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I think my SIL is being unreasonable. Quite hurt by her remarks.

(26 Posts)
MrBloomsNursery Wed 14-Sep-11 23:18:19

I've been attending an Asian wedding recently (I am Asian btw and weddings last days and days), and some women there have taken a shine to me as I know alot of songs and generally like mingling with everyone.

I'm not rich. My husband doesn't have the best job in the world. We earn enough to live comfortably and I recently left my job to do an MSc (this is all relevant information).

Today SIL makes remarks to me on the phone pointing out each person who I was talking to and telling me "that woman is rich she lives in a massive house on so and so road. The one sitting on the sofa was rich. The one sitting opposite you was really rich aswell..these women were all really rich"....I kind of got the idea of what she was saying, and replied "well I don't really believe in a class system in this country, and I think that's a stupid mentality to have. I may not be rich, but I'm still human" to which she replied "These women talk too much and start asking questions about your life and best not to talk to them".....

My SIL sends her children to private school so has something in common with these women, but it seems like she was embarrassed of me and my husband, or jealous that I was talking to these women.

I was so angry when I got off the phone. I very nearly said "well I better not talk to these high class women then today?" to her, but I bit my lip. I felt really depressed about my life for about 10 mins contemplating about whether to go to the wedding party, and then I though F it. I am who I am. I may not be rich or send my daughter to private school - but I am more educated than SIL, and I always believe you should talk to all types of people at their level. I didn't even know who these women were, or that they were rich or how many cars they had. All I knew was that I was having a good time singing and dancing.

I just want to understand what would possess someone to say something like this to dampen another person's spirits? I felt really low class like I was a nothing and shouldn't talk to anyone. Do you think it was jealousy or embarrassment of me?

MrBloomsNursery Wed 14-Sep-11 23:18:40

Sorry for the long post.

PuspornInBoots Wed 14-Sep-11 23:21:01

Perhaps she's a bit jealous because in spite of her sending her kids to the "right school" and whatever else she does, the other ladies chose to talk to you :-S Hopefully she'll get past it when she's thought about it - she can hardly hold being likeable against you! J

CocoPopsAddict Wed 14-Sep-11 23:22:52

Ignore her - she is just jealous that you're having a better time than her.

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 14-Sep-11 23:25:01

Yes, ignore her. The "rich" women were happily talking to you and you were happily talking to them. It was none of your SIL's business - like CocoPops said, she's probably just a teeny bit jealous.

GodKeepsGiving Wed 14-Sep-11 23:26:15

Perhaps it was jealousy, but it also illustrates that regardless of class there are pleasant and less pleasant people. Your sister-in-law may have been jealous that socially you were able to blend in and make friends, it could be that despite her affluence she is still not really accepted for some reason and so resented you. She may be so concerned at defining her territory that she is defensive in such situations. I would imagine that her attitude is more likely to be construed as problematic than yours.

ChippingIn Wed 14-Sep-11 23:26:30

You don't need to apologise for the length of your post - nor for the fact you aren't rich.

She sound deeply entrenched in her culture - if that's how she wants to live her life - fine. You don't have to follow suit. You do what's right for you and don't let the silly mare drag you down!

SinicalSal Wed 14-Sep-11 23:29:04

money doesn't buy class, that is what this episode shows.

HerHissyness Wed 14-Sep-11 23:30:35

They see her for the social climber she is.

They see you for the normal, sane, approachable person that you are.

MrBloomsNursery Wed 14-Sep-11 23:32:47

Thanks everyone. I did feel down for a little while, but then thought why the hell should I not talk to someone just because SIL tells me they're rich? I've never even thought that I can't talk to "rich" people - I mean wth?!!

Crosshair Wed 14-Sep-11 23:33:46

Agree with the others, sounds like she's jealous of you.

nickschick Wed 14-Sep-11 23:36:19

I think your SIL is one of those people who think everyone has a place and needs to stay there,you think hmm well thats my seat but hey i dont mind sitting alongside other people lower or higher than me.

Your sil is restrained by social behaviour you are not.
You sound a pleasure to be your sil does not.

She is jealous of you,your ambition,your lust for life,your freedom to be who you want to be as despite being well aware of her place she still is held back by what she believes are the 'barriers of class'.

aldiwhore Wed 14-Sep-11 23:40:42

Agree with others.

You were shining, and people took a shine to you. Your SIL didn't like it.

Sounds like you're rich in other ways, maybe your SIL is so annoyed because she's so concerned with wealth and status that she's forgotten how to shine.

