When is “good for mom” bad or toxic for you?
Do you live your life being good for mom, make mom look good or make sure mom is good with you? Do you constantly seek her approval yet secretly wonder if this is in your best interest. If so, you may feel inadequate, struggle with self-doubt, and not know exactly why? Could it be that your mother relates to you in a toxic way that undermines your confidence and self-esteem you are so used to it – you can’t see it?
It may seem normal to you that you second guess your every decision and apologize constantly. You aren’t quite sure where you end, and your mother begins. You may be so used to living this way you aren’t even aware that life could feel any different.
What drives a toxic mother/daughter relationship? Underneath many a demanding or controlling mother’s facade is an insecure person who worries she will be found out. Or the flip side of the same coin, mom may be a meek and mild wounded mother who isn’t outwardly critical but drags her daughter down in more subtle ways. Narcissism/Borderline/Histrionic personality disorders or traits of these disorders can be overt or covert. At the root of all of the personality disorders and traits is a desperate insecurity that drives mom to act in destructive ways.
Good for mom/bad for you works like this-
Deep down, a mother who has little self-worth needs her attuned daughter to boost her sense of self. The daughter, in the role of the “good daughter,” picks this up at the unconscious level. She experiences herself as an extension of mom and without being fully conscious of why, she works at being “good” for mom. Many times the “good daughter” knows, or suspects, her difficult mother is narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, depressed, or codependent. What she does knows for sure, however, is that she is very attuned to the effect she has on her mother.
Many a difficult mother plays on the Good Daughter’s eagerness to please. The daughter’s childlike self-has a very hard time telling mom things she knows mom doesn’t want to hear. Even adult daughters have an almost 6th sense of how mom is feeling about herself and may sacrifice themselves for their mother’s well-being by letting mom run roughshod over her boundaries or put mom’s needs first.
Here are–3 signs you are being good for mom at your own expense.
1) You know the phrase all too well, ” If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” You will do just about anything to keep mom happy. Even if it means making you, your husband, partner or children unhappy. As much as you hate to admit it, making mom happy comes first.
2) You try extra hard to be “good” for mom. You are hyper-aware of how your actions make your mother look to others. You let this dictate much of what you do and say.
3) You run all of your major life decisions by mom first. If she doesn’t think you should take the job, marry the man, change your hairstyle, you second-guess yourself. Mom’s opinions matter way more than they should.
What’s wrong with this?
When a daughter, in the role of the “good daughter,” feels she owes mom her happiness, neither party is served. This cycle can be insidious and fueled by guilt such that many a daughter is unaware that her life has been hijacked by mom’s problems, her insecurities. The Good Daughter buys into the unconscious fantasy that says if she is good enough mom will be O.K. The problem is…she may spend a lifetime, waste a lifetime, trying to be good enough for mom.
And her own daughter will suffer.
Because she is so tied to being good for mom, the adult daughter of the difficult mother has a hard time being an effective mom to her own daughter. She doesn’t know where to set limits with her daughter or how to model valuing herself. Her daughter may see her as a doormat or experience her as chronically stressed and unhappy.
Also trying to make mom happy doesn’t work on an ongoing basis. It can’t work because change, like happiness, is an inside job. You cannot GIVE your mother self-worth.
What can you do?
You can learn how to get out of the good daughter traps set for you. You can learn how to set healthy boundaries, tap into your feminine power, rewire your brain, and parent your own daughter from a place of confidence. There are patterns that are not serving you, once realized, can be healed. By clearing up this toxicity in your relationship with your own mother you supercharge your ability to parent your own daughter. One impacts the other in powerful ways.
When will you say enough? “I want to clear away the blocks that keep me from being the best mother I can be. The cycle of shame, guilt, and self-doubt stops here.”
Find out if you are trapped in the Good Daughter Syndrome -go here.
Find Your Voice. Raise Awareness. Tweet It Out.It may seem normal to you that you second guess your every decision and apologize constantly. You aren't quite sure where you end, and your mother begins. Click To Tweet Click To Tweet You cannot GIVE your mother self-worth. Click To Tweet By clearing up this toxicity in your relationship with your own mother you supercharge your ability to parent your own daughter. One impacts the other in powerful ways. Click To Tweet
DO YOU EXPERIENCE THE "GOOD DAUGHTER" SYNDROME?
Do you have a Narcissistic or Difficult Mother? Are you the "Good Daughter"? The Rebel? or The Lucky One? Take the quiz and find out!