did as a little kid. Makes fun of the fact that I don't know geography or history as well as he does.

I'll admit I have a lot going on at his house, but it gives me something to do when I visit. He used to go to sleep on me when I visited. Even if I got rid of everything I do at his house he'd still be making negative remarks about my past mistakes or if I talk about wanting to improve my life.

I tell him that he makes me feel unwelcome but he claims he still wants me to visit. I tell him that if he keeps up like this I'll remember him as being negative but he doesn't care. Told him that I'm getting so I don't want to share anything with him because of all the remarks he makes. Ignoring his remarks and not reacting to them doesn't seem to work either. He just doesn't care. I worry it could be something like dementia but he always has been discouraging to me. Despite all I'm complaining about he has helped me out a lot and does things like walking with me.
Your Dad shouldn't be treating you like that - he should be ashamed of himself.

From your age it looks like it's been going on a for a while - so it's unlikely to change. If I were you I'd be seriously looking at cutting back the amount of time I spent with him, if I spent any time with him at all.

Don't let his horrible behaviour and negativity drag you down.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by slyfox View Post

He brags about how he likes to get reactions. As in he likes to say stuff that stirs me up.

Ignoring his remarks and not reacting to them doesn't seem to work either. He just doesn't care. I worry it could be something like dementia but he always has been discouraging to me.

So he literally just admit to you up front why he's doing this? People like him, they are mostly doing this as a self esteem and emotional boost to themselves.

You should just keep at ignoring and not reacting to his remarks. Since that's exactly what he's thriving for. Even if it doesn't work, you also doing this for yourself and your own emotional well being by now letting his words hurt you. If he's someone like that, then he should be someone you shouldn't be taken seriously.

And if you wanna go that route... you can threaten to visit him less or none if he doesn't change as others suggested.


Quote:
Have tried pointing out his failures a few times but didn't seem to do much good. I would really like to show him and succeed in some of my goals he puts down.

That might actually be a good motivator for yourself as well for your goals.

The truth is strictly what the ones in power perceives it to be.

Enjoy any good things, even the little and menial ones, as you will never know what impending distresses could descend upon you in a moment.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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My Dad isn't anywhere near as bad as yours and he does have quite a few redeeming qualities but he does have the tendency to be just as toxic with his negativity at times. As I've gotten older I've learned that it's a case of 'water off a duck's back'. He is going to be an *** and say whatever he thinks whether I invite him to have an opinion on it or not so the idea is to just remind yourself that that opinion is inconsequential as it always has been. The negativity does affect you when you're young but the more people you speak to about it the more you can figure out healthy ways around it.

All the best.

Thanks I'll try to not let it get to me. I've focused on the bad but he does a lot to help me as well. Sorry your dad gets toxic as well.


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Your Dad shouldn't be treating you like that - he should be ashamed of himself.

From your age it looks like it's been going on a for a while - so it's unlikely to change. If I were you I'd be seriously looking at cutting back the amount of time I spent with him, if I spent any time with him at all.

Don't let his horrible behaviour and negativity drag you down.

My parents had me late so my dad is in his 70s. He's always been ant-social. I feel bad cutting him off because of his age, but I definitely should cut spending time with him short when he starts getting negative.


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So he literally just admit to you up front why he's doing this? People like him, they are mostly doing this as a self esteem and emotional boost to themselves.

You should just keep at ignoring and not reacting to his remarks. Since that's exactly what he's thriving for. Even if it doesn't work, you also doing this for yourself and your own emotional well being by now letting his words hurt you. If he's someone like that, then he should be someone you shouldn't be taken seriously.

And if you wanna go that route... you can threaten to visit him less or none if he doesn't change as others suggested.

That might actually be a good motivator for yourself as well for your goals.

He hasn't been doing it as much lately, but he definitely brags about getting reactions. He's something . I'm not very good at it, but I'll try to ignore what he says more

It has been a good motivator. Don't feel that is his intention most of the time though. Plan to catch up on my walking goal to shut him up about it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks everyone for the advice!
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2020, 10:10 AM
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I don't know your dad but I know about negative critical toxic parents. If I had to interpret why your dad is so highly critical and negative about you is because of his own past setbacks and his unrealistic expectations of himself, he may be trying to relive his life vicariously through you, or it was the way he was raised, domineering and critical parental figures were taught it by their own parental figure.

Could be your dads also a sadistic narcissist who gets pleasure in putting you down to compensate for his own issues. Again I don't know your dad. Some parents also want to have control over their children s lives. He may think he's doing this to toughen you up but it often causes a child (example me) to feel like they aren't good enough and to develop a harsh inner critic. There are alot of signs of a toxic parent. Can you cut him off? or start spending less time with him?

Your dad sounds like a very toxic person. If you are able to need to slowly cut him out of your life

I m afraid of not being enough
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2020, 10:33 AM
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Reminds me somewhat of my mother. She just zooms in on anything she can use to cause an argument in any given situation. She was always like that in some ways but it's gotten way worse in recent years and I honestly can't stand being in the same room with her anymore. She had some kind of stroke or something in 2017 and hasn't really been the same since then and I know that was probably what did it but it doesn't help much. It's still a PITA to deal with even if it's not entirely her fault. She's incredibly unstable and spends most of her time winding people up and gleefully harvesting the fruits of her labor when she finally succeeds in causing an argument.

She's apologized so many times at this point that nobody actually believes her anymore and only accepts her "apology" so she'll shut up and go away.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-30-2020, 11:17 AM
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TLdr; My dad discourages me on goals I make to improve my life and delights in reminding me of my past failures

Getting tired of all my Dad's negativity. He seems to find enjoyment in pointing out all my failures.
Yea my dad was a pretty mean and verbally abusive man. Had to endure him and my mom fight all the time when i was a kid. Sometimes got a little physical so not a good thing to see as a kid. Destroys your self confidence when you are always insulted.

Well at least your an adult not so you dont live at home with him. You can control when you see him and under what circumstances. If you go over there and he starts insulting you just leave right then and that will let him know you wont put up with it. He will get the message that if he wants you to come over and stay he better correct the way he treats you.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 03:01 AM
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I get anxious telling my mum any good news when my dad is around.

A few weeks ago I was in a good mood and didn't feel anxious around him. He was there when I told my mum the job interview I went to and where it was.

He just scoffed and said that's far and walked away.

He is pathetic. He will rant about people's mistakes but he is incompetent in many aspects.
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