Having at least one in-law who is constantly telling family members how they should live their lives and then expecting those people to express gratitude for that unsolicited advice seems to be as ubiquitous as the air we breathe.
Every conversation begins with all the minutaie and detritus of their conflict ridden lives. There is never a inquiry as to my health, well being,or that of my extended family. Why does every thought this person has, have to erupt into lengthy ad nauseam diatribes that contain not even remote interest for the listener? This is the same person who has alienated people and family members by saying hurtful things and making judgemental statements. People do not need to be harangued about her alternative vision of life, but encouraged and praised for what they are and have accomplished. These are not the things that endear this person to her family members or bode well for any relationship. Success or failure in life are events, not the measure of a man.
All this being said, here is my conflict. How do I reconcile my easy going personality with a person who's nature is aggressive, narcissistic, thrives on unnecessary drama, and seldom expresses a kind or complimentary word? There is no respect for personal boundaries of others or their privacy. I feel that it is encumbant upon me to discover a balanced approach to preserve my self-confidence and my emotional well-being.
Since the person of whom I speak, is of an age not conducive to change or any constructive criticism, my choices are to determine when to let go, when to bear up, and when to limit my exposure to this negative influence. Do I speak up and defend my outlook and boundaries, or do I continue to show respect in a situation where respect to me is not forthcoming. My conflict-averse nature has previously led me to continue keeping the peace. I do however, feel that sooner rather than later, I am in danger of exploding.
Helpful commentary welcomed!