How do you tell someone she is rude, without saying--YOU ARE RUDE!

*I’m a little angry right now with my sister. :mad: Let me explain, and vent, if you would?

First, I always try to go out of my way, to not insult someone, but if he/she asks my opinon, I give it. I don’t give unsolicited advice. My sister on the other hand…

So, I visited my sister recently. We had a great time, but she is VERY critical and judgemental. VERY. I listen, and don’t say anything, listen and don’t say anything…I’m reallly tired of it, frankly.

When we were together last weekend, we were talking about interracial marriages, and my daughter said that if she falls in love with an african-american man, so be it–she will not exclude someone based on race (I’m paraphrasing the words of a 13 yr old girl) My sister lost it…she said, sharon, you need to nip that in the bud! (this was a while later, when my dd was in another room) And on and on she went. I said, it’s really not a big deal, you know…why are you getting so angry? I never pegged you for a racist. :rolleyes: She didn’t like my comment.Then, we dropped it. And truthfully, I am not racist, and if my dd or son falls in love with someone who is not white, so be it…it’s their choice.

She says…‘well L (dd)…if you must marry one marry one like Obama.’ :eek:

I looked at her and said…uh no, she won’t be marrying someone like Obama. I was so angry!!! My dd didn’t know what to say. I was furious with my sister!! She thinks Obama is the greatest man in the world, so …again, another topic for another time.

Then, I slipped and fell when we were heading out to the beach–It was embarassing to say the least, and my dd ran over to tell my sister, who was already on the beach–she was like…what do you need a walker? You’re only 40 :whistle: I shouldn’t have laughed it off, but I did. I slipped, people fall sometimes…instead of being concerned, she gave me sarcasm, and a flip comment?

Then, she lamented during the trip, how she will end up being alone, and she can’t figure it out…she is attractive, independent, bla bla…hmmm…I thought…can’t imagine why? :cool:

THEN…and this was really upsetting, and I finally said something. We all went to church together …and as we walked out, I commented on how the number of men entering the seminary is going up…and that was a good thing, etc. She said, “oh, did they all get out of jail?’’ This not only made NO SENSE, but I took it as a slap at the Church. I said…‘what?’ She didn’t say anything, but I said, 'You know you just received the Eucharist, you should talk about your faith in a better light, considering you are Catholic, you know.” I had had it. She didn’t say anything.

THEN…fast forward to today…I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so I sent her a quick email…‘hey, how are ya, I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but not I’m fine, bla bla…’ Just small talk. She writes back how I should have TONS of energy, and I should go for a physical. That I don’t feel well often. :mad: Ok, this is not true, first of all–and second, I do have a lot of energy. I did not write back and don’t plan to. I’m tired of her rudeness. I don’t deserve it, and I’m tired of it. And I do get physicals and everything is fine. I’m fine, why she thinks I’m sick all of the time, who knows? I am done telling her when I am, though–this I know.

Believe it or not, I had a great time with her last weekend, and so did the kids. These are not constants, but they still happen nearly every time we speak. I really think she needs to change this, it is largely why her marriage didn’t work…it’s largely why men don’t stick around long with her. (meanwhile, she isn’t in a position to date, because she never received a declaration of nullity from her first marriage, but that’s another topic for another time) She talks disparagingly about her friends behind their backs, and then tells me in this same email today, how she’s going out with them for champagne. :rolleyes: Whatever.

Please pray that I don’t allow this to cause me to not speak to my sister for a while. Please tell me what you might do, in my shoes.
Thanks! *

*Her blasting of the Catholic Church, is frequent, and I feel like saying to her…you shouldn’t be receiving the Eucharist, if you truly don’t believe what the Church teaches, quite frankly. :mad:

She will say…oh I should stop talking, because I know this offends you.

I have said often, no it offends God. Then, she’ll often say nothing.

On the flipside, I feel sorry for my sister–she is lost …again. When she ended things some time ago with that married guy, she came back to the Church, and was going frequently, feeling good about that, again. Now, she hardly goes, and I think this is a big part of her problem–having a shaky faith. She was dressed to the nines at mass last week, looking all around at who was possibly checking her out. :frowning: I noticed it, it was hard to not notice. My sister is 54, looks much younger, but that’s her age. She’s not 20. I think her behavior is in part, due to getting married so young, and having a lot of problems thrust at her at an early age. But, that doesn’t give a person the right to insult people…

Part of me is indifferent, she has been this way for a very long time, with spurts of improvement. I’m giving up hope that she’ll change much.*


