do I give my sister a massage?

(39 Posts)
amigababy Sun 07-Feb-10 21:24:54

Hello all, just need a bit od advice to see if I've mis judged my feelings on this one.

My sister and her dh are visiting from abroad soon, for the first time in 7 years. They are staying just 2 days, 1 with us, and one with our parents in a different town.
Knowing that I receintly did an NVQ in body massage and am now doing aromatherapy, she has asked if I can give her a massage while she's here. And also her husband, as he has a stiff neck (no sniggers please.)
I just think this is really inappropriate, they will be our house guests, we'll take them out for a meal, and have organised for him to go to a football match, with hospitality. A free massage (potentially for both of them) makes me feel a bit "used".
So to use the phrase - AIBU?
What do you think


Mutt Sun 07-Feb-10 21:27:54

Eh? House guests? It's your sister and BIL FFS!

Would it kill you to give them a quick massage to show off your new skills?

Sorry but grin at you feeling used.

StephysFamous Sun 07-Feb-10 21:28:06

In my opinion anyway, it's something they should teach you in courses such as hair and beauty. I'm a hairdresser and family just expect freebies, it's what you do.
Think of it as practice. smile

Paolosgirl Sun 07-Feb-10 21:29:51

Why on earth wouldn't you? Surely you're not planning to charge your family and close friends? shock


KurriKurri Sun 07-Feb-10 21:29:57

I'm not sure, its obviously making you uncomfortable. I personally wouldn't have a problem doing something I normally get paid for as a favour for family, and would happily do it for my DSis, (not sure about Bil, I might feel a bit uncomfortable with that).

BrahmsThirdRacket Sun 07-Feb-10 21:30:29

YABU sorry... I suppose some people might think it a little forward to ask, but most people like showing off new skills - they probably thought you would be happy to do it, and weren't taking the piss

DorotheaPlenticlew Sun 07-Feb-10 21:33:49

Depends how comfortable you are with your sister generally (am thinking that if you haven't seen her in 7 years it may not be the average sisterly relationship, if there is such a thing), and also, how long/what type of a massage they want. 10 minutes each through clothing, great -- 45 mins each naked & oiled up on your massage table, perhaps not ...

gingernutlover Sun 07-Feb-10 21:34:59

sounds like you are going to be quite busy whilst they are with you to be honest and if they are both expecting full massages then you wont have the time will you? wink.

I can see your point about feeling a bit used too, so only agree to what you are happy with eg a quick shoulder and neck massage each.

and why shouldnt someone charge their family or friends for a service they provide. If your friend was acleaner would you expect them to pop round for a coffee and hoover the living room at the same time for practice?

Paolosgirl Sun 07-Feb-10 21:38:03

Because families help each other out? If she hasn't seen her in 7 years it's hardly as if she's going to take the mickey, is it? It's one massage! I wouldn't expect to provide this service regularly for family and close friends, but on the odd occasion, of course. Why not?

Pineapplechunks Sun 07-Feb-10 21:38:03

I'm a massage therapist too and freebies for friends and family are expected. It might grate a bit sometimes but it's what happens and not just with this profession- mechanics, accountants, Dr's, to name a few, all friends and family want free advice or quick jobs doing gratis.

YABU to not give them both at least a quick shoulder rub.

Paolosgirl Sun 07-Feb-10 21:40:12

Agree Pineapple. DH is a tax accountant He has provided lots of our friends with free advice and does tax returns etc for his mum and sister. Wouldn't dream of holding out his hand for money, and goodness knows it wouldn't go amiss.

Feelingforty Sun 07-Feb-10 21:41:02

YABVU - my sister in law is also doing a massage course & was very pleased to 'practise' on me (it was fab!)

Don't be so mean !

StephysFamous Sun 07-Feb-10 21:47:25

^Wouldn't dream of holding out his hand for money, and goodness knows it wouldn't go amiss.^

If I asked my mum or sister for cash every time I do their hair I would get slapped silly. shock

amigababy Sun 07-Feb-10 21:47:58

I would never charge her for it, I probably unwisely used the word free - as a student I haven't charged anyone yet. I guess I envisaged sisterly chats and shopping/coffee for an afternoon, catching up on family matters.

StephysFamous Sun 07-Feb-10 21:50:21

It's amazing what people will tell you when they are on a massage table shock

sunshiney Sun 07-Feb-10 21:56:21

Eh? Can't believe this is what you call a dilemma.

But thanks for the laugh!

amigababy Sun 07-Feb-10 21:59:25

and thanks for the belittling, sunshiney. I've been worried about this for weeks. Glad to have been amusing for you

Mutt Sun 07-Feb-10 22:00:19

You've been worrying about this for weeks?


SixtyFootDoll Sun 07-Feb-10 22:03:23

THey are family, cant you do them a favour.
If i had a sister that could give me a lovley aromatherapy massage I would be thriled.

Why are you so worried about it? I dont get it.
IF you want to do this for a living I think you need to relax about it.

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 08-Feb-10 08:13:35

OP, if it makes you a bit uncomfortable for some reason (reading between the lines I think maybe there is more background here than you've really spelled out), then you should probably just try to minimise it. Can you just make it a short shoulder rub as another poster said, so that you have done something but not a full-on massage? Surely that would only take half an hour for both of 'em?

QuintessentialSnowStorm Mon 08-Feb-10 08:19:25

oh, dh has sorted out so many computers in the last few years, for friends and family, we would never dream of asking for money.

You know, do somebody a favour, and they will do you one, in the future some point.

Dh helped a friend of my father with his computer troubles, this man came with a lorry to help us move, as thanks!
Dh helped my cousin with her computer, a few days later she rang the doorbell with a cd for my oldest son - really it was a teaching resource, and not to be given to the children, but my son loves mathematics, and now he can work on it at home, he was so happy he started sobbing when she gave it to him.


DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 08-Feb-10 08:22:08

I honestly don't think the OP was meaning to say that the money was the issue -- I know it wasn't very clear but I think it's less clear-cut than that ...

EcoMouse Mon 08-Feb-10 08:37:49

You're developing a skill that others will desire. I think you need to decide your boundaries to save future angst.
Do you have a problem with assertiveness? If you really want to say 'no' just do, you have your reasons.
I think it's reasonable of your DSis to ask, equally, it's your right to say no, if for whatever reason you don't want to massage them.

Laquitar Mon 08-Feb-10 08:38:35

A friend of mine did this course and she was begging us to give us massage because she wanted to practice. She was using us! grin

gingernutlover Mon 08-Feb-10 08:45:27

having reread your OP I can see this is more about a bigger picture.

your sister and BIL are coming to stay, in your house, you will be buying them dinner, you are paying (I assume) for him to go to a football match ...

and they want a massage too?

Say, no sorry I wont have time, as I want to relax myself. The visit isnt just about them getting lots of lovely things to do is it? Its about you spending time with your sister too?

PuppyMonkey Mon 08-Feb-10 08:45:28

Why would you feel used for doing them a massage? EH??? Do you feel used for putting them up in your house, taking them out for meals and taking them to footie? No! It's just a nice, sisterly thing to do. Get a grip. grin Sorry, i love saying get a grip on MN.

PuppyMonkey Mon 08-Feb-10 08:46:41

Won't have time??? Just how long does a massage take???

gingernutlover Mon 08-Feb-10 08:51:46

a full body massage takes at least an hour

the time is the OP's though, to do with as she chooses yeah?

If she doesnt want to spend her time doing a massage then that's up to her. She is entitled to say no!

My mum is a massuese (sp?) and yes she needed cases studies to complete her course, but these were people who she had to massage several times over a period of time.

imagine the sister posting here on AIBU, would we all tell her she was perfectly reasonable to expect her sister to do a massage on both of them? Would we be saying her sister was selfish if she said no?

GibbonInARibbon Mon 08-Feb-10 08:51:53

There must be more to this. It just doesn't sound reasonable to me. C'mon spill.

Ewe Mon 08-Feb-10 08:52:25

Are you anxious about them visiting? It sounds like you are and that you're focusing on this as a way of 'processing' iyswim.

If you really don't want to do it say you pulled a muscle a few days before they arrive so you can't do massages for a week or so, lay it on thick about how annoying it is and voila.

msrisotto Mon 08-Feb-10 09:04:35

Or, just say yes and never get round to it, sounds like you'll be really busy anyway and if she does ask say sure after shopping/lunch/tea/dinner/oh i'm off to bed now!

amigababy Mon 08-Feb-10 10:12:00

okey dokey, thanks for all your posts, this is what I think now
-yes I do have a big problem with assertiveness. I wouldn't find it easy to say what I feel to her, or say no, nor would I ask for a favour/massage/haircut etc from a friend so when it's the other way round I am surprised.
- a proper massage does take a good hour, plus, for me, set up time and tidy away time
-she's been abroad 30 years and only been back about 4 times (Europe this is, not Australia) so I see her weekend as a flying visit. If she were here a week I'd have no problem about this as we'd have lots of time available to do many things, but they are only with us one day. She's a lot older than me and we aren't particularly close/sisterly. We only write/email, not phone, but it's not the lack of closeness that makes me not want to massage, but the lack of time that she is here.

Having said that, if BIL gets pleasure from the football match he's going to, then a massage for her would be one of her good memories of the trip too (I hope)

Posting this has given me a chance to think about why I feel so worried about the situation and maybe see it in a different way

YABU. Utterly.

In my family I'm the one with the 'good hands' and the only time I have ever refused to give anyone a massage was when I was suffering with RSI.

Even when I was pregnant, and didn't have the strength in my hands or the energy to sustain a massage, I would lay-on my hands and try to help that way.

They're family for goodness' sake! Visiting for the first time in 7 years, you say - so why not give them a bit of cherishing?

how would you feel if she didnt want you to give her a massage?
you have just learnt, is that right, you should pleased surely that they want one?
pehraps she thinks she is doing you a favour.

if you can't fit it in, you can;t fit it in.
they don't know that do they?
just say, we will see if we have the itme.

Laquitar Mon 08-Feb-10 10:20:25

You don't even know how you will feel on the day.You might want to.
Why over thinking this? Is not as you are going to sign a contract!

PuppyMonkey Mon 08-Feb-10 11:01:41

But you don't have to do a full bleedin' hour ffs. Do a 20 min one - she's not expecting full spa treatments I bet!!

junkcollector Mon 08-Feb-10 11:53:55

I think YAB a bit unreasonable about the massage but actually there are deeper issues about your relationship with your sister that you're not expressing.

Do you feel a bit resentful that she is only staying with you for 1 day and that instead of spending the short amount of time you have together catching up, asking you questions about your life, seeing where and how you live etc (having a proper conversation) she wants you to give her a massage?

If this is the case then YANBU in feeling the way you do. She probably isn't taking the piss though, she probably thinks it would be a nice bonding thing.

sunshiney Mon 08-Feb-10 14:19:55

Amigababy - aplologies for my remark earlier in your thread, 'twas uncalled for.

Sidge Mon 08-Feb-10 14:42:30


That's what friends and family do - share 'skills'. Do each other favours. Surely a shoulder/neck massage only takes 20 minutes? You don't need to do a full body massage.

I'm a practice nurse and don't mind helping out friends and family at all; I've done dressings, checked BPs, removed sutures and all sorts.

I draw the line at doing their smears though grin

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