Politics lead to tears.

Started by

My mom lives with me. She will make a political statement. If it's opinion, I just ignore. But, if she says something political that is false, I say "mom that's not true....here's why..." this leads to her bursting into tears and feeling attacked. I hate not being able to have a convo, but I'm tired of this massive guilt trip she puts on me. Any advice?


Andrea, my hobby is politics, so I can understand how hard it is to correct someone's mis-information.   Usually I need to go to the fact-check websites and print out the information.... that worked for my boss as he was believing every email his friends were sending.   It took awhile, so now when ever he brings up politics [normally I prefer to stay away from that subject with him], he will respect my knowledge of the facts.

As for your Mom, why not look up the information together.... there is PolitiFact website, and FactCheck.   Both are good, and both are bipartisan.   I like PolitiFact's "pants on fire" meter whenever a person has said or written something outrageously incorrect.   There is also Snopes for fact checking.

Or just say to Mom "I will check on that later" and hopefully she will forget about what she said.
I'm very involved in politics, so I get your grief. I certainly can relate, as there are people in my family who are totally in the blind about politics, facts, history, etc. My dad especially, is very selective in what he believes, however, I have learned that most seniors are not going to really listen to what younger people are saying about it. They believe what they believe and me trying to show them the truth, make a point or correct them is actually just a waste of breath. I don't put much time into it now. I might say the truth and offer to show them, but, that's it. It's a losing battle and my time would be better spent doing something else like organizing my sock drawer. lol

And if the person has dementia, then there is even less reason to try to correct them. Their brain will not allow new learning and even if you did get through, they would likely forget the conversation, so, I'd let that go too. I mean, if you know it's not true, then, how does it hurt anything if they are wrong in their facts? Why not let her be happy in her own world thinking she's right. Being told she's wrong likely embarrasses her and makes her feel silly. There is no reason to correct her, imo. And there is no reason for you to feel guilty. Just try to let her see it her way and you see it yours.
Why does it matter to you what your mother believes about politics? Is she still voting? Does she contribute to political causes? That is, is she going to do something with her beliefs? If not, just don't engage on political topics.

If you feel the need for her to get her facts straight, perhaps printing out an accurate account of the topic and just leaving it for her to read or not would avoid some of the tears.

I don't know what your mother's impairments are, and that would make a difference. Recovering from knee surgery is vastly different than having dementia or depression. That might make a difference in how to treat this.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support