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Help prepare me for awkward conversation!

(110 Posts)
MariaK91 Wed 27-Jan-21 12:08:45

A while ago I posted about my SIL messaging me some quite mean things about how rubbish she thought our (me and DH) Christmas gifts to her family were despite us buying her everything she asked for and going way over budget than we normally do (£120+ spend on her, her husband and baby).

We have not spoken since, I was quite upset and didn't feel like reaching out. I received a message from her asking if I fancied going for a walk around the park with her and baby, and while I normally would love going for walks with people, I'm a bit apprehensive that she is going to bring up the presents again and say mean things about my DH (her own brother!!) which obviously will upset me. She might not, but she might!

Sometimes in situations where there's conflict I freeze up and don't stick up for myself and then later I think 'why didn't I say something' or I just panic and talk jibberish and make things worse. Basically I'm asking if anyone has any advice on what I can say if that situation comes up that will not involve me swearing!! or making things more awkward and in a way that I'm not a jerk about it. I don't want to argue but also don't want to be a doormat. What can I say to shut down the situation without causing more trouble and making things awkward?

It might not even come up, but I am getting anxious about it and I think being prepared for it might make me feel better.

OP’s posts: |
contrmary Wed 27-Jan-21 12:13:39

Take control of the situation and raise the issue yourself. Say that you were a bit upset by her comments but that you want to move on from it. If she's a reasonable person she'll be able to have a grown up conversation with you.

That might sound like stupid advice but rather than avoid the situation or being in fear that she might bring it up at any moment, you can chose to control when you deal with the issue.

Stompythedinosaur Wed 27-Jan-21 12:16:18

It cam be really helpful to "name the problem" e.g. respond with something like, "I'd usually jump at the chance to see you and the baby, but I was really upset about some of the things you said at Christmas and now I'm worried you're going to bring them up again. Is there a way we can resolve things?"

You'll soon find out whether she wants to maintain your relationship by resolving your differences or just wants to have another go.

If you do need to have a conversation about it, then try and focus on how you felt rather than throwing accusations e.g. "We spent what felt like a lot of money to us, so I was upset when it didn't feel appreciated." Also remember you can set boundaries e.g. "I don't want to continue if you are going to shout/swear at me."

saltinesandcoffeecups Wed 27-Jan-21 12:18:12

Why are you afraid of making things awkward or causing trouble? In this case, I’d embrace it. If she brings it up just say what you feel, she was mean and ungrateful and she should check her attitude.

She obviously didn’t have any problem stirring up trouble, why should you back down from it? That’s no way to live.

combatbarbie Wed 27-Jan-21 12:18:50

"I'd usually jump at the chance to see you and the baby, but I was really upset about some of the things you said at Christmas and now I'm worried you're going to bring them up again. Is there a way we can resolve things?"

I hate confrontation but I think this is perfect. What did she moan about exactly if you got what they wanted?

CSIblonde Wed 27-Jan-21 12:21:54

I wouldn't want to spend time with her after that . I'd just be cordial but distance myself . But if you do, re the gifts, I'd say ' It's the thought the counts &, it's ungrateful to complain when you received what you asked for. I'm not prepared to discuss it any more". She'd have to be an absolute bitch to bring it up again. Also, never carry on further or 'explain' after that kind of sentence, as it implies it's negotiable & you can be persuaded otherwise . Walk off or change the subject. I used to have a massive fear of confrontation, but once I thought of a script up front, I found it empowering not to be the put up & shut up one any more.

PatchworkElmer Wed 27-Jan-21 12:23:27

I think you probably need to address it tbh- otherwise you’ll feel awkward every time you see her, surely.

LagneyandCasey Wed 27-Jan-21 12:27:42

She sounds like a nasty cow. I'd not want to see her at all but definitely would need to clear the air and get some sort of apology before I could happily socialise with her.

swiftt8919 Wed 27-Jan-21 12:29:06

One of my real pet hates is when people are very rude / unreasonable and act very confrontational which discourages people from challenging their behaviour. Then, they seek control by reaching out to the other party involved because they've decided to get over it, whilst firmly believing that they were never in the wrong to begin with.