Hi Whatevergirl. I know from your other posts that you lost your mother quite early and your sister had a hand in raising you. Sometimes when a sibling has a motherly instinct towards another sibling, unfortunately judgment can come as a consequence. It is sort of how many adult women complain of their mother being their worst critic. Well, you have the complication of having a sibling and child/parent connection all rolled into one.
Its apparent that you guys have differing political issues, so that’s a topic I would just avoid altogether with her just for the sake of preserving your own sanity. As far as the racist comments she made, that’s a tough one. Maybe you can ask her if she has had a negative experience with an African American that has changed her outlook? Maybe approach her in a way where you tell her how you have always admired her living her Catholic faith in the past and have not known her to be judgmental based on race; remind her that many members of the Catholic Church are actually African and that is the fastest growing segment of the Church. All of her negative talk points to a person who is quite unhappy with themselves. If you can, send her some inspirational Catholic books maybe? Point out a ministry or active group in the Church where she will feel like she is a part of something.
Start off by telling her that you usually feel refreshed and happy after a visit with her, but this time you found yourself pulled down. Ask if you did something to offend her and put her in a bad mood. Ask her if there is something in her life that you is making her grouchy, because as her sister, you sense something is off.

*Mia, I skimmed through your reply here but will come back later to reply in more detail…thank you though! You could be right, it’s the mothering in her, but it comes across very badly. It is not welcome anymore. I don’t need nor want her advice. I love my life, I love my husband and kids…and most importantly, my faith is not shaky. Her advice is often superficial, and sarcastic. I don’t need it and it never makes sense, frankly. :shrug:

South FL is a place where many women feel the need to get plastic surgery, and so forth to keep up with the younger crowd…she is obsessed with how she looks. She comments about how 60 yr old men are “saggy,” etc…and how she wants to date a younger man. It’s comments like these that I can’t believe I’m hearing. Do you hear yourself, I feel like saying??? :mad: I really thought she was coming along, but it seems like she is falling back into her old superficial, blast the Church ways. I can tolerate a lot, but not putting down our Mother Church!!! :frowning:

My kids sadly, don’t like her all that much. My kids are very down to earth…and laid back. They don’t like how judging she is, it makes them uncomfortable. My son said…why are you and aunt (we’ll call her Sally) so different? I said, because of God. It’s all God. It’s nothing I do on my own, but without God as your foundation, you’ll end up very bitter, judgemental, and…alone. That is what I think it is, ultimately.

I like your ideas of how to approach her, maybe…thank you!!*

Welllll my dear, I’m probably not the right one to respond, you are far more caring than I when it comes to something like this.

I had somewhat of a similar episode with a very close family member some time ago (totally different topics, same attitude). I finally had it, her friends had had it, my ex-fiance was breaking up with me because of her - I was up to my ears with her sassy attitude.

So - I let her have it. I was not hateful, I was not mean, but I did not hold anything back. I told her that she was being selfish, was only considering herself when she said snappy thoughtless things to people. That she needed to start thinking before she spoke, and to stop poking her nose into everyone’s business, and that her way is not always the best way for everyone.

It was pretty ugly, but it honestly had to be said. So many people had tip-toed around her for so long that it was well over due that she heard this.

She did accept the comments graciously, and there was an improvement. But it was not easy to do, there were tears, but it had to be done.

No one - no matter how much you love them or they love you, has the right to be nasty and petty like that. There is such a thing as decorum, even between family members. Not every single thing is fair game - and some folks need to just learn how to think before they speak.

I hope this helps - as I said, I have very little patience for such behavior, I don’t care who it’s coming from. :o

Hope you are feeling better today, in spite of this!


Thanks Liza! Yeah, it’s starting to make me ‘feel’ like she thinks she is better than me…the kids said that when I would be out of the room, using the restroom or whatever, she would tell them that they shouldn’t be sleeping so late in the mornings, bla bla (meanwhile, her kids slept until noon when they were teens, she must think I grew up in a different household :rolleyes:) At dinner, she asked the kids what they wanted to drink and they love to drink water, it’s what they like, and I don’t buy soda, and they don’t ask for soda. She said to me, why do they only drink water? I said, what should they be drinking? Water is the best thing to stay hydrated. She said…they should order a soda.

How stupid is this back and forth? They ended up drinking water, despite her urging…

She presses me to drink something alcoholic, and when I say no, she gets a face. I am not a big drinker, sorry. :shrug:

I could go on and on…I guess why I feel hurt, is that she treats me like I don’t know what’s best for my own kids…that I would ‘allow’ my dd to date an african american man must mean I don’t care, and that I don’t agree with her slandering of the Church.

We were leaving the beach, and she was helping me put on my coverup…I’m like…uh, you don’t need to dress me, that’s ok. She is like…no let me help you, I can tell you need help. :rotfl: Oh my gosh, yeah I need help getting dressed. :rolleyes: My kids were looking on in shock, like why is aunt sally getting you dressed?

