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Is it because I’m the youngest?

(34 Posts)
ladytina42 Sat 06-Jun-20 17:55:17

I belong to a Watapp group which is just me and my 3 sisters. I’ve noticed a few comments lately that have upset Me and I am wondering what I should do about it.

The first one is that one of my sister has made a couple of mildly racist comments when she was angry about a service she received. I said nothing at the time but it annoyed me so much I spoke to another sister who said ‘oh she was just angry and that’s why she said that’

Ashamed to say I let it go for the sake of harmony. Another thing is that I like to try out different crafts and ideas and a couple of times I’ve posted pictures of things I’ve made only to be met with comments such as ‘don’t give up the day job’ and ‘ha ha’ but if they post stuff it’s all ‘lovely, looks great’ etc..

Finally, they were all kicking off with comments about the ‘inconvenience’ of COVID19 and how it’s spoilt their plans and I found myself wanting to scream. My husband says he doesn’t know how we are all related and they are so different from me and maybe I should leave the group but we all different parts of the country and 2 of my sisters live near my elderly dad (I am 400 miles away) so I rely in part on them for information on his health and well being.

I think I just needed to rant.

Hawera1 Mon 08-Jun-20 01:53:38

I find it hard to tolerate racism. Sometimes people just say things without thinking though. I would have written back "I hope you aren't racist with that comment or hope you didn't really mean that" But too.late now. Don't put photos of your precious craft work up if you don't want to get hurt. You are a sensitive soul so don't set yourself up hurt. Just do what crafts you want to do but do it for self satisfaction . Don't look for validation from anyone else. You sound a little insecure so work on your self esteem.

lizzypopbottle Sun 07-Jun-20 23:28:58

I agree Jillybird that position in family is a strong influence but your friend, whose siblings treat her as "the baby", isn't a baby! She's a mature adult. She doesn't have to feel patronised by them. If she is more intelligent and more highly educated than they are, she needs to remember that. I bet they are well aware of the difference. That's why they put her down. It's not necessarily deliberate on their part but, knowing their reasons, your friend can come to understand and that will help her.

It says a lot about you that, despite your difficult childhood, you resist stepping in and interfering when you hear your younger sister making what you regard as mistakes.

Jillybird Sun 07-Jun-20 22:15:50

Coming at the original post from another angle, my little sister and I were very close. Our mother was hard and unloving, so I 'looked after' my sister. She struggled at school, I didn't. I stuck up for her when our mother was unkind. Now we are 72 and 68 I still feel the urge to not only protect her, but to also correct her. She's a person who is very enthusiastic and will leap into a story that someone else is telling. I practically have to chew my hands to stop myself from "correcting" her and telling her to wait until the original speaker has finished talking. I look at her husband, I look at her daughter, and neither of them seem perturbed or inclined to stop her being rude. In my head, I am still her big sister and responsible for her welfare and good manners... it's hard to step back even after all these years...

My best friend is also the youngest of four - she still resents her sisters and brother and the way they treat her as "the baby". She's more intelligent and more highly educated than any of them, but she is still patronised by them... I don't think you can do much about it - your role in a family is determined at birth...

lizzypopbottle Sun 07-Jun-20 17:12:56

In case anyone's busy being totally nauseated by my posts, I'm not the girl with the golden heart! ("Take my heart. I will always manage." Anyone remember that childhood story?)

The fact is, I was drafted onto a personal development course several years ago. It was financed by the Coalfields Regeneration Project in Northumberland, delivered by the Pacific Institute (created by Lou Tice, based in Chicago) and hosted by the tiny village school where I was working. Most participants were village residents (formerly a pit village where there was no longer a working pit and a high level of unemployment) and our Headteacher wanted a staff member to represent the school.

I learned so much on that course. It was excellent, liberating and so motivational. One of the things I learned was the reason (above) why people put others down. Many people also put themselves down. I bet several on here have called themselves names like stupid, idiot, fool etc. We were challenged to stop doing that as well as to question our real motives for doing it to others. If you tell yourself you're useless at something, you give yourself permission to carry on being useless, as if it can't be helped. We were encouraged to say, "I'll find out how to get better at that."

