In-laws, anxiety, & being part of the problem

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    My in laws and I do not get along.

    Earlier this week at a family function I said something catty and judgey. I didn’t really mean to say it and I, in all honesty, didn’t mean it in that sort of judgement way. I was more annoyed at being offered something it is well known (yes even to them) that I do not enjoy.

    I should have stopped and apologized right away, but I didn’t and the guilt has been eating at me ever since.

    I already dread going over there (or having them over here) and I just made it a thousand times worse.

    I would go into more detail about background, but I realized that I’m just shit talking and I don’t feel like it.

    The gist is that most of my husband’s family has not treated me like family. (My family has treated my husband like family so this is obvious.) There is one person in particular (who the comment was made to) that I really do not get along with in particular. The few times we have gotten along, we have brought out some really toxic behaviors in each other (gossiping, being judgy, etc…). I freely admit my hand in this.we ended up having a falling out because we disagreed on some family drama.

    I don’t even know why I’m posting this. I just cannot stop turning this over and over in my mind.

    I have always had anxiety with these people, but I am just kicking myself for making it so much worse.


    I am realizing that I am in fact part of the problem. I am trying to figure out what my toxic personality points so that I can be a better person, but I also want the anxiety gone too.


    Dear Nancy:

    You wrote “my toxic personality”-

    If you and a few people there do not get along, why does it mean that you are toxic and not the others?

    I understand that you were offered something you don’t like, something you already told the person who offered it to you that you don’t like it, maybe some food, and you reacted angrily. If the person offering you the particular food knew you don’t like it and offered it to you just so to annoy you, then he/ she was the … toxic one, to use your word. No?



    Hi Nancy,

    It’s amazing that you admit you’re no angel to them either. Most people wouldn’t admit that or even realize that.

    There’s a saying, “Seek sanctuary in politeness”. Meaning the more you go over there and are utterly polite, neutral, keep your mouth shut, are easy breezy, the situation should get better by small degrees.

    Winnie-the-Pooh meme: “What do you say when someone gives you an empty honey pot and a popped balloon?”

    Answer: “Thank You.”




    Dear Nancy,

    I agree with Inky and Anita above.

    If you are being baited and respond, you give whoever is causing the situation instant gratification. I never got on that well with my in-laws either! I did exactly what Inky suggested above, and ‘killed them with kindness’. Don’t rise to the bait. When they get no reaction from you except a smile, they will soon find someone else to bait.

    Some people just don’t get on. And that’s that. It’s nothing to do with toxic personalities or anything else.

    Do you ever feel like you have been judged by them? And your reaction is simply that, a reaction and a defence to protect yourself? I know it was for me. It became obvious that my MIL judged me as being not good enough for her son. It was her problem, no-one else thought that. Her own insecurities were dumped on me. It wasn’t really about me not being good enough, either – she was out to prove that she was better than me, that her family were better than mine – or anyone else’s.

    After a few years of ‘no reaction’ or just a smile, she gave up.

    Best wishes,



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