9 Things Toxic Mothers Say

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This is because they not only hurt you, but for many, they have broken your relationship, even if she did not intend for that to happen.

Things toxic mothers say can vary but like everyone else who is toxic, she would use her words to manipulate and control those around her to get what she wants. The dynamic between your mother and adult child is different and in many ways, your mother’s words can hurt you a lot more than anyone else can.

Whether or not she is insulting and degrading, swearing at you, or just being unkind, we all say things wrong from time to time, that’s just being a human being.

A lot of the time it is because others can take things wrong and you are not always responsible for how people feel and react. What we are talking about here is things your toxic mother says that make her toxic which is a different ball game.

In this blog, I will talk about a few phrases that if said between a mother and an adult child would be toxic. I will also explain how things are said would make what is being said a lot worse, and end by providing 4 tips on how you could start to manage your mother’s toxic words.

Toxic words a Mother can say to her adult child

1. You owe me

No good can come out of “keeping score” in a mother-and-child relationship. Your mother declaring that you “owe” she is extremely toxic and damaging to your relationship.

If your mom uses this tactic, it is clear she is being manipulative and using guilt-tripping in order to control you by attempting to make you accountable for a debt you didn’t choose to incur and can’t possibly pay back.

Maybe she needs financial support which in some ways is not a bad thing to ask for help from your children. Maybe your mother is genuinely struggling.

However, what a mother gives her child is a privilege, and a gift given to your child is done freely and unconditionally.

If I didn’t have children, my life would be different
Your mother here seems to be blaming you for the life she hadn’t got. Maybe she had hopes and dreams that were genuinely thwarted because she CHOSE to have you. Remember she made choices not you.

She is not taking responsibility here for the decisions and choices she made in her life.

If you think about how you struggle to make changes and influence your own life, what power have you got to influence your mom’s life?

2. I prefer boys to girls (or visa versa)

For daughters and their moms, maybe your mom sees you as a competition, especially if she is a narcissist. For son, the reasons can vary. She might not necessarily always say the words but her actions in how she treats versus a sibling or other family member of a different gender are clear what she believes.

Either way, it is painful to hear from your mother that she wishes you were something else.

3. “Stop bringing the past up and move on.

You may have experienced childhood struggles, abuse, or trauma where clearly you could see that either your mom was clearly involved or was there and you felt that she could have made better choices that would have helped you.

Maybe you felt brave enough to talk to her about it. Tell her how you feel.

Here she doesn’t own up to anything but maybe you just need her to acknowledge that your experiences weren’t great. You may also find that by continually bringing it up, you’re seen as the troublemaker and that you’re the one with the problem.

4. You are stupid

Never a good thing to say to your child whatever their age as it will affect their self-esteem. 

When you say someone is stupid, it represents the whole person and that is completely toxic. No one is completely stupid, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; Things they are good at and not so good at.

For your mother to tell you you are stupid, completely misrepresents who you are as a whole person.

5. I love you but I don’t like you

Completely toxic and what are you supposed to do with that?

And I can’t see how that could be helpful at any point as it basically tells you that there is something wrong with you. That you are fond of them and care for them as their mother but she doesn’t like the person you have become.

This can also be manipulative as most of us want to be liked by our mothers. By your mother telling you she doesn’t like you, she is more or less telling you that you should change who you are to be more in line with what she expects or wants.

6. I went through so much giving birth to you and bringing you up

Similar to the previous point on “You owe me”. It is clear that a parent, especially your mother, has gone through a lot giving birth and bringing you up but to throw it in your child’s face is another issue.

Again it is clear that your mother is being toxic when she is taking out all her hurt on you.

7. You will never come out to anything good

Here it is clear that you can’t depend on your mother for your confidence or your self-esteem. As parents, we are here to guide and support our children but not do the opposite. 

If you have made choices that are challenging for your life, there are more encouraging ways for your mother to say this. 

How could you make such a negative prediction about your own child’s life?

8. You’re just like “someone toxic in her life”

Here it is clear that you can’t depend on your mother for your confidence or your self-esteem. As parents, we are here to guide and support our children but not do the opposite. 

If you have made choices that are challenging for your life, there are more encouraging ways for your mother to say this. 

How could you make such a negative prediction about your own child’s life?

9. It is also not what has been said, it is how it has been said

There are other things that could make the things your mother says to you difficult to cope with.


Her tone of voice may change when she is upset or angry. Or maybe she shouts at you but doesn’t stop. 

Arguing and quarreling are common in all types of relationships but this doesn’t make them toxic. There isn’t any point where yelling would be appropriate. 

When your mom yells at you the tendency of damaging the relationship to the core increases. It will literally destroy trust and love and is considered to be destructive and abusive. This is made a lot worse if she swears at you uses foul language, 

Another thing to add to the mix of things toxic mothers say is if she does it in front of others. Doesn’t matter who they are, this is only done to humiliate and overpower you. 

What to do about the Things your Toxic Mother says

This one deserves a separate video or blog but I will add three suggestions here on how to cope with your mother’s toxic words

  • If not sure, check it out with a friend – I suggested this one because, if you are used to it and start to question your own sanity, a trusted friend will help you to see the truth of your situation 
  • Listening within – take time out to process the words that are being said to you and question: Would you say those words to a friend? Would you say them to your own children? 
  • What would be more beneficial for you to hear in this instance, just in case what she is upset about isn’t wrong but her words are?
  • What would have been a kinder thing to say? You can journal this
  • Visualise a shield – When talking to her in these circumstances, you could visualise a shield or an invisible forcefield around you protecting you from her words. 
  • You could practice visualising this for a few minutes daily so that when these things happen, it would be easier for this to work under pressure.

What to do next

Feel free to share with someone else that you believe needs therapy. You never know that this may help them to make their minds up!

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Do you have a Toxic, Emotionally Immature, Narcissist, Co-dependent, or Parent with an Addiction? Have you struggled with their behavior for most of your life? Maybe your Childhood wasn’t the best but you want to make sense of why it still affects you now.

You may find yourself struggling in so many ways.

I am an experienced and qualified Online-Therapist based in the United Kingdom helping you on your road to healing from your Toxic Parents. 

Healing is Possible! I’m here to walk with you on your Journey

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