After a day of hiding (belly ache) and thinking, I went down this morning to see my parents, drink some coffee and experiment. I just waited til they started telling me what to do (didn't take long) and instead of getting tense, I asked myself "why are you getting tense?"
In this case, the issue at hand was Prissy (their former dog)...she was too thin (she's always been thin) and I let her walk down without a leash (a calculated risk-I didn't feed her because I knew she'd be more likely to be lured).
So what was making me tense? I didn't like it that they were questioning my husbandry skills (Prissy was thin when she lived with them too) or my training experience. Not that either are that great, but neither of them has attended a dog class or worked with a dog beyond housebreaking and I devote quite a bit of time to said passtime.
Does what anyone thinks of my training or husbandry skills MATTER? Not really, but what my PARENTS think of me does. And that's it in a nutshell, I don't feel like they give me any credit for what I've accomplished in life.
Mom will brag about the 13 pounds I've lost, but never talk to anyone about my Master's Degree. What I've done professionally just isn't important to them. They are stuck somewhere in the 1950's so the lack of husband and the woeful outcome of my daughter is really all they see.
And if I look at me through their eyes, that's all I see. So my new mantra has to be "look through your own eyes".