I wish I could chalk it all up to mothering, but it’s not that, she thinks she is better than me, and I think that is what is bothering me. I think I might have to muster up something to say to her…if I don’t, I know myself, I will withdraw from her. That is how I am, so maybe I need to say something like you did.


*Oh my dh’s opinion? First, he was happy he had to work. :smiley:

Second…he said…‘your sister has been this way since I met her. She is not happy, and unhappy people DO THIS. Stop getting disappointed in someone who has been running true to form for years.’

He is right, but is that it? Just let someone keep doing this, just because she has been liks this forever? :confused:*

Oh my gosh - that is EXACTLY what my ex-fiance told me about my own family member!! She is not a happy person, never has been, has horrible self esteem issues, and always has to find something to pick on to make HER look better, even if she has no clue she’s doing that.

Men - they are so intuitive sometimes, they just don’t get the credit the deserve. :slight_smile:


Maybe you need some time away from your sister. It sounds like you spend a lot of time with her.
When you are with her and she says something rude or sarcastic, you could, half jokingly and half not say, “Sisters say the sweetest things!” or “I knew could count on you to see the bright side of things”. This way, you’re not openly saying something nasty in reply to her, but you’re giving her the idea that you don’t appreciate her comments.
Not saying anything and holding your anger inside is not a good thing to do. I’m sure you don’t want to fight with your sister, but at the same time you should let her know that you don’t like what she says to you.
Hope this helps!

I think Liza has hit the nail right on the head here. People who are unhappy and unsatisfied pick on others to make themselves feel better (doesn’t work, of course.) I think that there is also some jealousy mixed in; baby sister has a happy marriage, family, and solid faith foundation…and she doesn’t.

I also agree that sometimes you just have to - with charity, of course - tell it like it is. I would call her on it every time, nicely, of course. :wink:

This is kinda what came to my mind too, along the lines of misery loves company. Reasons aside, it’s not an excuse to be awful to you. That comment about race…that probably would have been it for me especially considering it was to your DD,:eek: And the priest comment…ugh I mean really, that was just out of line.

Honestly, I think being frank with her might be your only course of action, unless you see her so infrequently that it’s just not worth it? I dunno… I have a sister like this and was frank with her…about things she was saying that are just totally inappropriate in front of my kids…and she’s basically decided not to speak to me. I was calm and polite about it and just said look, the way you’re talking isn’t OK, you need to think about what you’re saying in front of the kids. Of course I’m the judgmental one. What can you do?:shrug:

Prayers for you WG, it’s not easy. SISTERS!!!:mad::banghead:

*Thank you to all who replied!!!

I actually don’t see her that often, but I talk to her every week, when some of the comments come out…and largely, they are not directed at me, but as of late, they are. I always remember Jesus’ words when I get like this…"turn the other cheek.’’

But, I have run out of cheeks to turn! :blush: I wish she could claim ignorance, but she can’t…friends, her boys, her ex, and a few guys she has dated since her divorce, have told her this, but she doesn’t change. I wonder why she doesn’t change this about herself.

Anyways, I’ll have to figure out what to do.

Out of the mouths of babes, shanny and others who said she might be jealous of my life (it’s far from bliss!) …my dd said that…she said, I think that aunt sally likes daddy, like she wants to find a man like daddy. (my sister often tells me what a great husband I have, so funny, good man, faithful, bla bla) I think there could be some truth to that, but my husband said recently…your sister will never find a man who is down to earth–water seeks its own level, sometimes…but she doesn’t want a man to treat her the way she treats others. Suffice to say, my sister usually dates shallow jerks.

Just sayin’ :whistle: :rotfl:*

Please pray that she finds her way back to the Church, I think if she does, things will get better for her, and she will stop being so unhappy…and sarcastic to others in her life. And superficial. :frowning: Thanks! :grouphug: You guys are so good to me. :heart:

*Does Jesus ALWAYS want us to turn the other cheek?

…ALWAYS?? :o*

Aahhh WG, look at what a caring sister you are. Even though you have run out of cheeks to turn your still care for your sister enough to post and get some thoughts from your CAF friends.:smiley: We have some Libs, very liberal in our family too mainly on DW’s side of the family.haha As many of you know I have lots women in my life so I have some experience with this. A wife, lots of daughters, lots of sister in laws involved daily(thanks to my wifey):rolleyes: my mother, my sister, my girls, girl friends, the list goes on and on.

