Inoculation against the Dotty
August 16, 2012 7:16 PM Subscribe
Advice needed for how to play nice with a neighbour-relative who is sweet to the point of cloying and whose opinions and behaviours frequently illustrate that we share a different reality.
posted by Kerasia to human relations (33 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My SIL, Dotty, will be moving into a house on our property in a few months time. She is unemployed, in her 50s, and has been a follower of modern Hindu-based religions (Hare Krishnas, Sanyasins etc) since her teenage years. She is very kind hearted and considerate to the point of abasement. Dotty has been a single mother and poor her adult life. She is the last of a generation that was brought up to expect a passive life supported by a 'husband' (her words). She still holds to the dream that a white knight (a Krishna-blue knight?) will save her.
My partner, her brother, has always felt close to Dotty and promised that she would never be left homeless. Now we have a spare house and work for her to do - work she likes and is good at - it seems the perfect time. All good.
All good, except... she says things without thinking that make me want to ignite from the reality-clash. Eg. Our dog is old and worn out. He has weeks left before we put him down via injection at the vet. Dotty suggested starving him to death instead 'so he has a spiritual death like the yogis'. She is not in anyway cruel, just.... misguided?
What I need is a filter that I can run her comments and statements through so as to provide a response that both honours my experience of reality while not being dismissive of her crazi & weyrd perspectives.
So, how can I make this filter? What are the words I need to repeat to myself? Her gullibilities and 'spiritual' quests are not consistent just sort of what's in 'fashion'. She's often holds the views of extreme members of her cohort (whoo-hoo stuff) out of a sense of loyalty to those people.
This is a long term situation. I want to grow through it. Our residences will be 100m away from each other with separate outlooks so that helps A Lot. Her brothers' (who love and care for her a lot) call her 'creepin jesus' due to the way she walks quietly and just sort of appears at your elbow and says something inane.
Living with us will expand her options and release her from high rents and frequent moves. It will be good for her, good for my partner, and hopefully good for me IF I CAN FIND SOME WAY TO KEEP COOL WHEN SHE SAYS SOMETHING RIDICULOUS!
Tips, tricks and advice please.