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How do you tell your 58-year-old sister you know she lies?

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2005-11-08 20:05:18
2005-11-08 20:05:18

Hmm, this is a hard one. She's 58? Why have you waited so long? Has she been doing this all of her life or is this just a recent thing? If she's been doing it all of her life and getting away with it, she's not likely to change now. Are her lies... *harmless little white lies *exaggerations to make herself look good *a way to avoid responsibility and dealing with unpleasant tasks *hurtful things that cause hard feelings and problems for others *or bigger lies that she uses cover up things like reckless, irresponsible, even dangerous behavior like running up large gambling debts, stealing or abusing drugs or alcohol? White lies and exaggerations might not be worth your effort and are easy enough to ignore. Or if you are determined to call her out on them, maybe you could do it in a way that can be taken as joking around while still making your point. "Yeah, right", "You wish" or "Keep telling yourself that..." Or, I don't know, play a little game with yourself or maybe someone who shares your annoyance with your sister...When she fibs or her boasting gets out of hand, try to outdo her...as outrageously as possible. If she's a slacker, you could try to pin her down. Let's say it's her turn to take Mom to run errands, but she says she's busy on Tuesday, try suggesting a different day or better yet ask her when she could fit it into her 'busy' schedule. This works well when the family is all together, to save face she'll almost have to cooperate. Otherwise, she'll end up looking like the slacker she is in front of everyone...especially if this happens several times. If you can't pin her down like this, maybe you could call or 'drop in' on her preferably with a friend or a family member as an audience on one of the days when she's allegedly busy. "I know you said you would be out today, but I decided to take a chance and see if I could catch you..." May sound sneaky, but not a lie. You don't have to tell her you were hoping to catch her lying after all! The final two possibilities are where it goes beyond annoying and becomes a problem. And the situation also becomes more touchy. If she's trying to stir up trouble or hurt someones feelings by making up lies or passing on malicious rumors, she needs to be confronted. You might want to take her aside and talk to her privately. No one would respond well to being called a manipulative liar to start with, but being called onto the carpet in front of other people would be humiliating as well. Try to avoid making her feel like she being scolded or verbally attacked. Putting her on the defensive right away will get you nowhere. Let her know that you are concerned that her remarks could be taken the wrong way and hurt someone's feelings, or that the rumor she's spreading - whether it's true or not - could cause problems for other people, or earn her some enemies. (I've known a couple of people who would pass on rumors like this without realizing that they were causing hurt or problems. They just didn't think about the consequences of their words or in one case she just completely lacked tact.) Finally, if her lies a big ones like I mentioned above, I'd still talk to her privately first. But you may eventually have to enlist family and friends to present a united front. Let her know you are all aware of her lies, that you all believe she needs help and that ''you are all concerned and want to help her''. These are just my personal thoughts on the subject. Ultimately, you are going to have to be the one to choose your course of action. No one on this forum knows anything about you, your sister, or the extent of the problem. And sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do that won't end up backfiring and blowing up in your face. Is the situation really bad enough to make it worth a confrontation? Do you really believe that at 58 years old your sister is suddenly going to see the error of her ways and change just because you tell her you know she's a liar? How does the rest of your family and your common friends feel about it? You could be the one who ends up looking like the bad guy here. Just think things through long and hard before you do anything and make sure you are willing to deal with the consequences. Good luck...you're probably going to need it.

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