dearmargaretDear Margaret: My sister in law pretends to be the picture of innocence, but in truth uses this persona as an act to manipulate a situation to her advantage. This, of course, is her own business, except when she uses her angelic theatrics to cause rifts between me and members of my husband's family. She tells half truths about me and when I call her on them, she acts the victim and ever so sweetly gushes about how awful she feels about making such a terrible 'mistake'. Last week she told my mother-in-law that I simply didn't want to attend a family function. What I actually said was that I had a work commitment and wasn't able to attend. I'm tired of defending myself against her and wonder at what point she will cause real problems with my family relationships. Any suggestions on how I can cause her to cease these tactics?
Targeted by an 'Angel'

Dear Targeted by an 'Angel': It's probably time to have an honest discussion with your sister-in-law about what might be at the root of her issues with you. Recall two to three instances where you were not accurately represented, and ask her if there is something you've said or done to cause her to see you in a negative light. I suggest you do this in all honesty and out of genuine curiosity. This must be hurtful to you, and there is nothing wrong with letting her know it's painful for you. It's been my experience that those whom people perceive to be strong are the very ones who are the most sensitive. If that sounds like you, admit that you are sensitive. Rather that constantly defending yourself against falsehoods, see if you can find out what is behind it.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.