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Old 12-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #18
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,646

I think I'd have to know more about the nature of the argument before I could say what I'd be doing. Some family battles are just skirmishes. Others are take-no-prisoners wars. So my response would be based upon the nature of the argument. Is it a petty argument over the election or were nasty names called in a serious manner? Was a child gently teased upon a topic the SIL didn't know was a sore spot or did she deliberately tease a child over a known disability like a speech impediment? In other words, was it a small mistake compounded by joint stubbornness or a serious bad behavior that goes to character?

For example: I have a relative, let's call her Susie. Susie is a drama queen and very privileged princess who is entitled to everything from everyone and never ever does/admits to doing anything wrong. She has engaged in many stupid, obnoxious behaviors. She often seems to enjoy taking an opposing viewpoint just to have the "fun" of an argument. None of that was reason to shun her or refuse to attend a holiday gathering for "fear" of seeing her.

What WAS reason to refuse to attend a holiday gathering she was hosting was when we had incontrovertible proof in the form of one of us actually seeing and hearing Susie badmouthing us to several friends/neighbors. Very nasty words and some outright lies. To add insult to injury, when we called her out on it, she then got mad at us for "eavesdropping" and insisted that we were the ones at fault and she had every right to say whatever she wanted to anyone she wanted with no repercussions. (Because she's the most special snowflake EVER!) THAT was when Susie got dropped from our invitation list and we chose not to attend events for which she was the hostess. We were not going to provide to or accept hospitality from her.

Her behavior did not, however, keep us from attending family events at which she was another guest because that would fall in the category of "cutting off nose to spite face." On those occasions we would use the "dead to me" strategy, which worked quite well for us.
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