A friend of mine has a — difficult — adult daughter with whom she has — difficult — interactions. My friend feels that sometimes she becomes a person she doesn’t like when dealing with her daughter — an actor acting inexcusably in the play of her life.She came up with an effective technique to deal with these situations, and I’m going to try it with X.
My friend drafts a script of an acceptable interaction in her head; one that allows her to be true to who she thinks she is. If her daughter says something “off book,” my friend simply continues with her rehearsed lines. She doesn’t get duped into ad-libbing or letting her buttons get pushed. She is sure that if she “sticks to the script,” her daughter will eventually remember what scene they are in, what her lines are, and get back to performing the play correctly.
Does this work? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I am actually the button pusher in my situation. See https://writeitdownletitgo.com/2015/06/05/poo-flinger/.
This is a sample of our texts: X – Please keep me informed about her doctor’s appointment today. Me – You’re welcome for keeping you informed yesterday for 14 hours. X – I’m sorry you didn’t feel like I appreciated your efforts yesterday. Me – Really? Could have fooled me. X – Hopefully they’ll find out what’s wrong. Me – If you wanted to be a hero you would go with her to the doctor TODAY. X – I can take her. All you have to do is ask. Me – I have to ask you to be her dad? X – I can’t read your mind, so you need to ask me to do things if you want me to do them. Me – You’re a lucky SOB if you can’t read my mind.
I’m working on it.