One of the most typical questions to my SiriusXM radio program has to do with negotiating a relationship with an annoying, nasty, unpredictable friend or relative.
Some people are what they are and have no desire or insight to change. Decent people simply can’t believe that some people are just, well, bad.
I decided to include in this column an email from a listener which demonstrates this problem: “In the past year since our father died my sister has assumed the victim role in response to many things. There is a lot of paperwork to complete and decisions to be made when a parent dies, and the work has been distributed among us three sisters.
“Whenever she is asked why she didn’t do something she agreed to handle, my sister’s response is always that she can never do anything right.
“A lot of these tasks are dictated by law — filing a death certificate, closing accounts, etc. — and have nothing to do with how I might do something, so it isn’t even a question of doing something right.
“She chose to ignore me at a birthday party for our mother and again the next day when she hosted a Mother’s Day brunch. I was surprised and hurt by her behavior so I made the best of the situation because I didn’t want to upset my mother.
“I sent my sister a short email asking why she ignored me and asked what I had done to upset her. Her response was that she can’t do anything right. She took no ownership for deciding to ignore me at both events. I don’t know what to do.
“There will be upcoming family events, and although one approach is to attend and smile and not upset or involve other family members, I don’t think that is the appropriate solution. I believe ‘we teach people how to treat us’ and going along with her bad behavior is enabling her.”
Note that this woman writes: “One approach is to attend and smile and not upset or involve other family members. “I believe ‘we teach people how to treat us’ and going along with her bad behavior is enabling her.”
See? She offers that being nice to a difficult person “enables” them to be difficult.
Wrong! They don’t need your permission to be difficult. In fact, they don’t care about you or your feelings.
Accept things as they are. Stop fighting things as they are and will continue to be. Smile and get on with your beautiful life.
Dr. Laura (Laura Schlessinger) is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author. She appears regularly on many television shows and in many publications. Read Dr. Laura's Reports — More Here.
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