comment by duckduckMOO ·
2012-06-08T17:46:32.267Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
First off, my advice to you is to stop loving her and destroy your relationship with her because she sounds like a terrible person. "Already she made one: insisting my love of science is causing my social anxiety disorder". That's just nasty. As an atheist that's bad enough but for a christian to do that demonstrates some really deep set cruelty/selfishness or just incredible disrespect for you personally. It sounds like she's either a bad person, below the intelligence threshold for personhood, or believes she owns her kids all of which should be dealbreakers (though the last one might be fixable.)
But maybe you don't share my values or maybe she is somehow a decent person or whatever so if you want to maintain the relationship I just want to comment on part of what the otherdave said.
"•Remember that you have a lot of power here, although it's highly constrained power. Be consistent in how you use that power and over time you will affect your environment. Reward the behavior you want; ignore the behavior you don't want; over time the pattern of behavior will change. But consistency is key. If you let her control the interaction -- for example, if you end up having an argument when an argument doesn't serve your purposes, simply because she did something that upset you -- then you give up consistency, and you give up those benefits. (If she is consistent and you are not, over time your pattern of behavior will change.)"
She sounds like an authoritarian psychopath so this doing this might risk your relationship if she decides this is an attempt to undermine her authority but life is so much easier without an authoritarian psycopath around you thinking you are their underling so worst case scenario you are better off. I advise you to make no concessions though and that includes so much as feeling guilty or feeling like throwing her a bone when she's wronged you. As well as controlling your anger it's also very important to not make concessions out of pity. Don't let her blackmail you by suffering as hard as she can. That's a negative sum game. You (and maybe even her) will suffer a lot more in the long term if you cause her to keep doing things you hate by being too compassionate.
An easy way to keep track of how you are doing things is to think about how she might interpret any on topic interaction with you as setting a precedent. If you accidentally set a bad precedent break it asap. It's easier the earlier you do it.
You don't necessarrilly have to stop at ignoring behaviour you don't like. If you punish it, without signalling too obviously that you are deliberately punishing it (e.g. by arguing with her when she does something that upsets you.) and without offending her so she makes a point of doing it more her behaviour should change quicker. Ignoring behaviour is no detterent at all to many people. This doesn't have to be as deliberate as theotherdave suggests. Just get mad and resent her when she does bad things and be glad when she is nice.
I don't know specifics though so you'll have to judge that on your own (e.g. if your parents might throw you out, or kill and eat you, or whatever, you might be better off lying a little) But whatever you do don't compromise yourself. If you can lie that's always an option but if you can't lie don't half convince yourself of something it would be convienient to be able to claim.
All of that advice is based on the assumption that her worry is, at least in part that you are not demonstrating in group loyalty, agreeableness and the proper deference to her authoritay by believing silly things (which it almost certainly is).
It is possible that a large part of her fear is genuinely that she is worried you will go to hell or you have a god shaped hole in your heart. If you do some research and she doesn't consider it beneath her to learn facts from you, you should be able to convince her that there is no basis for hell in the original bible. It's a medieval invention, basically. If she does consider it beneath her to give what you say fair consideration do not present her with any arguments. Have someone "authoritative" that doesn't believe in hell or doesn't believe in the usually claimed entry condition of unbelief tell her so or else she might reject the belief that there is no hell at all times in the future on the basis that it came from you first.
There's also the argument that the bible is unreliable. Even if it was written originally as God's word there have been a lot of modifications by fallible humans. Is it really plausible that a good God, a being worthy of worship, would commit people to eternal suffering on the basis of their beliefs? I don't know how to convince her you don't have a god shaped hole in your heart. You don't sound too suggestible but watch out for people trying to convince you you do have a god shaped hole in your heart.
Replies from: TheOtherDave