Nice sister who's not

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Kat1984

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Re: Nice sister who's not
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2020, 12:27:20 PM »
Sheppane, regarding the boundaries I've set up with my sister.  Well, it's a good question of how to enforce them.  I am in the later stages of developing boundaries, but the earlier stages of implementing them.  That is to say, I've done a lot of work so that I am fairly clear (to myself) of what my boundaries are, but they are mostly in my head at this point and not expressed to her.  Because my sister does not live in the same country as I do and we only saw each other twice a year or so for a week at a time, my "new" relationship with her is not obvious.   We just don't interact enough for it to show yet.   I did learn from this forum and other sources that it was wisest for me NOT to explicitly declare the new boundaries to her.  It would trigger her and make things worse.  Plus, it's better to act than to talk.  So some of my boundaries look like 1) Medium chill 2) Gray Rock  3) excusing myself from the conversation when I feel it is going in a negative direction, without worrying about being rude.
These are ways I keep her from having access to my intimate thoughts and world.   And that is a boundary for me.

I expect as time goes on and other family events come up she will become aware that  1) I won't sleep under the same roof as her   2) I won't share kitchen space preparing a meal with her    3) I will avoid sharing any task with her that I feel will cause her to feel competetive or underappreciated or allow her to compare "who did more and who is better".   4) I won't let her spend prolonged time alone with my children.

I'll show her this by saying "no" when she asks.  I'll either give no further explanation (I learned in therapy that "no" is a complete sentence!),  or I'll say something like "Sister-of-Kat, you have told me that I have been entitled my whole life and that I treat you like my personal servant.   I don't like hanging around people who don't like me, and I can't imagine that you would want to hang around someone you obviously don't like or respect.  So it doesn't make sense for us to do ABC together."

So my interactions might ocassionally, like above, call her on her crap.  In a matter-of-fact unemotional and concise way.   And then I'll move on.   Her jaw will be dropped, and then she will become furious at being called out.  But by then I will have calmly moved to another activity.   :D

So for me I think it is becoming clear about want, and what I will and won't tolerate.   Writing it down.   Then listing strategies/tools to accomplish what I want.
The toolbox is great for that.   The tools can be very simple, and my guess is that Medium Chill and unceremoniously leaving a conversation will accomplish most goals/boundaries.  But in the event that something more direct is needed, pointing out to her that she has called you "inadequate" or whatever might be helpful.  It's her words, after all.   And if you can come across as a bit befuddled as to why she would want to interact with someone she seems not to like, all the better.
Then walk from the room. 

I just love the thought of saying something like that to my sister and then leaving her with it to stew.