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Selfish narcissistic relatives

(15 Posts)
frillyflower Sat 06-Apr-13 17:05:29

Those of you with these - do you find contact with them depressing?

No matter how much I tell myself not to expect anything good from my narcissistic sister I get very low every time I contact her.

It's the lack of even pretend interest in me or my family that gets me I think, plus the obsession with herself. And that she never phones me ever.

Any good coping strategies?

Midwife99 Sat 06-Apr-13 17:10:05

Stop contacting her? Wait for her to contact you & if the only reason she does is to talk about herself or ask you to do something for her ignore her!! There's no rule to say we must see our siblings!

frillyflower Sat 06-Apr-13 17:18:34

Thanks midwife but I have to preserve some kind of contact.

She is older than me and lives abroad. I have an appartment in the town where she lives which gives her a bit of a hold over me i do realise. I can't offend her because it would make going there difficult (and not contacting her would offend her big time).

It's just that the phone calls always end up with me feeling a horrible black depression.

neighbourhoodwitch Mon 08-Apr-13 08:54:44

I am in a hurry, but I have a sister similar; and yes, depression would result. This helped:

You may want to have a look? (sorry, could not get the hyperlink to work). xx

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 08-Apr-13 09:02:12

I do, Frilly, and I'm still at the point when not contacting when contact would be natural (birthdays, Christmas) makes me very anxious and agitated because I know I'll get an earful for not responding in the acceptable way. So I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.

Thanks for the book link, Neighbourhoodwitch. I'll have a look at that.

DwellsUndertheSink Mon 08-Apr-13 09:04:57

God yes, if I ever speak to my DSis, its all about her life her life her life her life followed by "dreadful things I imagined you said to me 20+ years ago" and "Judgey pants about your parenting (eventhough the only things I know about you and your life are what I have gleaned from your dds teenage angst FB pages."

So I dont contact her, and when she calls I am unfailingly polite but have been able to disengage my emotions from the call and because she talks so much at me, I just end up saying "Uh Huh" a lot while cleaning the kitchen cupboards or sweeping the floor or doing some other boring mundane task.

Midwife99 Mon 08-Apr-13 10:08:35

Narcissists can behave the way they do only if you give them the power or permission to. Change is in your hands.

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 08-Apr-13 10:54:53

I appreciate that, Midwife, but at the moment, in my specific situation, that's easier said than done. Do I feel strong enough for the onslaught of aggression, abuse and manipulation right now? No, not really. I hope I will do one day, but right now, the path of least resistance is keeping me going. Yes, this might make me weak or whatever, but it is what it is.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 08-Apr-13 11:11:20

Frilly, on another thread (the 'how much contact with grandparents do your DCs have' one), there are GPs who live in the same street but never see their GCs, so having an apartment in the same coty as your DS doesnt have to be difficult - you don't have to visit her when you're there, or even let her know when you are there, surely? If you dread contacting her, don't! It sounds a little bit as if you feel you have to do her bidding - why?

Walkacrossthesand Mon 08-Apr-13 11:13:40

And you feel you mustn't offend her, but she's 'allowed' to say what she likes without caring if she offends you - hmmm?

DogEgg Mon 08-Apr-13 11:38:17

Yes it is depressing. Just the negative way they speak seems almost designed to bring you down e.g. "we never get any luck in this family" rather than, "Well I didn't get that job because I didn't prepare for the interview" or "Well that's been a terrible year, I'm glad it's over" rather than "Happy New Year!"

Narcissists cannot change, so no contact is really the only way I've managed to find any peace. If that's not possible, try this, it might give you a bit of light relief if nothing else......everytime your sister says something, don't respond, just tell her about mundane stuff about your life e.g. like what happened to your friend in Tesco last week, go into minute detail and drone on and on and on...this will have two benefits, firstly whilst you're talking she can't be spouting her poison and secondly, she'll hate that you're not listening to her important opinions and that she isn't able to talk about herself.

Go no contact Frilly - because one day you you will just think, sod this, she's awful and go no contact. When you do your only regret will be that you didn't do it ages earlier.

Midwife99 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:56:54

You say she never contacts you so don't really understand why you HAVE TO contact her!! hmm

BerthaTheBogCleaner Mon 08-Apr-13 12:07:33

In what way does your apartment in the town where she lives, give her a hold over you? Does she look after it for you? If she does, that's nice of her, perhaps think about that when you're phoning ...

But if not - what hold? And exactly how would her being offended make visiting your apartment difficult? Wouldn't it just mean you wouldn't have to see her?

But, you asked for coping strategies.

Limit calls to as little as possible - once a month? Less?

Have the phone on speaker phone and be doing something else while you call - the ironing, or cooking.

Set a (short) time limit. When its up, interrupt mid-sentence with "ooh there's the doorbell/smoke alarm/baby/mobile", say goodbye without drawing breath and put the phone down.

If it makes you feel better, start every phone call with "I just thought I'd ring you as you haven't called me". Although tbh, if she's that bad, perhaps you should focus on being grateful that she never calls you.

Think of two things you'd like to tell her, and make sure you get them in. If necessary interrupt her mid-sentence and launch in, all loud and excited. When she ignores what you've said and talks about herself again, say "oh yes, lets talk about YOU!" in a bright excited voice. She won't notice but you'll feel better.

Don't respond - just "mmm" a lot and let her talk.

Lottapianos Mon 08-Apr-13 12:16:38

Absolutely loads of sympathy here OP. Both parents are narcs, and I get no emotional support from my sister either. Similar to you - no contact from them, they expect me to do 100% of the work of the relationship. They don't care about me or my life but expect me to make room for them in it and listen to endless amounts of their crap. Despite this, I understand your guilt and obligation to keep contact going - it's something you've learned over the years and internalised.

It's so painful. I see a psychotherapist and have done for the past 3 years. I'm working on detaching from them all but it's a long process. Keep posting and check out the 'Stately Homes' thread if you havent already - there are loads of posters who have similar family situations and loads of advice to give.

OMGG Mon 08-Apr-13 18:43:08

Oh god I feel for you all....I'm in a similar situation where a sibling appears to have the sun shining out her arse, when in fact she's faked half her life, got caught out on several occasions but still she's the golden child....lives at home with parents and gets it all on a plate, all the sympathy and support she needs as a now single parent (the exp couldn't take her lies anymore), I in turn got very little or no support from any of them when I split up with my exH. Oh and of course shes a regular on here and half her posts are total lies. Just galls me that shes on here spinning a web of lies and people rush to support her, think its called munchausen. I'm at the point of breaking total contact as the parents don't wanna do anything, it's upset a lot of members of the family as they can see she is using and manipulating them but they're too blinkered to see the damage it's doing angry. I'm gonna take a read of the stately homes thread...thanks for listening

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