How to confront my mother-in-law on the spot with her passive aggressive comments?
It’s hard to confront a passive-aggressive person.
They will pretend they were only joking! They will apologise for touching a sore spot! They will carry on putting you down – under the guise of being nice – as is their way.
So you need to be prepared for that, I have a few stock answers ready.
Call Her Out
I would start with just calling her out on the nasty stuff she says. So a simple:
“Was there any need for that?”, or “What did you mean by that?”.
She will probably reply, “Nothing! But, I’ve obviously hit a nerve!”, to which can you say, “Well, I’d rather you just didn’t comment on my weight / housekeeping / childrearing skills in future, thank you”.
If she says she was only joking, you can say, “Well, it felt like a joke at my expense, so I’d prefer if you didn’t make those kind of jokes anymore, thank you”.
Be clear, be polite, but lay out what is unacceptable to you.
Hold the Line
And then be prepared to enforce it, with gentle reminders. So next time she says something:
“Remember, Margie, we said we weren’t going to talk about my weight / housekeeping / child-rearing skills anymore?”
And expect they’ll keep commenting anyway. Sorry.
Anyone else got any tips?