Dear Amy: I recently “unfriended” my dear older sister on Facebook because some of our political views differ, so rather than see her postings that differ from my views, I decided to eliminate that tension.
Before the unfriending, I tried to “unfollow” her, but then I’d miss her posts about other things, so I’d check her page and eventually see more politics. I just can’t stop offering my opinions when she posts, and then I feel chastised when she defends her point of view.
We don’t hang out a lot, but when we are together we don’t normally talk politics; and if something uncomfortable (for me) comes up, I change the subject.
My sister says, “OK, fine. We’ll just live in a world of unicorns and rainbows.”
She is obviously not happy that I unfriended her.
She says everyone has differing opinions, and that’s OK.
Is she right, am I living in a fantasy world by trying to keep the tension out of our relationship?
Am I oversensitive? Little Sister
Dear Sister: My take on this is that you do seem sensitive and very protective of your point of view. But (speaking as a “little sister” myself), the age differential between siblings often conveys a lifetime of dominance.
Your less-sensitive older sister feels comfortable staking her claim and then defending it when you offer your own views. You interpret this as “tension,” but she seems to see it as a back-and-forth. She may also enjoy needling you regarding your sensitivity.
I suspect that after two weeks of being disconnected on social media, your blood pressure will stay down, you will stop feeling guilty and you will enjoy not being reactive and triggered by your sister’s postings.
The next time she teases you about living in a fantasy world, I suggest you demonstrate that you are unruffled. Send her a GIF of a unicorn leaping over a rainbow with the statement: “Life in my fantasy world is even better than I imagined. Love you, sis — let’s talk soon.”