To find this behaviour annoying and martyr like.

(217 Posts)
stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:42:06

My sister and I have been under a lot of strain recently.

She has mild learning difficulties and much of her behaviour I find very selfish, which I think is a combination of both the learning difficulties and her personality (I have an uncle who is very similar)

She always puts herself first, and will never go out of her way to do anything else for somebody unless it benefits her. Recently I have told her how upset I am by her selfish behaviour.

Her response to this has been acting so selfless, it actually comes across in my (probably unreasonable) opinion as acting like a martyr.

e.g. When she was sitting with the paper, I asked how long she would be. I would consider a typical answer "Don't worry, I'll only be 5 minutes" or something similar. Her response is "I haven't finished, but here, you can have it."

e.g. She was standing next to the bath in her towel (with the door open, don't ask me why!) It wasn't clear if she was about to get in, or had just gotten out, so I asked her. I would consider a typical answer "Sorry, I'm just about to get in, I'll be as quick as I can" or something similar. Her response is "I haven't had a bath yet, but you can go first."

I find this behaviour really annoying and martyr like.

When she says these things, it actually makes me feel bad and guilty, when I didn't intentionally do anything wrong. I am trying my best to get on with her, but she just makes me feel bad, as if I was taking advantage of her.

I don't think she is trying to upset me on purpose, actually I think she is trying to take on board what I said about her being selfish, and actually trying to make me happier. She is just going about it in a way that inadvertently upsets me.

Leverette Fri 23-Aug-13 22:44:10

She can't do right for trying can she.

acer12 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:45:14

hmm

SpanishLady Fri 23-Aug-13 22:46:16

Does she say it sarcastically? If not Yabu and should get off her case - you can see she has the papers/ is in the bathroom so why the need to ask her? Just wait your turn!

HarryTheHungryHippo Fri 23-Aug-13 22:46:29

I think she's trying and maybe you could just reply. No it's ok ill wait till your done, I just wasn't sure if you had finished.
Not really sure why this is annoying you if you don't think it's malicious

mynameisslimshady Fri 23-Aug-13 22:46:51

So she listened to you listing her faults, made a huge effort to change and you still aren't happy.

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:54:02

Does she say it sarcastically? If not Yabu and should get off her case - you can see she has the papers/ is in the bathroom so why the need to ask her? Just wait your turn!

I didn't ask her to give me the paper. I asked her to give me a time e.g. 5 minutes. I didn't want the paper before she was finished. I didn't want to go in the bath before her.

So she listened to you listing her faults, made a huge effort to change and you still aren't happy.

Exactly, which is why I feel I'm unreasonable.

I just want her to treat me like a sister, her equal.

Nothing above, which is why her acting like this frustrates me.

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:55:13

I think she's trying and maybe you could just reply. No it's ok ill wait till your done, I just wasn't sure if you had finished.

I did, to which she kept refusing, telling me I should go first (despite the fact that she was already in a towel) It was frustrating.

HarryTheHungryHippo Fri 23-Aug-13 22:57:33

I did, to which she kept refusing, telling me I should go first (despite the fact that she was already in a towel) It was frustrating.

Run away shouting no it's fine? Lol helpful grin

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:59:28

Run away shouting no it's fine? Lol helpful

She then herself decided to run away out of the bathroom, into her room saying I was "sour grapes", making me feel more horrible.

I didn't want her to do any of that.

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:12:42

Maybe I am just "sour grapes"?

Weller Fri 23-Aug-13 23:20:57

Could it be that you may need to change how you ask things to clarify what you want so instead of how long will you be? Ask, when you have finished, can I have the paper after you? Small things can make all the difference when asking someone who may not quite understand the hidden meanings that we take for granted.

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:23:54

Could it be that you may need to change how you ask things to clarify what you want so instead of how long will you be? Ask, when you have finished, can I have the paper after you? Small things can make all the difference when asking someone who may not quite understand the hidden meanings that we take for granted.

I will try that next time, it is possible that will make the difference.

DanicaJones Fri 23-Aug-13 23:27:13

It sounds like she is trying really hard after what you said and being quite kind. She isn't to know the exact response you are after.

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:31:44

It sounds like she is trying really hard after what you said and being quite kind. She isn't to know the exact response you are after.

I know, but its frustrating. She makes me feel guilty when I did nothing wrong.

gobbin Fri 23-Aug-13 23:32:14

If I was your sister, being asked about the paper while still reading it would make me feel pressured into finishing it quickly or handing it over, which is a small, insignificant pressure point, but pressure nonetheless.

If you then asked me if I was getting in / out of the bath, that would be another small pressure point. These pressure points would soon build up and I would start to resent you and feel protective of myself (i.e. selfish).

Maybe YOU have made her that way?

You could have waited ten minutes, half an hour, an hour even in the examples above and you would know if the paper/bath was free without hassling the poor woman.

DanicaJones Fri 23-Aug-13 23:32:17

But having said that, are you living with your sister? I think I'd find it hard to now live with my parents or sister and they'd probably get on my nerves, even though i get on fine living with my husband and children.

Weller Fri 23-Aug-13 23:35:41

I would also say that as a parent of a child with LD it is hard for the whole family be easy on yourself and everyday is a learning curve.

DanicaJones Fri 23-Aug-13 23:36:31

The way I would approach the paper/bath examples are. "I'll read that when you've finished." Or if it is her paper "Can I read that when you've finished." For the bath I'd say "I'll go in after you." That way they know you only want to go in once they have finished rather than wanting to go right now

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:39:16

If I was your sister, being asked about the paper while still reading it would make me feel pressured into finishing it quickly or handing it over, which is a small, insignificant pressure point, but pressure nonetheless.

If you then asked me if I was getting in / out of the bath, that would be another small pressure point. These pressure points would soon build up and I would start to resent you and feel protective of myself (i.e. selfish).

Maybe YOU have made her that way?

You could have waited ten minutes, half an hour, an hour even in the examples above and you would know if the paper/bath was free without hassling the poor woman.

Not really, especially not with the bath. It was 10:00 at night, and I needed to know if she was running a bath so I knew whether or not to put the hot water immersion heater on. It takes a good half hour to heat up, and just knowing whether I needed to turn it on or not would make a big difference.

I knew that there was enough hot water left for two showers, or one bath, so knowing what she was planning on doing made a big difference. I needed to know if she had already had her bath/ shower, so I could have a bath/ shower without turning on the immersion heater. As she had not, I needed to turn it on. It would have been helpful if she could have just answered the question rather than being obtuse.

hettienne Fri 23-Aug-13 23:40:23

Why are you hassling her about the paper when she's reading it? Does it matter if she is going to be finished in 5 minutes or an hour? Just leave her to it.

Same with the bathroom - did you really need to ask? Either she would get in the bath or come out within a few minutes - back off a bit!

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:41:04

The way I would approach the paper/bath examples are. "I'll read that when you've finished." Or if it is her paper "Can I read that when you've finished." For the bath I'd say "I'll go in after you." That way they know you only want to go in once they have finished rather than wanting to go right now

Like I've said, I will definitely try this. But I have a suspicion that it is far more about her trying to force me to go first so she does't appear selfish, rather than a misunderstanding. I will try it though.

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:41:59

Same with the bathroom - did you really need to ask? Either she would get in the bath or come out within a few minutes - back off a bit!

I just explained this in the post above. I needed to know whether or not to turn on the hot water immersion heater.

Are you boths adults and do you live together? If so, why?

stressedsister1 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:43:19

Yes. Financial reasons.

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