Navigating the Delicate Path When Dealing with a Spiteful Sister-in-Law

Wading through family dynamics can be difficult enough without spite being thrown into the mix.

For anyone with a spiteful sister-in-law, you know all too well how carefully you often feel you must tread just to keep the peace.

Every interaction is laced with subtext and implications, with your sister-in-law looking for ways to undermine you or assert dominance.

While her behavior may seem baffling or hurtful, reacting with spite or anger will likely only make the situation worse.

Instead, the high road of calm restraint, empathy and setting clear boundaries may be the safest path, however delicate, to navigating this complicated relationship.

I’ll discuss some strategies for dealing with a spiteful sister-in-law without sinking to her level or causing new rifts in the family.

#1. Focus On The Solution, Not The Problem

Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia via Deposit Photos.

There is no pleasure in constantly mulling over problems in your mind. Once you have established that there is an issue and have begun working towards a solution, make this your primary focus.

Your life will be much happier if you only focus on the positive aspects.

An action plan to achieve an ideal solution will help you with this. By focusing on the solution, you are putting positive and constructive energy into the universe.

This is a form of manifestation, and people believe this will help your dreams to become a reality.

#2. Avoid Emotional Outbursts

woman-on-phone-mistake
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

When someone is making hurtful remarks, it can be tempting to lash out in anger.

However, reacting with an emotional outburst will only make matters worse and create a more tense environment.

Instead of giving into the urge to retaliate, take a deep breath and try to stay as calm as possible.

This will help you maintain control of the situation and avoid any further hurtful words or actions.

#3. Set Boundaries

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

If your sister-in-law does not look like she will change her behavior, you must take matters into your own hands. Limit contact with her if she is constantly critiquing your behavior or thoughts.

Unfriend her on social media, or hide her posts from your timeline. There is no reason to subject yourself to unnecessary mental anguish.

Operate a zero-tolerance policy for her behavior. Once you have explained clearly and calmly why you don’t like something, do not allow her to repeat it.

If she does, remove yourself from the situation or shut her comments down instantly. Do not argue with her. Just move on.

#4. Sit Down For An Adult Conversation

Photo Credit: natalie_magic via Deposit Photos.

Discussing issues calmly as they arise is important to prevent serious problems from forming. Try to organize an adult discussion about your issues with your sister-in-law’s behavior.

It is a good idea to have someone else there to act as a mediator, say a friend or your partners.

#5. Try To Ignore Her

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

If your sister-in-law hurls insults left, right, and center, she is likely just looking to annoy you. In such cases, the best course of action is simply ignoring her remarks.

If she does not get the rise she is looking for, eventually, she will become bored with her behavioral patterns and hopefully cease to be two-faced.

#6. Talk To Your Partner

Photo Credit: Syda_Productions via Deposit Photos.

Your sister-in-law is your partner’s sister, so they will know her better than you do. Talk to your partner about what their sister is saying and doing to you and how it makes you feel.

If she is two-faced, your partner will likely react surprised as they are unfamiliar with this behavior from their sister.

Explain the situation calmly and logically to your partner, and try to come up with a solution to work through the issues. This may be your partner having a private word with their sister, or it may be a case of limiting contact with them.

Whatever the outcome, it is crucial to make this a joint decision with your partner to work through the problem together.

When dealing with family issues, it is vitally important that you and your partner are singing from the same hymn sheet. Many emotions are involved in situations like this, and unity is important to minimize sustained hurt.

#7. Try To Understand Where The Attitude Is Coming From

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Be compassionate towards your sister-in-law. She may be jealous of you and your partner’s relationship and lash out because she feels inadequate.

There are many reasons people get an attitude, but it usually stems back to feelings of personal dissatisfaction.

Ask her why she is behaving in this way. Is there something that you could help with? Is she jealous of how well you handle the demands of kids while she struggles?

A kind word and a helping hand can go a long way. People often lash out when overwhelmed, and she may not know how to ask for help.

#8. Always Be Nice

people-hugging
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

No matter who is around, try and be nice. Be positive and calm, and ensure you treat your sister-in-law with respect. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and being pleasant will always get you further than being hostile or aggressive.

If your sister-in-law has an issue with you, it will be much harder to take digs if you are always kind to her.

#9. Play Dumb

confised-woman-and-man
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

When someone is trying to provoke you, it can be hard to ignore the insults and remain composed.

If your sister-in-law is making hostile comments, try responding with a simple, “I don’t understand. What do you mean by that?”

This type of response will demonstrate that you’re not engaging in her attempt to get a rise out of you.

By asking her to explain herself, she may realize that her words are unnecessary and unhelpful and will be less likely to continue the argument. Additionally, this response allows you to gain more clarity on the issue while also demonstrating your composure.

#10. Don’t Look For Their Approval

Photo Credit: Syda_Productions via Deposit Photos.

There is little point in seeking their approval if they have a track record of being mean or condescending. Find confidence in yourself and work to make your sense of achievement validation enough.

You do not need the approval of someone who constantly puts you down. If you remain positive and continue working on yourself, you will always succeed.

If your sister-in-law is a narcissist then she is unlikely ever to commend you on your achievements, and you will be waiting for her approval.

#11. Don’t Try And Explain Yourself To Them

Photo Credit: Milkos via Deposit Photos.

If this is a consistent issue and your two-faced sister-in-law criticizes your every move, it is futile to argue back. A much more worthwhile use of your time is to remind yourself of your self-worth.

Remain confident in your decisions, and remember that you do not need to justify them to anyone else.

Wedding Traditions That Need To Go

Photo Credit: andreonegin via Deposit Photos.

Weddings are full of tradition. But as times change, some wedding traditions have become outdated. And some even offensive.

Here are the ones that need to go ASAP.

Wedding Traditions That Need To Stop

How To Deal With Negative People

Photo Credit: VaDrobotBO via Deposit Photos.

We all encounter negative people in life. The question is, how do you interact with them without it ruining your day?

Here are the tips you need to start using to stop them from bringing your down.

HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE

How To Stop Caring About Someone

Photo Credit: stetsik via Deposit Photos.

We’ve all been there, where a personal or romantic relationship that ends. We still care about the other person, but need to learn how to let go in order to move on.

How can we make this transition easier? Here are simple steps to stop caring about someone so you can move on.

HOW TO STOP CARING ABOUT SOMEONE

How To Change Your Mindset

Photo Credit: deagreez1 via Deposit Photos.

Going from a negative mindset to a positive one can feel overwhelming.

But with a little guidance and tips, you can do this.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

Things To Be Grateful For

woman appreciating the things to be grateful for
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

They say it’s the little things in life that bring us the most joy.

But too many times, we are too busy to acknowledge these things.

Here are over 50 small things about life to be grateful for.

THINGS IN LIFE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top