How to deal with a biased sister in law? The one who disregards you and plays unfairly with you? You must have been thinking about this a lot, right?
Let me help you provide some useful tips in which you can deal with a biased sister in law, without dealing with any stressful situation. A sister in law is usually of the same age or not much elder or younger than a daughter in law. They could be very good friends and can maintain a peaceful environment in their house.
But how to deal with a biased sister in law who cannot see things as it is and they prefer favoritism? Let us understand the reasons behind her biased nature first, and then I will share ten useful ways to deal with a biased sister in law to help you overcome any stressful situation.
How to deal with a biased sister in law
Now, this is a little tricky, because a biased sister in law is not necessarily the bad one or the one who hates you, but yes she is certainly the one who prefers and supports her mother or any other family member over you even if you are right. When a daughter in law is stuck in a difficult situation and knows that mother in law won’t understand she seeks help from a sister in law in most cases thinking she might understand her, but things turn nasty when it is exactly the opposite and she gets backfired.
Five signs your sister in law is a biased one
There are signs which you should not ignore because that is when you realize that you need to step back, introspect and take necessary actions to deal with a situation. Here we are talking about five signs which will help you add on to how to deal with a biased sister in law.
|1. She feels insecure in your presence|
|2. She is not liking the divided attention|
|3. She is uncomfortable sharing things with you|
|4. She doesn’t involve you|
|5. She maintains a distance|
1. She feels insecure in your presence
Right from sharing space in the house, a daughter in law seeks to share some space in the hearts of her new family members. A brother is now a husband and naturally, he is responsible for his wife but a sister in law who has always seen her brother by her side, and when she sees someone else sharing the space these feelings of insecurity crop in. This is natural for anyone, but if a sister in law lets these feelings take hold of her then surely it will turn out as a distaste against a daughter in law.
2. She is not liking the divided attention
A sister in law is never affected till the time she sees her brother’s wife as competition to her. The day when people or other family members start appreciating the daughter in law for things she used to do before, she starts seeing you as a competition and she develops a disliking towards you. She feels that you are taking away her place from her, which is not correct but just because she belonged there before you and now when you get a little attention which was her area, she might not appreciate it.
3. She is uncomfortable in sharing things with you
A family is all about caring and sharing. Right from kinds of stuff, to duties, to responsibilities. A mother in law is hard to please because she may be ignorant towards your needs but a sister in law who is around your age could help you make comfortable on any given occasions. But if you feel unwelcomed and neglected when you seek help or ask for something then understand she is not comfortable with you.
4. She doesn’t involve you
She has a life as you had before marriage, now when you see a situation wherein you want to help her because the possibility is that you might have been through a similar situation before, but she doesn’t allow you to help her. Even your mother in law might find you interfering in her personal matters whereas you just intended to help her. She might not even feel like involving you in her social group and you might feel left out.
5. She maintains a distance
She sees you as an outsider, maintains a distance, and keeps low with you. She will talk but she might not connect with you. There are thousands of varieties of people around the world. If you start analyzing why and how you might end up stressing your little brain. Once you get a signal that a person has installed a fence for you then avoid trespassing it. She maintains a distance because she is not yet ready to accept you as a close member of her life.
Ten useful ways to deal with a biased sister in law
Just imagine you had your first mind-jolting encounter with your mother in law after marriage and you chose your sister in law to be the first one to share because you thought she would understand and she retaliated. Held you responsible and shut you down, will you ever be able to reach out to her again? Will you ever be able to stand for your stance? As I said earlier, it could be a different life story with your in laws, if a sister in law deals with a little sensitivity towards you. If a sister in law tries to be your friend, she could easily cut down on many possible arguments and reasons for fights between you and your mother in law or other family members, but why do they choose the other side and how to deal with a biased sister in law?
|1. Maintain a friendly distance|
|2. Do not interfere|
|3. Never share your secrets|
|4. Don’t speak about her with your mother in law|
|5. Don’t speak about your mother in law in front of her|
|6. Involve your husband|
|7. Avoid deep interactions|
|8. Be assertive|
|9. Let her be|
|10.Build your own circle|
1. Maintain a friendly distance
It’s ok if you feel that your sister in law doesn’t want to share a space with you and disrespects your boundaries. You can simply maintain a friendly boundary with her. By friendly I mean is to be respectful and yet protect your own self from getting disappointed.
