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.
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!