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Unpleasant sister in law, help please

(35 Posts)
Lollypolly Mon 16-Jan-23 11:40:04

One of my Sil (I have 4) is always really nasty to me when we meet. Fortunately it's not very often. We have a family party coming up which we have to attend and I dread seeing her.
She always makes fun of me and is nasty about my height. I am short, slim and take care of myself. I had a very good job, married 50 years and have two lovely sons. She has never married and gave a child up for adoption when she was 18. I was 19 when my first son was born and I worked my socks off to achieve what I have today. Her family were professional people whereas mine were 'working folk'. I don't understand her and why she just can't stop and would like to deal with her without being horrible back. Help please advice needed. and thanks in advance

Forestflame Mon 16-Jan-23 11:41:52

She's jealous of you.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 16-Jan-23 11:44:51

Just say “sour grapes?” And walk away.

You don’t have to stand there and listen to her being nasty to you.

Smileless2012 Mon 16-Jan-23 11:45:26

It does sound like jealousy Lollypolly. The best way to deal with this is to let it wash over you. Don't respond, try changing the subject and if that doesn't work, smile and walk away.

silverlining48 Mon 16-Jan-23 11:46:19

The old favourite ‘did you mean to be so rude’ might work,
Otherwise keep away from her if you can.
I have a difficult sil too, it’s been awkward but luckily we don’t meet up now.
See it as her problem not yours.

notgran Mon 16-Jan-23 11:47:45

Lollypolly you are obviously a far nicer person than me. I would have told her long ago to duck off! It of course isn't too late.

Theexwife Mon 16-Jan-23 11:50:27

Nobody has to attend a family event, if it bothers you that much don't go.

If you are going to attend then just stay away from her, if she says anything to you look at her without saying anything for a couple of seconds or repeat back to her what she has said as though you did not understand.

Norah Mon 16-Jan-23 12:07:11

She sounds ridiculous. We're working folk, no idea anyone cared.

But playing off that, perhaps ask her opinion to starting a housekeeping or gardening service as a way for people to work with the economy as it is?

You could then talk on about the economy, COL, benefits, anything but yourself. She's not clever if her fall back is being nasty about height, so you be the clever one and talk about newsworthy things.

FarNorth Mon 16-Jan-23 12:10:10

repeat back to her what she has said as though you did not understand.

That sounds like a good idea. smile

Witzend Mon 16-Jan-23 12:20:54

I think I’d give a kind but sorrowful sort of smile, and say, ‘I’m afraid you must be very insecure if you must keep saying such things every time I see you. Have you thought of seeking professional help?’

But then I wouldn’t mind being a bit 😈 to such a person.

Siope Mon 16-Jan-23 12:29:44

Depends whether you want to find ways of enduring her, or of stopping her. If it’s the former, just spend the minimum possible time in her company, and as soon as she’s rude excuse yourself to talk to someone else - you don’t have to respond to her.

If it’s the latter, when she starts, say, very politely ‘yes, you’ve told me you think that many times before. Please stop. It’s rude, and, frankly, boring’ and then change the subject to something of interest to the wider group.

Bridgeit Mon 16-Jan-23 12:39:05

Stare her straight in the eyes and say absolutely nothing. Best wishes

Fleurpepper Mon 16-Jan-23 12:43:07

She can only get to you if you let her. Smile, walk away if she starts. Never let her know she's hit the spot.

GN is great practice for that!

Hithere Mon 16-Jan-23 14:02:23

Where does your husband stand?

You don't have to attend anything you don't want to

Yammy Mon 16-Jan-23 14:06:27

Tell her to turn off the repeat button.,then walk away.

pascal30 Mon 16-Jan-23 14:07:41

Just chat to the SIL's that you do get on with... she's probably been unpleasant to them as well.. she sounds like a very unhappy woman, so also maybe feel a bit sorry for her?

LRavenscroft Mon 16-Jan-23 15:51:34

I wish you could read your post through the eyes of a third party. All your answers are in it. Sounds like sour grapes on her part. And, you sound like a very grounded and accomplished lady who is considerate and well informed. You won't change people, so short of ignoring her, enjoy your own achievements. I have a page in my diary called Grot Person of the Month. I list people who have annoyed me or are rude etc but use a code for their names i.e. Freda Bloggs would be FB. etc. just in case it gets in the wrong hands. You could even call her Mrs SB (Sour grapes),

ExDancer Mon 16-Jan-23 16:05:17

Silence is your weapon.
Several people have suggested it so why not give it a try? When she puts you down or makes a scathing remark, just stare at her and say nothing. Let her fill the awkward silence and don't help her wriggle out of it.
If you feel you must say something repeat what she's said word for word.

smile what's betting she's as nice as pie this time and you don't get a chance to make her look stupid. smile

AGAA4 Mon 16-Jan-23 16:26:49

"grot person of the month" What a great idea for putting down those who annoy.
People like your Sil don't like being laughed at or put down back.
My Sil was similar and at a party she said to me that I didn't have an hour glass figure. I replied the problem with hour glass figures is all the sand goes to the bottom. She never insulted me again.

Madgran77 Mon 16-Jan-23 16:44:05

Some choices of response:

1. Silence. Just stand and look at her as others have suggested with a benign look on your face, let her fill the silence. If she doesn't, wear a puzzled expression and walk away!

2. "And your point is?" with a questioning look or "Could you explain the point you are making please" , followed by silence and wait for a response ... depending on her response one can usually just keep going ..."but what point are you trying to make" or "but I am unclear the point you are making, could you explain..." on and on until you choose to shrug, or look puzzled and walk away

4. "Yes I am short! Why are you pointing that out, it is hardly interesting"! If she says "its a joke" etc reply "Oh. Pity it wasn't funny" and walk away!!

5. Just keep away from her and don't engage atall

Allsorts Mon 16-Jan-23 19:17:53

She’s jealous of you, keep your dignity and when she makes a nasty comment give her a Paddington stare, just brief, no smile and walk on preferably to eat or drink. That will rattle her.

Ziplok Mon 16-Jan-23 19:32:06

It sounds to me as if she has issues around having given up her child for adoption and seeing her brother and SiL having a happy relationship with family; and is transferring her sadness/guilt/regret onto you by continually having a go at you at every opportunity she has. I think the best thing you can do is try not to let her see she has upset you, ignore her comments and either change the subject altogether as if you haven’t heard what she has said or walk away from her and speak to other people. If her flames have no fuel, they’ll die out.

Cakeface Mon 16-Jan-23 19:36:05

She's like this because everything you've achieved in life, she's failed at.
You're petite and in good shape. Is she?
You have a good strong long term marriage. She doesn't.
You have 2 lovely children. She doesn't.
You worked your way up in life. She hasn't.
You have everything she could have had. But didn't.

She's riddled with jealousy. Laugh at her.

Pigma Mon 16-Jan-23 23:33:24

Could you be brave enough to say in a calm and curious voice ‘When I’ve told people how nasty you can be to me, they’ve told me you are jealous. Do you think this could be the case?’ When she blusters and says it’s a joke or she’s not being nasty just say ‘Oh, really? Because that’s how it comes across so you might like to say something different next time’ and then give her a sympathetic smile and move away. But I find the most effective thing to say is ‘You could be right’. You’re not saying she is but it gives her nothing to argue against. And then move on.

crazyH Tue 17-Jan-23 00:08:16

Silence is the best weapon. If it’s a fairly big gathering, you don’t have to engage with her. Say ‘hi’ and move away ..