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Difficult sister

(5 Posts)
Lilyargin Sat 05-Mar-16 18:09:42

My sister is very dominating. For instance, she starts almost all conversations with 'blah blah, she's wrong, isn't she?' Or 'that was bad, wasn't it?' - all closed questions - and if I express a different point of view, she becomes angry saying things 'I knew you'd be on her side', or whatever it's about. Trivial perhaps, but very stifling. She also phones me up to criticise people, waiting for agreement and makes racist allusions from time to time. I used to dread her calls.
She seems to have no insight into herself, and all the things she herself is - jealous, grudge-bearing, she lays at my door and says I am like this. Transference. I'm not.
I have decided to disengage and feel so much better. No more phone calls! I know she has been doing the usual - getting family members to agree how horrid I am, but I have decided not to let it bother me. However I seeing her soon at an event and I know she will make some comment about me not phoning her (although she hasn't phoned me) and I don't know how to react. Any thoughts or suggestions gratefully read!
This sounds very babyish, but obvious there's a lot more to it and our dynamic is that she is always right.

SwearyGodmother Sat 05-Mar-16 18:28:33

It's hard to extricate yourself from a dysfunctional dynamic isn't it? Well done on what you've achieved so far. It doesn't sound babyish at all, it sounds exhausting.

Given that she blows up at conflict and you're primed to play that role in her life I'd suggest agreeing with her in a vague way and then wandering off. For example:

Sister "You haven't phoned me in six weeks, goodness knows what you're blaming me for now"
You "Gosh, six weeks, that time has flown past" and walk away.

The trick, and I appreciate it's much harder to do that say, is not to engage. Just say something bland and walk away.

Will you have allies at the party - your DH or extended family members? Maybe you can arrange with them beforehand that you're not to be left on your own with your sister hovering or that they'll scoop you into conversation when you walk away from her so you're not sitting around like a lemon.

Goandplay Sat 05-Mar-16 18:29:52

I will be watching this closely. I have an older Dsis exactly like this. I do not have the heart to disengage because she really does not see what she is like and is really hurt anytime i gently suggest there are two sides to a story.

I love her, she is my Dsis but incredibly draining!

EasyToEatTiger Sat 05-Mar-16 18:36:16

It is awful having a crap family. I feel your pain! It is very easy to slip back into the childish behaviours and relationships we used to have, and you are very insightful in recognising this. Perhaps you could ask yourself what a friend would do in these circumstances, adult to adult. Are you going to be stuck together as if by glue or will you be able to get away? It's really horrible when family members spit tacks. Sometimes with awful family members, it is easier to keep to very limited conversation and smile and wave and walk away. Take the opportunity to be the grown-up and don't get drawn in. If there are going to be lots of other people there, use them. If she has the deep seated need to be right all the time, she can be right in front of someone else. Not you!

Lilyargin Sat 05-Mar-16 18:52:49

Thanks for the replies! It is reassuring to read them. I will have allies there including DP who gets on with her (as he does with everyone) but sees through her. She can be lovely, she's funny and generous, so it's not quite so clear cut, but she has to be in control of everything, including my thoughts! Apparently (she revealed this when pissed and raging), she keeps a list about me. In the next breath she said 'you must have one, you're that sort of person'. !
I plan to greet her cordially but not get involved in any discussion. Am getting nervous!

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