Author Topic: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"  (Read 11445 times)

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aloe

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"Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« on: June 20, 2012, 03:45:20 PM »
I've used silence and then walking away as my response to this comment my SIL has used on me several times.

Brother and SIL live in a nearby state.  SIL is a snarky type who can often come up with rude remarks.  I try to limit my contact with them as I dislike the "walking on eggshells" feeling I have when I am around her.  I see them several times a year when my father comes to visit from another state.  My father, husband and brother do not create problems; the SIL does.

Any advice on the meaning of these exchanges?  Silence was the only thing I could come up with, and it seemed best but maybe you have ideas on possible responses or insights as to why she does this?  I find it rude and it cuts short a normal conversation...

Background:  My nephew Bob recently moved to Boston where my father lives.

SIL:  I'm so happy that Bob (her son) plays softball with Grandpa.  They are really bonding - Grandson to Grandpa.

Me:  That is so great to hear!  I'm glad they are spending time together and bonding.

SIL:  It's great. They see each other a few times a week.

Me:  How does Bob like living in Boston?

SIL:  Why don't you ask him yourself?

She said it with a rude, annoyed tone like she did the preceding year:

SIL:  My brother Dave is allergic to peaches.

Me:  What are his symptoms when he eats them?

SIL:  Why don't you ask him yourself?




Miriam

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 03:54:23 PM »
"I will ask next time I see him/her, but since you brought it up I had only assumed you wanted to talk about it. Bean dip?"

"Well, I am asking you because you mentioned it."
"All Was Well"

rashea

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 04:07:52 PM »
I assume he isn't there? If he is there, I suspect she's trying to pawn you off on him. If he isn't, then it's a very weird "conversational style."
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Shoo

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 04:11:40 PM »
Honestly, I would try very hard to never have to speak to her again.  I'd speak to her the *least* amount I had to, if completely avoiding her weren't possible.

aloe

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 05:53:32 PM »
Thanks for your replies.

rashea, yes, he wasn't there.  He arrived several hours later & I asked him later.

Shoo, your comment is very 'right on.'  That is what I decided to do a while back.

Especially since the last time I saw her when she said in front of the whole family including Bob, the third of four children she and her husband constantly adore and nurture, so you will be shocked when you read this. 

It was something I knew about decades ago but I was told it should not be spoken of for obvious reasons...and here she was "spilling the beans" to the wrong person, her son. At the dinner table...

SIL:  Your father only wanted 2 children.  It was because of me talking him into it that you and Susie were born.

Bob:  (turning red)  Gee thanks, Mom, I'm glad I was born. (He handled it well with grace, I think.  He is 22)

It freaked me out how rude this was!!  My guess is that it was a dig at her husband.  It really solidified making me want to avoid conversing with her.  Telling her son that is rude, abusive and ten other adjectives I won't bother to say.

FoxPaws

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 06:40:49 PM »
It seems as though she does this for attention - like she wants to be the first person to announce the news and then realizes when you ask for more information that all she's got are the headlines.

I bet dollars to donuts she has no clue how Bob likes Boston or what her brother's allergy symptoms are because she's never bothered to ask them herself. ;) The scene at the dinner table was awful - your poor nephew! - but again, there was a real, "I know something you don't know," quality to it.

How pathetic that she'll stoop to hurting her own children to make herself seem important.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

aloe

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 01:36:31 AM »
Thanks, FoxPaws.  What you say rings true.

kudeebee

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 11:38:14 AM »
 
It seems as though she does this for attention - like she wants to be the first person to announce the news and then realizes when you ask for more information that all she's got are the headlines.

I bet dollars to donuts she has no clue how Bob likes Boston or what her brother's allergy symptoms are because she's never bothered to ask them herself. ;) The scene at the dinner table was awful - your poor nephew! - but again, there was a real, "I know something you don't know," quality to it.

How pathetic that she'll stoop to hurting her own children to make herself seem important.

How awful for her son!  Some people have no filter on their mouths and don't think about others feelings, just want the drama effect of their statements.

The bolded--totally agree with.  So, quit asking questions about how other's like something or their symptoms, etc.  SIL doesn't want to talk about that, doesn't want to have a deep conversations.  She just wants to do chit-chat with you, so keep it at that level with her and it will be a more "pleasant" conversation as much as that is possible.

BeagleMommy

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 12:41:40 PM »
SIL:  "Why don't you ask him yourself?"
You:  "Well, I guess that conversation is over."

No?  Evil BeagleMommy is on a roll and I don't know how to get her back in her crate!

aloe

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 05:15:39 PM »
lol!  thanks, BeagleMommy and kudeebee!

In the past, the way I dealt with her was to talk with her about her favorite subject - her children.  She is kind of a limited person - she doesn't have much interest beyond her own world - her family and her work.

But now, that doesn't work anymore - she comes up with those sharp remarks despite my efforts to interact with her in a pleasant way.

This past year, I "divorced" myself emotionally from my brother's family because of the abusive way she communicates.

TheVapors

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 06:09:12 PM »
Really? She really said that to a simple, and normal question? She is some kinda special snowflake to think that no one should ask her how someone else is doing. I mean, seriously, asking someone how their child is or their friend or relative... NORMAL. The height of normalcy in a conversation.

I don't think I'd begin or continue any conversations with her.

If she were to approach me (her beginning a conversation), and tell me a tale about something, I might express delight or condolences (depending on the subject), but I wouldn't ask any questions (I wouldn't "continue" the conversation). I also wouldn't offer anything beyond those simple remarks.

I'd go about asking normal people those normal questions that come up without any normal people ever giving snarky remarks about them.

aloe

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 10:43:43 PM »
Well said.  I plan to not converse with her except for the very basic comments necessary within a family gathering.  Thank goodness I don't have to interact with her more than twice a year on average, and that she lives a six hour drive away.  It really is a shame because my brother is a very nice, decent guy...and he married someone with not much of a brain and a sharp tongue.  The interesting thing is that they seem happy together....and the four kids take after their Dad (none of them have sharp tongues)


aloe

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 01:31:07 AM »
Update:  I took your advice (and also followed my instincts) when I had to interact with her at a very recent family gathering.

I never asked her any questions.  When she told me things about her kids, I would say comments like, "That's great."  I never pursued a give and take conversation.  I said just enough things to not look cold or distant.

The only time I did "normal conversation" in her presence is when neutral subjects came up such as "the times when we spotted wildlife."

I never gave her an opportunity to say those weird, snappy remarks mentioned earlier in this thread.

I still plan to have as little contact or interaction with her as possible. 

Kiwichick

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 12:49:30 PM »
Good for you! I bet you feel less irritated with her too by not allowing her to use her usual script.

aloe

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Re: "Why Don't You Ask Him Yourself"
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 12:32:22 AM »
Thanks, Sootikin.