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Inability to Communicate with Son - HELP?

I"ve tried to explain to my son that his brand of communication skills are prime ground for breeding miscommunications - which happens OFTEN with him. He's 23. And he's causing all kinds of hurt feelings between himself and me.

Let me explain - Normally when you are communicating with a person who is considered close to you and they ask you a question - a person who is openly communicative will 1. Understand that a break in the 'askers' voice is their que to talk (sitting there silent is just awkward and uncomfortable for the asker - AND it gives them the impression that you are trying to NOT answer their question).
2. When your mom asks you "where are you living now?" warrants more of a response than "with a roommate" - If I have to keep asking questions to actually get the whole truth of "I live with a roommate in the XYZ Apartments, #270" - then you've given me the definite impression that you don't want me to know where you are living.
I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday - if you keep acting like you don't want me to know where you live - then I'm gonna assume that you don't want me to know where you live. Duh.

But then I ask him "Do you not want me to know where you live?" to which he responds with "I don't have a problem with you knowing where I live"

So I ask again "so where are you living now?" and he says " in some apartments over by the south WalMart" (there are about 20 different complexes over there)

But then he comes back on me on his birthday that he didn't get a card or a present or anything and how his feelings are hurt - and I'm like "and to what address was I supposed to mail that present to?"

This boy just simply does not even remotely get that it's HIM who is causing all this upset and hurt feelings. Having a normal conversation with him is like trying to drag a 747 uphill - at some point normal people give up because they know it's going nowhere.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 4:33 PM on Jun. 2, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (7)
  • Have you gently explained it that way to him? that you feel you have to pull teeth to get REAL communication from him? Has he always been this way or is it recent? did you not have a party for him for his birthday anymore?
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:05 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • Is he like this about everything or just certain subjects? Do you think he's embarrassed to tell you the truth or he might be trying to hide something that he feels you wouldn't approve of? Do you think he could just be going through a phase where he needs some space and wants to make all his own decisions without comments from anyone? If you had a rocky relationship in the past he might just need some time to get past it. At 23 he's still got a few years before he fully matures. I think you just keep trying, and with things like an address maybe go so far as to ask him to write it down so you can send him a card when you feel like it. Try not to ask to many questions that seem prying and don't criticize him when he does let any information slip out. Maybe also assure him you won't be popping by unannounced. Invite him to your home for dinner at least once a month. GL!

    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 5:24 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • Another thought - maybe also invite sibblings or cousins around his age to dinner at the same time. Maybe he would open up more around them and you could at least listen in and maybe find out a little about what's up with him.
    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 5:28 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • IDK...he's being very vague for a reason, I think. That's the kind of thing my daughter would do when she didn't want to give further details. Question is.....why is he being so vague? Is he afraid you'll show up? Is he not wanting you to visit or what? I always hated pulling teeth to get answers too. At a certain age they just don't want to have to answer to everything anymore, for whatever the reason but, that would be "uncomfortable" and awkward.
    Good Luck to you!!
    KellyGirl_TX

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 12:32 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • Send him written clear messages. With blanks to fill in. Even when he is standing right beside you, hand him the paper with what you want to know on it. I just think he is clueless, not trying to be weird or anything.
    lilangilyn

    Answer by lilangilyn at 2:05 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I guess I should have added that we don't live in the same town - he lives on one side of the state, I on the other. So dropping in on him unannounced wouldn't happen and inviting him to dinner wouldn't happen either. Guess that was an important thing I left out. And yes, he's been like this for the last couple of years - wasn't like this before.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:03 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Spare yourself the hurt feelings. Just when you do see him "Hey Son good to ya and give him a big HUG... God loves you and so do I. did something happen that he wants to tell you about but can't bring himself to talk about it. make his favorite dish, maybe he's hungry... he might just want to come back or something. just let him know whenever he is ready to talk that you will be there. PRAYING FOR YOU..
    miamoma

    Answer by miamoma at 6:47 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

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