Just Be Cordial: How To Deal With A Sibling's Horrible S.O.

["sarah jessica parker", "sex and the city"]
Fox 2000

So, you hate your siblings significant other, huh?

Not the biggest fan of your sibling's significant other? I know all about it. I have some personal experience with this. One of my older brothers was dating a woman for several years who I just didn't connect with. There was nothing wrong with her per say, we just had nothing in common. There was always an awkward tension every time we were left alone in a room. Small talk ensued. It seemed like we both knew a TON about the weather. And I'll never forget for my 30th birthday she got me anti-aging products.

Seems passive aggressive, right?

The problem was this: I love my brother, but I didn't love her. I always wondered, what's the best way to navigate not liking your siblings significant other? What if you actually HATE him or her? These are some of my ideas.

Talk badly about him/her to your friends, not to your sibling

Don't trash talk the S.O. to the entire family. That doesn't ruin his or her reputation, it ruins yours. That automatically puts you into the role of nagging, complaining sibling who thinks it's their place to control what everyone else in the family is doing. It's your sibling's relationship-- not yours. Unless the significant other is cheating or stealing money (in which case that's a whole other scenario, and article probably), keep your mouth shut at family events.

This is what friends are for. Talk badly about them to your friends. You have free reign to talk lots of shit about your siblings significant other to your friends.

Be cordial to him/her at family events

You don't have to be overwhelmingly nice. You don't have to be best friends. You don't have to do activities alone, or text, or sit next to each other, or post selfies on Instagram during Thanksgiving dinner with cute captions. Just be cordial. Kindness is the best currency. Just get through any family events on your best behavior. Most likely, you'll feel good about yourself after-- and that's better than there being really obvious tension or family fighting. You can even make it a game: how nice can I be to this person for the next few hours? It's a test of personal strength. Emotional crossfit.

Remember: You're not dating him/her, your sibling is

You don't have to date your siblings S.O. They are. You just have to tolerate them in short spurts. So-- whatever makes your sibling happy should make you happy. Try to repeat that in your head. You can even say, "thank god that's not my girlfriend" and then marvel at the fact that your brother finds joy in that relationship. You've probably dated loads of people that your friends hated, right? Family is different, but relationships are a delicate, personal thing. You never know all the good their S.O can be adding to their life! Every relationship is either a lesson or a lifetime. This could be a lesson. Don't get in the way of that.

Just ride it out

If you see a lot of flaws in their relationship or in their partner, most likely the relationship might end at some point anyway. So-- just ride it out. If you keep your mouth shut about it, they might break up anyway. You get your way and have a glowing reputation.

So good luck navigating that horrible significant other, especially during the holiday season. Hopefully these tips will help. And wine, deep breathing, and maybe some meditation won't hurt either.


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