Author Topic: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude  (Read 8481 times)

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buvezdevin

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 02:30:04 PM »
I think she sounds dreadful, and bitter.

While I agree with others generally, if this were to happen again at a future gathering, I would be inclined to return the "observation" with "My weight is not your concern, but you rude comments do affect those in your presence.  On the bright side, you give me cause to be thankful I do not have your issues or personality - so thank you!"
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

weeblewobble

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2012, 02:31:18 PM »
The way I see it, you have a few options:

1) Stay home and avoid this toxic sludge dump of a person, which is unfair to you, but a guaranteed way to avoid the aunt.  Be sure to tell the host that you're sorry to miss the event, but you can no longer tolerate the insults.

2) When invited to the next holiday event, tell you're hosts that you're reluctant to attend because of Aunt HagBag's insults. It ruins the holiday get-together for you and you'd rather stay home. Don't make demands on whether Aunt HagBag is invited, but state that it would be nice if these comments weren't just brushed off as "she's a drunk" or "she's family."  Family is supposed to treat you better than a (drunk) stranger on the street.  Not worse.

3) Attend as usual.  When Aunt HagBag starts in on you, act completely bored and say something like, "I've heard this tune from you before, Aunt HagBag.  Care to sing something else?" 

4)  Attend as usual.  When Aunt HagBag starts in on you, smile sweetly and say, "Thank you for noticing, Aunt HagBag." (Cast a long glance at remains of empty cocktail glasses surrounding Aunt HagBag like a pillow fort.) "Can I get you another drink?"

OK, probably not that last one.

cicero

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2012, 02:32:41 PM »
hugs. your aunt is disgusting. i have a BIL who is nasty like this - and we also, always put up with him because we didn't want to make waves. well, guess what - I am getting too old (or something) to put up with this kind of carp. we don't deserve this. I said to him "don't ever talk to me like that again". he still did the nonpology route ("i was just kidding you have no sense of humor") but i wasn't having any of that.

in your shoes, i would do the following:
1/ talk to other family members and have people understand that this is beyond rude and you are not putting up with it.
2. have an "escape route" ready for the next gathering.
3. when she says anything like that to you - tell her very very firmly "don't you ever talk like that to me again". do't get into a discussion about the content. don't get into a she said-she said discussion. don't say anything to her after that. if she says something nasty again - then pick up your stuff and leave.

people in your family are going to have to make a decsiion here about what they prefer.

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weeblewobble

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2012, 02:42:32 PM »
Also, as lovely as I'm sure GEH is, this may not stem from jealousy.  If HagBag's drinking is getting progressively worse, she may be using this as a deflective mechanism.  As in (please forgive me, GEH), "Sure, I may drink a little, but LOOK HOW FAT GREEN-EYED HAWK HAS GOTTEN!  Look away from me and stare at her! No, you're not looking away enough.  I have to make mean comments to make sure you're not looking at me!"

I have a relative who does something similar.  He is really insecure about how his under-achieving kids have turned out, so to remind everybody that my siblings and I aren't perfect, he likes to pick us apart, from pointing out errors in craft projects to complaining about our cooking to telling stories about what rotten kids we were.  All I want to do is scream, "Yes, Relative X, I'm sure everybody will forget your child's drug problem now that you've loudly announced that my pound cake is dry."

I just ignore him and remember he's doing this because my life turned out to be pretty great.

yokozbornak

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2012, 02:54:30 PM »
Also, as lovely as I'm sure GEH is, this may not stem from jealousy.  If HagBag's drinking is getting progressively worse, she may be using this as a deflective mechanism.  As in (please forgive me, GEH), "Sure, I may drink a little, but LOOK HOW FAT GREEN-EYED HAWK HAS GOTTEN!  Look away from me and stare at her! No, you're not looking away enough.  I have to make mean comments to make sure you're not looking at me!"

I have a relative who does something similar.  He is really insecure about how his under-achieving kids have turned out, so to remind everybody that my siblings and I aren't perfect, he likes to pick us apart, from pointing out errors in craft projects to complaining about our cooking to telling stories about what rotten kids we were.  All I want to do is scream, "Yes, Relative X, I'm sure everybody will forget your child's drug problem now that you've loudly announced that my pound cake is dry."

I just ignore him and remember he's doing this because my life turned out to be pretty great.

The bolded made me laugh out loud.  Maybe the OP should actually try that with Aunt Bitterhag.

TootsNYC

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 03:08:50 PM »
Kick up a fuss.  Your family is so nice that they prefer to let Aunt Bitterhag have a happy holiday while making you feel like crap.  No.  Refuse to spend another merry minute with Bitterhag every again.  Do you really enjoy these holidays where you're treated like this?  I would prefer to be alone.

I think it's time to start pressuring the rest of the family to pressure HER.

Start saying, when you're invited, "I don't want to attend because Aunt Bitterhag will make comments about my weight, and no one in the family ever defends me. They never tell her to shut up, they never warn her in advance. It seems as if no one in the family cares about the digs she gets in at me, so I really don't feel particularly welcomed or wanted."

And when they say, "well, it's because," you say, "That doesn't make it any less hurtful. In fact, it just makes me feel even more unimportant to everyone else. It means that I, who am nice and helpful and not an alcoholic, am less important to you than this alcoholic woman who treats me so rudely. So, I won't be attending after all--I'm really sorry to miss it."

