This event took place at a cousin’s wedding that I had arrived late to. She’s the younger of two sisters I have 24, and 28, with me being 26. We’re all independent and working now. We went as a family with my parents' and had rented two rooms and I had set up in the parents room once I arrived.
Anyway, out at the reception my younger sister was taking selfies and after going in for a few with her I said I’d enough. I'm not the sort of person that's particularly mad about being in photos. It might be one thing for someone to say me "ha come on, let's get a photo". But leave it at that, particularly if you see that they're uncomfortable. But later that night she kept coming up to me forcing photos on me. She normally knows how to behave sensibly so I guess I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I actually took me a while to realise 'no, she's drunk and out of line'. At one point she starting shouting "you're not smiling enough, act like you're bloody happy". Looking back, I think it was at that point in time that I had a very bad feeling, and should have tried to get outta there. I gave her the photo, but she then started picking a fight over another issue. She then starting getting in my face, and saying "what's your problem", etc. I think she wanted me to back down and apologise or something. This was a confrontation she was going to win. I continued to try and be as patient and calm as possible. I must of had my hands on her arms at one point because the next thing I hear was "how dare you grab my arm, you're being aggressive". She was actually trying to make it look like I was picking a fight. But yet a moment later "why won't you answer me?" I had to just leave - I had come down quite late that night, hoping to have a few hours of fun and she was wearing me down. So I eventually said excuse me "I'll be right back".
I left, but she followed me the whole way down the corridor to the hotel room. She kept repeating the same silly questions as she followed - "why won't you answer me?", "why are you patronising me?' I answered some of them without really realising that I'd already answered them. It's hard to realise in a situation like this, that there's no winning, and that you need to walk away even if it means you feel guilty. It'd have been one thing if I was responsible for her in some sort of way. Once I got in and closed the door. But my father came out to let her in. She then sort of had her way, and started to go really wide, complaining about things I did wrong in the past which I didn't agree with. I'd actually presumed that because she was now older, that she might have viewed such matters in a different way, as I would about her life choices. But no, she sank in my estimation as I realised her simple minded view of things. I, of course resent a few things on her part too, but I try to give her benefit of the doubt. My father defended me while I sat there. Then a self-centred rant took place. It seemed as if she was trying to address issues in our family, but failed to because she couldn't help making things all about herself – how she’s not a bimbo, how hard life is, what if one of us died?, it'll be the three of us left when we bury you and mam. Everything I suspected, as to how weak, needy, self-absorbed and narcissistic she is, was confirmed. I’m also far more aware of how much of a gossip she is, and therefore likely a liability.
So if I ever hear the words "you're being aggressive" again, I'll presume it's some kind of mind game or manipulation tactic! Who's ever seen the movie 'Anger Management' will know what I'm talking about. That movie definitely explored an interesting concept - that the person who's accusing you of anger, is only doing so because they think they've authority. Although you know you're not angry, you might still be silly enough to respond to their authority by explaining yourself. You can easily prove them wrong, but shortly later you feel like a fool for wasting your breath. It's a lose-lose situation. In this case, I felt very uncomfortable. But she was drunk and didn't care about anything, other than having her way at all costs, and she knew there would be no consequences for her. Yeah she might have made a fool of herself, but come to think of it, the few people who witnessed it already know she's weak in this regard.
But I stayed there. Why did I stay there for 15 minutes and let her wear me down emotionally? I eventually went back out to the party having few insults hurled at me as I walked out. "Yeah yeah, you don't give a shit do you!" I thought to myself "Jesus Christ, I wouldn't want to with you". In the morning I suppose I really should have mentioned something about it the next morning before she did. Later that day when she brought it up I presumed she might have been a bit embarrassed, or may have addressed it in a more rational way, but oh no – she goes "now about last night....blah blah" ending with "never grab my arm again”. I said "we can’t address this if you’re on your high horse & not willing to listen to what I have to say". She got back on her high horse. Things didn't really get ugly this time, but it was clear she didn’t remember several key facts about the event. I’m not sure if she knows that she made a fool of herself, or that she couldn’t admit it for the sake of her own ego. I let her have to last word, seeing as she was leaving first, and I didn't want her to have a three hour car journey while pissed off.
My initial thought, was that if this ever happens to me again, I will choose a location in my mind (that's far far away) and walk to it, not run, but walk fast to it... until free of her. But just because I'd have come out without a headache doesn't mean that the problem is solved - it's still incredibly offensive of her and would indeed be likely to happen again. On second thought, I could have just mimicked everything she said - as in replied "what's wrong with you" to "what's wrong with you", etc. It would have been fun to see how worked out. Anyway, I'll be weary should she be drinking again.
You see, for me whenever someone gets the better of me, in whatever way it may be, I suck it up, and know it's less likely to happen again. Trivial things like this can really you sometimes - right? But if you whine about them, you know exactly what people will think. And you'd presume that'd be the case for everyone else too. But if the person is too used to getting their way, and has had a bit to drink, and knows they'll get away with it, then it presents an entirely different situation. It’s funny, because for me, if I were to bring something from the past up like that, I’d presume that I’d be making a fool of myself. Perhaps not giving a shit is not enough with people like this. You kind of need to be prepared to a certain extent, as they may have ways to mess with your mind. But it’s really quite simple – just a matter of highlighting the double standards.
It might sound obvious, that it better to flip the accusation on to that person, instead of defending oneself, but it takes a bit of getting used to as you’ll be distracted and caught off guard at the time. I now know that if someone like this said “you do get aggressive sometimes”, I’d say “not as aggressive as you though” and could then refer to examples far worse, not to mention the fact that I hadn’t held these against her in the first place. Or what if someone were to say “I forgive you”? What do you say to that? Instead of saying “that’s not fair because I don’t know what you’re thinking when you say that, you’re wrong because x, y and z” as they walk away mid sentence. I could just say “I forgive you too”
But if anyone knows how I could have dealt with this better, that'd be great.
Edited by Take me to the Pilot, September 11 2016 - 12:01 PM.