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Old 05-07-2009, 11:12 PM
pogo pogo is offline
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Default Condescending people

Dr Joe: I have a sister that is always condescending to me and I am at a loss as to how to respond. Usually I just ignore it or walk away. For instance, at my sons 1 yr bday party she said in front of everyone - "you're short" and "are those park shoes?". Which is funny because almost every woman there complimented me on my shoes which is maybe why she commented negatively. She is overweight, single, and works a dead end job and lives with my mother so I never say to her, hey you are fat, etc. Is there a better way to deal with this? It creates such a gap in our relationship because I feel deep down she is very unhappy and is jealous/envious of me and thus tries to tear me down. She also used to be a very slim attractive girl in high school so I know something is going on inside to become obese. Help!
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:31 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
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[Note: Sorry for the mix up with my website...May 22, the new site will be up and running.]
You’ve already answered your question. Your sister’s behavior strongly suggests her own self-loathing. Her circumstances have gotten out of control (i.e., her weight, living at home, etc.). When she sees you, she makes a comparison (i.e., your circumstances vs. her circumstances) and doesn’t like what she sees. By finding something to criticize, she’s trying to say, “You’re not so great.” She needs to do this in order to not feel so out of control with her own life. So, yes, you are correct to assume that insecurity is driving her rather shabby behavior. The best you can do is to work not to take her comments personally. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but if you think about it, it’s not about you (or your shoes) it’s all about your sister trying desperately to not feel so insecure.

Yours,
Dr. Joe

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