Many people feel put-down by their parents and at a loss for how to let their parents know without making the situation worse.The first thing you need to understand about your mother is that she was very likely raised by a parent who made her feel that she was worthless and that whatever she did wasn’t good enough. This means that she doesn’t have a model in her head for how to talk to you in a supportive, encouraging way. We need to train her how to talk to you in a different way. Because you know that she loves you and wants the best for you, you’re in a good position to resolve the problem. Here’s how to handle her. You start with a support statement that puts her at ease and guards against her feeling attacked and becoming defensive (which means that she won’t listen to you). This type of support statement might sound like,’Mom I know that you love me very much and wouldn’t intentionally hurt me for the world…’ Next continue with your Problem Statement in which you say what she is doing or saying and how it lands with you. For example,’But when you say (or do) X, Y or Z, I feel that I can never do it good enough.’ You can finish your Problem Statement with a Suggestion for the Future, which sounds like this: ‘In the future I would feel so much better if you said, X, Y or Z.’ Keep in mind that if your mother is very defensive by nature, you may need to reword your Problem Statement so that you don’t say the word ‘you’ at all. For example, instead of saying, ‘I feel put down when ‘you’ say or do X, Y or Z\ \ you would say,’I feel put down when such and such is said or done to me\ \ Sometimes making reference to the ‘confrontee’s’ past or upbringing can help the other person absorb your confrontation. For example, if you know that your mom was raised by critical parents, your mentioning this might make her feel less blamed by you. By telling her that you know that she was taught to be critical by her own parents, you are letting her know that you understand that she hasn’t learned another way of talking. By showing that you understand her past, she will feel that you are on her side and aren’t blaming her.I have given you a good start. Obviously I can’t go into all the ins and outs of the subject, which took me the length of an entire book to address completely. If you want to become truly skilled in handling a confrontation, read my new book, Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First). In the book, I go into complete detail about how to confront a loved one, including how to handle defensive responses, how to apply first aid to get the discussion back on track, and so much more.