She is my cousin and every time I talk to her on the phone (she lives in another state) she always puts me down. I have tried talking to her about this a year ago and it ended up in us not talking for a few months. She doesn't see that she does it and won't admit to doing it and says i'm just being too sensitive and that she meant no harm but she continues to say hurtful things and cross bounderies with me that are not okay. I don't want to STOP talking to her entirely as she is one of the only 2 family members I have left. UPDATED 10/9/13.....IT'S BEEN 3 YEARS AND I HAVE NOT SPOKE TO HER. IT'S BETTER THIS WAY. SHE TRIED TO COME BACK IN MY LIFE A YEAR AGO AND I JUST TOLD HER I DON'T FEEL GOOD TALKING TO HER AND IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA AND TO RESPECT MY BOUNDERY TO LEAVE ME ALONE AND SHE HAS.
Kindal Kindal 46-50, F 10 Answers Sep 13, 2009

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I would sit down with pen and paper and write some bullet points you would like to discuss with her.

You may also put down some probable responses she might have and beside them, put your response. (This is helpful with ppl who have a habit of manipulating things around them, including conversations.)

Only you can decide this...but having been in the same situation myself, I finally had to tell the family member that if they continued to cross my boundaries, I would no longer be able to talk with them.

Another thought, if she acts as if she doesn't know how she is hurting you, decide with her on a word or phrase you can interrupt her with and say so that she can see immediately what she's saying that is crossing your boundaries. (My friends and I use what we call "the Trigger Card".)

I simply would not accept her saying, "you're too sensitive." You are who you are, no apologies.

Hope this helps. Just keep in mind, she IS manipulating you and if you want it to stop, you may have to have no contact with her for a while, to make a point (that you will, in fact, protect your boundaries.)

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Me personally limit it to phone conversations(you already have tried telling her how you feel and she's refused to respect your feelings so it is at the next level), and every time she puts you down, hang up on her.

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Do the same exact thing back and act like you don't know why she is upset and she will understand how you feel soon enough

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Really? Is that what you have to put up with just because she's "your family"? I think you need to distance from her, call her on her b-day and xmas, life's too short and your dignity too precious to let people treat you that way. You have done your part, tried to fix things. Didn't work, move on.

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My sister did this all of my life along with the parent. Simple solution after i last saw her give her a piece of mind then tell her she is really disgusting. Walk away and never call again. If she dies well nothing lost.

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I agree... I know this is an old post but I had this problem and I simply eliminated her. it's hard because my mother still talks to her mother (my aunt) who also does the same thing to me and even tells my mother negative things about me... but I constantly tell my mother that I don't want her telling my aunt anything about my private life.. not a word! I "think" she is doing this... but only time will tell.

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Not a clue.

Leaving the planet altogether sometimes sounds like the most reasonable thing to do.

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Posted Sep 13th, 2009 at 10:39PM

I really like what Dollparts wrote.

But there's value in all of the above.

Use what you think is appropriate.

There's a very old story of how the Buddha once addressed this in a debate which is historically recorded.

One particular man kept abusing him for his beliefs and such, without any foundation for his slurs.

The Buddha asked him;

"If you invite someone into your house for a meal and they do not accept your food; to whom does it belong?"

The man answered;

"To me of course."

So the Buddha said;

"Likewise, if I do not accept this abuse you hurl at me, does it not return to you?"

When in such a situation myself, if nothing else seems to work, I say to the person,

"Do you know that when you try to belittle me, it's not a measure of how small I am? But it IS a measure of how small you are."

It's as harsh as a virtual bucket of water in the face to wake them up. But whenever I've used it, people have shown their true colours.

I've had apologies, stunned silence and even open hostility in response. But I always find out just exactly where they really stand. Then it's easier to know what to do...

Good luck and best wishes,


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I doubt she will change, as she sees YOU to be the one with the problem. I have a sister like this, she also undermined my family relationships with this type of thing.

I stay away. It is for my peace of mind and I find that I don't miss this passive/aggressive stuff at all, or her for that matter.

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