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MIL looks down on me because of job

markwvualum's picture

My MIL has always had issues with my job. I work a blue collar job and have for years. I make a decent income doing so and I enjoy my work. I seem to do ok because I'm doing a lot better than most people I know including MIL and her kids when it comes to money and other things. At family gatherings she will talk about my job (when people ask what I do) in a ways where she is making it sound more important than it is. She also makes negative remarks about "blue collar people." Some irony is that nearly everyone in her family including herself got their white collar jobs from somoene in the family they knew. Also most of them are in debt, have money issues or other issues. How to I address this without being extremely rude?

lieutenant_dad's picture

Brag about the things it allows you to do.

If MIL is going to talk it up, then talk it up. Talk about the new boat you bought, or new kitchen you put in, or two week trip in Europe, or whatever. Hell, tell people you're hiring if anyone would like the same perks.

Kill with kindness and all the good your job provides. Nothing takes the wind out of someone's sails like owning the thing they think you should be insecure about.

momjeans's picture

I agree. You need to enthusiastically rub MIL’s nose in her own wannabe backhanded comments. Hopefully, she’ll grow tired of being treated like a jealous toddler.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I vote. Next family gathering, When she starts pulling that, you pull out a fan of money and fan yourself dramatically while expressing that it's just a lot of hard work. Then causally ask if anyone knows a good place to buy a boat and has recommendations. And not one of the row boats, something nice you can water ski with.

ndc's picture

I wouldn't bother addressing it.  I'm not sure why it bothers you - you're obviously doing well for yourself and you enjoy what you do.  That's what matters. If MIL wants to make your job sound more important to others, let her have at it.  People who are secure in themselves do not need to talk others down.  My SO works a blue collar job, while my dad is a professional who makes 7 figures annually.  My dad has never said (or probably even thought) a negative thing about my SO's job.  We need construction workers, welders, HVAC installers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc. as much as (if not more than) we need salaried professionals.  Be proud of what you do and don't give your MIL's insecurities more thought than they're worth.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Or, you could call her out next time she does it. Ask "What did you just say?" and make her repeat it. Then you repeat it, and ask her if she seriously ! wants to be so rude as to criticize the way you support her daughter.

Letti.R's picture

Your MIL is an idiot.
What does your job have to do with the type of person you are?

I work white collar, but blue shirts are my favourite...
They go nicely with suits! Wink

Irene H.'s picture

You could do the same to her. Strike up a conversation about silly people in debt trying to keep up with the Joneses, how much further ahead you are than people who had massive student loans to pay, how much happier you are than a lot of the pencil pushers you know, etc. Run down her kind, in the same underhanded manner she does, and I’m betting you’ll get your point across.

Irene H.'s picture

Plus, blue collar guys are hot. Lol

StepUltimate's picture

Your observations are correct - your MIL is being inappropriate. A working man who isn't in debt and enjoys his work is something to be proud of, not talk down about - regardless of the color of the shirt collar. Unfortunately your MIL may be insecure & resorting to the juevenile technique of down-talking others in an attempt to build herself up... very immature. 

Best bet is to ignore her lame comments and "kill her with kindness." You don't need her approval, and I'm sorry she's not able to grow up and show some maturity, respect, and appreciation for you and your work. 

lala-land's picture

Sir,  what kind of employment did your MIL engage in? What earth shattering contributions has she made to the betterment of society?  It sounds like her only skill at this point in time is hosting dinner parties where she can belittle and humiliate her guests.  If you must attend these sessions, then perhaps it is time to turn the tables on her and send the uncomfortable questions in her direction. And by the way, you have a job and are supporting your family and that is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

Rags's picture

I would suggest that when MIL is spinning the situation that you join the conversation and present the facts.  Let MIL deal with her spin.

If it bothers you that much.

I have made a great living managing and leading craft and trades organizations.  I get the best practices, the management and optimization of those organizations.  That is what I do. I could not do what I do without amazing craftsmen/tradesmen.

Until later in my career I  always had people who worked for me that made more than I did.  A talented experienced craftsman can make six figures much earlier in their career than many white collar workers can and do.

You have nothing to hide and should be proud of your capabilities. So should your MIL, but... if she is so shallow that she needs to play the spin card... present the facts.

Thanks for doing what you do.