Posted in the Chicago Forum
Since: Jun 09
#1 May 10, 2014
Amy: My sister is a clinical psychologist. Recently I introduced her to a close friend of mine. My friend hosted a gathering for Easter and invited us both. I could not make it, but my sister did.
I received a call from my friend afterward. She was very upset. Apparently my sister took it upon herself to give unsolicited advice to some of the partygoers that she had just met.
She jumped in when a child had a meltdown, chastising the parent and reprimanding the grandmother, causing an angry response from the grandmother.
My sister then insulted another individual she just met by criticizing this person's method of counseling in her own practice. I was told that many at the party were shocked and insulted by her lack of tact and social graces.
My sister makes a habit of telling people how to conduct their lives and aggressively pushes her opinions onto others under the guise of "just trying to help." She has alienated many family members over the years, asking personal questions to those she just met (for instance, asking young people about their sexual practices and birth control methods and then giving advice that is not wanted).
She seems to be especially intolerant of small children and openly criticizes the parents in front of everyone (she doesn't have kids). When relationships with loved ones are not going her way, she breaks down and cries like she is being mistreated.
She says, "That's just how I am. You need to change how you feel." What should I say (or do) to get through to her? She is very intelligent, but never admits any wrongdoing on her part.— Upset Sister
Sister: Your sister should know well through her professional training that people don't actually need to change the way they feel.
People do frequently need to change the way they act, however. Let's start with your sister.
Drawing on her expertise with how to deal with children, she will be familiar with the concept of "natural consequences."
A natural consequence of her intolerant and aggressive behavior is for people not to spend time with her. I assume your mutual friend will stop inviting her to events (and your friend, not you, should handle this).
You are in a position to influence your sister by telling her, "I love and respect you, but your habit of leaping over boundaries and injecting your views is tough to take. I don't like it, and it is affecting our relationship."
You cannot change your sister. You can only encourage her to work on her own personal growth, perhaps in therapy.
I'll pass along a quote I have taped to my computer: "Unsolicited advice is always self-serving."
Amy: Last weekend was the beautiful wedding of my oldest daughter and new son-in-law.
As we recover from the festivities it was noted there were several no-shows. I totally understand that life gets busy. When you RSVP in February for an April wedding, all intentions are to show up. Then life happens. This leaves the bride holding the doggie bag.
Catered meals for weddings are expensive. If 10 or 20 people don't show, this adds up. If the caterer has a heads-up even a week before the event, quantities and prices can be adjusted.
As wedding season approaches could you remind your readers that their presence will be missed but we don't need the leftovers or expense. Send your regrets ahead of time.— Happy MOB in Portland
Mob: Sometimes people feel they've done their job as a guest by responding to an invitation in a timely fashion. But you raise a very important point: When plans change, notify the hosts, giving them time to adjust their head count and seating plans.
Amy: I'm responding to the crazy letter from "Devastated," who was involved in a brief relationship with a guy whose story didn't stick together.
One can never overestimate the pathology of a liar. Normal people who act in good faith are perfect patsies for this kind of individual. She should thank her lucky stars he didn't take her for any money.— Mimi
#2 May 10, 2014
Don't like LW1 or her sister. Glance into the future: In the next four months,
(a) The sister will receive a verbal reprimand from her business
partner(s) citing more than one complaint from clients,
(b) LW1 will try to make excuses to the offended friend--who asks her not to bring the arrogant sister along ever again.
(c) LW1's SO will sigh and say, "As a matter of fact, I'd like to see less of her, too," and tell LW1 about several realistic, justifiable grievances
involving the arrogant sister
(d) The sister will marry an arrogant professional that is even more
condescending than herself,
Since: Jun 09
#3 May 10, 2014
L1 Your sister is an ass. You have my permission to tell her so.
L2. As I recall, caters and banquet halls and wedding planners have a very good idea what percentage of people respond but do not show up.. Doesn't save the hosts money though
#4 May 10, 2014
I: I like that statement about unsolicited advice. We know the sister hasn't solicited the lw's advice and will see it that way - as unsolicited and will probably say the lw doesn't have her credentials and should keep her advice to herself. If that's the case, perhaps the lw should simply avoid her sister. If asked why, she should then tell her sister she needs to see a therapist herself. In fact, perhaps she should volunteer to go with her sister and tell the therapist about some of the things this sister has done and why people are avoiding her.
2: Yes, please call if your plans change. But sometimes stuff happens at the last minute too. Such as being hit by a car in a parking lot and ending up in the hospital (my older sister at the time of my daughter's wedding) or they get really sick with a bad case of flu (a family friend at the time of the same wedding). So that meant 4 people (I am including the husbands of these two women since they were by their wives' bedsides as they should have been) who were last minute no-shows. My daughter quickly called some other friends and invited them.(Yes, the same morning of the wedding). So even last minute notification can be good to get.
#5 May 10, 2014
Sorry, I was about to respond to lw 3 and realized I have nothing to say about that one. ;-)
#6 May 10, 2014
1. Maybe you should warn your friends about inviting her places. She can't be changed unfortunately.
2. If the no show was a real emergency forgive them. If they were too tired or forgot don't invite them places anymore.
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