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Dear Wendy

Sister judging me for not volunteering/giving back

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  • This topic has 7 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by avatardirtorsoil.
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #875131 Reply
    avatarSL433
    Participant

    I am gearing up for another visit with my judgmental sister who lives several hours away. She’s the type who takes in every stray animal/person she encounters, is involved with various causes, and her conversations center around just how busy she is with all of her committees and obligations. (She has been known to “help” to the point of enabling, but that’s another story.)

    She’s talks often about how it’s so important to “give back” and then suggests things I could be doing. I do give back in my own way and have no guilt about that. I recently retired and frankly, after 46 years of working full-time (she doesn’t work) I am enjoying taking care of my home and finally pursuing some hobbies. I am also very private and introverted and have issues with anxiety. She is very outgoing, assertive, and enjoys attention.

    Whenever I try to visit her for some sister time, just shopping or talking, she always hijacks the plans and before I know it we are taking recycling somewhere, sweeping out a church basement or visiting a relative. There is a definite see-how-good-I-am-and-you’re-not vibe whenever we talk or visit.

    Lately she has ramped up her comments. What can I say when the conversation turns — and it will — to how I spend my time?

    #875135 Reply
    PheebersPhoebe
    Guest

    Hmmm. People like that are the worst! You have my sympathy.

    How about something like “When I was working there was so much I didn’t have time for, so now I’ve decided to check those things off of my list. I’d feel irresponsible if I didn’t!” If she pushes I’d probably think snarky thoughts about how it must have been nice that she’d had free time when I’d been working. That’s assuming she wasn’t a SAHM, etc, etc, not trying to stir the pot here.

    #875143 Reply
    avatarSL433
    Participant

    Thank you, you’re right. I think I am going to memorize your quote and use it verbatim! I guess I always feel a little intimidated around her because her personality is so strong.

    #875152 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    Tell her you volunteer for several causes you just don’t feel the need to brag about it

    #875159 Reply
    avatarAnge
    Guest

    You could always say you donate money instead

    #875173 Reply
    SkyblossomSkyblossom
    Participant

    Tell her you are a private person and so your volunteer work is private. Tell her you prefer to not be the focus of attention.

    I’d also consider whether going to visit her is a good use of your time. If she just uses your visit to put you down and build herself up why go?

    #875893 Reply
    avatardirtorsoil
    Guest

    Why are you visiting your sister if you have to “gear up” just to be around her? She sounds like she lives in a fantasy world. Ofc if you don’t work you can donate all your time to the “Puppies Who Need Pants Foundation”, or whatever she is in to. I’d scale back the time spent visiting to a day or two and resign myself to collecting recycling or whatever you are drafted into doing. At least its just 2 days.

    #875894 Reply
    avatardirtorsoil
    Guest

    Also- ignore her snark and nod-and-smile at her comments. Insecure ppl are the only ones that need a look-at-me-i’m-wonderful parade 24/7. You don’t have to particpate.

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