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Should my daughter take the joke or is my brother unreasonable?

86 replies

YoniMacaroni · 17/04/2013 12:51

My DD is 19, she lives away at uni - not too far away and will sometimes come home at weekends and she comes home in the holidays too.

She's in full time education during the week and works all weekend too. She does do the usual teenage thing of sleeping in late and going out drinking but not to excess. She still helps out at home when she's actually here.

Anyway my brother who has always been quite a joker always (without fail) says to her whenever/ he comes over usually in the afternoon - "so have you just got up then" - or he refers to her as scruff. She doesn't look untidy to me.

She's recently suffered through some minor depression and yesterday again when she came into the living room and he was there he said "have you just got up?", she did get a bit snappy and say "no, I haven't actually"

And I'd told him she was going to a buffet with her friends that night to which he said to her "oh you'll be alright because they do chips"

She used to be a fussy eater when she was little but she's definitely not now.

I could tell this comment annoyed her too.

When he left she told that she's fed up of the constant criticisms of her every time he sees her. I'm not sure if she's being extra sensitive because shes been so down lately and my brother doesn't mean it in a serious way.

Who is being unreasonable? I feel a little bit stuck.

OP posts:

wannabedomesticgoddess · 17/04/2013 12:53

He sounds like an arse. Sorry.

Why does he feel the need to put her down and pick at things he knows will get to her?


SantanaLopez · 17/04/2013 12:53

If he knows about the depression, he is BU, if not, I'd think he was trying to make jokes.


QuintessentialOHara · 17/04/2013 12:55

Why does he keep picking on her? He sounds twattish.

Does he live with you?


littlebitofthislittlebitofthat · 17/04/2013 12:55

i'd just ask him not to do it.....leave her alone. even if he is trying hard to engage her, hes doing a really poor job of it!


slipshodsibyl · 17/04/2013 12:56

He sounds as if he is trying to be nice but hasn't worked out she isn't a little girl - or has worked it out and isn't sure how to talk to her. Tell him she is sensitive and wants to be treated as a grown up and tell her he is trying to be nice but is clumsy . Might this be the case?


chris481 · 17/04/2013 12:56

If she isn't laughing, he isn't funny.


SirChenjin · 17/04/2013 12:57

It sounds as if he's trying to be jokey, and is probably completely unaware that he's annoying her. I would just tell him she's feeling a bit down at the moment and that he needs to stop winding her up. If he doesn't stop then it would be appropriate to flick his ear. Hard.


DisAstrophe · 17/04/2013 12:58

I'm sure your brother thinks its is all good natured avuncular joshing but actually he is being rude. Does he make similar digs at you and others?

Nobody likes being reminded all the time of former weaknesses - especially a young woman is working out who she is and changing all the time.

Can you give her some dirt on him to dish back? So next time he makes a remark she can say "I'm surprised at you making that comment given mum told me about how you sucked your thumb till you were 17" or "mum said even at the age of 30 you still can't wire a plug".


HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds · 17/04/2013 12:58

It sounds like he doesn't really know how to relate to her, but wants to. People with close relationships do joke around with each other, especially families but she obviously doesn't feel they have a close enough relationship for this kind of joking around.

Maybe you could just tell him it's upsetting her?


YoniMacaroni · 17/04/2013 12:58

He doesn't know about the depression. She is getting better now, she just went through a real low point.

He doesn't live with us, I look after my niece on the odd occasion and he will pick her up from mine after he's finished work.

OP posts:

Naoko · 17/04/2013 12:59

He's trying to be funny, I doubt he means harm, but she doesn't like it. I know how she feels, I have a relative who is always being 'funny' about a failing I used to have but don't any more (like your daughter's fussiness) and I hate it, it makes me feel awful. Could you have a quiet word and ask him to stop? Even if he doesn't mean it badly, and it sounds like he doesn't, he's upsetting her, and there's surely no need.


skippedtheripeoldmango · 17/04/2013 12:59

He's insensitive and pretty socially inept. He's been teasing her for years and she's finally had enough of it. I don't blame her. He's indirectly saying that she's lazy, messy and fussy. Not a particularly nice picture is it?

When you endure years of this "teasing" from family members, and are not backed up by those nearest and dearest to you, it can have a huge effect on how you perceive yourself and how you expect to be treated by others. Your brother needs to be told to get a grip on his interactions with her.


ihavenonameonhere · 17/04/2013 12:59

I have older siblings (over 10 years older) that still think I live like I did when I was 19 (im in my 30s now) and it winds me up no end! So I can understand why it annoys her


squeakytoy · 17/04/2013 13:00

tell her to just give him a bit of it back... I cant see that he said anything really bad.. it was just light hearted "banter" that would usually go on between family members..


Sugarice · 17/04/2013 13:00

It's enormously irritating when adults say these things thinking they're being funny when in fact they come over at a bit prattish.

You should tell him she doesn't find him funny or better still she should tell him she finds his comments a pain to have to listen to and not to bother.


coppertop · 17/04/2013 13:00

IME when someone is known as "a joker" it means they're a bit of a pratt who thinks they're very funny. People around them generally put up with them so as not to be seen as having no sense of humour.

Your brother is being unreasonable.


ouryve · 17/04/2013 13:01

He's being a dickhead. If she's not finding it funny, it's not funny.


YoniMacaroni · 17/04/2013 13:01

I'm sure your brother thinks its is all good natured avuncular joshing but actually he is being rude. Does he make similar digs at you and others?

No he doesn't make those kind of digs at me. I have a much older DD who is in her mid 20s, married and with a little girl. He's gets on very well with her and her husband and they go out as a foursome sometimes.

He invited them on holiday (along with me and my mum) and didn't invite DD2. Think she was a little hurt by that too.

OP posts:

SantanaLopez · 17/04/2013 13:02

If he doesn't know, then I think you are being slightly unreasonable.


skippedtheripeoldmango · 17/04/2013 13:03

And it gets he's singling her out?! Nice, really nice. Heading across the line into bullying...


YoniMacaroni · 17/04/2013 13:03

If he doesn't know, then I think you are being slightly unreasonable

How am I being unreasonable?

OP posts:

MissSG · 17/04/2013 13:04

I'm sure your brothers heart is in the right place when he says things like this as a joke however think about it from your daughters point of view, once is funny but more than that and it becomes extremely annoying so no wonder she got snappy with him this time. He needs to know when you leave her alone.


MissSG · 17/04/2013 13:04

*to leave.


freddiefrog · 17/04/2013 13:05

These kinds of comments wear pretty thin pretty quickly.

We have a friend who constantly makes digs, it's meant to be funny but it just gets on my nerves

Trouble is, if you give it back he takes offence


SantanaLopez · 17/04/2013 13:05

You wanted him to treat her differently and give her a bit of space without telling him. Is he supposed to be psychic?

Holidays- I wouldn't expect him to invite her if she isn't still at home.

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