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How do I stop being the butt of my family's jokes without looking like I've got no sense of humour?

(96 Posts)
AutumnLeafMyArse Sat 19-Oct-13 16:41:09

I'm going out tonight for a family meal and for once I don't want all the humour to revolve around making fun of me. As gentle as the humour is, over the years I've realised when we all get together I tend to feel a bit ganged up upon (I'm the youngest, not sure if that's relevant). I don't mind a joke, honestly, but it's a regular pattern I've got fed up of laughing off. I don't want to spoil the occasion and certainly don't want to upset the birthday person, so any pointers on how I can politely stop any "joking" before they all get on a roll?

BooHissy Sat 19-Oct-13 16:43:03

What kind of things do they say, and does anyone else get the same treatment?

ImperialBlether Sat 19-Oct-13 16:43:41

That sounds really horrible. Are you sure you actually want to go? Do you have a partner who'll be there? Who will be there?

What sort of things do they say?

Sorry for so many questions!

AutumnLeafMyArse Sat 19-Oct-13 16:48:16

It only seems to be me. One example is when I was pregnant (about 7 months along ) I was walking towards the pub to meet my family who were already inside and could see me from the window. I slipped on the concrete steps and fell forwards onto my hands in a heap. All I got when I went inside was "have a nice trip Autumn?". I was a bit confused

Katisha Sat 19-Oct-13 16:48:21

Tricky. Sounds like they have got into a lazy habit. Doing it at the event may not be the way forward. Maybe you could have a quiet word with individuals beforehand so that there isn't the herd mentality.

FriteFuaite Sat 19-Oct-13 16:48:44

I have no idea,as I have suffered with the same thing for years and I am almost 50 shock

If I say something,I get the 'Ah we're only joking,don't be so sensitive' If I pretend it doesn't bother me,they only do it all the more. It's not as bad as it used to be mainly because Dh is often with me at get togethers and his presence inhibits the pee-taking somewhat. He recommends saying , 'Pardon? What was that?' and it seems to work,as they are not sure how he will react if they repeat whatever 'joke' they made at his Dw's expense grin

When I am on my own it's a different kettle of fish and I almost feel sometimes they feel they have to be doubly rude or 'smart' to make up for how nice they were to me when Dh was around.

I hope someone has better advice for you other than borrow my husband grin

RevelsRoulette Sat 19-Oct-13 16:48:49

Can you say something beforehand?

Say to A "I'm really looking forward to tonight, I just hope B and C don't start with their 'jokes' because I really don't find it funny."

Say to B "Im really looking forward to tonight, I just hope A & C don't start with their 'jokes' because I really don't find it funny"


And hope that they all get it.

Or fight fire with fire and 'joke' right back.

Or make no comment at all, simply carry on talking, or change the subject.

Or give them a bored, slightly patronising smile and talk about politics

Or laugh and say oh, here we go again, Pile in on Autumn, knock it off guys, and laugh again

Whatever you choose to do tonight, you're going to have to be assertive and tell them all to pack it in.

sunbathe Sat 19-Oct-13 16:49:28

Didn't they show any concern?

RevelsRoulette Sat 19-Oct-13 16:49:44

"Have a nice trip, Autumn"

"Not really, I have hurt myself."

FriteFuaite Sat 19-Oct-13 16:50:22

I am also the youngest,btw and it is mainly my brothers who treat me like this.

AutumnLeafMyArse Sat 19-Oct-13 16:51:43

Revels thats how I replied and there was then this awkward silence which I then felt to blame for. Its all quite low level stuff really but I'm tired of it now.

AutumnLeafMyArse Sat 19-Oct-13 16:53:05

Frite yeah it's my DB and DF mainly, then my DM joins. I've laughed it off but inside it's really quite upsetting sometimes.

notanyanymore Sat 19-Oct-13 16:53:57

that was all you got after falling 7 months pregnant on concrete steps??!
the bastards!
i think the only way is to stand up for yourself. don't try to be particularly witty or clever about it, just a look of disdain coupled with a 'seriously?' and change the topic of conversation?

DIYapprentice Sat 19-Oct-13 16:54:07

This is a dynamic that will be difficult to change.

Some ways of dealing with it.

- Oh do grow up, we're not teenagers anymore.

- A hard stare at the offender, then pointedly looking toward someone else and say something like 'anyway.... moving right along' or 'back to the topic at hand before we were rudely interrupted' etc.

- Personally I wouldn't have thought it was very nice to laugh at someone who had just hurt themselves, but clearly you think it's absolutely hilarious.

- Please don't feel you need to share each and every thought that crosses your mind. Its not all THAT interesting.

Or... give it back to them. But be prepared for it to escalate.

bundaberg Sat 19-Oct-13 16:54:40

I'm glad there was an awkward silence! do that more often and they'll soon realise how unfunny their jokes are

you didn't cause the silence... they did, by being mean. so don't think anything of it

DIYapprentice Sat 19-Oct-13 16:55:19

Autumn - don't feel guilty for the awkward silences. That is EXACTLY what you should be doing. An awkward silence means you've won that round.

DIYapprentice Sat 19-Oct-13 16:55:57

Oh, and DON'T laugh it off. That just gives them permission to keep on going. 'But you laughed, you joined in with the rest of us... blah, blah, blah....'

RevelsRoulette Sat 19-Oct-13 16:57:39

bugger the awkward silence. They should feel awkward.

How do you want to handle it? Do you want to try to pass a message or tell them straight? What are you comfortable with?

AutumnLeafMyArse Sat 19-Oct-13 16:58:14

I guess I do laugh, rather than spoil the atmosphere. They are really lovely, please don't get me wrong, it's just this pattern they get into when we all meet up for some reason.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 19-Oct-13 17:00:18


Would second the counsel not to laugh it off. I would say to them, "did you mean to be so rude?". Supposedly low level stuff like this happens also over many years.

I would also prepare for this to escalate as your family will cotton on to the fact that you are not prepared to be the scapegoat for all their inherent ills any more. They will do everything in their power to keep you the scapegoat; even feigning a previously unheard of illness or one of your parents subsequently phoning you to say that you upset either one or both of them.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward as a starting point as well as looking at the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages.

DIYapprentice Sat 19-Oct-13 17:00:33

They may be lovely, but they are hurting you and they should damn well feel ashamed of that.

Walkacrossthesand Sat 19-Oct-13 17:00:45

But they're not 'really lovely' if they're all teasing you mercilessly and you don't like it, are they? A few more tart rejoinders and awkward silences would seem to be called for. You deserve to have a nice time too, you know!

RevelsRoulette Sat 19-Oct-13 17:02:19

I understand. My family have been the same. They think it's banter.

In your case, it may be that they don't realise that when it's from the same people, to the same one person, all the damned time, it's not banter. Banter, teasing, would be going in all directions.

I assume you don't make similar comments to them. So tell them. Whether that's tonight or later.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 19-Oct-13 17:02:32

No they are not lovely at all (more like an emotionally unhealthy family unit) if you end up being the butt of their unfunny jokes every time you meet up socially. Your parents are at fault here for enabling and encouraging your brother to do this as well.

LovelyMarchHare Sat 19-Oct-13 17:05:58

How about 'fuck right off would you?'. What an awful situation for you OP.

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