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My DM starting petty arguments and attention seeking(10 Posts)
Me and DM have an ok relationship, I think. However I do struggle to understand her weird and petty behaviour at times.
We used to argue a lot when I was a teenager, her blaming me for starting the arguments and being stroppy. I could have sworn she used to wind me up on purpose. I moved out when I was 19, moved to UK, had fun, met DP, settled down, throughout which I didn't really think about it much and probably accepted that I was a difficult teenager after all.
I think of myself as pretty laid back person and it takes a lot for me to get really cross. She is the only person so far who can make my blood boil and leave me seething for ages. She does that to my DF and DSis as well.
Her favourite thing to do when going out with me/DF/Dsis is to get ready to go and then leave the person who is going with her standing by the door while she has to go back in to tidy up, look for her phone, go to the loo etc. The average time waiting for her is about 10 min. She does this every single time. Another example that springs to mind - my Dsis recently came to visit and travelled by coach for 4 hours. DM went to pick her up (10 minutes walk). Dsis was in a hurry as the loo on the coach was broken and she was bursting. As soon as she told this to DM, Dm started to look into every single shop window they were passing - newsagents and DIY stores included and generally trying her best to be as slow as possible. Dsis was furious of course.
I could come up with hundreds of examples like that. When we get wound up and have a go at her she plays the victim, accusing us of being horrid to her, denying that she does this on purpose and telling me and my Dsis that we have our fathers bad temper. (he does NOT have a bad temper)
She is getting worse, I am mainly getting worried because I now have DD (1) and I don't want her to be exposed to us arguing. Ignoring DM's behaviour does not work, she will step up and do something worse until she gets a reaction she wants. Telling her in advance that we will not wait for her does not work either. Both me and my Dsis have walked off without her in anger several times, she doesn't care and acts like nothing happened. I would really appreciate any advice on how to deal with her.
When you walk off after giving her fair warning, don't do it in anger: do it in comfort of the knowledge that she is who she is and will not change, and that you are doing what is right for you.
Anger at her is wasted emotion in this case, and expecting her to change her behaviour is misplaced optimism.
Also, decide how much contact you want between her and DD, and don't feel bad about sticking to your guns on that score either.
Thank you. I know that ultimately she will not change and I will have to find a consistent way of dealing with her that is not upsetting to my DD. I always promise myself that I will stay calm but rarely do. She just knows exactly which buttons to push to make people close to her angry. There is still some doubt in me whether I am the one who actually has a problem not her as like I said I have never been so angry with anyone else.
She's not going to change her behaviour so you are going to have to change your reactions. Do what you'd do with a toddler, it will be good practice for you. Ignore, you know she does it so just turn the other cheek. My mum's a bit like this but sisters and I get on the phone to each other and have a right good giggle at her expense. This helps us see this ridiculous childish behaviour for what it is so it doesn't really bother us.
When she goes back to tidy up/find whatever - why not follow her back in and sit down. If she says anything, say mum, you're always ten minutes when you do this. So we'll go when you're ready.
don't wait at the door for her. Pick up a bloody magazine or something.
Leaving her is a good idea. But don't do it in anger and don't do it a couple of times. Make it your constant response. You will ALWAYS leave.
She's then got two choices. Pack it in or always get left.
Some people are very good at button-pushing, yes, but ultimately you are in control of how you react to them.
I will have to find a consistent way of dealing with her that is not upsetting to my DD
^this is very wise.
Thank you everyone, very helpful suggestions and mostly confirming what I already knew. Will definitely try your tips Hecate.
Where were you both living for you to move to the UK ? If you both live in the UK now, how far apart are you distance wise? How do your DF and Dsis deal with her behaviour ?
Only I live in the UK, I am a SAHM at the moment so me and DD have been going every three to four months for a couple of weeks at a time. I would like to go for longer but cannot face it purely because of her. My DF is completely resigned and subdued to her behaviour and does not ever challenge her on it, not that it stops her from doing it. DM always finds a way of accusing him of being horrible to her anyway. To be honest I don't understand how he can live with her, although that is none of my business really. Dsis deals with it in a similar way to me, gets very cross with her, though she feels guilty afterwards, whereas I don't anymore.
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