Social Question

chelle21689's avatar

How to deal with being compared to sisters?

Asked by chelle21689 (7769points) November 16th, 2011

I have three older sisters and one younger brother. The oldest is 37, second oldest is 30, third oldest is 27, and I’m 22.

For so long, people have always compared us by looks. I think we’re all good-looking and attractive, pretty fit, we take care of ourselves but I’m not really the “high maintenance” type but my sisters kind of are.

Anyways, I hear people constantly talking about our looks comparing who is prettier and who’s least prettiest and it hurts my feelings. Especially old family friends and customers from my family business that ask “Where’s your sister? The pretty one?” or “Where’s your sister the, the prettiest one?” constantly (They’re talking about the 37 year old)

It hurts my feelings to know that they’d say that to my face, not only is that an insult to me but my sisters as well. My sisters get told they’re pretty a lot but my oldest sister is always called “the prettiest”. It’s usually by the older people that are foreign (Asians, Europeans, and Africans)

I’d post pics of us but then it’d seem more shallow and it’s without their permission which is probably bad.

She is standard pretty with a more narrow nose and slimmer face and bigger eyes, I hear from a lot of guys she is pretty but has a mean personality with a “better than you” attitude. But she gets better treatment with crazy stalkers and guys wanting to marry her.

I know she’s prettier than me but I hate when customers/old family friends are rude and say it out loud. How do you deal with that?

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

That is very hurtful. I’m sorry that people are so very rude.

I think I would get a little selective deafness and simply not answer them.

thorninmud's avatar

That’s where you pull out your cell phone, press some buttons and say, “Sis, there’s a guy here asking for you…..No, not the handsome one….OK” (hang up) “Sorry, she’s busy at the moment. Can I help you?”

Blackberry's avatar

Speak up or ignore it.

CWOTUS's avatar

I can’t imagine anyone actually saying that out loud to a person. This really happens? Are these people idiots, or what?

I guess I’d do something along the lines of what @thorninmud suggests: “Isn’t there someone intelligent in your family?” or “She only speaks to people with manners and brains.” Something like that.

@marinelife actually has the best idea, but I have a hard time ignoring that kind of arrant rudeness and stupidity.

Aethelwine's avatar

Just ignore it. I’m the youngest of 4 sisters and dealt with this a little. The second youngest (she’s 6 years older than me) excelled in sports, especially softball. The gym teachers were very happy to see me when I entered junior high. Then they realized I sucked at team sports. I could see the disappointment in their face once they realized I wasn’t as talented as my sister. :/

chelle21689's avatar

lol aww jonsblond. :( i knowwww

geeky_mama's avatar

Dear @chelle21689 – oh how your post is familiar to me.

My sister and I are only a few years apart in age..but as children I always had a short pixie cut (and brown mousy hair) and she always had long flowing blond hair. She has blue eyes and a nice figure.. I have brown eyes and freckles.
She was always the “pretty one” and I was always the “smart one”—according to family, friends and all sorts of other adults in our life.

It was so bad that she avoided going to school’s I’d attended (I was 3 grades ahead) because she couldn’t stand teachers comparing her to me.
It was so bad that I thought I’d never get married because the message I’d heard (spoken and unspoken) was: “You’re not pretty enough – so you’d better get a job and plan to support yourself because no one will ever marry you.”

The TRUTH is we are both relatively attractive women.
The TRUTH is that she is JUST as smart (maybe smarter?) than me.

Years ago we sat down over a beer and really hashed this out together (my sister and I) and acknowledged the crap people had said to us and dismissed it.

A few years back I was talking about this with my SIL (who has met us both – but grew up across the country in another city so never knew us as kids) and she said: “I think it’s so funny that you don’t see it.. you look EXACTLY like your sister. So, there’s no way that she’s the ‘pretty one’ and you aren’ look just like her, but with brown hair!”

While that was nice to hear..I think what you’re looking for are snappy comebacks to insensitive clods.

People should NEVER compare kids. Even grown kids. You’re each your own person with your own talents and strengths—and your beauty may radiate more from the inside out..and perhaps your oldest sister feels defensive (and hence acts “mean”) because she feels she has to wear that label of being the ‘pretty one’.

Anyways—here are some snappy comebacks for you:
Q: Where’s your sister? The pretty one?
A: Let me get out my GPS tracking device. (Grab your cell phone): We had her tagged just for questions like this!

Q: Where’s your sister? The pretty one?
A: I’m right HERE. <give them the evil eye>

Q: Where’s your sister? The pretty one?
A: She prefers to be referred to as the SMART one. Sheesh! Get it right! (stalk off)

Q: Where’s your sister? The pretty one?
A: Do you know how psychologically damaging this is to compare my siblings in this manner?

BTW – I highly recommend having a chat with your sister(s) about this. You may find they resent these sorts of labels, too.

blueiiznh's avatar

Its all pretty shallow of anyone to compare like that.
Ignore it if you can because anyone speaking or thinking like this is the person that has the issue.
Rise above it and ignore it is my vote.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chelle21689 I’m the oldest male, so my younger brother had to put up with this. He distinguished himself by being better than I was in his own areas of skill.

chelle21689's avatar

lol if I say “I’m right here” to “the pretty one” i can see them saying “I’m not talking about you”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chelle21689 If there crass enough to do that just laugh at them. They’re not worth your time.

wundayatta's avatar

You get a feeling when someone says that, and the question is: what do you do with the feeling? You can hang onto it and let it make your hurt or angry or feel worthless, and this is a natural thing to do. But you don’t have to do that.

You can recognize it as just a feeling, one that you can pay attention to, or let go. My suggestion is that you don’t pay attention to the thoughts and feelings generated when people say this stuff. Let them go. They really don’t help you and they really have nothing to do with you.

Alternatively, and I kind of like this idea, you could tell them the truth about how you feel. “You know, when you call my sister the pretty one to my face, it makes me feel pretty small. I’d like to think I’m a worthwhile person, too.”

People who say shit like that need to know the impact it has, I think. It will help them make better decisions. They probably have no idea they are doing what they are doing. So calling their attention to it helps them as well as empowers you in letting others know how you feel.

Yeah. I really like this idea. It’s honest. It’s doable. It may even change things for the better.

Sunny2's avatar

How about: “Where’s your sister, the pretty one?”
“She’s still in the bathroom putting on her makeup.”
Or, if you’re not at home, “She’s still at home putting on her makeup.”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think it’s like beating a dead horse to hope for people to not be so insensitive. I’ve got 3 half sisters and two half brothers, this happens about us too. My brothers used to say I was “cute” but my sisters were pretty. My mother has often said of me and her other daughter that she has one princess and one frog and people think it’s funny instead of awkward.

@Sunny2 has a great one there with her answers!

chelle21689's avatar

good comeback answers everyone. I just honestly wish they could have a taste of their own medicine :P

Earthgirl's avatar

It’s terrible of people to say such things but too many people focus on looks too much. And it’s so ironic that you two look alike except for hair color. I don’t know why people feel like they need to comment on looks all the time. Any idiot could see how hurtful it is.

I have a lot of sisters. One of my younger sisters was the prettiest of all of us. I don’t remember feeling jealous of her but my parents never made comments about who was prettier or who was smarter. I think the hardest time is when you are an adolescent and may not have a strong sense of self yet. Once you appreciate what makes you unique and what you have to offer you are less likely to feel hurt when being compared negatively. You exist for you and not to impress other people. This is what you need to tell yourself when people say these hurtful things and then just ignore them. That’s what I would advise. If they are such assholes and so socially backwards they are not worthy of my respect anyways so who cares what they think of me? It only matters what I think of myself.

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