If you're interested, look up (the late) Lou Tice on Google. His story (along with his wife) is really interesting. He started from nothing. He said: "Hear other people's opinions, but know that their opinion is only an opinion. It is not the truth."

janeayressister Sun 07-Jun-20 17:06:00

I think everyone in a family thinks that they are hard done to. I definitely was, as the middle girl. My mother doted on my next sibling, a ‘son’
I was second hand rose. Clad in awful shapeless dresses etc from various cousins. My eldest sister doesn’t speak to me and has confessed to being jealous. Families, Eh!
I think you need to have the hide of a rhinoceros to be on a WhatsApp group.

Paperbackwriter Sun 07-Jun-20 16:50:59

Furret is right - always call out on the racism. Never, ever let it pass as OK. It just isn't. There is nothing 'mild' about racism either.

Jellybeetles Sun 07-Jun-20 16:48:06

I’m a middle child and get treated the same way. Don’t put your crafts on there, show them to your friends. My friends, very few in number but would do anything for me, love the things I make and always lift me up when I am down from family negativity and belittling. Just because you are blood relatives doesn’t always mean you even have to like them, let alone respect what they say. Just listen and join in where you feel able to. And believe you are special.

lizzypopbottle Sun 07-Jun-20 16:42:11

jaylucy This is true: People who put others down, do it to make themselves feel better. Your brother puts you down because he feels inadequate in some way. Rather than retaliating, why not try drawing attention to his good points? e.g. "I've always admired your parenting skills. Your children are a real credit to you!" or " You're so good at DIY, cooking, gardening, karaoke, whatever..." If nothing else, it will take the wind out of his sails!

Newatthis Sun 07-Jun-20 16:32:16

I have 3 sisters also and for the past few years I have never felt as if I belong to the same family that I did when i was a child. One is very jealous person (always has been), one feels as if she is hard done by (even though she isn't) and the other one has become very resentful of everyone who she deems to be happy and she has fallen out with most of her friends (but it's never her fault). I really don't like being with them or visiting them anymore and only do so out of obligation and the fact that they are family. As they say "you can choose your friends, but not your family!"

jaylucy Sun 07-Jun-20 14:55:27

I was told once that you can choose your friends but not your family, so speak to your friends differently and with a bit more thought.
There is often the feeling that you can say what you like to your siblings and they will put up with it. doesn't matter if it hurts, because they are not likely to get upset and walk away!
I have one brother that delights dragging up just about every stupid thing I have said or done in the past every time we have a family get together - constantly taking the micky and dragging me down.
I finally had enough a few weeks ago when someone else ( a mutual friend) had posted one of those "Who remembers this" posts on FB and my brother said that I would because I had their pictures all over my bedroom wall - now seeing as it was the Bay City Rollers he was talking about and I actually thought they were peurile (sorry BCR fans) I told him that if he was going to blab all about me for my friends benefit, he might as well get his facts right or just shut up ! Funnily enough, he's been really quiet since!
Next time they make a nasty comment about your crafts or whatever, I see no reason for you not to message them back along the lines of "thanks for the nasty/hurtful comment, but it's something I enjoy doing even if you don't like it" and hopefully they will stop (might take a couple of goes though!

Coco51 Sun 07-Jun-20 14:45:31

Probably not. I am completely estranged from my brother and sister, but I do have a wicked sense of humour where ‘don’t give up the day job’ is said with affection and for a laugh. I think it would be wise to share what you think with both sisters rather than one, because you could be caught in a ‘sides against the middle’ and wreck your relationships with both.

lizzypopbottle Sun 07-Jun-20 13:25:51

Warning! This gets more and more yucky as it goes on 😂 so look away now if you're squeamish!

I'm the middle one of three sisters. Each of us is completely convinced about inequalities and injustices we suffered, individually, at the hands of our parents, each other (inevitable sibling rivalry) and life in general. Each of us knows the others are wrong! If you look at it in this way, your sisters will all have similar, perceived grievances festering away in their minds. It's human nature for parents to respond to their children as individuals. I have long forgiven mine for being human with human flaws.