In-fact one could say that God has Blessed me with more women in my life than one man…well I better quit while I am ahead.:stuck_out_tongue: But I think others are correct, you probably have a picture perfect life from your sises view of things. A great husband, great kids to go home to every night and she probably goes home to four walls or a pet everyday.:blush: She may be jealous and envious but not cutting her off completely does show a lot of compassion in and of itself, but you should not be her or anyone else’s doormat, especially in front of your children.

One thing that may help her and you is if you continue to show her how prayer helps your daily life as a wife and mother and how relevant it could be. Remember the other week, you and I were talking in another post how praying daily had such a calming effect on us and the daily rigors of work and rearing children. Maybe continuing to remind her of this might be a good way to witness the Gospels to her, you might even spend some time on the Apologetics thread or get a good book on Apologetics just to give you some more base to speak from. I am sometimes not very patient or humble myself.:o But one thing I try to remind myself of is “There is nothing more contagious than Holiness.”:wink:

UGH… so tough.
I can see so many dynamics in your relationship… from the motherly nature of trying to still influence you and assist you like a child, to the disagreements on politics and faith. It’s so tough. I have similar issues at times with my mom and sister.

The problem starts with the fact that everything that comes out of her mouth is weighted - it’s meant to be influential and significant. You could have similar conversations with someone random and be able to walk right through them, but since she IS who she IS - it’s different. :o I can’t speak from any true knowledge on the situation (because I still have my own issues with family), but only as an outsider - If ONLY I could take my own advice here - maybe one day. :rolleyes: :cool:

There are a few options -

  1. Ignore the comments and just appease the visit until it’s over. Make small talk and ignore the serious subjects. :blush:

  2. GO AT IT! Tell her how you feel on all major subjects and make sure she understands your perspective whether she likes it or not. :mad:

  3. Toughest option - achieve #2 while appearing #1. Gosh, if I could figure out HOW to do that I’d be a millionaire! LOL! I think there are probably dozens of self-help books on the market that attempt to tackle this very thing, but yet next year a new one will come out saying the same information as if it’s new and improved - people will go crazy over the new subject matter, but nothing will change because it’s too hard to actually put into practice. :shrug:

It’s an age old struggle - requiring prayer, balance, perspective, love, tolerance, and faithfulness.

Sorry that’s not much help. If you figure it all out, let me know. ;):stuck_out_tongue:

That-a-girl!!!:stuck_out_tongue: Are you related to the women in my life?:smiley:

*Thanks EM…No, it helps. It helps sometimes just to know I’m not insane. :smiley: lol

There is a very odd dynamic at play between my sister and me…since she raised me, there is always this mothering thing with her. I used to look at her as a mother figure, but no more…and not because of her actions or anything, I’m just an adult now. I don’t need her to guide me, and frankly, she never did. I was always scolded for making the wrong decisions, but never told the right ones to make. After awhile, you become deadened to the whole thing, I am honestly indifferent, although, I can’t figure out why she doesn’t change. I mean, many people have told her this, so it’s not personal with me. She insults everyone! :stuck_out_tongue: haha I guess it’s not funny, but if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry over it.

For example, we went out to dinner with her oldest son, who is going through a divorce. We were sitting at the table, waiting for dinner, and she noticed a right hand ring, a “mom” ring from my kids, for mothers day. (I love this ring, and my dd and ds put their own money towards it, so it is very sentimental) Anyways, I tell her this, and she looks at my nephew, and sarcastically says…“No one ever got ME a ring for mother’s day.” :shrug: I thought to myself, why is she saying this? Why not just comment on the ring, and that’s it? No, she had to send a zinger his way. He just shrugged and said, maybe her kids love her more than we love you. :eek: Oh man! My nephew just dishes it right back to her, but you could tell he didn’t like her comment. While it was wrong for him to say that to his mother, well…she sort of reaps what she sows so to speak. :o

Anywho…we moved on from that point, and dinner ended up being fun. She is totally fun. But, the time spent with her is always ALWAYS mixed with these petty, insulting moments…

She commented on how her boss who is 40, his wife had a baby recently. And my sister’s view on why women should be on birth control. And on and on…:rolleyes:

So, it’s not personal to me, I just wish for her own well being, she’d stop it. I wish she knew how off putting it is to others.

Gratefuldad–thanks for your post! I agree, maybe if I turn the other cheek, and pray for her, HARDER lol…then, my peace will be restored.

I sure am glad I didn’t press reply, and tell her off. It crossed my mind though. *

LOL… only a suggestion… not that I’d go that route myself, LOL! :rotfl:

I have a sis, she is 7 yrs younger then me. We fight like crazy. She told me once and I’ll never forget it…she said ‘You never listen to me’. And she was right. I’ve learned to shut-up and listen to her. And pray a lot!!

You and your sis are in my prayers.