Over the past several years, I’ve had problems with my sister-in-law. We used to get on really well, but a few years ago I noticed that whenever I did OR said anything, she would do it shortly after – all of the time! It’s become so obvious, that it really began to wind me up – almost that she was trying to clone my life or personality and this really affected my individuality! I’ve been observing what she’s been like with other people, even family members, and if she doesn’t agree OR understand how they live their lives, she slags them off OR if she thinks they are happier than her then she dogs them. I have seen how she works, she is extremely manipulative and goes to great lengths to make people believe that they are bad – showing her in a better light. For example, if I appear too happy one day, then she will put me down with comments that she knows will affect myself esteem! I am scared to be happy at family gatherings, because I know the consequences of “looking good” OR “laughing out load”. It has really affected me emotionally, I am the type that holds it in and is very understanding, but for a long time now, I have been having anxiety attacks whenever I see her because I don’t know what mood she will be in! It has taken me 4 years to tell my partner, her brother – what has really annoyed me is the fact that he has never picked up on it! The worst part is that I have been through very unhappy times my self throughout my life and even when all of this has been going on, I have still managed to support her and take her children to and from school, helping her in her career and financially. But, it seems as soon as things start getting better for me then she really doesn’t like it! I honestly believe that even if I have this out with her, 1-1 it will not make any difference, the reason being that she is very unhappy with her own life and has been for a long time now.
You hit the nail on the head, she is unhappy in her own life. I would suggest you have compassion towards her as a woman who is lost in her life. She see you and sees value in what you have. imitating you is simply flattery. If you can see he through a different lens then maybe you wouldn’t need to have it out with her. I would also suggest you don’t get so focused on what she does. Pay more attention to your own life and don’t worry about her so much. If you re read what you have written here you can see how much focus and attention you put on her. This needs to change or you will continue to have issues with her.