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Negative comments by sister -- how to handle.....really getting me down.

(68 Posts)
Somethingtodo Wed 12-Nov-14 18:22:51

We get on well - look after each others children etc - but she has an almost torettes (sp?) compulsion to put me down/burst my bubble at every opportunity....anything positive or say I do is criticised, questioned etc....I know it must be jealousy but it really hurts. She is always comparing my kids negatively with her friends kids (who are same age as mine - hers are younger) today for example I mentioned that my oldest had gone to visit a Uni and was looking at a specific course -- which triggered the following response -- "why is he doing that? I though that there were no jobs in that area...etc etc". Then when I mentioned that we planned to move back into central London when the kids depart...I got a whole boring litany of why I should move to Dorset instead - followed by a bitchy comment about looking like being some eccentric old dear in a city of youth. Most of the time I just manage it with silence and let he dig her hole deeper - but it really is getting to me.....has anyone a one-liner that I can volley back for these occasions?

Fudgalisious Wed 12-Nov-14 18:27:54

I love the mumsnet Classic 'did you mean to be so rude?' Or just repeat the question back to her and laugh 'I'd look like an old dear in a city of youth...really?' Dry laugh 'oh you are funny' change subject.

nilbyname Wed 12-Nov-14 18:29:19

uurggh what a pain in the arse!

I might try and kill her with kindness, just be so agreeable and sweet she has nowhere to go with it/

Or try the old- did you mean to be so rude?
Or- jealouSy is just SO unattractive darling

RandomMess Wed 12-Nov-14 18:29:26

"Did you mean to be rude"
"If you haven't anything nice to say perhaps say nothing?"

FelicityGubbins Wed 12-Nov-14 18:31:51

"It's only being miserable that makes you happy, you are a funny one" said with a snigger.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 12-Nov-14 18:53:07

London, a city of youth? On what planet? Sounds like she was so desperate to say something unhelpful that she didn't even pause to make sure it made any sense.

trackrBird Wed 12-Nov-14 19:05:02

I wonder if 'getting on well' comes at the price of your wellbeing, and quietly putting up with a lot of silly digs?

I'd recommend a look at some assertiveness resources to prime you up.

Then take a deep breath and start questioning the behaviour, assertively. Try something simple such as, 'did you mean something by that ? / how do you mean, eccentric old dear?' Etc, but very calmly said.

If you think she might be jealous, take time to say nice things about her children as well as your own. Sometimes that sweetens things a little. But if you do this already to no avail, it's time to fight your corner more strongly.

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Wed 12-Nov-14 19:26:15

Sounds really difficult, why do you have to see her so much? Could you phase her out a little bit, it sounds like she is using you to make her feel better about herself.

Somethingtodo Wed 12-Nov-14 19:34:38

I am always complimentary about her children and rarely tell her anything as I know it gets up her nose and she lashes out. I also do keep my dignified distance as much as I can - but she does need to be stopped -- yes the "Did you mean to be so rude/negative" phrase is a great all encompassing one to keep up your sleeve -- as it doesnt require you to think of something specific....also the if you have nothing positive/nice to say etc

Somethingtodo Wed 12-Nov-14 19:37:31

or the ..."ooh that rattled your cage..."

pippinleaf Wed 12-Nov-14 19:54:34

I have silenced a few snidely friends with 'are you ok? I'm wondering if you might have depression since you always seem to find faults everywhere you look, that must be so exhausting for you, you poor thing.'

NickiFury Wed 12-Nov-14 19:56:10

"Oh STFU you miserable tw*t!"


BlueGreenHazelGreen Wed 12-Nov-14 20:00:14

If you can perfect a raised eyebrow coupled with a long look it's very effective with this kind of thing.

Lucyccfc Wed 12-Nov-14 22:22:12

I had a friend like this (ex friend now).

My usual responses (depending on my mood).

It's such a shame you see the negative in everything.

It really would make you feel better about yourself if you saw things more positively.

Is there a reason why you feel the need to be so rude

It must be really depressing for you to be so negative all the time

I can't even remember what she said that really made me decide to not carry on with our friendship, but suffice to say she never spoke to me again after I said 'you really are a miserable f@@ker'.

Somethingtodo Thu 13-Nov-14 08:44:57

For me it is personal - as in she never does this to anyone else - I think she feels either threatened by me or has a compulsion to compete with me....she never stops to think - just wades in. I dont know whether to call her on it for being personal to me - or would that be too threatening - or to keep it general. She often does it in front of other people - eg her a friend of hers complimented me on loosing a significant amount of weight recently - the friend was speaking to me directly one to one in the lounge -- but sister calls in from the kitchen - "....but she can never keep it off...." - do I take her aside for a confrontation the next time she does it or do I do it swiftly and assertively in front of others when it happens?

hellsbellsmelons Thu 13-Nov-14 10:29:29

'Oh Do Fuck Off Dear' should cover most things smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 13-Nov-14 11:01:16

"Miaow have a saucer of milk why don't you" - childish but strangely satisfying.

Vitalstatistix Thu 13-Nov-14 11:20:25

Hat about just saying that her constant digs and put downs are hurting you and does she think the two of you are maybe in each others pockets a bit much and would she like a bit of distance because you like the relationship you have when you are not being constantly criticised and perhaps less time together might help.

Or some other way of saying pack it in or naff off.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 13-Nov-14 11:50:09

This is Death By Ten Thousand Cuts.
Get on well together? Only if you go dormant (self-induced depression)...this is at your expense. It is very expensive because the cost to you is your self-esteem thus ultimately your mental health.

Try the come back lines mentioned; perhaps your sister can be trained to have some self awareness and be respectful.<hope in vain emoticon?>

At some point though, enough is enough.

I had this from my sister. She would not change. With the help of two different counsellors I was able to see it was not mentally healthy for me to be around her. I tapered contact over several years and am now no contact.

Somethingtodo Thu 13-Nov-14 16:35:46

Wow thanks all -- I will have to rehearse these out loud....I have put up with this shit for years.

Yes I do feel that I behave dormant - and it is affecting me negatively....I do try to keep out contact to a minimum already due to the catty remarks.

Respectful is a good word and is something she is not. Would it be really rubbish of me to send a polite text?

InnocenceAndExperience Thu 13-Nov-14 17:17:13

Don't text. Wait until something happens again and challenge it with something that feels right - pick from the suggestions above..

'funny, I knew you would say something like that' or 'oh well, next time I have good news I won't tell you so that you can spoil it'.

Somethingtodo Thu 13-Nov-14 18:51:25

I know texting is wrong - but I an scared of the next swipe if I confront -- but I know I need to do that in the moment

InnocenceAndExperience Thu 13-Nov-14 19:21:33

Don't confront. Respond.

You have more cards in your hands than you realise.

Somethingtodo Thu 13-Nov-14 19:24:32

Yes thanks innocence - framing it as responding feels less of an ordeal for me that choosing to confront

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 13-Nov-14 20:20:06

but I am scared of the next swipe
Imho, what you need to do, whether you stay in contact with her or not, is to stop caring what she thinks.

Her rudeness has invalidated her opinion. Her dynamic of diminishing you across the board also invalidates her opinion. And the foundation of this idea is that what is going on in her head, her opinions and judgements, has nothing to do with you...She is using you for ego supply.

Her behavior is something she chooses to do. You can not control her behavior. Pointing out her behavior to her might create a catalyst for her to choose to change. However, if she has always treated you this way -even as children- then I would guess that her brain is hard wired to treat you this way and will be very very difficult for her to change.

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