5 Signs of an Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationship

Hey Optimist Minds!

A daughter’s relationship with her mother plays a vital role in the development of self-esteem. As a same-sex parent, the mother models how her little girl is supposed to look, talk and act as she grows up. However, if this is a complicated relationship, daughters tend to have problems with their mental health.

Since mothers are the first humans we connect with, the nature of this connection forms how we look at the world. If your relationship with your mother is unhealthy, you probably had no idea till you saw other girls and their mothers. You might have expected other households to be the same as yours.

In this video, we will point out some of the signs that indicate an unhealthy mother-daughter relationship. Identifying it will make it easier for you to understand the causes behind your self-esteem issues and work to improve them. In addition, if you find these signs relatable, therapy might be an excellent place to start exploring them further.

Here are five signs of an unhealthy mother-daughter relationship.

Number One

She body-shames you.

Does your mom keep making critical comments about your appearance? Maybe she gives you a hard time about your weight, skin, posture, or clothes.

When a mother repeatedly criticises her daughter about her looks, she teaches her to think that she’s not good enough. She might force you to go on a diet or push you to keep exercising. Even if the concern is for your physical health, a woman’s appearance is a sensitive issue.

We live in a world where women are made to feel unworthy if they do not match society’s beauty standards. If mothers conform to this idea and pressure their girls to look perfect, they deprive their children of self-love. As a result, daughters develop low levels of self-esteem and constantly seek validation from external sources.

Number Two

She micromanages you.

Do you have to hide certain sides of your personality from your mom? Does she try to control your choices and actions?

Micromanaging is when someone controls every single part of your life, no matter how small. It could be what you do with your time, where you go, who you speak to, what clothes you wear, or even how you react to situations.

If your mom has an opinion about everything that you do, she prevents you from learning autonomy. Since you don’t get to think or act for yourself, you never form the ability to make your own decisions. Consequently, as an adult, you probably struggle to take up responsibility.

Number Three

She’s envious of you.

Does your mother deliberately make you look bad in front of the people you like? Does she seem jealous of your beauty or achievements?

Unhealthy mother-daughter relationships can feel stifling at times. Maybe your mother is threatened because she thinks you might be a better version of her. Her insecurity drives her to attack you by humiliating, berating or manipulating you psychologically. 

If her envy involves your appearance, she might interfere in your relationships. Alternatively, if she’s jealous of your success, she might try to sabotage your career. It’s sad that by making you feel small, she feels more secure as a woman.

Number Four

Sometimes, you have to mother her instead.

Do you find yourself frequently taking care of your mother’s emotional burdens? Do you have to spend a lot of your time controlling her or managing her addictions?

Role reversal occurs when a child has to be the responsible one for the upkeep of the parent. It might involve getting food on the table or making sure bills get paid. If your mom’s having a hard time dealing with her feelings, maybe you’re the one expected to be a shoulder to cry on.

You probably want to be there for her and see it as your duty, but you shouldn’t be expected to be a grown-up before time. It’s unhealthy for mothers to put their daughters in this position before adulthood. Children only need to be responsible for their own selves.

Number Five

She had trouble letting you go.

Does your mom hate it when you start making decisions for yourself? Does she get upset if you try to lead your own life?

It’s perfectly normal for mothers to feel attached to their kids and miss them when they’re gone. But this attachment reaches a toxic level when it comes in the way of your happiness. As you grow older, it’s okay to become less dependent on her.

If your relationship with your mom is unhealthy, she may refuse to allow you to do things that make you independent. This could be getting a job, creating new relationships, moving to a different city, or making your own decisions.

So, did any of these signs remind you of your mom? Do you suspect your relationship with her isn’t healthy? Let us know what you think in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.


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