YummyMummy66

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 03:10:22 PM »
Gee, Aunt Bertha, this is getting old.  Everytime, we get together, you just love to make some comment about my weight in front of eveyrone.  And Gee, no one says a word against you.  Well, today I am.  I will stand up for myself.  Aunt Bertha, I know I am heavy.  You do not have to keep rubbing it in my face, and yes, that is exactly what you are doing every single time you mention it at every stinkin' family get together.  Aunt Bertha, I have the ability to change my weight if I choose to do so.  I however feel sorry that you seem not to be able to change the fact that you are a mean spirited women.  Cousin Anthony, pass me that cheesecake!

ilrag

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 03:31:04 PM »
It's helpful to remember that you can't control how other people react.  I assume your dream reaction would be that the rest of your family members realize that your Aunt is awful and stop inviting her and you can go to all family parties and not have to worry about her mean comments.

That hasn't happened yet, so you have a few options.

1. (The hardest) Convince your family that it's not worth inviting her by explaining how her comments turn the gatherings from a celebration to a nightmare for you.
2. Go, try to make nice and either end up upset, or start a fight.  Or both.
3. Stop going when she's invited.

3 is really the most simple. There's a few outcomes.  The first is that she picks a new target to make miserable and that person must make the same choices above. Eventually if enough people boycott, maybe she stops being included.

The second is that she doesn't upset other people and they consider the problem solved. Which would clearly be hurtful to you.

There's no magic phrase that will make the rest of your family stop inviting her that I know of.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 03:40:19 PM »
I think whether you go or not to future events depends on your pain threshold. I have 2 people in my family who comment on weight, mine & others. I still go to some (not many) family events in spite of their childishness. I do my best to blow them off. They are from another era & while that does not guve them carte blanche to be rude at their age they will not understand where I'm coming from in accepting myself right where I am. Their rejection of me is their loss. I don't spend any emotional energy on it.

ETA: the reason I don't go to many family events anymore is we moved. It has nothing to do w/ avoiding the "fat critics".
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 03:42:54 PM by NotTheNarcissist »

camlan

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2012, 03:57:00 PM »
An opposite tack to take, which worked for me a couple of times, is to say "Thank you!"

From experience, responding to "Gee, you gained a lot of weight," or "Boy, are you fat," with a big, huge smile and "Thank you!" said in a cheerful, positive tone of voice, so completely throws the rude person off track that they are left gaping and speechless.

The words still sting and that smile can be hard to paste on your face, but the stunned look on the rude person's face is certainly worth it.

And oddly, those two people have never mentioned my appearance again. And it's been at least 10 years. Thye are saying those things to wound, to make some feel worse they they are feeling. Don't let them know they are getting to you.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


NyaChan

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2012, 04:27:58 PM »
I suggest informing the next host of your upcoming family gathering that you will not be attending any further family gatherings. Explain that you will not be around someone who treats you so badly, and since the family has made it clear to you through their silence that they value this Aunt's company over your company and feelings, you are removing yourself from the situation.  Then it is up to them to decide whether they invite Aunt in spite of losing you, or if they are willing to commit to standing up for you during the gathering.

nuit93

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2012, 05:10:01 PM »
As someone who got the same treatment (only it was always followed up with "well, we're just trying to help you!"), I would agree with the others who are saying not to go anymore, as long as this Aunt continues to attend.

If they're not calling her on her rudeness, they're silently condoning it.

Just Lori

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 05:32:30 PM »
I know this sounds trite, but sometimes the best thing you can do is blatantly ignore these types of people.  She thrives on the reaction she gets from you and the negative attention it draws.  If you can, pretend you didn't hear it.  If she says it again, pretend again.  At this point the other people in the room are going to be like, "Oh good gracious, Aunt Bitterhag is a horrible woman."  It will take an enormous amount of self-control, but try to look at her with absolutely no expression when she repeats it for a third time.  I can almost guarantee that she will start to desperately try to dig herself out of the hole she's in, and if you can get to this point, it will be quite amusing to watch.  Without acknowledging her, turn to someone else and say something completely unrelated like "Hey SIL, would you like to come into the kitchen with me so we can count how many grains of rice are left on the plates?"

OR, find a kindred soul at the party and make a friendly "bet" beforehand.  Bet her a milkshake that Aunt BH is going to make some comment about your weight.  As soon as she says anything, say as loud as you can, "Oh Fun Relative, you owe me a milkshake!"  And Fun Relative can say, "It's a good thing we didn't bet our favorite makeup brushes" and you can both dissolve into laughter like giggly 12-year-olds.  Aunt BH is going to be left out of the joke, and that will drive her nuts.

I find that this approach works better than any quick comeback or serious reponse, because again, it robs her of the attention she so desperately craves.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2012, 05:41:07 PM »
"So you've said many times before.  Is your life really so boring you have nothing else to talk about every time I see you?"  Say it as if you're bored and she has just told you yet again that the sky is blue.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Family=/= Carte Blanche to be rude
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2012, 06:49:13 PM »
OP, plan your own party and don't invite her. The rest of the family will assume that she's been invited, and won't say anything to her.

When everyone (but her) gets there, they'll ask where she is. You'll tell them she wasn't invited.