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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Parents, Adults and Teens » Personality Differences with Parents

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Author Topic: Personality Differences with Parents
bellaitaliana69
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My parents and I have complete opposite personalities. I'm a very social person and they prefer to keep to themselves. They like to have every minute detail of everything planned and organized while I prefer to just go with the flow. They examine everything very logically, and are never passionate about anything unless they're angry. I've only seen my mom cry at my grandfather's funeral, and I don't think I've ever seen my dad cry. However, I am an extreamly emotional person, and they perceive that as just being melodramatic.

One examply of how this has become a problem is with my schoolwork. As the first people in their families to ever go to collge, they highly value education, but I often feel that that's all they care about. With my outside activities, they'll pay any money that's neccesary for it, but that's about it. They think that that's enough, and theoreticall it should be. But when they don't act excited, or enthusiastic about it, I assume that they just don't care. How do I deal with this in a mature manner without seeming ungrateful?

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"Only fear the things which have the power to harm" --Dante Aligheri, "Inferno" canto 2

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

Posts: 136 | From: Roma, Italy | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hey bella, I just saw this now: I'll be thinking about it and write you a long response tomorrow. In the meantime, Happy New Year! [Smile]
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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by bellaitaliana69:
My parents and I have complete opposite personalities. I'm a very social person and they prefer to keep to themselves. They like to have every minute detail of everything planned and organized while I prefer to just go with the flow. They examine everything very logically, and are never passionate about anything unless they're angry. I've only seen my mom cry at my grandfather's funeral, and I don't think I've ever seen my dad cry. However, I am an extreamly emotional person, and they perceive that as just being melodramatic.

Well, to me, being "emotional" is "logical"! [Smile] But it easier for any of you.

For starters as how to talk to them, trying to be very clear and direct might help. Using their type of argumention style and language, then continuing in a speaking style that feels right to you. This even could apply to asking for a hug: "Mom, I had a really bad day at school, and a hug from you would make me feel a lot better." Such requests might take them off guard, and they may never warm up to it, but it could just be that they don't know to start.

I'm sorry that they (surely unintentionally) belittle your feelings by calling you "melodramatic" at times. In addition to basic personality differences, they seem to have forgotten how being a teen can be really trying at times– things may seem like no big deal to them with all their life experience when it's very new and big to you. They probably are more ok with how you are than they show, even if they react not-so-positively.

My mom sounds like your parents to some extent: I thought she also ridiculed my emotionalism, but she later told me that it's how I am– and there's nothing wrong with it. She's still very goal-oriented and organized, which has positively rubbed off on me over the years; while conversations in person can be hard, she's a great listener on the phone. And she's started giving me hugs before and after leaving for far away or long periods of time.

If you think it'd be possible, could you sit down with your parents and see how you all could meet in the middle better? Like they each write a list of five things they'd like from you and you do the same of them– then you see where and how easily/hard it'd be for both sides to meet these requests.

quote:
One examply of how this has become a problem is with my schoolwork. As the first people in their families to ever go to collge, they highly value education, but I often feel that that's all they care about. With my outside activities, they'll pay any money that's neccesary for it, but that's about it. They think that that's enough, and theoreticall it should be. But when they don't act excited, or enthusiastic about it, I assume that they just don't care. How do I deal with this in a mature manner without seeming ungrateful?
This is a big accomplishment of your parents– I'd guess that maybe because their parents didn't support their educations as much, they want to push you– which feels like too much. Could you work out guidelines for this, too, like if you maintain an average of ___ and study for ___ hours a day, they can't pester you about not doing enough?

As for your outside activities, how about being direct about them, too: I have a performance next week– I've worked really hard on it and it's very important to me, so I'd really like you to be there. It could be that they're shy and don't necessarily feel super comfortable doing things/going places they're not familiar with. If I remember correctly, you and your family are from an English-speaking country living in (duh [Smile] ) Italy? Could they not feel as integrated into the culture as you?

What are some positive things you and your parents both like to do, or some common beliefs you share? If you can give examples of good things they do to support you, they'll have positive examples to use as models.

Do you think any of this could work/applies to you?

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bellaitaliana69
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Well, one thing I have in common with them is that we all enjoy intellectual conversation. It really is great and all, but since my dad requires alot of convincing to believe just about anything he reads or hears, it often comes off as arguing.
Although they often seem unencouraging while I'm in the process of working toward a non-academic goal, they're always very proud of my accomplishments.
It also is quite true that my parents are not as fully-integrated into the culture as my two sisters and I. My parents are both Italian ethnically, although neither of them were born in Italy. My family has done alot of moving around over the years. Sorry to get off-topic, but anyway. Thank you for your advice, Ecofem. I'm finding it very useful.

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"Only fear the things which have the power to harm" --Dante Aligheri, "Inferno" canto 2

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

Posts: 136 | From: Roma, Italy | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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