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Need Some Advice for Proper "Etiquette"
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Anon_11642 posted:
Hi - Will make it short and not a long drawn out story. I have one sister - no other siblings - she is 3.5 years older than me and lives 1700 miles away in California. She came out to see me 3 years ago but haven't been out there since my mother died.

My sister has always been very secretive - she doesn't share much with me as she is so afraid someone will find out from me - which is silly because I live so far but we are sisters. Our conversations are very ridiculous - talk about weather - can't even talk politics - she says manny times she doesn't want to talk about this or that - I can't ask her any questions about her family - she has a daughter with 3 kids - all grown - she just says "same ole same ole".

Anyway, another problem is her daughter and her daughter which would be my only niece and grand niece defriended me on facebook many months ago. I never said anything to my sister about it. The only thing I can think of is I did mention to my sister how many pics her daughter posts on facebook - like over 80 or an album - I was new on facebook and was kind of shocked how much they post. My sister hates facebook and is not a member - I dont like it either but am still on it but rarely post anything - I just like to be on in case my daughter posts about her kids.

I did get a birthday card from her and gift - birthday is this Monday - it was a very nice loving card about family and sisters and we are good friends always - very loving card - I didn't open the gift yet.

I know she will call me on Monday - so here is my question - I would like to say to her that "gee, it's always so hard to talk to you as there are so many subjects that are forbidden - we are sisters - how come we can't talk about so many things" AND "I would like you to know that your daughter and her daughter defriended me from facebook and WHY?"

OK - these are my two issues in a nutshell - I am hoping I can get good advice. It's been bothering me a long time - I know I have no trouble about telling her about this defriending business but her being so secretive all the time am I going to open a can of worms by bringing it up?

Someone please give me good advice - I have 2 days left before my awful 70th birthday which is depressing in itself.

Anyway, thanks for your ears and will check periodically to see if anyone has posted.
Reply
 
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sluggo45692 responded:
Happy Birthday. Hope you have many more. I don't have a Facebook account because of my job and I really don't like putting stuff out there. My gf does have an account and keeps me informed of my family things.

I have 4 brothers and 1 sister I stay in contact with through phone calls. I talk mostly with my sister on family matters and hardly ever talk to my brothers. When I do it's basic stuff I need to pass along about our parents. We don't talk much. You can bring up subjects, but if she deflects to something else, what can you do? My suggestion is go with it. If she wants to talk ok, if not love her as a sister and be ok with it. She's still there for you even though she's 1700 miles away. She will alway be your sister. It's never to late to let her know you love her.

As for the Facebook, ask her how she feels about facebook. If she's ok with it, but doesn't want to subscribe, then let her know your talking to her family out there. If she just hates it and think it the "devil"(my mother's statement), I wouldn't let her know about it. Why take a chance of making her more private to you.

I hope it works out for you and yours. Again Happy Birthday. Good Luck
 
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tmlmtlrl responded:
I don't think you should bring any of that up when she calls. You should keep your conversation positive. Save that talk for another day. Be thankful, grateful, and happy. Ask about her and her children, but ask specific questions and not just general ones. She's calling you for your birthday! If you get on her or turn the conversation negative then she's gonna get off the phone with you and think she can't even call you on your birthday and have a good talk. Call her back in a few days with your concerns.

Basically if you only talk a handful of times a year and each time you talk you're being pessimistic that's going to push her farther away. Please don't read this and only take from it that I said you were being pessimistic. It's about her perception. If what you say is perceived by her as pessimistic then that's what she'll take from the conversation. Perception is reality.

How about Monday just have a relaxed loving talk with her on the phone. Make her smile to talk to you. Tell her some happy stuff about your life or your birthday weekend. Maybe bring up a happy memory. Ask very specific questions about her and what she's doing. If she skates around your questions save it for another day.

Have a Happy Birthday and a happy talk!
 
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Anon_11642 replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
I goofed and hit post instead of reply. So I copied and pasted it in here - sorry for the goofup.

Thank you both of you - guess you are right - I can ask how's the family - that includes all five of them - her daughter, husband and 3 kids - guess I shouldn't ask too many questions - it bugs me though how our conversations are so empty - but will just let it be that way.

Not planning anything special as it is milo harvest time and husband and son have to cut their milo - will try again today and tomorrow - since my husband's birthday was the 15th and mine tomorrow - we both decided we will go out and eat and celebrate after the harvest whenever it is.

Thanks for your help - both of you may have saved my relationship with her as it is always empty but at least she did call. Another thing I wanted to mention is in the past she was always too busy when I would call and said she will call back - we had a discussion about that a few years ago and I told her I wouldn't call her but just wait for her to call me as 80% of the time she can't talk and forgets to call me back and after several years of this - really most of our life - got tired of it - it worked for a while but back again to being busy - but anyway - since she is my only sibling guess I'll have to tone down my complaints to her.

