MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..

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Totallytickedoff

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 08:00:13 AM »
 I'd play up your "natural" beauty. If she were my MIL and said awful things about my appearance, I'd be tempted to say "well at least everything about me is real!"
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 11:14:34 AM by coyote »

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EveryBreakingWave

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 08:01:11 AM »
That is so nasty!

I've experienced the same sort of thing. And I'm not a guy who is generally very sensitive about his looks, absolutely not, be at some point my NMIL made a remark about my "growing belly" or something. And that was a bit of a concern for me too. Even other people said something about it but in much less terrible manner, so up to that point, I didn't feel bad about it. But when she said something about it, it just made me feel terrible... I still don't really understand why.

Anyway, there's 1 thing about narc's dat applies pretty much always: SELF REFLECTION. Everything they say is actualll about them, or reflects their inner world somehow. Deep down, I think, is a highly insecure person, hidden behind a big nasty mask. But somehow the insecurity is reflected in things they say. My wife gets the same kind of remarks. But it always reflects them and their insecurities. So, in your case, your NMIL was probably really concerned about her own appearance.

So, really, and I know how hard it is, don't take it personally. Really don't. I try not to. And when I get bad comments it's usually not about my appearance, probably because I'm a guy, but it often is about my works around the house or something, "it could have been done better" or whatever, or the painting appears to be hanging crooked... But I try to not take it personal, I try to be numb. When we meet my MIL I try to prepare myself for whatever she says and try not to care and also express that to her and up to this point it works quite well.

And I'd like to add that you and your H did the right thing by telling her to leave!  :thumbup:
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 08:02:43 AM by EveryBreakingWave »

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Inurdreams

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 09:42:35 AM »
Trying#, I am so sorry this woman is treating you this way.

But know this: you have the ONE thing she can never have and that's your youth and most likely your natural beauty.  Something she is desperately trying to hang on to and can't.  She will never, ever be your age, again and it terrifies her so she has to find a way to make you feel bad about yourself so she can feel better about herself.

You are a threat to her so she has to destroy that threat.

Try to look at it this way: for every insult she hurls at you, think of it as a compliment.   I know, it makes no sense until you realize that whatever she is insulting you about is something she uses to make herself feel better. She may be jealous of your skin or hair or figure or even stature which are things that didn't come naturally to her and will only get worse with age and time.  She is fighting a losing battle and she knows it.  So she will find some small thing to insult you about.

I find it pathetic when older women act like this.  They think they are or want to be perpetually the prom queen and little do they know that other people are not all that impressed. 

Hold you head high, sweetie!  You are more beautiful than you realize if it's causing your MIL such distress.

Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Trying#

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 10:20:35 AM »
Thank you SO MUCH to each and every person who responded to me. I was moved to tears after reading your responses. THANK YOU!!!

It's sad to think that so many have gone through similar experiences but I do agree with the person ( I can't figure out how to search responses while replying from my phone so not sure who said it right now, sorry!): Whatever the Narc is criticizing is their *own* insecurity so yes, in a way it's a COMPLIMENT if you can wrap your head around the twisted thinking.. So, for example, the person who said their NMIL CRITISIZED their parenting in reality most likely just feels THREATENED by that person's *PHENOMENAL* parenting. They have to cut it down because if someone is " better",  it threatens the N's self worth Cutting down is their bizarre way of " winning" by " evening things out"....

In my situation, I usually get good feedback and comments on my appearance ( But then again, what non-PD person would start insulting someone's looks so who knows what " accurate" even is, right?).  Looking back on it, I looked my best  so maybe THAT was the threat as she is so cosumed with being " prettier" than every female in each room...

Thank you ALL!!  My faith in humanity is being restored by each and every thoughtful, compassionate response I read 💗   You are amazing!!


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boots40

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 11:25:51 AM »
Goodness this hit a nerve with me.

Too thin
Too fat
hair too short
hair too long
horrible hair colour
too scruffy
too dressed up ("you look like you are going to an interview")
too much makeup
not making an effort
too masculine
too tarty
wrong colour dress
black does not suit me
I look too frumpy
I look like a 12 year old

OP its not about you, its about her.  She gets a sadistic thrill from seeing you hurt.  My NMIL does this all the time, even when she has been told not to - she does it at the first opportunity because we made the mistake of letting her know her words hurt.  Its crazy  :stars:.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 11:36:16 AM by boots40 »
"What you say about me isn't nearly as bad as what I know about you"

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all4peace

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 01:21:53 PM »
OP its not about you, its about her.  She gets a sadistic thrill from seeing you hurt.  My NMIL does this all the time, even when she has been told not to - she does it at the first opportunity because we made the mistake of letting her know her words hurt.  Its crazy  :stars:.
I think the answer lies here. Don't let her draw blood. Even if it hurts, don't let her know it hurts. Perhaps your DH could change his strategy from "how it's hurting you" to how "rude, obnoxious and annoying" it is for her to behave that way. If she's sadistic, it will only feed her to know it hurts.

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Bloomie

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2017, 05:03:35 PM »
Trying# - Hi there! I see you are new here and want to welcome you! Sounds like you have your hands full with the shallow cutting mean girl comments that your mil is making. So revealing about the true nature of her character and what lies beneath the ever so well tended outer shell that no amount of anti aging serum and strategically placed injectables can hide.  :sadno:

You have already been offered some great advice, but from another dil that has had her appearance targeted from the day I met my in laws something that worked for me when confronted with unwarranted and unsolicited comments about my appearance was: "What an ugly thing to say." And either leaving the area or a dead eyed stare.

