Author Topic: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion  (Read 8744 times)

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Elisabunny

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2014, 04:05:44 PM »
On the surface, I want to feel sorry for excluded sister. 
Except for a few details, this letter could have been written by my aunt.  My mom could easily be the excluded sister.  There's a reason for it.  She's never happy, she blames others for everything, and she's complains.  Mom makes people miserable.  The thing is it's never her fault.  Someone else always forces her into this role.  They've been mean to her.  They've treated her with a lack of respect.  They've invited her to things they know she can't afford.  They've excluded her from the event.  She's gone to the homes of relatives and thrown fits that nearly required police intervention.  I can't blame the sister for wanting a stress free vacation.  I can blame her for letting the excluded sister know about it.  This includes posting "awesome" pictures & status updates on FB.  Keep it between the invited individuals.

I have a niece that's headed in this direction.  Maybe she really does have the worst luck ever, but there always seems to be some sort of crisis with her.  Add that to the posts in which she is Trying to Be a Good Person, but other people are So Mean!  Many of her immediate family have concluded she's a drama llama, if not an outright con artist, and just don't want to have that much to do with her.
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Allyson

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2014, 04:46:39 PM »
Yes, I think that with a bit of a wording change the letter writer wouldn't have come off as so awful. Not wanting to be friends with all your family members? Not evil. Neither is excluding someone from a trip. But it's the *way* it's phrased--the "oh, she's not Our People" that just makes it come off as so terrible. If she'd phrased it more like "we don't have a lot in common, she is very negative, and having her around will make the dynamic less fun for all of us" then I really think Amy's answer would've been different.

TootsNYC

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2014, 04:48:35 PM »
Yeah, I agree!

peaches

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2014, 05:01:43 PM »
If you’re having a special activity for a group (female cousins, for example) and you decide to exclude one member of that group, you had better have a very good reason IMO.

“She can’t afford it,” “she doesn’t always go to church,” “she’s a working single mother” are not good enough. This is clearly an activity that the excluded cousin could and would attend if invited.

It's true that people can invite only those they want. But there are consequences to that, especially within a family. I'm willing to put up with a fair amount in the interest of family unity. I don't see that happening in this case. And I find that sad.



Eeep!

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2014, 12:54:44 PM »
Yes, I think that with a bit of a wording change the letter writer wouldn't have come off as so awful. Not wanting to be friends with all your family members? Not evil. Neither is excluding someone from a trip. But it's the *way* it's phrased--the "oh, she's not Our People" that just makes it come off as so terrible. If she'd phrased it more like "we don't have a lot in common, she is very negative, and having her around will make the dynamic less fun for all of us" then I really think Amy's answer would've been different.

I realized I never gave my opinion after posting. haha.  This is totally my opinion, thanks for saving me the time! :)

Plus, even if there is a genuinely understandable reason why the sister coming along on would change the shopping trip too much, the members of the group really need to be way more discreet. And they need to understand that if you have a group that includes what sounds likes all the females of that generation, including an in-law, then it will likely cause issues with the ONE person left out.

I noticed that the "almost calling the cops" issue happened last year. So the letter writer is mostly complaining about the fact that her sister doesn't talk to her and is supposedly telling people she is awful.  To the first part, I gotta say why is she surprised about this? She herself says that she doesn't care about anything her sister talks about.

Also, I forget who said it but the calling the cops part is what tips me towards thinking the letter might be genuine. It seems like if the sister was writing it she would have somehow found a way to play that up to make herself look better and the cop caller worse.  I also think that it is a bit telling that the letter writer says the sister is "offended", whereas I would think that most people would use "hurt".   Unless, of course, you are the one doing the hurting. Then "offended" puts it back on the sister as yet another one of her issues.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2014, 01:44:06 PM »
That's funny, Eeeep!, because the cop thing actually made me think the reverse!  The reason for calling the cops (she came to my house crying) made calling the cops seem a huge overreaction, which was part of the reason that I think the letter was actually written by "Wendy."  I thought that if the letter writer was legit, she would have given more detail about whatever fit Wendy threw that got the cops called on her.

Also, the church stuff seemed... unlikely.  I mean, it seemed unlikely that the letter writer would point out the church stuff in quite that way (the fake illness that makes her not wake up on Sundays, etc.).  I felt it more likely that Wendy wrote the letter and was bringing up the church stuff in an ironic way to point out how very un-Christian the sisters/cousins are being towards her.

