In a similar vein to spookycatlady's story, some of my relatives occasionally like to tell stories about me when I was little, which I find embarrassing. It's more or less typical little kid stuff, not them being cruel or anything, and another sort of person might find the stories cute or charming. But as I said I find them somewhat embarrassing, and also dull, and they kind of make me think, "That was 30 years ago. Is that how you still think of me? Aren't you interested in what I did this
week, instead of back then?" Some of my family members have this problem (I consider it a problem) with focusing nostalgically on the past, instead of on what's in front of them here and now.
Anyway, what I've learned to do is to not make a big deal about the story. I just sort of sit there, and don't really respond, or maybe smile wanly and shrug. If they say, "Oh, do you remember that?" I'll say something like, "Oh, not really, it was so long ago." If someone's telling a story about me
, when I'm right there, I feel like I get a "say" on the matter, and my response says, "I don't find this interesting, I don't want to keep discussing it." Hopefully in a polite way.
Actually, one of the stories involves me singing a song which, in retrospect, could be construed as racist. At least, I would kind of raise an eyebrow at it now, and err on the side of caution by not repeating it. At the time of course I was a little kid who didn't know any better, and I had actually read the song in an "old-fashioned" children's book. What gets me is that when my relatives repeat the story (and song) now
, they don't seem worried that the content could be interpreted badly, they just think it was clever of me.
So really, retelling the story without any kind of "of course, that's wrong" attitude anywhere just makes them
Same with spookycatlady's cousin--if she tells the story and laughs hysterically, and you're not laughing, and in fact maybe you're frowning or grimacing a bit, I think that would alert people to the fact that you don't find the story funny, and that would make them think, "Why is this person telling it and laughing so much, then? That's not cool." I think in some situations, looking back, the person who fell could
find it funny (I know I have some stories like that about myself), but obviously then they'd be laughing along, or even telling it themselves.