I am really struggling spending any time I am around my mom. She is a chronic complainer and believes if something bad is going to happen, it will always happen to her, that everything is irritating, unfair, and unjust, and she seriously has a talent for finding something to complain about in even the most lovely circumstances. She seems to be completely oblivious to this and has even stated to me on a handful of occasions that she sees no need for self-improvement books, coaching, therapy, or anything positive. I realize that I am complaining about her complaining. I want to be to spend time with my family, but she is intolerable for me to be around. I know its my thoughts that are intolerable, but I would really like some advice as to how to deal with a chronic complainer – someone who truly believes that circumstances are NOT neutral and are in fact, negative, and has NO desire to believe otherwise.
C: Mother who complains
T: I can’t stand her
F: Annoyed, very judgmental
A: Just nod my head at what she says judgmentally because I refuse to sympathize with her; try to avoid her; leave her home as soon as I possibly can; be short and rude with her; beat myself up about how I’m feeling and acting the entire time
R: I can’t stand being around her, I can’t stand being around me, and she probably can’t stand being around me! Everyone’s miserable
My brain doesn’t even want to offer other more helpful thoughts to deal with her and I want to say that the only way to deal with her is to spend less time with her, but that’s not truly what I want. What I want is for her to change, but I know that’s not up to me. I have to change. Please help! Thank you!