If you have overbearing parents at 40 years old, I’m sure you’re frustrated and at a point where you want to break free.
I’m sure your parents mean well, but there is a line between being caring and wanting the best for you – and being overbearing.
Overbearing is the same as being unpleasantly overpowering. It’s smothering, controlling, oppressive, and outright annoying!
If your parents are overbearing you and trying to control your life, here are 10 tips to help when dealing with overbearing parents at 40 years old!
10 Tips For Dealing With Overbearing Parents at 40 Years Old
1. Tell Them They’re Being Overbearing
The first step is to talk to your parents and let them know that their behavior is overbearing.
Be assertive and explain how you feel in a calm, collected manner.
If they’re not receptive to what you have to say or if they get defensive, you could try writing them a letter expressing your thoughts and feelings or talk to them again at a later date.
The important thing is that no matter how difficult the conversation is, you get everything out in the open and let them know that there are going to be some changes going forward.
2. Let Your Parents Know How It Makes You Feel
When you’re having a conversation about their overbearing nature, it’s also important that you communicate exactly how it makes you feel.
If you’re feeling frustrated, annoyed, or even angry – let your parents know!
They need to be aware of how their behavior is affecting you and how it’s making you feel.
It’s the emotional side of things that often helps people to open up and change how they’re behaving.
It’s also important that you explain to them what kind of effect it has on your life when they try to control everything.
Make sure you do so in a calm manner and try not to blame your parents for anything or make them feel like they’re being attacked.
Whatever has happened in the past is in the past. This is about turning over a new leaf and making better decisions going forward.
3. Take Ownership Over Your Own Life
One of the things you need to do when dealing with overbearing parents is to take ownership over your own life!
It starts one step at a time, but you have to make that first step.
Start making decisions for yourself, without consulting your parents first.
It’s important that your parents are involved in major life decisions, but it’s also important that you start asserting your independence and taking control of your own life.
I’m sure you’ll find it feels liberating and great to start breaking free from your parents.
And, if you make a mistake, that’s fine! We all have to learn from our own mistakes – just as our parents did!
4. Set Clear Boundaries Going Forward
Once you’ve started to take ownership over your own life and make decisions for yourself, it’s important that you set some clear boundaries with your parents.
This means communicating with them about what is and isn’t acceptable going forward.
If they start to cross those boundaries, then you need to be firm and remind them of the agreement that you made.
5. Show Them You’re Perfectly Capable of Making Your Own Decisions!
One of the best ways to deal with overbearing parents is to show them that you’re perfectly capable of making your own decisions!
This might mean making a decision that they don’t agree with or even going ahead and doing something without consulting them first.
Whatever it is, it’s important that they see that you’re an adult who is capable of thinking for yourself.
At the end of the day, I’m sure they just want the best for you which is why they’re being so overbearing.
So, by showing them you’re a grown adult and can make your own decisions, it’s going to satisfy that anxiety they have.
6. Don’t Fight with Your Parents Over It
An important piece of advice I have for you is to avoid fighting with your parents about this issue.
I know it can be tempting, especially if they’re not being reasonable, but it’s important that you remain calm and try to see things from their perspective.
It’s important that you have a good relationship with your parents, especially at your stage of life.
Keep in mind that they have good intentions, they’re probably just worried about you and want what’s best for you – even if it doesn’t seem like it!
7. Reduce the Dependency Between You and Your Parents
One of the best things you can do throughout this process is to start reducing the dependency between you and your parents.
I know it can be difficult, especially if you live with them, but it’s important that you start becoming more independent.
This means doing things for yourself without relying on them to do everything for you.
It might mean getting a job, moving out of the house, or even just doing things like cooking and cleaning for yourself.
Whatever it is, it’s important that you start cutting the ties one by one!
8. Encourage Your Parents to Focus on Other Things
One way to help your parents come to terms with you becoming more independent is to encourage them to focus on other things in their life.
This might mean getting them involved in a hobby, signing them up for classes, or even just encouraging them to spend time with their friends.
It’s important that they have something else to focus on so that they’re not putting all their attention on you.
By doing this, while they start to see that you’re capable of taking care of yourself they’ll also not have as much time to dwell on it.
9. Don’t Look Back
If you’re 40 years old and your parents are overbearing, I’m sure they’ve always been this way, right?
Now you’re starting to make some changes and take control of your life, I’m sure you’re looking back and thinking about how their controlling behavior has affected you.
However, the best thing you can do is put the past behind you and only look forward.
Otherwise, you might hold some resentment for your parents which will only make things worse.
So, take some time to forgive them and then move on!
10. Accept that Your Parents Might Be Not Able to Change
One final piece of advice I have for you is to accept that your parents might not be able to change.
This doesn’t mean that you should give up on them or stop trying to make things better, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.
They might not be able to change overnight, especially at their age, and it might take some time before they start to see things from your perspective.
But, if you’re patient and understanding, I’m sure they’ll come around eventually!
If they don’t, they’re just going to have to accept that you’re taking control of your own life and you’re doing just fine for it!
Image credits – Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.