Sis­ter is very loved, but the ha­rass­ment is be­com­ing too much

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: I have four sib­lings. One of my sis­ters thinks she has a right to in­vite her­self to our homes, join us for din­ner and at­tend other func­tions, whether we in­vite her or not. It’s like she thinks we are joined at the hip.

For ex­am­ple, “Ginny” will call and ask, “Where are we go­ing for din­ner tonight?” I am tempted to re­ply, “I don’t know where you’re go­ing, but I have my own plans.” How­ever, Ginny is overly sen­si­tive and none of us wants to hurt her feel­ings.

Worse, Ginny is very nosy. She will come to my house ( un­in­vited, of course) and read my mail. She also asks ques­tions about things that are none of her busi­ness. But, An­nie, Ginny has many good qual­i­ties. She has a big heart and a gen­er­ous spirit and is al­ways will­ing to help. I have con­sid­ered buy­ing her an eti­quette book that should cover such things, but my other sib­lings don’t think this is a good idea. We all love her dearly, but her poor man­ners are driv­ing us crazy. Any sug­ges­tions?

— No Name, Please

Dear No Name: Ginny may not un­der­stand that she is ig­nor­ing bound­aries and be­hav­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ately, a sign that she may be on the autism spec­trum. Or, she may sim­ply be lonely and clingy, and her sib­lings are her en­tire so­cial life.

You would be do­ing Ginny a fa­vor by gen­tly ex­plain­ing these things. Say that you love her to pieces, but oc­ca­sion­ally, you have plans that don’t in­clude fam­ily mem­bers. When she asks an in­ap­pro­pri­ate ques­tion, you are not ob­li­gated to re­spond. Put your mail where she can­not get to it. Sug­gest that she look into or­ga­ni­za­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties that will in­ter­est her and pro­vide a wider cir­cle of friends and a more ac­tive so­cial life. She sounds like she needs guid­ance. Please help her out.

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