How do you deal with bitter and nosy relatives?


#1

I have a few of these among my siblings; one in particular. I think it’s low self-esteem. She (and sometimes (actually often) another sibling) seem to enjoy putting people down to build themselves up. My father was much the same. I try hard to get along, but it seems any idea/suggestion I raise is looked down upon by them, and I’m treated as if I were 4 years old; not as an over middle-aged adult. Another sibling is sometimes treated like this as well by them, but prefers to keep distance.

Both these siblings worry all the time about how others view them: “what would people think?” For example, I’m planning on selling some homemade items locally, but one sibling quickly said the store wouldn’t sell them (how would she know? She hasn’t even seen my products). Come to find out, the person who would be in charge at the store overseeing this is a close relative to sibling’s significant other, so here comes “What would she think?” again and a paranoid-type of thinking and worry about others’ opinions (I do wish they would worry more about what I would think at times!).

It seems to be a method to put others down, more than anything. I’ve tried repeatedly to use Christian virtues and even build them up by compliments, but then, they play "I’m the boss’ and get very controlling, as well as obnoxious.

I try to ‘notice’ the positive in them and ignore the negative as a sort of behavioral modification, and at times, that works, but only temporarily. These two are bitter and empty, as well as angry most of the time. It is not fun to be around them, but I really try to hear them out. They pry and pry at our family’s private business, finances, etc.; none of which is any of their business–it’s all about the gossip between them that will follow. I have to wonder too about their mental health. I am trying hard to be Christian but running out of patience, and am tired of feeling angry and having to deal with this. Life is too short.


#2

Keep you chin up! We all know people like this and often they are family. You can never change them on purpose. All you/we can do is keep on being Christian. I have somehow been able to find a way to see humor in their antics. I have gone from being angered by them to having pity for them. Some times I have a good laugh. The one thing that really helped me was by finding this site: acomplaintfreeworld.org/ . Try their suggestions for yourself. Try it for Lent. Pray for your siblings - and pray again.


#3

[quote="dconklin, post:2, topic:230641"]
Keep you chin up! We all know people like this and often they are family. You can never change them on purpose. All you/we can do is keep on being Christian. I have somehow been able to find a way to see humor in their antics. I have gone from being angered by them to having pity for them. Some times I have a good laugh. The one thing that really helped me was by finding this site: acomplaintfreeworld.org/ . Try their suggestions for yourself. Try it for Lent. Pray for your siblings - and pray again.

[/quote]

Laughter is indeed a good idea, and the website you linked to looks wonderful.
Oh yes, I've always felt pity for them since they're missing out on so much of life.
I love your idea of using humor--would be a good experiment for me to try. After all, some of their antics are very humorous!


#4

[quote="luvzminis, post:1, topic:230641"]
and even build them up by compliments

[/quote]

I guess you found out yourself, but that's just about the WORST thing you can do in dealing with this sort of people.


#5

Leave them to wallow in their bitterness and pray they will eventually grow weary of their bitterness and let Jesus into their hearts.


#6

Sometimes we put up with behavior from our siblings and other family members that we would never accept from friends. Whatever it takes, unless they are downright toxic to your existence, keep doing what you can to keep the family together. Look around at families today. They are so distant, geographically, that they hardly even remember they have one another except once a year at Christmas. Maybe if your siblings read what you've written here, they would recognize how they are hurting you and devaluing your friendship. Sometimes just putting the words down on paper, as you have here, gives us the strength to try again.

Lord, Thank you for making me part of this family. I love them, but sometimes they hurt me and disregard my feelings. Please give me the grace to understand them and accept their point of view. And Lord, please give them the same grace.


#7

Once during Mass I was inspired at the Offertory to invite the guardian angels of each of my family members to that Mass to pray for the conversion, salvation, peace, and healing for all family members ... including myself. Now it's become a habit. I can't imagine an angel turning down an invitation to Holy Mass.

:angel1: :angel1: :angel1: :angel1: :angel1: :angel1:

:blessyou:


#8

Personally, I have had to cut off contact with relatives like this. I cannot cope with constant bitterness and insulting behavior. It causes me extreme stress and emotional pain. The feelings engendered take too much of my time that could be used productively elsewhere.
I take time to pray for these members of my family every day, though, which is the best thing anyone could do.


#9

I try to take the unknowns in their favour and gloss over small things but when they cross the line, I tell them.


#10

Keep your personal business to yourself around them.
If you know they will tear you down just don't give them anything to work with. And if they find out about your business just pretend you don't know what they are talking about.

I keep a low profile with some folks for this reason. Also, it's a good way to handle gossipers.


#11

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