Step Back, Sister!



Dear Dharma, 

I have a question, and need some advice!  I am 22 and have been going out with my girlfriend for over a year.  We get along really well, and I like most of her family too, but her sister is starting to aggravate me!

We have never gotten along well, but I could pretty much ignore her until recently.  My girlfriend and I are talking about getting our own place and now her sister is going out of her way to bug me.

Over the holidays she always made sure I knew that everyone who came over when I was there heard all about the time I got a speeding ticket, and now her latest thing is posting on Facebook pictures of my girlfriend with her exes, with comments about what a great time this was, or remember that fabulous day.

How can I make her just shut up and get off my case?  I am in love with her sister so I am not going anywhere soon, so she needs to back off!

Sister Needs to Step Back

Dear Step Back,

Well, she sounds like a peach, doesn’t she…

I wish you had included what your girlfriend thinks of all this, as that does factor quite highly when deciding how to handle this.

I say that not just because I’m nosy, but because the most appropriate thing is that your girlfriend intervenes on your behalf.  It should not be acceptable to her to have her partner hounded like this, especially if the relationship is moving forward and growing.  Which it is!

If your girlfriend is open to doing the right thing, all she needs to say to her sister is, “Hey, I’ve noticed that you are always saying crappy things about Step Back and trying to make him look bad… what’s up with that, because it needs to stop…!” And then they take it from there.

But because I don’t know where your girlfriend falls on this, let’s deal with you.  And let’s remember – we are very limited in changing the behavior of others, and only have control over ourselves, right?

So in saying that, we’re saying we can’t stop Cruella from posting shite on Facebook, but we don’t have to look at it, do we?  Unfriend that mess. Now.  End the satisfaction she gets every time she hits Post with those pictures of the Glory Days, knowing that she’s getting under your skin.

And the next time you’re in the room and she starts telling the story of your last speeding ticket (and seriously, dude… slow down!), look her straight in the eye and ask, “What point you are trying to make by sharing that with everyone?”  Calmly.  Slowly.  And then glue your lips together as she sputters her answer.

She’ll say something like, “Oh I just thought it was funny!” or “I thought everyone should know what a d-bag you are!”  Whatever.  No matter what she says, your response is, “I’m not sure you’re actually accomplishing that with your delivery, as much as you’re making yourself look bad.”  And then calmly refill your drink and walk away.

Repeat as necessary.

If you have the pluck to handle her this way, refusing to be bullied, she’ll stop.

Because bullies sit down when others stand up.  Trust me.



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