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Dealing Diplomatically With Intrusive Questions/hypocrisy

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by NaiveLady, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. NaiveLady

    NaiveLady New IL'ite

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    Thank you for reading and responding! Okay, I guess its a harmless question, but my reluctance to answer is out of fear that she will have some "gossip" to tell our in-laws in terms of how traditionally/non-traditionally I live my daily life, and given how traditional/orthodox our MIL in particular is, I just don't think they (or my co-sister herself, for that matter) need to know any of that. Also, considering my co-sister doesn't live her daily life with keeping all the traditional values, it just baffled me why she chooses to focus on how traditionally I live my life instead of just talking about more neutral topics like hobbies/interests outside of work. Yes, changing the topic when it gets uncomfortable seems to be the best approach. Thank you again!
     
  2. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    Ok. So both of you live here in USA .
    It's none of her business to see how traditionally you live your life.
    Just dont answer uncomfortable questions from her
     
  3. NaiveLady

    NaiveLady New IL'ite

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    Yes, I agree its none of her business but as you also know, there is no polite way to say so. Thank you for your supportive comments!
     
  4. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear OP,

    To be honest with you, I don't see anything seriously wrong with your co-sister here.
    In fact, if i were that co- sis, I would have probably asked similar questions to you too.
    Its just the curiosity, and a way of getting to know the other person in the family.

    Looks like, you were from a traditional family from interior part of India, whereas your co- sis seems like a modern women from the US.
    Jokes apart.... It seems you are too naive and very traditional.

    Drinking alcohol occasionally is not bad. It us not even a problem when your spouse is OK with that. Why worry so much about in laws?
    Your repeated lines in her alcoholic habit seems you have a problem with it.
    Besides, asking a new person in the team- where everyone consumes alcohol, about her choice is not at all wrong.
    She did not force you. She did not insult you for not taking it either.
    She did not even brought this to in laws. Then why assume the worst?

    Asking about your weight is a casual question in the world where everyone talks about fitness and health almost daily.
    Its just a curious question. Not an insult. Even if you are overweight, there is nothing to take offence unless this question was asked with a different tone.
    In your case, you being in good health and shape, why worry?

    Same goes to periods issue during pooja time. Almost all Hindu family respects this tradition.
    So, I don't see this question as intrusive.
    But you could have handled it differently. There is no compulsion to tell the truth.
    Even if you were in your periods, you could have lied to avoid further issues.
    Or the way you responded was also fine. It shuts her off.
    But periods question and pooja rituals are somewhat related and you may find many people asks such question from the new one/guest or DIL like you.
    Bcz, there are people who don't care, but majority cares about it.

    Looks like you are inferior to your co-sis, and feels she is a threat to you. Don't worry...
    Its your life, and no one can replace you as you are a unique gift.
     
  5. NaiveLady

    NaiveLady New IL'ite

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    Thank you for reading and responding. I apologize in advance if any of the following comes across as rude/judgmental, it is not my intention to do so.

    I agree about my naivete to some extent although I have observed a lot of different mentalities in people over the years (outside of my family/in-laws). As for being "very traditional", well, I grew up in US from age 6. I don't actually consider myself all that traditional (certainly not in relation to my MIL); I do believe in God and do prayers, sing Carnatic songs and read some scriptures/spiritual texts in Sanskrit/Tamil/English, just out of my own interest, but I don't really follow rituals (unless told to do so by my MIL) and don't believe in some days being more auspicious than others, etc.

    As for this: "Your repeated lines in her alcoholic habit seems you have a problem with it.", I did mention in my original post that I don't care or judge, she can do as she wishes. I am sorry if the rest of the post made it seem otherwise, that was not my intention. My only issue is whether she judges me for whether I drink or not regardless of her doing it, although I hope you are right in her not judging. Also, I have met too many gossipy relatives over the years so got some paranoia that she may be one of them, to report on my actions and behaviors to our in-laws. I hope you are right about her not having brought up anything to them.

