Again….hurtful emails from family member. Advice?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: How should I respond?
    Don't reply at all : (20 votes)
    43 %
    Reply briefly saying I received the catalogue and it looks very good : (14 votes)
    30 %
    Reply in a general way and don't even mention the catalogue : (8 votes)
    17 %
    Reply and ask her to stop emailing with thinly veiled criticisms : (2 votes)
    4 %
    Other...please advise! : (2 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 3
    7630 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I wouldn’t reply. I would not give in to someone acting like that. She just wants attention. If you give it to her she will continue to act the same way.

    Geeze, I sound so mean! It’s hard to think of being mean to a grandma for some reason! 

    Post # 4
    1137 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @Loupyloo:  grandmothers can be hard. i live with mine… Don’t get me wrong, I love her very much, but there are things that frustrate me! I’d say just play along with her. Don’t get to the point of ignoring her but don’t give it much importance either.

    try to understand her… Maybe she feels lonely or unimportant deep down, and this is her way to try to stand up and feel like she is doing something.

    Post # 6
    266 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    I think it really depends on what kind of relationship you want to have with her. My mother is very similar (with the emails, not necessarily the focus of the emails), and i have learned that those emails that she is specifically fishing for a compliment are best replied to instantly and with a “looks great” or “sounds great” or whatever she’s looking for. The more abusive emails, i dont respond to, leave it until i stop fuming and then just pretend it never happened. i’ve tried confronting in the past, but that leads to 6 months of silence and i feel like thats more unhealthy than me just being the bigger person. 
    She probably wont change her behaviour, so you just have to adapt and find a way that appeases her, without making you feel like you’re just buying into it.


    Not sure how helpful that is, but i’m sorry you’re getting put through these types of things.


    Post # 7
    3342 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2000

    @Loupyloo:  Without truly knowing any of the details about her, you, and your relationship, the standard common sense advice in this sort of stiuation is:

    If she causes you more pain than what you get from the relationsip with her, drop her.

    I don’t know how far you live from her, I don’t know if there are any positives in your relationship with her, I don’t know how much overall trouble it would be to extracate yourself from relating to her.

    But if it’s going to cause a Big Giant Mess in your family to drop her, it seems to me that it is easy enough to send a general, firendly e-mail saying : nice catalog, grandma! or whatever. Sure she is manipulative, but if you let her into your head, that’s on you. You cannot control her, you can only control your own reaction to her.

    Continue with general, brief emails, that’s not difficult to do. But write her off in your head. IF she comes back at your about something, always lightly express how busy your are and “Sorry!” and etc. so that she doesn’t use your words against you.l

    Dont’ give her written ammo to use against you, so much of that goes ’round and ’round in this age of Facebook.

    Post # 8
    3406 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    If this kind of behavior has been going on for a while I would ignore the email and not respond. She will find something to be snarky about no matter what your reply says.

    Post # 9
    943 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @Loupyloo:  It’s obvious that she is looking for compliments, but why not send her a brief email when receiving the catalogs, saying you received them, thanks for thinking of you, and it looks lovely? Then you might be able to avoid the emailed criticism after the fact.

    Post # 10
    2193 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @Loupyloo:  i remember your other thread, i would honestly reply with your phone number in the email and say if there’s an issue please call me and we can talk about it.


    I worry with people like her that they save and hold onto every little message you send them and then use it against you to show the emails to other family members in attempt to discredit you. i would not want anything is writing that she could use to hurt you. Best of luck!! <3


    Post # 11
    845 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Loupyloo:  While annoying, when people are fishing for compliments, I just give it to them. I know it’s insincere and I don’t get hung up on wondering “Are they mad at me for not complimenting them quickly enough/profusely enough?” This is your grandmother’s problem, not yours. My mom frequently fishes for compliments, but I KNOW it’s because it’s insecure and I’m not responsible for predicting what she’s feeling bad about. She fishes, I compliment, end of story. Passive agressive digs should be ignored.

    Post # 12
    3016 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

    Sounds like a Take the High Road situation.

     As someone who has no grandparents left and has also lost my mother, I am never in favor of just cutting family out if there is a way to co-exist peacefully. 

    If she just wants praise, I guess I could suck that up and give it to her. If she is also saying very mean things… that could change the scenario.

    Has anyone ever confronted her?

    Post # 13
    873 posts
    Busy bee

    I guess I don’t really see why this e-mail is so hurtful? Is there some reason you couldn’t just compliment the work she did since she is obviously insecure and needing some validation? She doesn’t actually say anything that appears rude to me, in this example anyway

    Post # 15
    845 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Loupyloo:  I’d cut out the part about being busy (even if its true) since it just leaves the door open for her to act hurt that you didn’t have her at the “top” of your list. Just say your received it and hand over the compliment.

    Post # 16
    6407 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I would not compliment her in response to that passive-aggressive email. It rewards her poor behavior, and will cause her to do it more, not less.

    If you choose to reply, I would suggest not including any compliments. Reply in a more neutral tone, answer what was asked about you. Or don’t reply at all.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can compliment her sometimes when you feel like it, but I wouldn’t do so in response to passive-agressive compliment solicitations. Show her how to treat you to get the response she wants.

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