• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Controlling Behavior from Sister

C

cookiegirl

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
170
So my sister calls me this morning to follow up on a text she sent about Thanksgiving. (I live in the states.)

There's no big get together this year because everyone is doing their own thing. Sis planned to be out of town so that was her plans, but they got dropped and her boyfriend and her were planning to order in some gourmet food and eat at home so they can have some leftover turkey the next day.

I invited her at my place, which is an unusual move because I'm single, and I never have functions at my place. The last time I did was when I was in a relationship and that was not often anyway, because I'm not a social person.

So I invited her over because it would just be me, her, her b/f and my niece. I can handle that. She can still have her leftovers because she can have all her food at home. I figured I'll make a turkey, a couple sides, and she can bring a side or two from her order. I'm not the greatest of cooks, so she asks me if I know how to cook a turkey, I laugh and say it's been a few years but yeah, it's not hard to do. She then says she'll bring hers and doesn't want to eat mine because she's afraid. At first, I thought she was just half-joking, and I kept saying no, just come over, I'll make the turkey. I told her stop being controlling, just have a little faith and go with the flow and accept that I'm making a turkey. She said no again several times, so I half-seriously said if you don't want to eat my turkey then don't come over. We were both low key, laughing, not fighting.

My sister then gets all insulted and hangs up.

The thing is, yes, I suppose I could have just given in and sheepishly said ok, you bring the turkey, but it's not really what I felt good doing. She's my younger sister, yes, she makes more money than I do, yes, she copes better with life than I do, is in better physical shape too, and a social butterfly where I'm not, I tend to be a hermit,....but once in a while she has to turn over the reigns, has to stop dictating, and just let other people steer the ship. Let other people accomplish something, and let other people make some decisions.

It saddened me that she didn't want that. Maybe tomorrow I'll call her and see if she's in a different mood.

So....what do you think?

I think that I probably sabotaged myself by not just saying yes I can cook a great turkey and look forward to seeing you, period, and instead put myself down by adding that qualifier that it's been a few years....but that's just me, I tend to do that because I have low self confidence. But I think that was definitely not the right approach...lesson learned. I also think I made a mistake to use the word controlling, when people who are controlling are sensitive to being called that. Maybe I should have just talked about how it would make me feel if she didn't trust my cooking.

:low:
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
34,942
Location
Mordor
I think you are still on a mental health journey. I think you experienced some stigma from your sister.

It happens to me as well. Although mostly I have withdrawn from a lot of people.
 
C

cookiegirl

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
170
I received some texts from her...

I told her I was sorry if it sounded critical and I was wrong to say that, but said she needs to understand my feelings too. I said I love and respect her and trust her and want the same thing back. She texted that it was a half-ass apology and she has to always consider my feelings no matter what wrong decisions I make. She said how about her feelings, she's the one going out of her way to make me feel included.

I responded that she can't make it sound like she is doing me favors, we are sisters, we are equal. Her text said..."Equal? No problem I'll sit back and wait for you to be equal with me."

Nice, eh?

Well, I love her and I suppose I'll try to talk to her tomorrow about it. She does have a point, I shouldn't have been critical and she saw that as being disrespectful. But she's not seeing the forest for the trees. You simply can't dominate everyone and every situation and think it's ok just because you're doing stuff for people. It's apparent that she doesn't see at all, not even a little bit, that it might be insulting to me to bring another turkey when I'm cooking a turkey. I know she doesn't see it....I would like to try to make her understand that tomorrow.
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
34,942
Location
Mordor
You have a healthy dialogue with her. You are talking, and while you are still talking, anything is possible.

Letting her know that you were offended would help clear the air.
 
C

cookiegirl

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
170
I think you're right, I can explain that I felt offended.

I think also what I'm going to also tell her is that we need to be real with what we are. She can be controlling, that's a trait. She also has a short fuse sometimes and a sharp tongue. She's also generous and cheerful and helpful and has a lot of emotional stamina. I have traits too, I can be too critical with people, and I procrastinate so I may fall short with people on things I want to do for or with them...and I'm analytical, and also kind and generous and not cruel at all and I'm open minded and willing to listen and compromise.

So I wish I could just come to that understanding with her going forward....and have that freedom to say on any given moment...ok you're being controlling, or she can say to me in a given moment, ok you're being critical right now....then no one would be offended. She may not be capable of that and that's ok, but that would be my preference.
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
34,942
Location
Mordor
As a reference point, I am thinking of my relationship with my father. It has improved and generally it has just taken time and honesty. He is calmer now, he used to lose his rag with me a lot. And on my side, I have got over my grudge against him since being a disciplined kid.
 
Top