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Thread: Married 2 years now...wife's immediate family drives me nutts anymore

  1. #31
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    I get how it could be aggravating since you've built up resentment going on ten years of this not being resolved. And I get how it would be annoying to be relaxing in your own home, and the bil is making quips at you from a screen. Unless you are friends with that kind of relationship ( which you are not, heck yes that's rude.

    At the root of this, where is the resentment coming from? Is it that your wife is not setting appropriate boundaries with her family?

  2. #32
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Seeing you can't change another persons behavior, change your reaction to it. It is a choice and takes practice.

    When someone (typically at work) pushes my buttons, that little voice inside of me reminds me that no one can rob me of my peace unless I let them.

    It really sounds like you are looking for advice on a good `one-two punch' to give these guys so you'll come up on top.

    I do agree however, that you come off a little thin skinned about remarks that would mostly be innocuous to anyone else.

    And if the they are looked for rise out of you, you reward them every time they get to you. Do give them that satisfaction - if that is indeed what they are after.

    For the sake of wife and future child, take the high road whenever possible. It isn't a weakness, but a sign of strength.
    You don't have to like them but you don't have wrestle with them either.
    You keep showing them your underbelly, they'll keep going after it.

  3. #33
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    I'm guessing that the comments your brother in law makes he would see as harmless banter - including your responses to him - and he probably doesn't mean anything by it. I know many guys who connect by swearing at each other, asking questions like "Why are you such a ****?" and suchlike... it's just that that's the way they communicate. Or the classic "I found this in my pocket, and I thought you deserved it..." whilst giving their mate the finger. You don't get it, I don't get it - but there it is.

    If you tell him to **** off, he'd probably assume you're just responding in a blokey way and wouldn't think twice about it. You have several options here... either you avoid having any contact with them at all; get used to letting the comments float straight past you on the breeze; or you respond in kind but without getting hooked into it emotionally.

  4. #34
    Gold Member maew's Avatar
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    Some people are just like that... they love to banter and hack on other people. The comments you describe seemed quite innocuous to me, so I am assuming there is something larger looming that has caused you to have such a resentment or perhaps a massive buildup of all of the little things.

    What do I do when I encounter people like that? Well, there are a few people like that in my life... my go to move is either to roll my eyes and smile like Mona Lisa while saying nothing, or to banter back at them. I don't take their banter personally as they do it with everyone, it's just who they are.

    The thing that helps me personally the most is to not take myself too seriously... for example, the other day the guy I am dating was walking me to my car. He turned to me to give me a hug and said... "I think you are amazing but your parking job is $hit lol" and sure enough there I was parked well over the white line... I couldn't help but laugh because he was totally right.

    Sometimes we react to negatively to banter because for whatever reason we are feeling insecure in the moment and it can trigger us to try and protect ourselves with anger. Focus on how you manage that anger vs. worrying about him and what he is saying to you.

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  6. #35
    Bronze Member LootieTootie's Avatar
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    Just to follow up with Maew's post (which was written exceptionally well)... do you banter with anyone?


    If you say no... time to tell the fam or maybe even your wife that you're not that guy they can poke fun with because you take yourself way too seriously or you are just not wired that way. I've met plenty of people who don't like to banter.
    If you say "yes I love to banter"... time to do some self-reflection why you can't do it with your wife's family.... Are you distrustful person in general - even when it comes to family?

  7. #36
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Think of words as bait. If you ignore bait, it's inert. If you engage bait, YOU poison yourself.

    I find it helpful to decide what my current perceptions buy me. If they work me into a lather, then that's my own stomach lining that I'm choosing to destroy--and for what payoff?

    Decide whether you WANT to be triggered by someone you don't even like and admire, or whether you'll minimize your own perceptions of the noise in the same way a seasoned parent doesn't allow their kids to drive them nuts.

    The problem isn't about controlling anyone else, it's about self control. If you decide to interpret jabs as harmful insults rather than meaningless drivel, you raise your own blood pressure along with your antenna to perceive injury where there doesn't 'need' to be any.

    I learned a psychological game years ago called 'Stupid and Cheerful' (Dr. Joy Browne). It raises a Teflon barrier that blocks stupid stuff and slides it right off. This frees me to be kind, generous, happy and impenetrable, because I don't 'hear' any insult regardless of who says what.

    Head high, and stop taking the bait.

  8. #37
    Bronze Member a_lifters_life's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Think of words as bait. If you ignore bait, it's inert. If you engage bait, YOU poison yourself.

    I find it helpful to decide what my current perceptions buy me. If they work me into a lather, then that's my own stomach lining that I'm choosing to destroy--and for what payoff?

    Decide whether you WANT to be triggered by someone you don't even like and admire, or whether you'll minimize your own perceptions of the noise in the same way a seasoned parent doesn't allow their kids to drive them nuts.

    The problem isn't about controlling anyone else, it's about self control. If you decide to interpret jabs as harmful insults rather than meaningless drivel, you raise your own blood pressure along with your antenna to perceive injury where there doesn't 'need' to be any.

    I learned a psychological game years ago called 'Stupid and Cheerful' (Dr. Joy Browne). It raises a Teflon barrier that blocks stupid stuff and slides it right off. This frees me to be kind, generous, happy and impenetrable, because I don't 'hear' any insult regardless of who says what.

    Head high, and stop taking the bait.
    Exceptionally written catfeeder. Thanks for this post. I shall now put this into action.

  9. #38
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by a_lifters_life
    Exceptionally written catfeeder. Thanks for this post. I shall now put this into action.
    Thank YOU, Lifter. Middle age has shown me that we often soften other people's perceptions of us over time as we learn how to stop taking ourselves (or anyone else) too seriously. Rather than cementing an adversarial position into stone, it's far easier to behave 'as if' our own good nature makes us impervious to perceiving insult--no matter what.

    We can adopt a convenient case of amnesia when it comes to holding grudges. We can replace old wastes of energy with a cheerful disposition that cannot recognize anything less than a generosity of spirit.

    That's the percentage play, and it's a win/win.

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