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Strategies for difficult inlaws

Community Member

I have 2 very difficult inlaws and have had many counselling sessions over their behaviour. They both have strong narcissistic personalities. It has been better for my own mental health to keep some distance but there are some days throughout the year where I need to see them.

Sometimes when I see them, things can be pleasant but at the drop of a hat, a nasty comment can be made in my direction out of nowhere. I often don't say anything back for fear of making the situation worse. Both my husband and I have tried to make them aware of how their behaviour affects me/us but it is twisted around to be my problem.

I am wondering if anyone can share any resilience strategies because I find it hard to let the nasty comments go.

Thank you in advance.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi MummaPetal

You have a high degree of self control, a high level of consciousness (in regard to consideration and kindness), a high level of tolerance, a high level of integrity and the list goes on. You're a high roller!

Your in-laws sound like they're invested in dealing out some low blows. They sound like they're vibing at a lower level of consciousness. They don't have an issue with putting people down, bringing them down or keeping them down at times. I can keep focusing on the lows and the downs but you get the gist.

I can relate to being highly sensitive to 'low vibers'. They seriously grind my gears at times. They generally convey a deluded sense of self entitlement. Like you, I try to avoid arrogant folk but if I can't I at least try to have a bit of fun with them. Whilst such people may consider me as being a crazy highly sensitive kind of spiritual weirdo chick (yes, I've copped all that and more), such people are seriously all kinds of crazy themselves and they'll deny it 'til the cows come home. Here is where the fun begins. Example: If I speak of the importance of sensitivity in this world and I'm challenged with words such as 'All sensitive people are really weak and need to toughen up!', let the challenge begin!!! 'I see a lack of sensitivity has made you the amazing person you are today. Tell me, how many people have you been insensitive toward over the years and how has that worked for you?' I'll listen to all kinds of crazy as to how heartless and cruel such a person has been and how well that has worked out for them and how proud they are of such behaviour. What the...?!

MummaPetal, in my opinion narcissists are nuts in all kinds of ways. Have as much fun with this as you can. If you can see yourself as the only sane person in the room, this is great for the self-esteem. Your father-in-law may make some insanely insulting comment, your mother-in-law may blurt out some crazy rubbish as to how you may be able to improve some aspects of yourself and your husband may let it all slide, which is nuts because he knows you deserve better.They may even try to convince you that there's something wrong with you. Now, that is nuts and you know it!

MP, I hope you come to see yourself as the light in the room because you're the only one who's fully switched on.

By the way, challenging someone by saying 'You do realise how crazy or thoughtless that sounds' can sometimes be enough to raise their level of consciousness (or not).


Thank you, that was brilliant.