MrBloomsNursery Wed 14-Sep-11 23:42:45

nickschick - I think you have hit the nail on the head there. I'm the kind of person who will change my way of speaking or my topics of conversation to talk to another person at their level. I hate it when when people try to act superior to someone. I'm pretty good at reading people's behaviours too and these women were genuinely being nice to me - I mean if they were being sarcastic or rude, I think I would have noticed, and SIL was trying to make out I was stupid for talking to them. I mean even today, as soon as I entered the room they called me over and made space for me to sit next to them.

2rebecca Wed 14-Sep-11 23:46:36

If my SIL started on like this I think I'd be taking the piss out of her by the time we got to the third person who was "rich", with lots of "let me guess she's rich too, hurray, how many more rich people do I need to get a full house" or something similar to make her realise how daft and superficial she is being. I wouldn't get upset about it. She just ends up sounding superficial and obsessed with money where as you sound like someone who chats to people and isn't concerned about their money.

She may just be doing it to gossip and give you some background info on them, rather than deliberately trying to make you feel poor or upset you. You seem to have reacted to her comments in a slightly paranoid way leaving the phonecall angry and depressed rather than feeling sorry for her for being so superficial and judgemental.
It sounds as though that is just her personality and she judges people on their finances rather than that she was deliberately trying to upset you. She maybe thought you'd be impressed with how well she knew these "rich" people and was trying to make herself feel better rather than you feel worse.

midlandsmumof4 Wed 14-Sep-11 23:53:40

OP- you sound like a breath of fresh air compared to you SIL. Maybe that's why you got on with everyone so well.......

MrBloomsNursery Wed 14-Sep-11 23:58:09

2rebecca - yes you're right, I did get angry during the phone call, but only because she blatantly said I shouldn't talk to them because they'll start asking questions about my life, and then they'd find out that I'm not "rich". It's like she was trying to make me feel ashamed.

MrBloomsNursery Thu 15-Sep-11 00:03:16

Thanks midlandsmumof4 - very kind of you. I don't see myself as anything special, I just believe that every person deserves to be spoken to politely without any arrogance, whereas SIL told me the other day not to talk openly to anyone when we got to the party, as it's not that a special occasion.

IrmaMuthafucker Thu 15-Sep-11 00:07:03

I wouldn't pay attention to your SIL. I would ignore her because she sounds rude.

I know in some cultures talking about money is arguably less taboo than the uptight British way but none of my Indian or Bangladeshi friends have ever sneered at someone else. In the most part they do tend to be less inhibited when it comes to talking money - which I like - and one of two will always ask how much things cost (from my house to my clothes to my education) but never, ever in a sneering way. Always more just expressing interest or making conversation. However, this doesn't sound like a cultural issue. This sounds like a rude SIL issue.

If they cared about how rich you are or what your husband does they would have found out before they started speaking to you and then not bothered.

That's what snobs do. That's what your SIL would do.

These people clearly don't care. What they did care about was meeting a nice woman who also doesn't care, and who was having a good time and helping everyone else to have a good time.

While your SIL looked on snootily and mentally counted everyone else's money for them.

Relax, have a good time, ignore your SIL and carry on as normal. She's probably jealous and she's trying to make you feel self-consious and awkward and spoil your new friendships. Don't let her.

BustersOfDoom Thu 15-Sep-11 00:33:43

Agree with everyone else. She's jealous and doesn't like the fact that they seem to like you a lot more than they like her!

Carry on as you are and take no notice. Your friends are clearly not as snobby and judgemental as your SIL.

MrBloomsNursery Thu 15-Sep-11 00:36:48

Irma - I did initially think it was a cultural thing, but then like TakeThisOne has said, I realised that these women spoke to me before knowing my background, so they obviously didn't care and weren't acting snobbish towards me. I don't know why SIL is like this.

GaramMasalaGirl Thu 15-Sep-11 00:51:27

Gosh your SIL sounds like a snotty uptight cow.

Please don't let this awful awful woman change the way you behave and interact with others. You sound lovely and well done on pursuing the MSc.

Good luck.

IrmaMuthafucker Thu 15-Sep-11 00:55:36

I wouldn't waste time worrying about why SIL is that way. Life is too short. Enjoy the wedding smile

lazarusb Thu 15-Sep-11 09:12:27

If I didn't talk to people who were financially better off than me I wouldn't have anyone to talk to at all grin Luckily the people I know also don't give a monkeys, like your new friends. You are rich, obviously, in ways that your SIL will never appreciate or understand.

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