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How do I deal with this relative?

(8 Posts)
wondering2012 Fri 21-Sep-12 15:08:24

I have a female relative who is very difficult to spend time with.
She lives nearby (kind of) and often wants to meet up. She lives alone and is lonely. I like her and she is a family member after all, but…

-She will either be overwhelmingly loving, or aloof and cold towards me. There is no inbetween. She can turn in an instant if something offends her.
-She is offended by everything. Even if I’m trying to be really nice and polite, she will find a fault in what I said and will suddenly be angry.
-She holds grudges easily
-She bribes people with random gifts, then ask them for a favour
-She will blurt out really offensive opinions about people and will often tell me I need a makeover because I’m not good-looking enough.
- She is constantly talking about things that are important to her (her work, TV shows she follows, lesser known celebrities) like everyone else knows all the details too. If I don’t, and ask something, she becomes offended and angry.
-Seems to have no awareness of her behaviour and how it affects people

I'm a real whimp but everyone else seem unable to handle her too.
Is there a word for this type of behaviour, and how do I deal with it?
I feel sorry for her because she is lonely and seem to mean well, but it’s impossible for me to actually spend time with her without getting hugely stressed out.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Sep-12 17:04:30

I think the medical term is 'a bit bonkers' smile Seriously, she may have some undiagnosed mental health issue that causes her thought patterns and behaviour to be erratic. How old is she?

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 21-Sep-12 17:34:52

And you like her why?
She does sound a bit bonkers.

Walkacrossthesand Fri 21-Sep-12 18:13:11

Sounds a bit 'Aspergers-y' to me - not able to relate to other peoples' feelings, pre-occupied with her own narrow range of interests....How do other family members deal with her - what generation is she?

wondering2012 Fri 21-Sep-12 18:17:02

She is middle aged. She has been like this her entire life.
Why do I like her? She is a very nice person too. Either super nice or angry.

I guess I should just accept that she will always be displeased with whatever I and others say/do. Minimize contact? Or will it make her more upset....? I feel bad about it because she is so lonely.

wondering2012 Fri 21-Sep-12 18:18:27

How do other family members deal with her

They don't. There is either no contact, or drama between them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 21-Sep-12 18:23:34

What do you get out of this relationship with such a difficult person?.

You cannot change such a person and she has already been unkind to you. People who are narcissistic in nature have such traits as you describe. I would read up on NPD and see if that tallys further.

Am not surprised that other members of the family have withdrawn, you may well have to do the same. She probably is nice to you because she can use you currently as her narcissitic supply.

amillionyears Sat 22-Sep-12 20:28:27

op,does the lady realise what her behaviour is like?
Can she understand at all why she has problems getting along with people?

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