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How do I cope when my Mum and my Sister both talk to me about each other?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 04/24/2018 at 1:48pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Simon, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I work from a holistic perspective to help my clients heal from various mental, emotional, and relationship problems. My style is direct,honest, supportive, and nonjudgmental.

Top Rated Answers
starryRiver83
February 16th, 2015 10:02pm
If you are uncomfortable with them speaking to you about each other, explain this to them. You don't need to be involved and you shouldn't have to be. Definitely worth mentioning to both of them.
LilRedStapler
June 8th, 2015 7:03pm
Yikes! There really is no COPING with this situation, only solving. I would let them know that I feel really uncomfortable listening to one person talk about the other. If it seems serious enough, then they need to sit down and talk WITH each other to work it out, not ABOUT each other with someone else. You could serve as a mediator if you feel confident that you can help solve the problem with them. Can't force it though, they have to be ready and willing to help themselves!
mysteriousPainting
July 6th, 2015 8:20pm
Try to carefully give them insights of the other part's thoughts and oppinions without letting them know that you talk with both. They might understand the other part better and start talking to each other in constructive ways.
joyfulPomegranate52
July 24th, 2015 11:02am
Well, I've gone through this (except with my Mom and Dad) Try to just give them your attention and don't let what they say negatively affect your view of the other.
Lalaxoxo
December 1st, 2015 7:46pm
I would sit them down together and see if we can sort out the issues, as it is not fair that I am in the middle.
Anonymous
July 7th, 2015 12:11pm
If this is making you uncomfortable, it's best to set boundaries. Let both your sister and your mother know that if they have something to solve with each other, they should do so, but not through you as this might cause further problems, it can complicate things even more. If they blame you for not wanting to listen, it means they didn't appreciate the time and understanding you showed so far and they are trying to manipulate you into listening even further, against your will. Do not allow this kind of behavior as it's very toxic and it will affect you negatively.
GrayEyedGirl
July 9th, 2015 8:19am
Eesh; there really is no easy answer for this one. When people start talking ABOUT other people instead of talking TO those people, it generally indicates that something needs to be discussed. Personally, in my experience, trying to play the gentle moderator and let one know what the other said without dragging names into it will only end in heartache for you. Either someone will misunderstand; or there will be blame; or accusations of sides being taken.... If it was me - and I've had to learn several very hard lessons about this - I would let them each know that 1) it isn't fair for either of them to talk to you about the other as they're just putting you in the middle of whatever dispute is happening between them, and 2) that they should probably sit down together and discuss whatever the issue is. You can offer to be present if they'd like a neutral third party, but I would make it very clear that you aren't there to choose sides or cast blame; only to help them reconcile their differences.
BeBrave602
September 29th, 2015 11:45am
Simply listen. I wouldn't try to put your opinion in but maybe try to get them to sit down together and sort it out.
BeInJoy
January 11th, 2016 2:16am
Calmly tell each of them that you refuse to be the middle man and request they speak to each other directly. You can take yourself out of the situation if it is causing you harm by being open, honest, and direct with both of them. They may feel hurt at first, but if they love you, they will understand eventually why you asked to opt out of the situation. If you'd like to stay in the situation and help the both of them, it may be helpful to remind each of them of each other's positive qualities.
serene63
March 15th, 2016 9:05pm
this is a matter of many familys the only thing you can do is listen but do not get involved as every time they sort there selves out it all turns back to you.
EverlastingJoy94
June 27th, 2016 7:26pm
Just listen to both and try to make things nicer between them. This will make the situation better in home.
gForce
September 27th, 2016 7:23pm
Don't let them use you to let off steam, unless you really don't mind it. Tell them clearly to stop talking behind the other persons back, or tell them that you'll only listen if the other person in actually in the room too. Why can't they just talk to each other, ask them that, that's what I would do.
alexluke
October 24th, 2016 2:06pm
If you haven't already, you should sit them down together so that they can talk to each other. The way you cope with it is to care about each of them and listen.
furrylittlefox
April 24th, 2017 12:24am
I personally go through this same thing with my mother and sister, they are always at each other's throats. Sometimes you have to remember that no matter their issues those issues will never be your burdens even if they go to you about them. Their faults with each other are only theirs. It'd be good to practice meditation/mindfulness and the releasing of any negativity or heaviness you feel is being bestowed upon you.
Anonymous
June 19th, 2017 2:46am
Tell them to talk to each other instead. Then maybe they will be able to sort out their differences.
CodyBuggg
August 22nd, 2017 8:21pm
Something I found to work when I was faced with this situation was to let them both know where you stand in their relationship. Sometimes it is better to be neutral and not talk to either one about the other. If one of them realizes you are listening to each of them complain about the other, then you could easily lose both of them.
Anonymous
August 28th, 2017 12:49pm
There is no best way or right way to cope in that situation. if it makes you feel uncomfortable you could tell them separately that you understand they feel stressed or bothered by mum\sister, but that you don't really want to get involved and that it might be useful or helpful for their relationship if they try to talk about their discrepancies and issues that they have with each other together, so they have the chance at building their relationship. (it might not work and they might not want to talk or work through their issues with each other, but at least they will understand you don't really want to play piggy in the middle with their issues.)
Brittany8013
February 19th, 2018 12:16am
Sometimes it is best to have boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable with them speaking to you, about each other, simply tell them you are unable to deal with the emotional stress that causes for you.
MandaGPanda
April 24th, 2018 1:48pm
If you don't feel comfortable listening to them talk about each other, you can always tell them that. Being the middle-man can often feel like you are choosing sides. Just like people who come to chat with listeners on 7 cups, they just want someone to vent to and listen to them about their frustrations. If you feel like you can't be that listener for them, which is totally okay, you can just tell them you don't feel comfortable and they will understand.