By Alma Gill
NNPA Columnist

Can’t Stand My Niece

Dear Alma,

I can’t stand my niece and it’s my sister’s fault. She made her daughter this way. Since the day her daughter was born, my sister has kissed the ground she walks on. My sister has given my niece everything she has ever wanted – or even thought she wanted. This girl has never had a “not about you” experience. She grew up having fits to get her way and her mother obliged. If you tried to discipline her or intervene, my sister wouldn’t have it. My niece has traveled the world and her mother has footed the bill. She finished college, but doesn’t work. She has a home; my sister pays the mortgage. My sister works two jobs and sends her daughter a monthly check. It’s not a huge amount but that’s not the point. My niece makes every situation and family event about her. I’ve seen her take over family weddings, graduations and funerals, no kidding. I’m telling you, she has to have all the attention at all times. When she was a child, all I could do was sit by and watch, but now that’s she’s a 23-year-old woman, I just can’t take it anymore. Oh, and did I mention, she’s a super b*tch to her mother! Recently, I’ve stopped hanging out with my sister because I just cannot stand to be around her one and only daughter acting all ugly and ungrateful. I know at some point my sister will notice that I’m not hanging out as much. How do I tell her that I can’t stand her daughter and its time she changed her ways? 

 Name withheld, Atlanta, Ga.

Who are you saying should change her ways, your sister or her daughter? Either way girl, you’ve got to let it go, this ain’t your plant to water. You’re grown and your niece is grown, this is a matter between two grown women. When speaking about conversations, there’s no need to have a sit-down with her mother. That would be a waste of time anyway. In the words of Mz. Diana Ross, your sister’s got a “Love Hangover” for her daughter, “she ain’t tryin’ to get over.”

Uncomfortably for you, your conversation, if you decide to have it, should take place between you and your niece. Nope, you know what? I take that back. Your niece obviously loves herself very much and doesn’t see a need to change……right now. Life on the other hand will deliver her a dose of reality at some point that will stop her in her tracks. Trust me, cuzzin – Karma will visit in due season and there won’t be a dang thing your sister can do about it. I shudder to think how ill-prepared her darling daughter will be.  Keep her in your prayers.

On this sunny day, if I were sitting in my right mind rocker, I’d try to talk you into working it out with your niece, but I won’t. Control what you can Auntie, and that would be your level of cooperation. How about you show up for everything you’re invited to that consists of four or more attendees. That way, you’re never stuck standing, sitting or texting alongside your niece.  If invited to any threesomes, don’t go, you’re unavailable. Not all life lessons remain the same. If at any time you notice a change in your niece, hallelujah, there’ll be room to bloom and grow. But if not, no worries, God requires you to love her, but you ain’t gotta like her!


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.

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