Vindictive SIL(200 Posts)
If anyone can offer any advice, I would really appreciate it!
My SIL has never liked me from the beginning and goes out of her way to be bitchy and nasty.
Unfortunately, we will be seeing her next week due to a family anniversary celebration and I am dreading it!
Both me and our two kids have Northern accents and despite having very soft accents, she continuously pretends she can't understand what we're saying or does impersonations of how we talk. (They live in London.)
When I've mentioned this to my DH, he just laughs it off and says it is her sense of humour!
She has even made comments in the past like "Your children need a haircut" or "Their jeans are getting a bit short in the leg!"
She is a raving snob and talks about football being "common" as she knows my elder son is football crazy. She'd rather go to "rugger!"
She also takes the mickey out of anybody who shops in places like Farm Foods or Lidl as she is forever banging on about shopping at Waitrose....
When she's not making nasty comments, at other times she will completely blank me!
If I could get out of going to this bloody thing, I would but I know she would manipulate the whole situation and my DH would cop it from the rest of the family.
I could understand it in a way if I had done something to upset her but I haven't!
Friends have advised me to blank her back and only answer her if she talks to me.
Any advice on how to handle this vile woman would be most appreciated!
Get tipsy. Blank. Repeat as necessary. Tbh from what you are saying she sounds insecure and unhappy, trying to put you down like that. I'm surprised your husband seems blissfully unaware...
Be nice to her. The nicer you are the worse she looks. Smile, be kind, defend her when she behaves badly.
She will look like the bitch she is and you will be a saint.
Take pleasure in being nice, she will be baffled and uncomfortable. It is very hard to be consistently rude to someone who is understanding and nice. She is on home ground if you blank her you will look like a bitch.
Paint on a smile, grit your teeth, and take pleasure in her discomfort.
Avoid her when possible. Answer her in short sentences. Never volunteer information (she has no reason to know where you shop for instance). Deflect all questions, be as brief and non committal as possible.
"I think x needs a new haircut"
"I think Waitrose is the best ever"
"I can't understand a word you say"
You can have a lot of fun here.
Thanks Malika! He does know what a cow she is, but he hates confrontation....any time I have pointed out her behaviour, he just pretends she is trying to be funny.
Think getting tipsy and blanking is a great idea...
I would go with what your friends have advised. Often there are people who like to be combative, they think its fun to stir up drama and make snide comments. Family members used to such behaviour obviously no longer even notice it hence your dh's response. I would do my best not to rise to her bait, blank her when you can and give her brief answers. However, I think your dh should take your concerns more seriously and at the very least ask her to quit with the accent nonsense or have her hearing tested! What a moron!
Thank you all!
I do know what you mean about the blanking thing...
There was an incident recently, where she was nasty to another relative. He answered her back and then she ran from the room in tears and my MIL then turned on him and he was getting accused of upsetting HER!
Bookworm I speak from experience. Just imagine her face when you approach her "SIL it's lovely to see you! Have you lost weight? You look stunning" <big smile>
She is totally on the back foot, no idea what is going on, you smile a walk away. Take the initiative off her.
Kill her with kindness. As others have said it will confuse and annoy the hell out of her when you don't bite, she won't be able to make you look like the bad guy for upsetting her.
Thanks Trying2bgd - When she does that bloody accent thing, I can feel my temper rising - especially when she takes the mickey out of our two kids.
I personally love listening to different accents and find them really interesting - and often attractive!
As I said before, my DH is very assertive in his job and line of work - but when it comes to family (especially her) he becomes a different person!
It annoys me that people have to be like this. Have had to deal with a situation with my own family recently and I don't understand why some people who no matter how old just can't seem to stop behaving like a really mean and ridiculous teenager! What do they gain from this?
OP - good luck. This helped me with my recent episode 'Accept the apology you will never get'
So she makes a comment about your accent - you laugh kindly and say...
" That's such a shame for you I personally love listening to different accents and find them really interesting - and often attractive! my favourite accent is ............ what about you?"
You look nice and accepting, she looks like a bitch. If she chooses to say something else unpleasant, she looks even more of a bitch.
She has form, the family know her, you will be seen as the kind, long suffering SIL, she will confirm her status as a cow. You win, she loses.
Tbh your husband needs to stop laughing it off & pull her up on it.
He doesn't need to be nasty, but why is it OK for her to criticise you, your kids, lifestyle & therefore him?
Just tell her takes a certain type of person to understand us northerners and you are sorry she isn't one!!
Thank you too Anothermoomin - I will def say that!
I nearly fell off my chair at one family get together, when she was bragging that an American tourist overheard her talking on the tube and supposedly said to her, "Excuse me ma'am. Are you a member of the Royal family?!"
Yeah, I come from Manchester and when I was in America someone asked me if I was related to royalty.
Learn the art of the well-placed "Wow." whenever she says anything awful. Go ahead and make it awkward - but place the awkwardness where it belongs, at her feet! Just "wow" like you can't believe she'd be ill-mannered or crass enough to say whatever ill-mannered or crass thing she just said. Then stony silence. Leave her to fill it.
She sounds like a peach.
Killing her with kindness is the best way. Annoys the hell out of them.
I would ignore as much as possible and give one word answers to direct questions.
If you want to up the passive aggressive steaks then I would walk away with a roll of my eyes or wander over to dh, whisper in his ear and giggle like the two of you having a running joke on it - you could get him to hand you money like you won the bet!
tbh I would be inclined to tell DH I wouldn't be going unless he could guarantee to stand up for me and his DC
The stony silence will annoy her far more than any come back. I guarantee it.
God she sounds awful. I could suggest some gentle, passive aggressive comebacks but I know that in real life I'd be losing my rag.
It's people like her that give Southerners a bad name. She's completely up her own arse. I love the 'Have you lost wait?' comment.
Sorry, I am going against much of what is said above. I'd absolutely call her out on the accent thing with your kids. That's not acceptable. I wouldn't care if it caused her embarrassment. You don't do that to kids full stop.
Sounds like the established family roles in your DH's family are that his sister gets away with it - cue your DH saying 'it's just her sense of humour' and MIL backing her up when she's nasty and called out on it.
Your DH may struggle to see that he accepts stuff from her that he wouldn't put up with from others - you will have to point it out over and over that he wouldn't like it if someone else did it and it's a funny sense of humour that enjoys hurting people.
Otherwise kindness is the way to go:
'Waitrose, really? Locally our Lidl is rammed with tweed and Jags in the car park. Waitrose is really for the insecure, don't you think?'
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