How can I improve my relationship with my mother who seems reluctant to admit she makes mistakes and is constantly playing the role of the victim?



I understand your frustration. First let me say that you’re not going to be able to change your mother’s behavior. Unless she recognizes that she’s doing something to hurt you, she will not change how she behaves. Even if she did, old habits are hard to change, especially if she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong. You can’t change her, but you can change how you react to her.

Playing the role of victim is usually a way of getting attention. Don’t give in to her. When she begins doing what she does, excuse yourself. In a nice way, just say, “Sorry you’re feeling that way, Mom. I’ve got some stuff to do. Hope you feel better.” Then leave. I would love a little more information such as your age. That might change my answer. If you continuously deny her attention, she might, at that point, change her behavior because she’ll know she can’t get pity from you.

There are several possible reasons why she might not apologize and admit she’s wrong.

1) Her Ego. It may constantly need to be fed.

2) She may be afraid of looking stupid, of not being respected, or accepted.

3) She may fear losing control or power.

4) She may fear that if she admits she’s wrong, it will mean she’s flawed.

If your mother is truly fearful, and believes that, in fact, she is a victim, she won’t stop what she’s doing. Don’t take it personally. Remember, when she acts like a victim or doesn’t apologize, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with her. Just walk away, and if you can’t, just nod, but don’t give it any energy. This is a battle you won’t win. Only by not giving her the attention she’s craving, can you affect any change.

Good luck. Please let me know how it works out, or whether or not you have any other questions.