In general, I'm inclined to think it's a "backwards" letter, which means I don't trust it at all.  The arguments for not including Wendy were mostly really lame, and *pointedly* lame (really, they don't include her because she's a working mother and they're stay-at-home?  Most women in a similar situation would point out *why* this makes it a problem ("We want to talk about our kids and she rolls her eyes and taps her foot every time we talk about them," or "she keeps asking us what DO we do all day and putting us down for not having jobs").  They wouldn't just say, "she doesn't fit with us because she's a working mom."

The only seemingly legitimate complaint that the LW had against Wendy was Wendy's constant complaints and negativism... but paired with the "fake illness" mention, I think Wendy is trying to make herself look like the poor excluded sister who has this terrible illness that she sometimes talks about and that everybody hates hearing about.

Eeep!

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2014, 03:17:12 PM »
That's funny, Eeeep!, because the cop thing actually made me think the reverse!  The reason for calling the cops (she came to my house crying) made calling the cops seem a huge overreaction, which was part of the reason that I think the letter was actually written by "Wendy."  I thought that if the letter writer was legit, she would have given more detail about whatever fit Wendy threw that got the cops called on her.

Also, the church stuff seemed... unlikely.  I mean, it seemed unlikely that the letter writer would point out the church stuff in quite that way (the fake illness that makes her not wake up on Sundays, etc.).  I felt it more likely that Wendy wrote the letter and was bringing up the church stuff in an ironic way to point out how very un-Christian the sisters/cousins are being towards her.

In general, I'm inclined to think it's a "backwards" letter, which means I don't trust it at all.  The arguments for not including Wendy were mostly really lame, and *pointedly* lame (really, they don't include her because she's a working mother and they're stay-at-home?  Most women in a similar situation would point out *why* this makes it a problem ("We want to talk about our kids and she rolls her eyes and taps her foot every time we talk about them," or "she keeps asking us what DO we do all day and putting us down for not having jobs").  They wouldn't just say, "she doesn't fit with us because she's a working mom."

The only seemingly legitimate complaint that the LW had against Wendy was Wendy's constant complaints and negativism... but paired with the "fake illness" mention, I think Wendy is trying to make herself look like the poor excluded sister who has this terrible illness that she sometimes talks about and that everybody hates hearing about.

I love how we can read the same thing so differently! But I can totally see your point on all of these.  But, the sad thing is, is that there are quite a few people who just kind of across the board decide that just because someone is "that kind" of person they don't have anything in common or aren't worth getting to know.   I think I kind of read it as there was likely one or two real reasons - IE she is divorced and doesn't go to to church all the time - and the rest were just "lame" reasons because it is someone trying to justify their real reasons.

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

gramma dishes

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2014, 03:29:28 PM »
There are also some people who love being part of a group that picks on one person because it makes them feel like they're "better" than/superior to someone else and it gives them a sick sense of 'power' to know they're hurting someone else.  Like junior high bullies, it also makes them feel like they're part of the 'popular' group when they all join in together to do their mean stuff.

kherbert05

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2014, 01:13:01 AM »
If you’re having a special activity for a group (female cousins, for example) and you decide to exclude one member of that group, you had better have a very good reason IMO.

“She can’t afford it,” “she doesn’t always go to church,” “she’s a working single mother” are not good enough. This is clearly an activity that the excluded cousin could and would attend if invited.

It's true that people can invite only those they want. But there are consequences to that, especially within a family. I'm willing to put up with a fair amount in the interest of family unity. I don't see that happening in this case. And I find that sad.
Sometimes the "exclusion" is ok with both parties involved - but then a 3rd party causes well meaning trouble.


There are certain things my cousin and sister enjoy that I hate. Our parents used to push them to include me and me to go when we were teens even into early 20's. Finally we had a come to Jesus conversation with our parents. I was never going to enjoy the activities. No matter what brave face I put on they would know I was miserable and that ruined their time. We have come up with compromises and get along great.
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iridaceae

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2014, 03:55:32 AM »
I can see that you can take this letter as being written by either woman hut I suspect Mrs Self-Righteous wrote it because of the illness bit. It sounds just genuinely garbled enough that I'd put it on the "she's just faking it!" shoulders and not on the sister's.

