At some point, we’ve all had to deal with pressure from parents; this can be a very challenging experience as they seem to want the best for us, and it’s also their job to encourage and guide us towards becoming great in life. Most parents genuinely care and want only the best for their children, but there is a thin line between loving and caring too much.
Parents may resort to demands without understanding or considering your opinions and try to make you see things their way. When their ideas about what is best for you do not entirely correspond to yours, they unknowingly put you under pressure, which puts you under the burden of heavy expectations and could and lead to frustration and even resentment.
Although being in this position may feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, there are few tips you can adopt to deal with pressure from parents. Here are six tips that can help you overcome this pressure and make them see reasons with you.
1. Communicate assertively
Be assertive: express your thoughts and emotions transparent without damage or lifting your voice. Of course, you must be capable of holding the debate with your parents, and being assertive during your conversation is one of the essential skills that’ll help you deal with pressure from parents. It enables you to talk vividly and directly, but out of respect for others. It also gives you the confidence to answer all the critical and derogatory remarks that you would be getting from family members who aren’t pleased about your actions.
Although you may have to repeat the same thing repeatedly to convince your parents, make sure you remain calm and composed as you speak. Otherwise, the emphasis will change from your message to your speech and tone, and your intentions may be denied.
Also checkout: 5 skills for effective communication you should learn today
To be more effective in convincing your parents, here are some tips you can adopt to communicate more assertively:
1.1 Acknowledge your intention and be mindful of your key points: You need to be sure of yourself before dealing with pressure from parents. Acknowledge your intent to know the fact you’re trying to prove and convincingly deliver it.
1.2 Choose a moment when your parents are settled: Midweek can be very chaotic as your parents may joggle between work and school, and everyone is a little worked up. You may want to wait till the weekend when everyone is settled. Choose a half-hour on the weekend and tell your parents you’d like to discuss with them.
1.3 Let them know you understand that they care about you: You can begin by saying something like, ‘I understand why you want me to study law, but I don’t think the course matches my strengths and interests.’
1.4 Listen to what they have to say: Accord them that respect by listening to their opinions. Hear what they have to say, and then explain that you’re worried you can’t meet their expectations. Proceed further to tell them what you see for your future, which could prove that you’re thinking about what’s next and are as concerned as them. This, in turn, might make them feel more secure about your intention.
1.5 Submit an alternate solution: Clarify the need to leave the country if you must chase your dreams. However, if your parents don’t seem persuaded, suggest an alternative if there is any, like studying within the country on the condition that you’ll further abroad.
Also read: How to make the right career choice
2. Create Boundaries
When the pressure mounted upon you by your parents becomes too much, you need to distance yourself from them to preserve emotional energy and control what and how much comes into your mental space. To effectively deal with pressure from parents, you want to be in your best frame of mind. Clearly state that your boundaries in a way that wouldn’t cause more trouble; you could say something like, “I would need some space to think about this for the time being.”
Furthermore, put some distance between yourself and the rest. If living in the same house with your parents and seeing them every day makes you want to succumb to their pressure. You may want to consider moving out of the house if you’re old enough. Make it a priority and start saving the money it takes so.
3. Realize you don’t need to please your family
Many people believe it’s an obligation to get along with everyone in a family simply because they are part of it, which is quite a misconception. There’s nothing wrong with not living up to your parent’s dream for you to be a lawyer or disagreeing with an aunt about a false opinion of you. Your life is yours to live and not theirs; therefore, you should make the choices yourself as long as you’re doing what you feel is right.
4. Seek help
It would help if you didn’t do everything on your own, so don’t be scared to seek help and guidance from anyone you feel comfortable talking with. You can reach out to uncles and aunts, grandparents, and family friends who you know your parents would listen to. Or preferably, talk to your older sibling about the issue; they probably also had to go through similar pressure and can advise you on how to deal with pressure from parents.
However, it doesn’t always have to be a family member; you can also reach out to an older friend, a mentor, your teacher, or a counselor. People who you feel are in high authority and can talk with your parents.
5. Remain Calm
Even if your parents yell at the top of their voice as they emphasize meeting their demands, try to remain calm. Although getting into a screaming match with your parents may help you release some of that anxiety, but isn’t the best way to deal with pressure from parents.
If you want your parents to listen to you, you must make sure that you air out your opinions in a reasonable tone. When you speak to your parents in a calm, constructive, and appropriate manner, it becomes easier for you to convey your point. It also tells your parents that you have given the topic serious thought and matured enough to discuss without an argument. With this approach, your parents will be willing to listen to their opinions during this discussion.
6. Be Willing to Compromise
Let’s face it; life’s not fair, and there’s no doubt about that, so it would be unrealistic to expect things to go your way all the time. In some cases, when parents pressure their children, they do so because they are passionate about the issue, and it’s unlikely that they will back off completely to meet your demands.
Show your parents that you understand their passion about the issue by being willing to compromise. Try to find middle grounds where everyone stands to benefit- agree to study for extra hours, but not with the annoying tutor they found. As long as you’re willing to meet some of their demands, a loving and caring parent would cooperate with you and hopefully find something you can both agree upon.