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Is this relative slagging me off? What would you have done?

(73 Posts)
IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:30:09

So I live in a different country and my cousin from the USA messaged me on Facebook asking what I am currently doing in my life. I have no children. It's just me and my husband here. She asked me if I am working.

I told her I'm still studying (she knew I was studying) and that I am not working. She goes, "so you're a housewife? You have a very very nice life then!" I told her again I am studying and left it at that.

I did some other things in the past few years (I actually finished my masters, but am starting another one that will hopefully pave the way for the career I want to have, I interned in a topnotch lab, co-authored papers, etc) but I don't want to share my life too much. We come from a country wherein relatives or even people you aren't even related to feel they're entitled to judge your life. And they don't have qualms about asking questions that sound like you need to justify your life choices to them.

For context, my relative is a very very successful career woman, and 17 years older than me. I was originally supposed to move to the US to practice the same profession as hers, but that didn't push through and life took me in another direction.

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:32:07

Also to add, my cousin has a niece we're both close to (the niece is closer to my age), and she and I were talking a few years back. The niece told me (upon learning I'm studying) that I am always studying because it's my excuse to avoid working. My cousin and her niece are in regular contact and they're very close.

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:33:12

Sorry, I meant the niece and I were talking a few WEEKS back, not years.

WallisFrizz Fri 23-Feb-18 21:36:10

It’s not her business and she shouldn’t have passed comment. That said, I would secretly think that an eternal student might, just might, be avoiding the Work place.

zzzzz Fri 23-Feb-18 21:36:17

No she’s saying you’re having a nice life, the standard response is “yes I feel very fortunate”

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Feb-18 21:38:05

She's not slagging you off, she's judging you for your choices.

Personally I wouldn't have done anything because I wouldn't be the least bit interested in her 'verdict'.

NataliaOsipova Fri 23-Feb-18 21:39:17

the standard response is “yes I feel very fortunate”

With bells on. And then add - "and what are you up to these days?". Just ignore. Who cares what anyone else thinks?

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:40:07

That said, I would secretly think that an eternal student might, just might, be avoiding the Work place.

If I work now, I will have a generic role. I got a scholarship that will lead to something more specialised and, well, more money.

Queenoftheblitz Fri 23-Feb-18 21:41:28

Perpetual students do exist and it sounds like they've discussed you and put you in this bracket.
I would send your cousin a friendly email explaining your further education and how you don't want her to get the wrong impression.
As she's in a similar industry she is going to be interested in your career.
But I suspect she's very competitive also.
So don't give these two the chance to spread their assumptions to the rest of the family.
No need to fall out over this.
They can only make a judgement on what info you tell them.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 23-Feb-18 21:41:59

She thinks you're having a nice life, not working and studying as you please. Don't you agree with her?

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:43:57

* "and what are you up to these days?". *

Actually I asked her this twice but she kept following up with questions! I thought she'd notice I was changing the topic but she was persistent.

flumpybear Fri 23-Feb-18 21:45:36

I susie t it may be that in America even post doctorate roles are considered very junior so maybe she thinks you need to up your game and do a PhD maybe? Just ask her though

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:47:23

Also sorry to dripfeed, but the reason I went back to study postgrad was that I moved to this country, and my previous qualifications were not recognized. I was asked to study again. Instead of studying the same thing, I chose a different route.

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:48:10

Perpetual students do exist and it sounds like they've discussed you and put you in this bracket.

Yeah I am pretty sure they have discussed me.

category12 Fri 23-Feb-18 21:51:46

Does it matter?

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 23-Feb-18 21:55:32

Don't worry about it op - time will tell. I was a University student for 9 years in toal and I'm pretty sure my family thought this about me! Have been in what they consider to be a 'proper' workplace for some time now, so they are happy. Not that it matters obv grin

You sound sensible to hold on for the better future.

RebelRogue Fri 23-Feb-18 21:56:16

Does it actually matter?
Are you really close or random catching up and family events?

I know some of my family judges me,hell even my mum does...but they don't raise my kid,live my life or pay my bills,so I don't give a shit what they think .

FlippingFoal Fri 23-Feb-18 21:56:57

Working in the scientific world I've found more doors open the more experience you have, not the more masters... I got a job as a trainee, did my degree through work then also my masters through work. Put me and you against each other in an interview and I can guarantee that I will get the job over you. I think you have been rather foolish in your career moves.

ShellyBoobs Fri 23-Feb-18 21:57:32

So I live in a different country...

Is the bit you missed off the start of your opening sentence something like, "I moved abroad a few years ago..."?

CharisMater Fri 23-Feb-18 21:58:37

Weird that she's analysing your life by her own value! Shows low empathy that.

"Yes i feel very fortunate!".
Family gathering soon. Ill need it.

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 23-Feb-18 21:58:40

Oh and my cousin spent years telling anyone that would listen that my dad was paying my rent/mortgage (as appropriate) for me and that I was properly cossetted. He wasn't, and I wasn't. I don't actually care though (as in, genuinely not fussed) because I know her comments came from a place of hurt (her dad left the family and has been described by all as a bit crap) and not malevolence. Smile politely at silly comments like this and ignore.

SuperBeagle Fri 23-Feb-18 22:01:34

Have you actually worked in the past, or have you always been a student?

It sounds to me like your family sees you as a work shy perpetual student.

Not that it matters, of course, if it works for you/your husband.

Gemini69 Fri 23-Feb-18 22:01:42

do not respond to questions about your private life... ever again... do what she does... ask questions... flowers

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 22:01:56


I do not have the qualifications for the role I want. That's why I am studying for it. I interned in a lab because they needed me in the team as a subject matter expert because of my previous qualification/experience. This paved the way for me to be exposed to the scientific world, which I want to be a part of.

Re: putting me and you in an interview, I would think who will get the job will depend on what the role is. I am pretty sure once I am done with my current study, that combined with my previous experience will make me desirable for a niche role.

IsThisMeToo Fri 23-Feb-18 22:02:29

Have you actually worked in the past, or have you always been a student?

I have worked for five years in my home country before migrating.

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