The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: My Family Hates My Mother

She picks fights, doesn’t listen to others, and makes everyone uncomfortable. Nobody wants to invite her to events—and I feel awful about it.
Source: Bianca Bagnarelli

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

Dear Therapist,

No one likes my mother. She is loud, obnoxious, negative, and self-involved. She doesn’t listen to people when they talk, or look them in the eye. She doesn’t have any common ground with most folks, since she’s mostly interested in her own stories.

All of this means being around her difficult. She has instigated arguments at family gatherings, making things very uncomfortable. My aunts, uncles, cousins—her siblings and nieces and nephews—keep their distance when possible, not inviting her to game nights, birthday parties, and other gatherings. This makes me feel obligated to host events so I can ensure she’s invited,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
House Insurrections Are Here to Stay
There’s nothing new about a speaker managing dissent. And these fights are likely to intensify.
The Atlantic4 min readSociety
The Suffragists Who Opposed Birth Control
Editor’s Note: Read more stories in our series about women and political power. You would think suffragists, those corset-clad beacons of girl power, would support women’s right to have sex for pleasure. You’d be, for the most part, wrong. Mainstrea
The Atlantic4 min readScience
California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change
“Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did. And that’s a really big deal.”