I doubt I'd get along with either but my sympathy goes towards a woman who- in this day and age- is considered lesser for working and being divorced.

m2kbug

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2014, 09:36:27 AM »
I have seen this sort of thing play out, which is why I find it so believable.  There's so much emphasis on church attendance, I wonder how much of this plays a role in the LW's opinions.  The sister is not active, maybe doesn't believe at all, and hardly attends and is considered to suddenly be a bad person, influenced by the adversary, etc.  This could be part of what prompted husband to almost call the police when the sister was upset at the house.  She's "dangerous."  I picture these ladies are so involved in their church and church activities that they really have no outside interests and things to talk about besides what's going on at church and other church members.  This makes it very hard to find some common topics of interest, that is, if the sister was even interested at all in her sister, which she is not.  Of course the sister sounds like she is being blamed for her husband straying.  Working moms are not thought very highly of either.  This is all speculation, of course, and there probably is some exaggeration in this letter, but I think we've all heard of shunning. 

The sister could also just be a miserable person to bring along on these trips, but none of that was really discussed - "she complains the whole time."  "She pouts when she can't afford things and no one gets to do anything they want because she never has enough money," "She can't eat anything, so we have to cater to her diet," etc.  That would be a completely different story, and I'd bet Amy would have had a much different answer. 

ladyknight1

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2014, 10:46:11 AM »
This reminds me of high school mean girl antics in my home town. Not going to church would be reason to exclude someone, even if you partied all night Friday and Saturday, you were in church in perfect form on Sunday.

Also, this reminds me of multiple true stories where a group doesn't include someone because of a physical disability that makes it difficult for them to do 'activity' all day or stay up all night.

HoneyBee42

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2014, 10:56:33 AM »
This reminds me of high school mean girl antics in my home town. Not going to church would be reason to exclude someone, even if you partied all night Friday and Saturday, you were in church in perfect form on Sunday.

Also, this reminds me of multiple true stories where a group doesn't include someone because of a physical disability that makes it difficult for them to do 'activity' all day or stay up all night.
True--and for some reason, I keep picturing excluded sister's illness being one of those tough to dx (because of ruling out so many other things) conditions that don't make someone "look sick" like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, or lupus--any one of which could make a bad day put church attendance right out of reach, even if the excluded sister wanted to attend (which, considering the judgmentalism about the divorce & wohm status might be not the case).


Arila

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2014, 01:48:40 PM »
I keep expecting that with all of this internet attention on the issue that one or another of the sisters would have outed themselves and the internet would have an update or "other side" of the story by now.

I really hurt for the sister (if true), but for several of the reasons mentioned previously, it does look like a candidate for a reverse letter written by someone who is obviously hurt, but still quite one-sided. Have any of you seen any updates to the story yet?

shhh its me

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Re: Ask Amy Post: Sisterly Exclusion
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2014, 02:06:20 PM »
That's funny, Eeeep!, because the cop thing actually made me think the reverse!  The reason for calling the cops (she came to my house crying) made calling the cops seem a huge overreaction, which was part of the reason that I think the letter was actually written by "Wendy."  I thought that if the letter writer was legit, she would have given more detail about whatever fit Wendy threw that got the cops called on her.

Also, the church stuff seemed... unlikely.  I mean, it seemed unlikely that the letter writer would point out the church stuff in quite that way (the fake illness that makes her not wake up on Sundays, etc.).  I felt it more likely that Wendy wrote the letter and was bringing up the church stuff in an ironic way to point out how very un-Christian the sisters/cousins are being towards her.

In general, I'm inclined to think it's a "backwards" letter, which means I don't trust it at all.  The arguments for not including Wendy were mostly really lame, and *pointedly* lame (really, they don't include her because she's a working mother and they're stay-at-home?  Most women in a similar situation would point out *why* this makes it a problem ("We want to talk about our kids and she rolls her eyes and taps her foot every time we talk about them," or "she keeps asking us what DO we do all day and putting us down for not having jobs").  They wouldn't just say, "she doesn't fit with us because she's a working mom."

The only seemingly legitimate complaint that the LW had against Wendy was Wendy's constant complaints and negativism... but paired with the "fake illness" mention, I think Wendy is trying to make herself look like the poor excluded sister who has this terrible illness that she sometimes talks about and that everybody hates hearing about.

That (calling the police) was one of the things that put me on the fence as to who wrote it.

IF I was the excluded sister I might think, "whats so different about me , what could their reasons be...."  and come up with ; I'm divorced , I don't always go to church , they act like I'm making up being sick , they have no interest in what I say etc...

I find some the the wording interesting regardless of who wrote it. If it was excluded sister writing what she thinks is her sister perspective.  I can't imagine someone close to me thinking "it takes two to tango" and it's "in her head." would be my perspective (does that make sense?)  I can't help but think some really harsh words have been exchanged at some point.