Tuff Talks: Confronting parents

Dear J: How should I go about telling my family that I’m thinking about quitting college?

J: You should definitely have this conversation in person. Going home for winter break will be a great opportunity to bring this up. The key word here is “thinking.” Let them know that this isn’t concrete yet, but make sure you are honest with your tone and how you present this to them. Are you “thinking” as in this is an option you just started considering, or have you been sleeping on this for awhile and the only thing left is getting your parents’ blessing? They’re your parents so you probably have a rough idea of how they will react, but here are a couple of suggestions to help it go smoother: 

First, explain why you want to quit college and how those things have been affecting you mentally, emotionally, academically, etc. 

Second, have a plan. What are you planning to do instead of college? Are you sure that you are passionate about makeup so you want to go to cosmetology school instead? If you have a solid alternative, then that’s great! But if not, that’s totally OK too. Not knowing what you want to do in life but knowing that college isn’t for you is completely valid. That being said, you’ll want to reassure your parents that you won’t just sit at home all day, forever, which is probably what they’re fearing when they think of a college dropout. For example, when telling my parents I wanted to take a gap year, I wasn’t completely sure how I wanted to spend it, but telling them that I would start out by working as a lifeguard and would work toward landing an internship let them know that I would at least be doing something. 

Be prepared for some resistance and definitely listen to what your parents have to say. But, also set boundaries and let them know how much you are willing to compromise (maybe you’ll try one more semester in exchange for their support if your feelings still don’t change). Good luck!

 

Dear J: My mom is a grade A narcissist. Everything, good or bad, is about her. How do I call out her lies without hurting her feelings or our relationship?

J: As much as your question made me laugh, you should probably not call her a “grade A narcissist.” Saying generalizations like “everything, good or bad, is about her” is also a no-no. You can definitely sit her down,talk about specific lies and instances that you are thinking of and tell her how her actions have hurt you. Let her know that you still love and care about her. Tell her what steps she can take to improve your relationship.


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