    "Asking about your weight is a casual question..." Maybe in some societies, but as someone who has grown up in the US from age 6, I am fairly certain it is generally considered too nosy/personal/intrusive/rude around here, unless its for a necessary reason (e.g. from a health professional). She has also been in the US for many years but I guess she didn't think it is offensive; but she also made a comment to my husband on how he had "put on a lot of weight over the years." It didn't seem to bother him though I felt otherwise, but said nothing as he seemed to be okay with her comment.

    "Same goes to periods issue during pooja time. Almost all Hindu family respects this tradition. " Yes, this is probably true. I personally don't believe in restrictions during that time since it is a natural process, we have ways to keep ourselves clean during that time nowadays, still have to go to work, etc, but understand that others do believe. I guess I just figured an elder member of the family, who follows a lot of traditional rules in general, would ask instead of someone of my generation (and the same age as me) who has a mix of traditional and less traditional lifestyle/values. Having grown up in US probably impacted how I felt about this question too.

    Thank you again.
     
  6. pocahontas

    pocahontas Gold IL'ite

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    @NaiveLady, I wanted to give you my two cents on this. I grew up in India but I am well travelled. My family is fairly traditional, I am agnostic. However, I do participate in all the religious observations. I will not participate if I am on my periods - I know it’s a normal bodily function and all that. Just that I have been conditioned this way and I do not think it is ok to go temples/attend pumas while menstruating. Your SIL May be co I g from the same place as me.

    I am not trying to say she is not nosy or judge mental - you were there and you know her more than me/us. But drinking alcohol is not a big thing anymore. So maybe (just maybe?) it was a question. You do say that she wears non traditional attire in front of parents in law and you know that she eats eggs (maybe your PILs do?).so your SIL seems to be very open about what she does/doesn’t do. She doesn’t seem to be the kind of person to go report on your actions - but then you know her best.

    I am saying this because you grew up in the US - telling your brother/brother in law (depending on how close you are) that they hav put on some weight is normal conversation from where I come from.
     
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  7. salad

    salad Gold IL'ite

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    Dear op,

    When you build a relationship it is normal to try to know each other.
    Next time when she ask a question reply with "how about you?" Then you will also get an idea how or why she is asking that question.

    If she is asking any uncomfortable question change topic or move away from there. In short ignore her question. It is okay to not answer all the questions but you don't take it to head. Leave it there else be prepare with better answer next time( if you feel she will ask it again and if you don't want to ignore. You take the call).

    You stick to your personality & values . You are good the way you are and she is good the way she is. Maintain the relationship.
     
  8. Sangeeta85

    Sangeeta85 Gold IL'ite

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    May she wants to do follow few traditions as well.. but honestly these kind of questions are common to talk rather then talking what u like to do in your free time where and all u go..
    Later u will also feel y is she asking me those questions,y she needs to know my hobby.. u ask her to what she asks u..
    I kind of feel u don’t like her that’s y u feel that way..
    I don’t like my mil so when ever she asks I get irritated but the thing is they want to ask n know all abt us but not utter word abt them..
    give ur cosis a chance since u did not mention any crazy thing she doing so
     
  9. mangaii

    mangaii Gold IL'ite

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    @NaiveLady I find your SIL's question to be harmless. I don't see any jealousy here. She seems to be open minded and less intimidated by in-laws than you . It is very natural for women from India to exchange these type of questions . I think you may find a friend in here if you approach her with open mind. Keep your guards up when the conversation gets too personal but otherwise try to give this relationship a chance. When I visited my co-sister after marriage she asked me so many questions initially even I was irritated. Then later on I realized she and I came from totally different background and she was just curious about my up-bringing . Maybe since you grew up in USA she might be curious about your up-bringing. You can always tell her if you are uncomfortable for example weight that you will share such secrets with anyone or you can make it funny . Open up your heart and give her small space
     
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  10. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    Asking about weight is not a casual question.
     
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