What Dickens had surmised during the conception of Miss Murdstone’s character is unforeseeable, but it’s pretty transparent that he shared his protagonist’s views in tarnishing Miss Murdstone as a “steely and cold” woman. Now, who is Miss Murdstone? Well, Miss Murdstone in Dickens’ “David Copperfield” embodies all those dominating sisters-in-law, whose sole purpose seems to disarray the placid lives of their almost perfect brother’s totally imperfect wives.
Now, if you register your name with the afflicted lot who demurely bear every onslaught of such a narcissistic sister-in-law, spare the ceaseless mourning by skimming through the article. Let’s start with the definition of being narcissistic.
What does narcissism mean
When a person is precariously self-obsessive, perpetrates shameless selfishness in daily dealings with undesired individuals, and is a vain captive to exaggerated notions of self, she is unflinchingly narcissistic. The word traces its roots to ancient Greek myth that narrates the tale of handsome Narcissus, who loses his heart to his image reflected in the water. Imagine what an impossible straining task it would entail to trudge along the narrow lane of survival, having such an egoistic person as a co-walker.
But this portentously fatal trait too can be unearthed.
What makes your sister-in-law narcissistic
Narcissism as a personality disorder: Your sister-in-law’s narcissistic behavior may have a psychological background. According to psychoanalysis, a person’s failure to distance her real self from an ideal self as envisioned by others maligns her with a distorted self-image. Consequently, towering attachment towards external fancies is discernable through her oppressive self-centeredness; impaling insecurity is apparent in abject jealousy and clouded perceptions are surfaced through baseless fantasies about money and power.
Misleading childhood: Living or dealing with such a sister-in-law is tough but even if halfheartedly, dig into her distant past. Such unrealistic notions of your sister-in-law are not instantaneous. Both excessive adulation over a child’s achievement, or crude criticism concerning her failure act as paralyzing stimulants to cripple the naïve mind with either a surreal image of herself or low self-esteem.
Hence, when you confront a defiant sister-in-law who seldom pertains to your advice or shrugs her shoulder with visible carelessness to your wounded feelings, you know that it’s her faulty upbringing that’s on the hook.
Selfish parents: At times, parents willingly galvanize the fatal idea that their incompetencies would be triumphed over by their respective wards. The mammoth burden of expectations on puny shoulders subjects the child to an interminable rat race where failure symbolizes all that’s undesirable and bad. Naturally, this explains your sister-in-law’s stubborn and selfish behavior. It is dear friend, much because of her raging, bipolar tendencies that result in her being lost between playing the perfect daughter and a seldom revealed, confused self.
How to deal with a narcissistic sister- in- law
Withhold the mounting urge to show your rage: Involving in a sour dispute is likely to add fuel to her impaled notions, for she is rendered incapable of identifying her flaws or subsequent acceptance of responsibility. Hence, on the brink of a distasteful conflict, firmly reaffirm your position and declare your acute aversion and vehemence in engaging in such outbursts. In parenting issues involving a narcissistic sister-in-law, summon your husband’s support.
Compliment and communicate: In her fragmented world, appearance dictates every pursuit, each passing fancy and erroneously negates all other relevant intents of life. Try winning over her jarred vision through copious praises on appearance.
Determine your limit to handle your narcissistic sister-in-law: Sympathetically override her controlling manipulations by saying: “I’m afraid this won’t happen.” Opt for an immediate retreat such that primarily, your foul-mouthed adversary is prevented from exhibiting resistance and secondly that your preferences are made explicit.
Empathy to heal the hardest hearts: Love is a bizarre potion that can unfasten the most impenetrable bolts of the most nonresponsive hearts. She is, after all, a member of your family. Hence despite her failings, manifest your generous feelings by occasionally lending a hand in her household chores, or suggesting a movie hang out. Besides appeasing your repulsive sister-in-law, your honest efforts would needlessly attain appreciation from your spouse.
Now, tickle your memory cells one more time and fish out the tale of “the Selfish Giant.” Recovered? See, your autocratic sister-in-law is very much similar to the rigid giant who forbade children from entering his blooming garden. Your sister-in-law prevents you from intruding her severed self. But just as Christ through his unconditional love melted the unyielding giant, can’t you attempt to pacify your imposing malefactor such that all traces of fragile narcissism are puffed away into whiffs of smoke?