Taboo Conversation Topics: Money and Fake Invitations

by Ripe tomato
(Massachusetts)

Dear Miss Manners,


Ever since I married my spouse, one of our relatives has always found a way to insert into conversations with us how much money they have spent, will spend or have. They have MUCH more money than we have or can hope to have. My spouse and I struggle to meet our obligations. Needless to say these conversations with this relative continue to be the bane of all social occasions (including invitations from us to take this party out for a meal). My spouse continues to overlook these bad manners, although they have told me it bothers them too!

What is even worse, every time we are together this relative likes to issue an invitation for travel with them (that includes travel expenses paid). An invitation that has never been fulfilled nor will ever be. What should we do/say to this relative. I cannot stand their insensitivity!!

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by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Ripe,

You can easily solve this problem. It appears that you are taking these remarks personally. A person who is so insecure they speak this way is to be pitied. Or a person who is so boastful that this is their pattern of conversation is simply uncouth. Understand that it is about their self image not your financial circumstances. We need not know the cause, but if you stop receiving the remarks as a personal statement about you, I believe your resentment will wane, taking the bite out of any comments they make.

Why not try it? I wish you success.
Ms Practical Etiquette


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