Confronting unkind kin

Dear Wendyl,

I was interested in your response to Sally, who has a show-off sister (NZWW 23 June). I thought your advice to keep the peace was good, but why should these people get away with their annoying behaviour? For years, I persevered with my sister-in-law. She too was a know-it-all and would often laugh at others’ opinions. I made the difficult and guilt-ridden decision to exclude her from my family’s lives as all she contributed was pure negativity. I think the family should tell the sister how her obnoxious ways affect others as she may not be aware how bad she is. She will either change for the better or she will sulk for a while. Sally has little to lose.*

Sonya, Auckland *


Dear Sonya,What a brave woman you are, and thanks for your feedback. Confronting someone with how their behaviour affects you is certainly a plan, but it’s one I’d save until simply trying to programme yourself out of reacting doesn’t work. We only have one family, so I encourage people to try their hardest to put up with theirs. With friends, on the other hand, there’s always what I call a “friend edit” – but that’s an answer for another letter!Wendyl

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