12 Jun
My Sister In Law Is Showing Off Her Good Stuff!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My sister-in-law is a big show-off. She hadn’t seen all of the good things in life before she got married, but now, whenever she gets a chance, she shows off a lot. This irritates me to no end. Please tell me how I should deal with her.


This is Not Show and Tell


Dear This is Not Show and Tell,

Listen, no one likes a show-off. My first run-in with this type can be traced back to Kindergarten when a girl brought in her mother’s Chanel lipstick while the rest of us brought in lollipops. (Okay, fine, I brought a head of lettuce. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.)

That said, I’m a bit unsure by what you mean when you say that she’s showing off her new-found “good things.” Since it seems to be related to her recent marriage, according to you, I think I can probably narrow it down. Just pick whichever piece of advice fits your situation best. It’s like this Devo flowchart.

Kind of.

Let’s say your SIL is bragging because she married into money: Congrats to her! Hopefully she’s in love, too! Those who are ostentatious about their wealth can be very irritating, especially when so many people are having a hard time making their monthly bills. You could always gently remind her by carrying around poster boards of children starving in Africa. Another option may be to simply change the topic when one of her bragging rants begins.

Or, maybe she’s bragging about great sex: Well, that’s certainly awkward. But maybe she just needs a good sister-to-sister chat about the ins and outs of her new family, and what better person to do that with than you? You could also fill her in on other family secrets such as which aunt starts talking about her old high school flame when she’s had too much to drink.

NO, WAIT, I GOT IT: It actually doesn’t matter what your SIL is bragging about, because it has nothing to do with you, your value as a person, or your ability to be happy. In other words, her bragging says something about how she values herself and how she craves attention from others. If that is making you angry, maybe YOU are jealous of her new found “good stuff.” Or, perhaps you are feeling protective of your brother? Either way, this may, in turn, mean you have some soul-searching of your own to do. Maybe start with some daily affirmation ala Stuart Smalley.

Because doggone it, people like you!

Kristine, TMH

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8 Responses to “My Sister In Law Is Showing Off Her Good Stuff!”


Comment by rojopaul.

Kristine: Your chart is genius! Oh yeah, and the advice is great too.


Comment by Mellowdee.

No one likes a show-off. That being said, the line “She hadn’t seen all of the good things in life before she got married…” kind of says it all. Coming from a life of “Have-Not”, she has probably always envied the “Haves”. In which case, maybe she’s just seeking validation or over-compensating for her poorer past. Either way, I’d take the high road and not let her get to me, as irritating as it may be. Remember, money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy class. Hopefully she’ll figure that out with time.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Change “She hadn’t seen all the good things in life…” to “She hasn’t recognized that classy and trashy is not a distinction of money.” Just keep demonstrating wealthy class (assuming you are classy not trashy) and she’ll figure out how to avoid being trashy.


Comment by Chelle.

My brother-in-law’s first wife was a paralegal on capitol hill and OH did she love to name drop. She shopped till she dropped (and had the debt to show for it), wore beautifully put together outfits, they traveled…la dee fuckin da…my mother-in-law and sister-in-law LOVED her and they had nothing to say to me, as I was my husband’s second wife (and not the one they wanted him to be married to). If you follow.

Then the SIL slept with the guy who was building their new house and my BIL divorced her and married a very down to earth chick that wasn’t nearly good enough in my MIL’s eyes. Suddenly, I was the “good” and “accepted” one and the new SIL was the one they talked about behind her back (yes, they talked about me for YEARS until I became the good one).

Now BIL is divorcing the second wife because she had him arrested by a friend’s husband (a police officer) for domestic battery so that she could go out and party with her friends. (He kind of objected to that sort of thing – drinking and sleeping with other men.) Can you imagine how much they love me now???

It’s funny how you can stay the same person and other people’s views of you can change. So if this is a thing where his family likes her better, trust me, just give it time.

Believe me, if she’s living the high life, it won’t last. It’s probably all on credit anyway. And if she’s name dropping, she’s probably sleeping with whoever she’s name dropping about. Remember Bill Clinton?

Just my perspective….and a little convoluted one at that!


Comment by Kenja.

GREAT post! The chart is hilarious! Love me so Devo.

I find that the more people brag, the more insecure they are. I worked with a guy who was the global head of marketing at a company to help him write a speech. He was so boisterous, I could hardly stand his douchebaggery. It took me a bit to figure out his bragging was hiding the fact that he couldn’t construct a speech to save his life, and he knew it. Insecurity.


Comment by Meredith L..

What the others have said. I’ve found, in my vast experience as a beautiful wealthy Victoria’s Secret model who wins Nobel Prizes for Peace AND Microbiology in my spare time, that those who brag the most are the most insecure. The best way to deal with them is a simple, “Really? Good for you.” And then change the subject.

Desperate Dietwives Reply:

This is certainly true, but depending on how deeply insecure she is, she might never recover. I have a co-worker who brags about everything; the more she brags, the farther people flee from her, but she hasn’t realized it yet and keeps bragging – possibly thinking that she isn’t doing it enough.
She is almost 50 and is never going to change… so just resign yourself, but be sure of one thing: sooner or later, your in-laws will tire of her bragging.


Comment by Sisters-In-Law? More Like Tormentors-In-Law | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] But if your female relatives actually don’t pee standing up, I have other advice. And it’s exactly what you yourself suggested—keep these toxic relationships out of your life. In other words, “Don’t Engage With Crazy.” […]

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