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Mr. Manners: 5 Types Of Sisters-In-Law And How To Deal With Them

The Windsors always make good copy. Now, we are all captivated by the claimed ongoing feud between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton as it rides out the internet maelstrom. Stories as quoted from other sources have had  Kate in a flood of tears at Kensington Palace while Meghan throwing a tantrum over a tiara, and sending off a barrage of emails to assistants is frankly too juicy to ignore. Even the queen was said to have intervened, ordering the two duchesses to call a truce for the holidays. The Royals, save for the fact that their lifestyle is paid for by British taxpayer, require some level of privacy to keep their sanity. Although we can’t confirm there is truth to this drama, we can ascertain that conflict between family members is all too common.




Kate has had quite a “well behaved do as you are told life” until Meghan, the American,  came into the picture. This brings to fore an interesting topic posed to us at Mr. Manners—how do you deal with a sister-in-law, who is different from you.

No one is a robot, and everyone has feelings, and have the right to self-expression, but how far should one tolerate the actuations of the very drama driven sister-in-law, new to a family that is with a certain set of rules (sounds familiar). We couldn’t begin to fathom what is happening in the house of Windsor, but as the press say, the couples, although charmingly civil, are very far removed as compared to the mother, in terms of engagement with the press that make them headlines daily.

But if we bring this down to earth, we are married into a family and have to know what you are getting into. The family you are part of is far from perfect, and isn’t always “instagrammable.” There will always be occasions where feelings are hurt or things said out of context. And most often the target is the sister-in-law that can drive the wedge in the family.



It is said, after the mother-in-law, sister-in-law issues are hard to navigate – give it  to the  upbringing or having to make choices. Being thrown into an instant relationship with other women whom you haven’t chosen as your friends through mutual interests or common experiences like school or work can be just plain difficult.

In-laws don’t need to be besties, maybe civil at best.  But I guess if things are driving you nuts and you don’t have a whole royal household to manage it, here are a few pointers.

So what do you do if your sister-in-law drives you nuts? Here’s a breakdown of how Mr. Manners suggest we deal with five types of sisters-in-law.


  1. The One-Upper. No matter what you do, she insists she can do it better. For her its all about the fight, and the competition. Want peace, leave her to be. Listen though, and be genuine, but less engagement
  2. The Know-It-All . Don’t we all have one of those, wanting to be the expert at everything. Leave her to be as I say, Show her you are listening, and maybe even seek her advice for certain issues that she is actually an expert on. If her need to be an expert or be heard is met, then you probably won't be overwhelmed by this feedback all of the time.
  3. The Negatron.  Negatives are like stray cats: If you stop feeding them, they go away. And that is precisely what I do. Just don’t deal with them.
  4. The Narcissist. Being the baby of the family or the spoiled brat is all about them. Best to just listen and cut off when you can’t take it anymore. That’s what I would do.
  5. The Prayer Healer. We all have one in our families. Leaving everything to God, and insisting we take time to read the bible or stir things that way. Just be kind, and listen, and walk away.


You need to see how your spouse deals with their parents. That way you can take cue. Never assume families are alike, and there is a lot of adjusting. Take time to engage your in-laws, and try and make time for them. Brief your partners on family customs and some to terms with the whys.  It is always good to ask why before saying something regretful. Religion and politics can be very polarizing, best not to engage the in-laws in these things. They can do more harm than good.




Now, back to Windsor. Kate took pains to learn the ways of the royal family, while Meghan’s modernity ends long time traditions. The question posed really: is it time to change with the times, or keep things as they are. I am sure you have your own issues in your families. Our thoughts amongst those we spoke with is speaking about it always helps clear the air. There is nothing that civilized conversation can’t handle. Even among the royals! Right.

Now, how do you keep the peace in your family?


Photos from @kensingtonpalace