I am going on a trip with my grandmother in august. She is very manipulating and if I were to tell her the truth she would get her feelings hurt. How can I tell her to back off nicely if I need to
Setting boundaries with people is a hard thing to do. The key to remember is not to blame them, rather explain where you are coming from. I recommend using the “I feel” formula:
I feel……. (how you feel)
when….. (describe what happens without saying “you”)
as a result I would like…. (describe what you would like your grandma to do instead)
how do you feel about that? (this lets your grandma know that you care about her feelings and you want her feedback)
so for example, you may say:
I feel sad, hurt, and manipulated
When I don’t have a choice and I can’t speak my mind
As a result I would really like for you to ask me for my perspective, listen to what I need to say in the moment, and give me some space
How do you feel about that?
People’s reactions are about them, not you. So if she gets upset, remind yourself that her feelings are about her. Give her space if you need to and calm your own anxieties down (you may have to use some self-soothing techniques).
I would recommend practicing this conversation in the mirror a few times so you can feel confident in it. Remember, it is okay to show emotion when having difficult conversations, so don’t be hard on yourself if you do show emotion.