Thanks again for your help. Sometimes it's good to vent with strangers as they see things better than when you are right in the middle of it.
 
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dfromspencer replied to Anon_11642's response:
Wow, you really are in between that old rock and a hard place, aren't you? I am of the opinion that, your husband should let the son handle the farm? And, if son cannot do it alone, he could hire some of the local boys to help! Sorry, but I think you and your husband need that retirement time TOGETHER!!!! He continues to put it off, and he is putting you off, too! He should be your companion, also! He has worked a long time, now its time to put down the pitch fork, and maybe do a little sight seeing, maybe out California way?

I hope you are keeping up with all of the little one's? How is the son and daughter that live close, and the grandson from them? Has that D.I.L. come around yet? I sure hope so!!!

Oh, how is that neighbor of yours, the one from across the street/road? Has she started any conversations with you? Phone calls? Anything? Does she walk with you any longer?

Your sister, being secretive is her perogative. She doesn't HAVE to share anything with you, if she so chooses. However, to just snub you is wrong, also. So, when she cuts off the conversation, you may want to ask her why? She may be afraid you will find something out that she may be embarrassed about? That is when you want to remind her that she IS YOUR SISTER!!! Tell her that, at one time, we never had to hold anything in, we share in our pain, we are family! Hopefully, that may help?

Whatever you decide to do, be gentle but firm. Remind her that your interest in her family is just that, FAMILY!!! And, just because you two live so far apart, that is no reason to stop being FAMILY!!!

I want to wish you a most HAPPY BIRTDAY!!!! I hope you have many, many more!!! Good luck with your sister!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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Anon_11642 replied to dfromspencer's response:
Thank you - looks like rain tomorrow evening here - 80% - so am going to get myself a cake and have it here just in case to celebrate.

Going to treat myself to getting nails done - will always have problems with DIL but cell phone is still blocked but we talk whenever I have to babysit - I keep it strictly about our grandson and so far no more trouble - enjoying grandson again.

My husband does need to be more laid back but being married as long as we have been I alone cannot change him - I learned very early on that the only person we can change is ourselves -

Hopefully, when all the harvesting is over we can go to KC and have a few days of fun there - we did this summer and enjoyed it.

We aren't big "doers" of fun - guess we like the quiet life out here in the midwest but thankfully have good friends and hobbies I enjoy - going to take up archery again next month as I see our rec center is going to have it - last time I was the only adult in the class but who cares - I had fun - if my friends dont want to that's fine - I cant force them to come but I choose to go anyway and enjoy it again.

Have a good week everyone. Stay safe.
 
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dfromspencer replied to Anon_11642's response:
Hi,

Hope you had a great birthday!!! I am glad to hear you and your grandson can still see each other!!! D.I.L. will one day wake up, and realize just what she has missed in having you in her life, and not taking advantage of it!!! For one thing, she is going to miss out on your years of experience in all things! She is going to miss out on not knowing you!!!

What a shame! Young people have no time for us when we start to get older, I wonder why that is? Could it be their attitude of invinciality? Or that they know everything, already? (Yea, right!) Or is it, they just don't care? I chalk it up to their own stupidity! One day, and I hope it won't be too late, they will want to spend time with us?! Even when I was young, all I wanted to do was spend time with my grandparents. I still would, if they were still around!!! Now, I am the grandparent, and the visits are few, and far between! How sad is that? Our generation is coming to a close, and this new one is coming into its own! Young people care only for themselves now! Its that easy to get attitude. Every thing is easy to get, if you want something, all you have to do is point your phone at it, and its yours! If only things were a little more old fashioned, eh?

Well, I have to go, you take care, and enjoy the archery!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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Anon_11642 replied to dfromspencer's response:
Had a lovely birthday - friends at shawl meeting sang happy birthday to me - got many cards - two friends came over with gifts and one made a birthday cake - went out for dinner with husband - my sister called and had a nice visit - and at the end of day son, DIL and grandson came over - grandson holding beautiful Susan G. Komen pink all shades and white flowers - I am a bc survivor. And at the very end my son hugged me and wished me a happy birthday.

A lovely day and thanks for your good thoughts and others too. Grandson is coming over at 3 today - have to babysit - I have a surprise for him - the DVD of Wizard of Oz - hope he can sit still and enjoy it - he doesn't know what the name of it is.
 
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koncerned responded:
Happy Birthday
 
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dfromspencer replied to Anon_11642's response:
That does sound like a very nice Birthday!!! Glad you had so many friends and family to share your special day with!!! D.I.L. must have kept herself in check, that is good?! And grandson carrying those flowers must have been a sight? Good for you!!!

Congrats on surviving such an awful illness!!! I sure hope they find that cure, and soon!!!

Good luck to you!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!


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