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Coping with others

(44 Posts)
Name7 Fri 25-Dec-15 14:49:53

Merry Christmas all. We are lucky that today it's just immediate family but from tomorrow we are visiting relatives and friends. Do you have tips for coping with the needy (MIL) arrogant (FIL) patronising (BIL who has done ever much bigger and better than we ever have) ultra sensitive (sis and mil) etc etc.
My tip is to either drive or only have a small glass but make sure there's a bottle of something lovely for when we get home. I have learned to count to 10 before I talk now (once was heavily criticised for not being excited enough for Bil's presents from his wife) I know it's not worth getting into an argument, they just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience but how do you do it? Shall I start bingo??

tectonicplates Fri 25-Dec-15 14:51:27

Bingo sounds like a plan. Good luck out there.

UndramaticPause Fri 25-Dec-15 14:53:47

I have a chronic health issue that means I need to rest frequently and leave social occasions early.

Sometimes it comes in useful... blush

Name7 Fri 25-Dec-15 15:06:03

Unfortunately my in laws enjoy ill health. Whatever you have, they've had it 10 times worse! My parents on the other hand fully believe in mind over matter so no sympathy ever! I'll need help designing my bingo card please

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 08:42:45

Any ideas please? Good replies to rude behaviour? You know, those phrases that you think of hours later. Or do I spend the next few days only saying "mm hmm" ?

Chorltonswheelies422 Sat 26-Dec-15 08:58:19

I know exactly what you mean. I use reflection - it's very effective once you've mastered it

Give me an example of something one of them actually said to you

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 09:28:19

Mil always, without fail will complain that we've spent too much (we haven't) but will say it about 20 times. I usually say, "no we haven't " then try to change subject or speak to the kids. This is despite her going way overboard on the grandchildren. She also makes the children feel guilty about the money she's spent on them. It's hard to describe but very hard work. BIL will turn up late with his family, we have to be very grateful for their presence and presents (to the kids) and he will witter on about money spent and time taken to find those presents. wine

daisychain01 Sat 26-Dec-15 09:38:12

I wouldn't bother thinking of witty or even sarcastic responses. Don't get involved. Just expect their crass behaviour forewarned is forearmed and all that, and ignore ignore ignore. Imagine it is 24 hours later and you are no longer in their delightful company.

Anything else means you are lowering youself to their base level.

Chorltonswheelies422 Sat 26-Dec-15 09:51:49

Mil - you've spent too much!
You - looking directly into her eyes, so what I'm hearing is that we have spent too much money on making this a wonderful Christmas. Is that right?
Mil - erm yeah
You < still holding her gaze> - we love Christmas and it gives us pleasure to give presents that we know will delight people. It's up to us how we do that. Now then, let's <all get a drink/put these presents under the tree/take our coats off/whatever you want to do>

In my experience it's the calling someone out on what they are saying that makes it really effective - most horrible personality types use conversation to get their jibes in and want to keep them as jibes and do not want them called out

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 09:54:12

Completely agree. I'm driving today. Just put a nice bottle of prosecco in the fridge for when I get home. I have to be so alert as they will pick up on imagined slights so no hint of an eye roll! It's taken a long time to realise it's them, not me. Making me more aware of my marriage as well to be honest as I get zero support from husband. (In laws have form for blowing up at me, once when I was defending my nephew from mil who was calling him a selfish, rude, naughty boy to my children - not to him thank goodness) and as above when I wasn't excited enough for my Bil's present from his wife)

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 09:57:37

I wish Chorlton but that would start WW3! In laws are very aware of "tone" and very likely to fly off the handle or burst into tears.

Chorltonswheelies422 Sat 26-Dec-15 10:06:46

In that case, if I had to put up with that crap, had behave like a whipped dog and had no support from dh - I wouldn't even be going at all!

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 10:12:59

Been there, done that. I don't think I was behaving like a whipped dog. We had 9 months of no contact after the blow up over nephew. Only back for the sake of my children. Think new year maybe new start. H only gave me presents that I'd bought myself so that I wasn't embarrassed having both to open yesterday. He buys for his family now but that's taken many years. He also buys for his team at work. It's very hurtful watching the time and effort spent on others.

lorelei9 Sat 26-Dec-15 10:18:14

Why do you want your children to mix with horrible people?

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 10:34:09

I don't, but they're not always horrible. Quite possibly the last Christmas I'll be spending with them anyway.

RedMapleLeaf Sat 26-Dec-15 10:34:17

Only back for the sake of my children.

Can you just explain that a bit?

RedMapleLeaf Sat 26-Dec-15 10:35:20

Hang on. You mean your husband didn't buy you any gifts? Who actually gave you a thoughtful present yesterday?

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 10:57:55

No one. I bought a few things from Amazon so I had something to open. The only people that buy or me are my parents and they usually get a joint thing like a clock. He did wrap the things I bought.
I have read toxic in laws and am much better at non reaction. I don't believe in laws have constant evil intent. Just very selfish.

Chorltonswheelies422 Sat 26-Dec-15 10:59:56


RedMapleLeaf Sat 26-Dec-15 11:08:52

How do you feel about your husband not getting you something?

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 11:25:01

Not surprised. He's never been good. Had words a few years ago as I didn't want the children to think that it was ok but we're back to normal. I had a big birthday this year, he took me shopping but nothing to open, nothing from the kids. One of the many reasons I think it may be over for us. We had one telephone counselling session with Relate but nothing has changed. We got together as kids. I had zero self esteem but am starting to realise that I need to look to myself to improve this.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sat 26-Dec-15 11:30:05

I'm at my parents, who I love and are great. But it all gets a bit much. Luckily, I'm breastfeeding a new born, so I can escape upstairs for a time out pretty regularly. Who would of though constantly breastfeeding would be a sanity saver.

Lactation is a method I would recommend for those who arnt good at being around people constantly!

RedMapleLeaf Sat 26-Dec-15 11:43:34

I asked because your husband's behaviour would be far more upsetting to me than the in-laws (who I'd just avoid in future and expect my husband to fully support that decision).

Name7 Sat 26-Dec-15 11:49:58

I agree Red realised that I can react to H's behaviour or realise nothing will change. The kids and I bought cards for him but as he didn't for us, they are just lying on the floor.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 26-Dec-15 11:50:15

Oh bless -
My best defence is - repeat back what they say - people never hear how they sound - and the ball is in their court to justify -
Oh you spent too much - I`ve spent too much? Eyebrow raise - their turn -
Works a treat with practice - as you have to get in quick!

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