2. Do not interfere
Now, when you could identify that your concern could be labeled as interference and how your in-laws who are living with you could presume that you are interfering in your sister in law’s life, you need to step back. Why do you want to waste your time where you are not appreciated or valued? Maybe today they will not understand your intentions so take a step back and just observe.
3. Never share your secrets
It happens in a family where we stay together and there are some days and some weak moments when we feel we can share a few things with other members despite a little unhealthy relation, we share few secrets or sensitive issues. Maybe just because we need to talk to someone. Just imagine you shared something about you and your husband and the other day she spills the beans in front of him? So be careful and do not get carried away, it could embarrass you.
4. Don’t speak about her with your mother in law
It has been observed in many cases that when you are in good terms with your mother in law, sometimes unknowingly you say things which could affect you later. Maybe your intentions are not wrong but these relationships are such that when it will come about preference you might find yourself at the bottom of the list.
5. Don’t speak about your mother in law in front of her
Now, this is more important than point number 4 because maybe you had a bad episode with your mother in law and you expressed your disgust in front of your sister in law who has been biased to you before but today you are annoyed, irritated so you say things in front of her. Will she listen to you? No. Rather you will end up hurting yourself, even more, when she will tell your mother in law about it. The blame games, she said it, etc. are a very common thing in such relations.
6. Involve your husband
The root cause, your husband. The biased and rude behavior could be the by-product of the separation anxiety your sister in law goes through when she sees you in her brother’s life. So your husband needs to know how she is reacting before you find answers on how to deal with a biased sister in law who does not approve of you because you took her place and now you get all the love and attention (as per her), Hence, maybe he can help her ease.
7. Avoid deep interactions
Never involve yourself in her situations. It is her who has set boundaries with you at first and now you should maintain it just because you never know when things could turn nasty again. Stay neutral, stay kind but most importantly stay within the set limit. Try to keep your interactions on her personal matters as limited as possible.
8. Be assertive
Belittling, criticizing, blaming, or passing snide remarks are the most signs when your sister or law is not much fond of you. Laugh it off, ignore and pretend it doesn’t affect you. Smile often, stay confident, and give her a message that you could manage things even if she is not willing to support you.
9. Let her be
When you know that stumbling upon her might cause you annoyance then kindly let her be, as it is you are a labeled one. Even if you put your best foot forward you might be judged. Let her handle her own things and intervene only when asked.
10.Build your own circle
So she dropped you out at the last moment? Left you and went for a movie or outing with her friends or other family members, when she asked you to join her? You might not be welcomed to her parties and outings with her group of friends, and just because you have no one you expect her to involve you. But when you realize that she won’t, try to build your own circle, focus on what matters.
How her ill-behavior could affect you?
A mother in law or father in law will always believe what your sister in law says and you will be only disappointed in the end. It is sad to see how rules are different for a daughter and daughter in law in our society, and it is also the fact that you are expected to forget your past life right after you get married and sister in laws who could be your companion in a family mostly ruins the relationships even more if they are biased or toxic in nature and here is how they do it:
- They misinform things to your husband or mother in law
- They manipulate you
- They exaggerate things
- They don’t look for the positive sides
- They try to belittle you
It is extremely important to understand the above-mentioned signs then implement those ten ways which work for you and finally if you see any of such toxic behavior in your sister in law. Step back. If you are newly married, give it some time as it takes time for many people to adjust to the new changes and not feel secure in someone else’s presence.
On the other hand, if your sister in law is quite elder to you and you are already a decade old in your marriage and still figuring out ways to combat her biased nature, I would suggest stop stressing yourself and start adopting the mentioned coping mechanisms, which will only help you take care of your mental health and save you a little sanity to focus on better things in your life, like your husband, your kids, your parents, and your career. Take a deep breath and let go of anything which causes stress to you. Be cheerful and stay calm.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.