This above is your SIL. Don't stand for it. A pp gave a perfect example of what you can say, which shows that you know her behaviour was poor and you're not just going to come running when she fancies a bit of adult company.

Oh, and she wouldn't be receiving any gifts from me in the future.

Lweji Wed 27-Jan-21 12:33:19

Did she actually say the presents were rubbish?

My advice if she brings it up again is to ask her questions. Mostly, Why? and What?

You can close the issue by saying that as you can't possibly get presents right, that it might be best not to exchange presents in future. Particularly among adults.

Meowchickameowmeow Wed 27-Jan-21 12:36:24

'Do you fancy a walk around the park'?
'No thanks, you're a bitch'.

SeaToSki Wed 27-Jan-21 12:40:04

I dont want to discuss it, you can talk to DH about it if you want to...... How did little dc sleep last night?

No really, I dont want to discuss it......How is your work coping wih covid atm?

If you cant leave it alone, Im going to go home. But I do like going for walks with you, so please can you drop this particular topic....... Now isnt the weather today nice

katy1213 Wed 27-Jan-21 12:40:28

Haven't you got someone nicer to walk with?

Lweji Wed 27-Jan-21 12:41:36

Oooh, I've just caught up with previous threads. shock

I'd probably find an excuse not to go. But she deserves to be given a straight no.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Wed 27-Jan-21 12:53:24

She doesn't like you. She wants to meet up because she wants something not because she enjoys your company. Decline the offer.

IntermittentParps Wed 27-Jan-21 12:55:43

She doesn't like you. She wants to meet up because she wants something not because she enjoys your company. Decline the offer.

I think this too.

Although I do admire those on this thread advocating grown-up conversations. You're better people than me grin

Cuntitinthebin Wed 27-Jan-21 12:58:05

I can't find the thread about the gifts, just one where she didn't say thank you.

Please could someone link?

Timeforabiscuit Wed 27-Jan-21 12:59:22

Nope! She used you as a verbal punch bag the first time, no need for you to do it again.

You can just be upfront with her with a phrasing of the messages above, and then if any flying monkeys emerge, just say that it's between you and your sister and you don't want anyone else dragged into it.

Your sister should apologise for being rude, whether she will is a different matter!

2021hastobebetter Wed 27-Jan-21 13:00:55

Actually I think you have two choices phone or message and say exactly what you have put in your OP and say how upsetting and rude you found it and would like to move things forward but you don’t want to go for a walk until you resolve it


And I’d be more inclined to do this. Don’t go and go very low contact and get your DH to respond. He can message along the lines of x is very upset about your behaviour at Christmas. The fact that you asked for certain presents, were brought them and then still Complained - x doesn’t feel comfortable with you as a result so either you need to apologise and give reassurances it doesn’t happen again or put all your communication through me. But know I fully support my wife.

Something like that

Shoxfordian Wed 27-Jan-21 13:04:48

Maybe just don’t go
She doesn’t sound very nice

I wouldn't go at all.

isitsafetocomeoutyet Wed 27-Jan-21 13:08:39

Why would you want to go? She sounds awful. And like PP I suspect there's a reason she wants to see you.

She uses you as a verbal punching bag. She's shown you her true colours. She's clearly not your friend

I haven't seen the other threads. What does your DH say about this? How did he feel when she slagged off the presents?

Personally I would go low contact. Life's too short to be spent on edge wondering when the next jab is going to come. DH can maintain the relationship if he wants.

BeautifulStar Wed 27-Jan-21 13:10:11

I wouldn’t want to go on a walk with someone who complained about the presents they received at Christmas, no. I’ve never come across such rudeness - how are people like this brought up? It’s astounding.

Thehop Wed 27-Jan-21 13:23:01

This woman is vile to you! Why on earth are you meeting up with her???

HollowTalk Wed 27-Jan-21 13:23:20

No, it sounds as though she's annoyed everyone else and she's reduced to asking you. Either that or she wants something from you - or both!

Just out of interest, how much did she spend on your family?

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