The youngest is often perceived as the baby, doted over by everyone but, even as an adult, incapable of managing without big sisters' advice and assistance. The eldest, the trailblazer, but a bossy know-it-all. The middle one (me!) quiet, overlooked and neglected in favour of the big girl and the baby. My older sister was always my mother's favourite....wasn't she? 😳 My younger sister, the pretty one! Apparently, as the more academically minded one, I was my father's favourite. Nah!😇 Then, there's the natural differences that arise between siblings in terms of sociabitity. I was shy and awkward. Whose fault was that? Everyone's but mine!

My mother desperately tried to 'equalise' us. An impossible task! She just succeeded in stoking the fires of perceived injustices!

Accept your sisters for their flaws. Try to tolerate and forgive them for the way they affect you. When they annoy or patronise you, remind yourself that you are an adult with many successes and achievements behind you. You are worthy! (Think Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure - watch it if you haven't already. It's hilarious and educational!) Have a think about their good points (they must have some!) and accept yourself for your own flaws, traits and successes. All four of you have been shaped by life, your own choices and human nature and all four are admirable in your own ways. Value yourself and value your sisters. A good friend of mine used to say, 'Tolerance is the Only Virtue!' Perhaps she's right.

OK, I'm done! 😀😀😀😀😀

jenni123 Sun 07-Jun-20 12:43:54

i have a sister 5 years younger than me, I am 78. i have not had real contact with this sister for years, the most I do is send her a birthday and a Christmas card, end of. People have said to me they don't know how we grew up in the same household, this woman is racist, homophobic, uses words to describe people from other races that I would never use. She will never change, she is a snob, drinks too much favours her son over her daughter, daughter has mental health probs and her mother no help at all. i do not miss contact with this woman. So if there is something you do not like, get out of the relationship.

NemosMum Sun 07-Jun-20 12:30:08

WhatsApp is a double-edged sword! I set up a group for the family at the beginning of lockdown. It has proved useful to keep in touch, particularly about my very old and frail dad, but one of my brothers and his wife have used it for their non-stop boasting and besting. There is nothing they haven't done first or better than anyone! I have tried a bit of gentle teasing (e.g. winking emoji after a particularly egregious boast), but I have decided just not to respond in future, because social media doesn't really lend itself to teasing which you could risk face to face. Honestly, I would just let the 'racist' remarks go. The only way to have that conversation is face to face. It's possible you could have misconstrued her, but even if not, you will never win the battle on WhatsApp, and you will never change her mind or shame her. I go with the stoic philosophy that the only person's behaviour you can reliably change is your own. Are you completely sure that you have not come across in the wrong way, or have misunderstood a bit of clumsy joshing? Being stuck indoors tends to magnify things beyond their significance. Keep the channels open and relax!

Summerfly Sun 07-Jun-20 12:24:25

Hi LADYTINA42, Siblings can be very unkind and as other grans have said, your sisters are probably jealous of you. I have a younger brother (there were seven of us) and we no longer have any contact with each other. We came from very humble beginnings and through sheer hard work I’ve done very well for myself. He has a chip on his shoulder about it and blames our upbringing and can’t handle my success. I’ve done my utmost to help him and his family, even had them living with me at one point, but it’s never enough. My life is much better without him in it!
Be proud of yourself. You don’t need their unkindness.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:29:55

Well I would have called her out about a racism comment, they sound jealous and very childish, I wouldn’t leave but I wouldn’t be commenting on the pics they put up, as you hear about your dad on WhatsApp I would stay, I wouldn’t put any work of yours up, I have nothing in common with my siblings, we are poles apart. My family and friends can’t believe we are related at all,

RomyP Sun 07-Jun-20 11:09:02

I have older brothers, they still treated me as a child when I was in my 50s, we're as bullying as always, thankfully no physical violence, unlike from the elder one when I was growing up. No contact for 10 years, absolutely lovely, stress relief unbelievable.

icanhandthemback Sun 07-Jun-20 10:57:07

I am the eldest of my sisters and my husband can't believe I am related to them at all. They are much more in tune with on another and although I admit to a little prickle of jealousy sometimes especially as one of them I grew up with, had a good relationship, etc, I try not to let it become a big problem. I have a big family with my children, grandchildren, etc and that is where I get most of my emotional satisfaction so all's good.