Your mil is aging and not handling it well, clearly. You are young and lovely and good. That is enough to bring out the snide and snarky. A friend recently shared with me that in her life experience (she is a true beauty in her 70's) that people still look pretty good until they hit 70 and then almost everyone looks like they could use a head transplant.  :bigwink:

The thing that has helped me more than any comeback ever could is to address the wounds in me that would make me vulnerable to the comments my in laws would make. I needed to understand why I would even care about such ridiculous comments not grounded in reality? These were obvious and pathetic attempts to compete with, and undermine, a woman over 30 years younger that their son chose over them.

Being comfortable in my own skin, staying rooted in what really matters about me to ME, has been steadying and gotten me to the place that I either ignore or directly address comments about my appearance. Getting there takes time, but you will make your way. I just know it! :hug:
Bloomie 🌸
"Some people really don't get it, that we matter as much as they do." Moglow
"It takes emotional maturity to maintain decent relationships." Spring Butterfly

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EveryBreakingWave

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2017, 03:56:51 AM »
Whatever the Narc is criticizing is their *own* insecurity so yes, in a way it's a COMPLIMENT if you can wrap your head around the twisted thinking..

In a sick and twisted way, yes, that's exactly what I meant. When you're looking happy and comfortable about yourself, I think they can't handle that. If they see you being comfortable, they surely are not and don't want you to be. So, that's what's probably triggering them to say nasty things.

So, for example, the person who said their NMIL CRITISIZED their parenting in reality most likely just feels THREATENED by that person's *PHENOMENAL* parenting. They have to cut it down because if someone is " better",  it threatens the N's self worth Cutting down is their bizarre way of " winning" by " evening things out"....

Well, yes! I didn't want my reply to be too long but this was exactly what I was thinking about. Because we have 2 little ones and the remarks at this point are usually about parenting... The thing is, we've been talking a lot about it, about my wife's upbringing and how her parents were lacking in many ways and how we try to do it better.
The funny thing was, they came over a couple of days after a long conversation about parenting, so it was still fresh in our memory. Her N-mother started making remarks about our parenting and she mentions a couple of things that we were talking about, of course, projecting it unto us, and my wife and me were just baffled, baffled that she projected her own failing unto us and how accurate it was... and how clear it was that it was not about us, it just didn't apply to us, at all! We just had to laugh, and NMIL noticed of course and asked why we laughed, we said "oh, its nothing"... Leaving her confused... Her bad remarks just made our day.  :)

I like what Bloomie said as well. Just try to tell them how ugly and nasty their comments are. Usually I try to wrap it up in a joke, so nobody gets mad, I don't want that and it's unnecessary. A bit of a joke is usually enough to change the subject. Or when they are lying, or when they're talking about other people and putting them down. That's what happens a lot with my NMIL and I don't like it.
On one occasion they went on a cruise holiday and on board they met family (FIL's sister and husband). And they didn't know they would be on the same cruise. So, surprise! The thing is, FIL's sis and H were in a much bigger cabin, ouch! And they kept going on about it. Jealousy. The reality was, the man just retired, had his own company, had been working hard and this was his first holiday in a long time with his wife alone! So, I said, great, they deserved it, they deserve the biggest room on the ship, good for them, let them have it and enjoy it! -- End of conversation -- haha!
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 03:59:26 AM by EveryBreakingWave »

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daughter

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2017, 09:12:41 AM »
Given everything you've described, a frank response is needed to her obnoxiousness, a firmly stated "well, that's a rude comment" and "that's so inappropriate for you to say".  Call it what it is, no excuses.  Two good quotes: Sylvester Stallone's quote "consider the source...don't be a fool by listening to a fool";  and the anonymous quote: "in order for you to insult me, I would first have to value your opinion".

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Unvitation to Drama

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2017, 12:46:32 PM »
Oooooh! I put up with this from my in-laws for YEARS. 

I've employed two different strategies:
1. Exactly what Daughter mentioned above, the whole "Well, that was a really rude thing to say!" or "Gosh, that seemed like a hateful and demeaning comment, didn't it?"

2. Whatever uBPD MIL would say about my appearance, very calmly I would reply: "Oh really? I've heard folks say the exact same thing about you." Drop the mic, leave the room.

In my case, #2 worked like a charm because uBPD MIL cannot stand the thought of something either talking about her in a negative light, OR talking about her appearance in a negative light.

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Trying#

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2017, 12:48:02 PM »
Reading through the responses, I do believe that my NMIL does get some type of thrill out of hurting me as boots40 said. On hindsight, although it's hard to comprehend, it completely fits! It was last year that she brought up the "double chin" thing. Before this, she had never been outright critical of my appearance (she was critical of OTHER things, just not physical appearance). After her criticism, H had several conversations LETTING HER KNOW how much it hurt me. We saw her twice since then and BOTH times she criticized my looks. Hmmm....How did I not notice this before?? Hindsight is 20/20 and all that..

Thank you for the welcome and the encouraging words, Bloomie! I think that you are spot on that MIL is NOT handling aging very well.

EveryBreakingWave, Funny how they don't see their obvious projections, huh???  :doh:  And the jealousy with the "bigger cabin"? Boy can I relate to that one!!  H and I have a bigger home than NMIL and have been married 22 years and have a good relationship with our children. Meanwhile NMIL lives in a smaller place (that she dislikes and wants to move from), has been through 3 divorces and is single now, her daughter refuses to speak to her, my H wants NC with her and her other son (the GC..) barely interacts with her.. Instead of being happy when her children succeed in life, MIL gets insanely jealous...Difficult one to wrap brain around.

daughter, Great suggestion about the frank response. I especially like the "Well, that's a rude comment" reply. I need to keep that in my toolkit if I see her again anytime soon!!

Thank you so much!!!

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Trying#

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Re: MIL will not stop criticizing my appearance. Help please..
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2017, 12:51:39 PM »
Uninvitation to Drama, I LOVE #2!!! That will definitely be added as well to the toolbox LOL!