Keep superficial or confront


#1

Last week we were out East for my little brother's graduation. It was a big family event, though we did not stay with my dad due to allergies and a lot of others staying there too. One night we were at my dad's for a bbq and my dd is afraid of dogs (well, she likes looking at them from a distance). She's 5 and was bit when she was 1 by one and still seems to remember it. My brother (her uncle and godfather) called her a chicken for being afraid of dogs (when we visit my brother, who also has dogs, his wife does a good job of keeping the dogs away knowing my daughter's fear and allergies). This comment really upset my daughter. My brother is in his own world and when it comes to talking to other relatives is becoming more like my father in the fact that he says slightly insulting comments and doesn't think they're wrong when addressed (I did address the way he talked to my daughter immediately after this incident but he said she needs to get over it). Was that enough or should I pursue this further. Needless to say, I'm extremely disappointed, but am now no longer surprised by the rudeness (like I said, he's taking after my dad with this quality).


#2

[quote="gmarie21, post:1, topic:200348"]
...he says slightly insulting comments and doesn't think they're wrong when addressed (I did address the way he talked to my daughter immediately after this incident but he said she needs to get over it). Was that enough or should I pursue this further. Needless to say, I'm extremely disappointed, but am now no longer surprised by the rudeness...

[/quote]

It sounds like you already did confront him, but he disregarded your concerns. Some people are very blunt and they speak what's on their minds to the point of rudeness--and it takes a similar level of blunt and rude to get a counter-point across to them. I wouldn't go down that path. You said something at the time, (and it sounds like that was appropriate.) Saying anything more will not likely get you what you hope to get--it's more likely bring you down to his level.


#3

I would let it drop for the time being. You've made your point clearly. Sometimes people will say, "You need to get over it" in self-defense, but then later decide to watch their mouths in the future. Your brother may also quiet himself in the future because he finds that he doesn't like having his more-sensible wife applying her knuckles to his thick head when they get home. He may even be more likely to tone it down if you let the matter go after raising the question on the spot, since he won't be as likely to feel he has something to prove. You don't want to make this into a sibling-on-sibling p***ing match.

Having said that, it is socially backward to correct people when they tell you that you are annoying them, let alone that you are offending them. If your brother pulls the same thing again, you can point out to him that when people politely let you know that your comments are hurtful and you respond by telling them to "get over it", they are free to conclude that the most convenient way to "get over it" is to "get over" you! If he finds that a great many pleasant people avoid him, now he knows why.

If he doesn't get that, then at least he won't have to wonder why his goddaughter does not find his company particularly desirable. He will eventually surround himself with people who think it is fine to be as annoying with him as they please, since they all think we are each the best judge of the social desirability of our own actions. Therefore, remind him that you don't want to hear his opinion of how annoying anyone else is, since by his own lights we should all be allowed to be as annoying as we like, and everyone else can just "get over it"!

This isn't something I'd tell just anyone, but I'd have no qualms about letting a brother in on a "secret" of this nature! I wouldn't hold my breath that he'd get the picture, but it wouldn't be because his sister neglected to give him honest feedback! :rolleyes: :D

PS It is not superficial to pick your battles! Heaven forbid that we get the idea that every truly intimate relationship requires total honesty all of the time. Keeping our opinions to ourselves at least some of the time is necessary for any relationship to work.


#4

I agree with the others - mentioning it once is enough, especially with the more-stubborn folks. I think if/when this behavior of his is repeated, then you can (and should) address it even more strongly - staying consistent in how you deal with belittling...


#5

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