Labeling Keeps Daughters and Mothers Stuck! (and I’m not talking about post-it notes)

By Val Boyko • August 24th, 2011

Thanks for all the feedback on the recent post Venting About Mom Won’t Bring You Peace. When we vent it feels good for a short while. It’s healthy to express our anger too. But for many daughters it’s difficult to move forward, and so the cycle of  hurt-anger-venting continues.

mother daughter stand offRather than looking at what’s going on inside us, we tend to react and blame the other person. However, when we label someone as wrong, bad or broken or even with a psychological disorder such as narcissism, it keeps us even more stuck.

If we keep using labeling as a way to defend our position, it can become a deep rooted belief about the other person. For example, a daughter who sees her mother through the filter of narcissist, will fail to see her in any other way. She is not a whole person, but a set of behaviors that annoy the heck out of you at best, or constantly wound at worst.

What we may not  realize is that when we label an other person and complain about them, we may be putting ourselves into the role of victim. We fail to see our whole selves and what we might be capable of. We limit ourselves with labels too!

As long as we are victim and our mother is the villain, things will remain the same and the drama triangle will continue.

Judgments and labeling creates a fixed mindset rather than a growing mindset.cartoon angry woman pointing

Which would you rather have?

Having a fixed mindset makes you feel right and safe, but will always keep you stuck. If you are labeling your mother, then stop and consider how this is closing your mind to your own personal growth as well as what may be possible for any future mother daughter relationship.


Val’s Comment: When we consider ourselves to be open minded and lovers of learning, it can come as quite a shock to see a part of ourselves that is fixed and stuck. Know that you are not alone and that I am here to help with the resources in Mother Whisperers as well as in conversations.

Enhanced by Zemanta


I certainly agree that, in most situations, labeling someone is a convenient and stifling strategy to meet our own needs; and being labeled usually sucks.

There are, however, some instances where I’ve seen a label bring someone peace and open up an entire realm of possibility.

For instance…take the adult who has for years felt different and often a failure…who is diagnosed with ADHD. Now they have been labeled…. and although ADHD is not all that they are…it often gives people a way of embracing their differences and strengths…. and new resources to compensate for their weaknesses.

Maybe all labels should be followed by an “and”…… I am this “X” and so much more. She can be “Y” and so much more.

Hi Jay. Thanks for sharing about insightful labeling that can bring peace and reassurance too. I love the idea of adding “and”. That’s powerful!


Leave a Comment

« | Home | »

  • Join The Mother Whisperers Community

    Become a Member
    * indicates required
  • group of women
  • COMMUNICATION QUIZ - Can You Make These Statements?

    Ask yourself if you make any of the following 15 statements. Find out if you are expressing yourself fully and are communicating with openness and presence.
    • SCORING The highest possible score is 30, and the lowest is zero. The higher the score, the higher your likelihood of having success in all your relationships. 0-9: You probably find yourself frustrated in relationships (especially with your mother) more often than you would like. 10-15: You have a high aptitude for relating and are open to learning 16-24: You have good relationship skills. How can you apply them more to your mother relationship? 25-30: Congratulations! Your capacity for present-centered relating is at a very high level.
  • Categories

  • Blogroll

  • Archives

Please make an appointment to talk about what's going in your relationship and to see if coaching or our services would help!