Please can you give me your thoughts on a situation I find myself in. I love my sister dearly, but I really don’t like her as a person at times.
She has a nasty tongue and over the years has said some very unkind things to me. She also regularly snaps at me in front of other people, which is upsetting.
Years ago she told me I was ugly when I laughed, which has never left me and it still affects me when I’m out having fun with friends.She also said I make her feel sick with the amount of food I consume.
I do not eat excessively and I’m not overweight, but I do enjoy food. On the other hand, she practically lives on salad and is obsessed with her looks and appearance. These are just a few examples.
My children say she has a lot of issues and is the most critical person on the planet, and that I should let it all go over my head. However, I’ve had years of it and now I can’t relax at all when I’m in her company.
There have been far too many times when she’s hurt me and screwed me up for weeks. Our other sister broke away from her years ago because of her nasty tongue.
I really don’t want to fall out with her and wondered what you’d recommend in terms of handling the situation.
From what you’ve said, your sister appears to be a desperately insecure person and that’s why she’s hyper-critical and puts people down.
I know you don’t want to fall out with her, but I actually think you should tell her how she’s making you feel. I also think you should say that if she doesn’t start being kinder, then she risks losing another sister.
Just because she’s family, doesn’t give her a right to be mean. Even family relationships can be stretched beyond repair. And pull her up every time she makes a nasty comment, especially if it’s in public. You don’t have to say anything in anger or make a scene, simply say, “That’s unkind” or “That comment hurt me”. I’m pretty sure she’ll start thinking twice in future because being mean is not a good look.
If you really can’t call her out, then start distancing yourself and don’t be so available to her.
If she asks why, be honest and say, “I’m being kind to myself by not putting myself in situations where I might end up feeling hurt and upset”.
I understand your kids telling you to let it go – they don’t want to see you upset – but if you allow your sister to keep putting you down it will damage your confidence and self-esteem.