“I never call my mom and dad because we have nothing to talk about.”

"Powdered Gold" by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

When you call a parent, it’s not important whether you have anything to talk about. Making a call shows that you care. Simply calling to make a connection is what counts.

There’s no need to have long conversations or bring up topics that will generate arguments… unless there is something you want to air and attempt to resolve. Asking how they are doing or even talking about the weather does the job of making a connection.

If you’re afraid your parent will ask awkward questions, such as when are you going to get a real job, there’s no need to respond reactively. Look for the positive concern underlying the question, even if there’s more sarcasm than concern, and take the high road with your response, such as, “I appreciate your concern. I’m glad to have any job right now. Please don’t worry about my finances. I’m doing fine.”

Then switch the subject or get off the phone. “Have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon.”

The longer a person goes without calling a relative, the more resistance he or she will feel about doing it. Keeping these connections alive can mean a lot for everyone involved over the long-term, and can be particularly meaningful for parents as they age. One day you’ll be glad to hear your children on the phone asking, “How are you doing, Mom and Dad?”

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Getting off the phone: ‘I can never get off the phone with certain people who seem to talk forever.'”

3 thoughts on ““I never call my mom and dad because we have nothing to talk about.”

  1. Dalton

    The part about it building up and getting worse the longer you don’t do it is so true. I haven’t talked to my mom in about six months. I don’t want to talk to her but now even my brother is getting on my case about it. See, we have always had a rough relationship because she was never there for me growing up and instead chose to drink my childhood away. She’s mean and bitter and just all around not a person I enjoy knowing. I wish it were easier to call her but just thinking about it almost gives me an anxiety attack.

    1. Alison Post author

      I’m sorry to hear that about your mom. If someone is truly bitter and mean, and every time you make an effort, you feel worse as a result, then it may not be the best thing for you to keep pursuing connection with that person. It does take two to create a relationship. All you can do is try, but it is not healthy for you to try too hard when the other person doesn’t respond positively. Good luck, and I hope you find more positive people to spend time with.

  2. Pingback: “I hate small talk. It’s such a waste of time.” | Healthy Relationships and Solutions to Happiness and Love © 2012

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