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How should I deal with my domineering dad?

Q: I am a 22-year-old female. I live in a very conservative family and my dad has a very negative attitude towards life. He is not willing to trust me and my younger brother for anything. Mostly he lives in some kind of doubt and is not willing to accept us as we are. He always scolds us and then he feels guilty about it so he buys us things and takes out for dinner. At times we are also at fault as me and my younger brother also lie to him and we have not had a very pleasant childhood. I have a very loving and caring mother and she also suffers emotionally because of my father's negative attitude. My dad is very outgoing and likes to mingle with people. He has got very good friends and is very cordial and social towards them. But he worries too much about things and wants everything to be according to his wish. Now I have started suffering more on my emotional and career front as he does not want me to go out of the house. If I do go out after taking his permission, he questions me all the time and worries a lot, which makes me feel guilty and angry. How should I deal with this situation?

A:I understand it is a big predicament on your part as to understand how you need to deal with your dad. Your dad has had a set way of doing things all this while and it is perhaps now that you have started understanding the sense of control he wishes to have. In fact speaking lies or rebelling against his wishes would and could make matters worse, and in turn could affect his own feelings too. Although it is easier said than done, but the best approach would be to have a frank chat with him and negotiate the boundaries of what his expectations are and what your expectations or needs are. It might be a slow and difficult process but can be a sure shot, if done persistently with patience, love, affection and respect. Also, at some stage family counselling can be considered.


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