Specifically with my mother. I talk with her on the phone and when we have already talked for a while, say half an hour, she keeps talking and bringing new pointless futile topics and expanding on them, which annoys me and sometimes I end up getting angry, and sometimes I manifest that anger getting "cutting" or being a little rude. She can talk for an hour or more until she has something to do. I don't tell her to stop because I'm this way and I expect her to realize we have already talked about the main topics and important stuff and a little bit more but she doesn't and keeps going for what I perceive to be too long.

I always feel really bad afterwards because of my unreasonable anger and irritation and the inability to deal with this, and when I get too rude most of the times I call her again and apologize.

It frustrates me even more because most of the time I'm not really doing anything better than talking with her, but I can't help but get annoyed when she starts to talk for too long about basically nothing, something that we will both probably forget in a short time.

And it's not like we talk once a month, we usually talk multiple times a week. We never talk so much even in person.

I love my mother, she is not perfect, but I really don't want to get angry with her but I can't avoid it sometimes and I don't know what to do about it. I don't want to ask her to not to talk too much to me because I think that would sound like an entitled kid, and if I cut her random talk I would feel like I'm not being patient enough with her, but I end up getting angry doing that.

And now that I think about it I think I have a tendency of getting angry with her like a stupid brat, I'm not sure why.

I would really appreciate any advice on how I can talk to my mother without getting angry?

  • Welcome to Buddhism.SE. Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 9:23

2 Answers 2


When we want to deal with someone, we need to first understand that someone. The more information or knowledge we have of that someone, the easier it gets.

Now in the case of your mother, isn't it obvious that she desires to stay on the phone as long as possible with you? She doesn't do the same when you're physically with her, because she's happy enough that you're already there. So what do you think is happening here?

As I see it, she wants you to be present. Talking to you on the phone allows her to feel that you are present. And what does she get with that? No much actually, except for short periods of relief, I guess, from loneliness. And why talk about unnecessary things? Why not? The subject obviously doesn't matter. Even if it's a repetition, whatever comes to her mind is a way to keep you with her, to keep her from feeling lonely.

You, as her child, wish to please her, and so you keep listening. While wanting to be nice, you listen with anger. Even if there's not much of that in the beginning, it builds up in you. And when you can't hold it anymore, you explode.

Frustrating, isn't it?

You might think that by listening quietly she might eventually recognize that you want to end the conversation and that solves your problem. Hasn't work so far, huh?

When we let someone with lots of desire lead a conversation, then it's to be expected that the conversation becomes dominated by desire. Since between you and her, you have a clearer head (i.e. more wisdom), and you want the conversion to be more meaningful, then you are the one who has to take the lead.

Stop trying to be nice, and start being kind instead, and courageous.

Help her. Help yourself. Lead the conversation. Choose the time to call her. Tell her how much time you have with her on the phone. Ask her about her day, her feelings. Don't let her defilements lead. Let your wisdom and love lead. Let her feel your presence, your love for her.

All the best to you.


'anger' is actually an illusion: it doesn't exist. There doesnt seem to be any noncircular definition/ description of it either. So just be glad someone is nice & interested to share their time with you. An empirical example too: Knew a very learned busy kind person who came to an appreciated understanding with their folks that talks re 'important things' would only occur if genuinely very pressing, and then hopefully of under 2to3 minutes duration. That all communications would hopefully be about the weather, birds, shika, squirrels, lunch, what might be for dinner, songs, water, tree growth, scenic vistas, walking around, etc. That was much more important to them, inane chatter. Priceless. No hustlebustle. Seems like wise decision.

And because of time constraints, maybe simply reduce duration of calls by a few percent. Laugh and share joy & tell them you have to go for then, and thank them for talking with you. Isnt a biggee: straightforward and honest & ok!

Whether what they talk about seems important, apparently its important to them, so: ok! Or adjust the subjects a bit. Discuss the weather and nutrition or something, something upbeat & optimistic. Very good. Uplifting maybe. Have some nice tea while on the phone(just notspilling it into the phone etc)

And if irritation, simply discontinue it. Irritation probably wouldnt adjust anything in a useful direction anyway. And the situation doesnt really sound bratty, & if it really seems like it is, then simply discontinue brattiness. Good. And much less tedious than fretting over it. Much easier too. and sort of like being honest, theres less to keep track of.

And every time is new, every moment can be appreciated. Invest in good happy kindly things rather than self indulgent tedious things, such as that discarded illusion commented on at the outset!

And always try do the best one can: cant do any better than that!

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