Coconut Sun 07-Jun-20 10:41:41

Yes, it’s a case of we choose our friends, but family we are stuck with. I have nothing n common with my remaining brother and sister, both send me totally inappropriate on line jokes that I find neither amusing or entertaining. I just delete them as I refuse to become embroiled in arguments with people who do not mean that much to me. Life is too short.

NotSpaghetti Sun 07-Jun-20 10:40:29

One daughter removed herself from our family WhatsApp after an online disagreement with one of her brothers who clearly thought he was being funny.
A few months later she initiated a new family WhatsApp group and everyone (including her brother) just moved over to it without comment!

Families are made up of very different people. Don't bother showing them your work in future. Keep it open if it helps you know what's going on with your father but stay out of general chit chat if you can.

Re the racism, mild or otherwise, personally I'd call it out. You don't have to be overly confrontational about it. Just tell them it's not acceptable and you don't like it. After all, you know you are right on this one!

Jaycee5 Sun 07-Jun-20 10:35:16

I would still follow it for the updates on your father but not interact. What have you to gain? It would be interesting to see if they notice and ask you why.
I am the youngest and used to get the same thing from my father and sister. I tried a lot of things. At one time I said 'thank you for that correction' whenever my sister corrected me which was every time I said something. After I had said it about ten times in a short time, she hesitated and stopped it. She actually stopped for about two years but couldn't keep it up so I gave up trying. Our conversation totally consisted of corrections and contradictions done in many different ways and it just wasn't worth the upset that it caused me. It becomes a habit and they have to want to break it.
As Humberbear says, you didn't choose them and you probably wouldn't choose them as friends so change the relationship to something that you can cope with and benefit from.
I wasted years trying to get my sister to understand how hurtful she was until I realised that she knew but did it anyway.
Find another forum to post the things that you do. You will get encouragement and help. If you are making craft things there are many such sites and can be very friendly with meet ups if you want that or just online chats.

Saggi Sun 07-Jun-20 10:33:32

Ladytina 42..... oh don’t i know that ‘youngest’ feeling my brothers and sisters range in age from 85 - 69(me), and I a also live furthest away from rest of them, although one brother is soon to move to Devon. They have and always will treat me like am imbecile who is still wetting her nappies ... I was only one to go to the ‘grammer’ after passing my 11+.....and from that day on their attitude to me changed...o could feel it! From then on they have found every opportunity to tease...poke fun at...annoy.... shout over... and totally ignore my opinions! I think in the end it’s the reason I moved away from the area they e all cling to all their lives. I love them all, and glad they are all still with us...but I feel a bit of an outsider. I sometimes don’t like them at all.

Humbertbear Sun 07-Jun-20 09:28:41

It’s nothing to do with being the youngest. I’m the middle one and I wouldn’t dream of being in a WhatsApp group with my sisters. I won’t even friend them on Facebook. Just because you grew up together, it doesn’t mean that you will all get on and be friends. My friends say they can’t believe I am related to those other two strange people I call sisters. My sisters and I are there for each other in emergencies, but never in between. Give yourself a break.

H1954 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:24:34

Did they used to bully you when you were all children? I ask because that's exactly what they're doing now in a way. Undermining, belittling etc are all forms of bullying. Personally, I would stay in the group but when they post a picture of a project they've completed just DON'T comment at all.
You will still get news and updates on you father and less hassle from siblings.

Furret Sun 07-Jun-20 08:18:20

Don’t let racist comments go unchallenged or you are complicit. If you don’t feel you can do this or hold your own then take yourself out of the group.