Attention-seeking, competitive, needy, childish relatives: how do you grin and bear it?
This weekend's phonecalls to family have set my teeth on edge, with my father playing the intellectually aggressive alpha male (while being factually wrong, as ever); my mother being childishly competitive about knowing more facts about somewhere I used to live than I do, and self-centred about how X at the tennis club and Y at the golf club think my mother is a GENIUS and obviously my father and I are morons because we just don't appreciate her. I didn't say "I'd appreciate your fact-retaining skills a lot more if you were less of a childish, competitive brat about attention-seeking"
Now my sister is joining in by writing passive-aggressive superior nastiness about other kindergarten mothers (and about me) on her blog (think that Guardian What I'm Really Thinking one about the school gate mum being critical of others' appearances), and being all passive-aggressive about the fact she now knows how to use blogger and therefore has superior literary and IT skills (despite the fact I do all the IT for the family).
Intellectually, I should smile and IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE. Fingers in ears, la la la la la oh isn't it a lovely day?
Well, I wouldn't look at the blog for a start! And when she talks about it say " gosh yes, I've been meaning to look at that. Been so busy! Have you seen a new film x?"
Parents- well, I limit time on visits ( 2 hours max) never be alone with them, no drinking alcohol, and I don't stay over. You can also play converstation bingo in your head and encourage a diatribe on something at least then its not you being critiqued.
And I don't tell them too much about my life. Just opens the floor for dictorial advice and for pointing out what awful mistakes I will / am making, and if only I would let them decide