9 Personal Topics You Probably Shouldn't Share With Your Parents
Sure, you love your parents and might even have a really close relationship with them, one built on trust and honesty. That's awesome, but still be advised, there are certain personal topics you shouldn't share with parents, and they should definitely be considered "off limits." Even if your parents can keep their mouths shut or aren't judgmental, there needs to be some boundary set, where you go to a friend or therapist for feedback instead. Hopefully, this will keep you and your parents on good terms, without any room for tension or awkwardness.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on having beneficial, non-toxic relationships. Unfortunately, I meet several people who do encounter toxicity with parents, or who just don't feel comfortable opening up. Personally, I have a great relationship with my mom, and I basically tell her almost everything. Still, even I have limitations, and I make those clear to her when I feel she's trying to break through the boundaries. As a grown-ass woman, you really don't need to share everything with parents (what a relief), so keep that in mind when you're figuring out what to share and what to keep to yourself. Here are 9 things you really don't need to discuss with them, so no pressure.
1. Secrets That Other Relatives Shared With You
No need to throw other family members under the bus, here. It's okay to have separate relationships with different relatives, all built on trust. "In many families, it's quite common for an uncle, aunt, or grandparent to tell you juicy information that is intended 'for your ears, only.' Sometimes this information is private details about their own lives, and in other cases, a relative will reveal secrets to you about your own parents that Mom and Dad never shared with you," says matchmaker and Rabbi, Shlomo Zalman Bregman, over email with Bustle. "In all instances, in order to maintain order within the family structure and respect the integrity of existing relationships, it's vital to keep this information private," Bregman advises.
2. That You Didn't Listen To Them
Chose to go the other way? Don't tell them that. "Parents regard the advice they provide their children as sacrosanct. Although it may be hard to relate to this until you yourself become a parent, it can be painful for a parent to learn that their child heard their advice and then did 180-degrees the opposite," says Bregman. "There's no need to cause your parents retroactive, needless pain and rub it in their faces," Bregman says.
3. That They're Getting Old
No one wants to hear this. "Yes, your parents know that they're not getting any younger, but having one's child express, 'Dad, I gotta be honest, you really look a lot older since I last time I saw you, I mean, like, a lot...' ranks among the most insensitive things a child can say," says Bregman. "Besides, telling your parents that they suddenly look a lot older to you reinforces a private fear that they're nearing the end of their lives," Bregman adds.
4. That They Didn't Parent You Well
"When a person gets older and has children, it's quite natural to purposely emulate certain aspects of how you were raised, while jettisoning elements you did not enjoy in your youth. That being said, I see no need to rub that in your parents faces, and convey to them all of the ways you think you were imperfectly parented, or are 'messed up' today because of them," says Bregman. Instead, compliment them on what they did that was positive, and keep the nastiness to yourself.
5. That You're Upset With Your SO
All couples fight at least a little, and this is natural. "However, it is unwise to run and tell your parents about how your husband, wife, or significant other hurt you or otherwise did you wrong. Whereas you will probably move on and forgive and forget, I can bet you that your parents probably won't," says Bregman. Parents are protective, so don't bring them into your tension with others.
6. That You Hate Them
First off, let's be real: You probably don't hate them, no matter how mad you are in the moment. "The words 'I hate you' cut like a knife to your parents. Even when expressed during a serious argument or in a fit of anger, they create inexorable damage that reverberates in parents ears, long after they are uttered," says Bregman.
7. Your Finances
There's no need to discuss finances with parents, unless you're getting money from them (in which case, it's best to free yourself from that dependency and set some new boundaries, FYI). Yet, if you are not being supported, keep your monetary decisions and bank account info to yourself. No need for snooping, resentment, or anxiety from parents, here.
8. Your Sexual Stories
Whether this is your gender preference for an S.O. or just a few stories about the sex in the bedroom last night with your partner, your romantic time shouldn't be on your mind when talking to parents. Instead, steer clear of sharing these intimate details. Plus, when you think about it, they probably don't want to know that badly, either.
9. That You're Unsure You Want Kids
All parents want grandchildren, so breaking the bad news to them can be like stabbing them in the heart (which you obviously don't want to do). If you're on the fence about having children, or you already even know you don't want them, take your time to re-consider or come to terms with your decision before cluing them in.
If you're pondering any of these questions, or you just have a few stories you need to share with someone, you might want to choose a friend or other supporter to weigh in on these issues. Additionally, if you're thinking any negative thoughts that could hurt their feelings, avoid sharing them, as well. It's not worth it.