Dear Mel – Vol20

Dear Mel:
My mom is always telling me I’m too sensitive. Maybe I am but she’s always making rude or sarcastic comments that sting. I try to ignore it but eventually it wears me down. If I try to say anything, we end up in a big fight. I’d appreciate any advice.
~ Insensitive Mom ~

Dear Insensitive Mom:
I can relate, I have heard that from others too. It’s hard not to snark back when the sarcastic comments come our way. When you two aren’t arguing, try sitting down with her and talking to her about it. If she can try to hold back the comments, you can try harder not to be upset by them. Ask her if she means to be funny by the sarcasm or is she being passive/aggressive in order to get her point across? Her motives may help you avoid having your feelings being hurt. And when she does say something that is rude, you can say, “Mom, did you mean for that to sound the way it came out?” I hope she is willing to try and work this out with you. If not, you may need to decide how much of it you can handle and when/if you will say anything when she makes a comment. If she really hurts your feelings, it’s okay to tell her so. Then take a walk and pray about the situation to give you both time to cool down.

I look forward to hearing the reader advice on this one!

* Dear Mel questions are reader submitted. If you would like some advice, please fill in the Dear Mel form. It’s totally anonymous.


  1. I have a real problem with this, I am a sensitive person, and I am so tired of people saying, “don’t take it personally” or “don’t be so sensitive”. You have the right to expect that people will respect your sensitive nature just as you respect their natures. If she knows it hurts you, you have the right to ask her to tone it down, or learn to literally walk away. I had to learn to do that because the people hurting me with their words were enjoying seeing me react, they liked being able to say things that hurt just so they could tell me not to be hurt. No one should do this, especially after you’ve told them it hurts. It is disrespectful at the least and controlling at the other end.

    If you can talk her, ask her to respect that you are sensitive, and determine a word you two can use that reminds her to tone it down before it gets out of hand. If she won’t respect that, then perhaps walking away before you react and feed their need for your reaction will show them you are not helpless in the face of their ‘wit’ and are able to respect yourself enough to not continually be hurt by their words.

    Being a sensitive person is a blessing, don’t let anyone take away that gift from you.

    Prayers and love.
    Shanyn recently posted..How Do I Really Know?

  2. Excellent advice, Mel, and spot on! No matter how hard it may seem to be, a son or daughter needs to try to talk things out with their parents. I didn’t think I could, and now my mother is surprised at all the stuff I held in. She had her own reasons for coming across as being unwilling to talk about stuff that I didn’t understand or misinterpreted at the time.

    If your Mom doesn’t want to talk it out at home, I.M., then see if she’d be willing to do so somewhere else, somewhere with a private corner, but away from distractions at home.
    Joe Sewell recently posted..The Capped Idol of Copeland-Hagin, Part 1: The Chat That Started The Series

  3. My mom has said this a matter how sincerely I tried to tell her she hurt me, I got the same response, “you are too sensitive”.

    So, what I try to do:

    Continue to be honest. “Yes, I may be sensitive, but please don’t say that to me.”
    Realize my mom says things that are hurtful because she is hurting. Most of the things she says don’t stick, anymore.
    Change the direction or end the conversation.
    Pray for her..
    Commit to acting loving and healthy myself.
    Add distance (physical and emotional) if needed.

    These can be hard to practice, but helpful!

  4. I’m not sensitive at all, but my mom still said things that hurt and developed issues that I’m still dealing with today. I talked to her about things, but they never really changed. I finally decided that it’s far easier to change myself rather than trying to change someone else. I talked to a counselor and quickly realized that my mother said the things she did because she cared about me (she just didn’t express it in the right kind of way). She made comments about my weight because she was worried I would become an adult with health issues–not because she thought I was fat and ugly. I didn’t make the comments hurt any less, but it made it easier to heal from them.
    Becky W. recently posted..A Prayer of Engagement

  5. Mel,

    You are really a light for Christ! What an encouragement you are. It is such a pleasure to “meet” you, and I am so glad you popped over at Getting Down With Jesus today. Keep up the God-Work here, Mel. You shine for Him!

    – Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

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