Wish to do a good deed for dad turns into sib­ling ri­valry

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: I re­cently spoke to my 80- year- old dad about tak­ing him to his home state to at­tend an up­com­ing event. I thought it might be nice to see other fam­ily mem­bers, too. I planned to con­tact rel­a­tives and re­serve a pav­il­ion at a nearby park for other group ac­tiv­i­ties.

I men­tioned the idea to my sis­ter, so she could save the date. I did not ask for her in­put or help. But the next thing I knew, she had con­tacted the rel­a­tives, booked a block of ho­tel rooms, and is mak­ing plans for this mini- fam­ily re­union. This ir­ri­tates me to no end. Af­ter all, this was my idea. I told her I was an­noyed by her takeover of the event. Now, she is not speak­ing to me.

Was I wrong to want to make the plans with­out her in­ter­fer­ence?

— Big Sis­ter

Dear Big Sis­ter: We as­sume this type of sib­ling ri­valry has gone on since the two of you were kids. You want credit for com­ing up with the idea and plan­ning it ac­cord­ing to your pref­er­ences, and your sis­ter hi­jacked the idea and is now get­ting the ku­dos for ar­rang­ing it. We un­der­stand your ir­ri­ta­tion, but it won’t do you any good. So try in­stead to work on a way to make this a joint pro­ject.

Call your sis­ter and say you are sorry you didn’t in­clude her in the plan­ning to be­gin with. ( Se­ri­ously, it won’t kill you.) Ask how you can as­sist with her ideas, and then tell her the things you were con­sid­er­ing and en­list her help. We know such an ap­proach will take a great deal of pa­tience and tol­er­ance from you, but this is ab­so­lutely not worth the cur­rent fight. If you need the rel­a­tives to ap­pre­ci­ate your ef­forts, you can clar­ify that in per­son at the mini-re­union.

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