(In case it matters this question is made on behalf another person)
I have a parent who seemingly lacks the ability to empathize with me. They'll never say things like "I understand you" or "I am sorry to hear that" instead they'll jump in to solve a problem (even if there isn't anything to solve) usually by pointing out a mistake in what I did, even if that's a mistake existing only in their head. They never extort any effort to understand my position and immediately go to criticism.
For example they criticize me for not going out much, saying "you sit at home all day". Failing to note a young baby at my home which due to being fussy makes any escapade longer than half an hour at best huge pain to go through requiring very specific timing and behavior, at worst a completely devastated evening spent on listening to a crying soul unhappy about his destroyed sleep schedule.
They're also overly negative, their first instinct to any situation is imagine the worst possible scenario and act is if it was the truth. Case in point, when after a hot day my kid had sweaty feet they said the baby must have heart problems.
I am in my late twenties, living nearby said parent and moving away as well as reducing the time spent interacting with them is currently impossible. The baby is demanding, my partner is working full-time and I need someone to take care of the baby during the day to be able to do chores or catch a breath. Also finances make moving rather impossible.
My goal is not to change them nor destroy any relation we might have right, time and time again any attempt has shown that they're completely unaware of their behavior even overtly criticizing other parents who behave the same.
Trying to tell them their remarks hurt usually ends up with either one of those scenarios:
- They inquire why then criticize the stated reasons effectively making the situation worse.
- They take it as a personal attack and criticize me for hurting them, maybe start crying, effectively making the situation worse.
How can I respond to hurtful remarks from a parent to make them realize I am genuinely hurt but in such a way that it won't escalate?