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My Dad's sister is an elderly widow, late 70s. She recently got in touch with me, as I did not know her growing up. My Dad was not in contact with her for many years. I was at first glad to talk to her, as we didn't know each other when I was growing up but once my sister gave her # to my Aunt, she has been calling almost every day and she has been telling me offensive sexual jokes and some that are racist and she thinks they are funny. I just don't want to be mean to her. I have told her before I am busy witth work, family, etc and she says she will not call for a while and a few weeks later she is back calling every few days even as late as 10pm.. Besides blocking her # I am not sure what else to do? She is a nice person, she may just be lonely and I don't want to hurt her feelings. She has been calling other family members the same way also and they have been avoiding her calls.
Has anyone dealt with this situation? Any advice helpful. Thanks!

Racists are NOT "nice people. This is one behavior that no one needs to (or should) tolerate. A large part of the problems our society is having stem from so many people's refusal to just call out racism as the evil it is. Frankly, she would benefit from "having her feelings hurt". Might help her to do some thinking about morally decent attitudes.
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Reply to rovana
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"She is a nice person,..."

A NICE person does not call people repeatably telling off colour jokes.

Stop her in her tracks. "Auntie, it appears you have different beliefs than I do. I have no interest at all in hearing jokes that are racist or of a sexual nature. I will hang up if you repeat these sorts of jokes.

What do you have to lose by stopping her?
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againx100 Apr 22, 2021
Exactly! You do NOT need to listen to her inappropriate conversations. Tell her, nicely but firmly, that you do not like this kind of "jokes" and do not want to hear them. That you will hang up if she insists on continuing, etc.

Since you have not had a longterm relationship with her, I would imagine that not having her in your life would really not be much of a loss. She might have something going on like dementia, etc. But that's not your problem either.

If you prefer not to confront her, go ahead and block her number. You don't need this in your life.
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Tell her that you don't want to hear racist, sexist, Islamophobic or homophobia jokes. When she starts telling such a joke, say "Aunt, sounds like a racist joke." I prefer not to hear it. Bye."

Hang up and Walk away immediately. Do this every single time no matter who is present.

You can't control her. But you have absolutely control over what you listen to,
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 24, 2021
Great response!
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Maybe she has dementia. Or maybe she thinks you find her jokes as funny as she does since you keep listening to them. Silence is as good as agreement in this case. You don't have to be confrontational with the woman, you just have to let her know that you don't agree with her humor or find racial or ethnic (or whatever) type jokes to be funny, and to please stop sharing them with you. Let her know there are plenty of other topics of conversation you CAN have, however, just not the jokes. See how she takes it. Some folks honestly don't realize they're being offensive until they're told. Give her the benefit of the doubt.
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DILKimba Apr 24, 2021
excellent advice!
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Just don't answer the phone?

I'll never understand why people think a ringing phone must be answered, especially since caller id has been a thing for decades.
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JoAnn29 Apr 23, 2021
My DH does but doesn't because he is almost deaf.
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My sons used to play with a neighbor child who used bad language. Every time he used a bad word I would tell him in a friendly way that those words were not allowed in my house and he would have to go home for the day. If he wanted, he could come back tomorrow.
After a couple of months, he stopped using bad words at my house, although I sometimes heard them floating over the fence.
If your aunt is capable of learning and remembering, simply tell her, politely, that you don't like those jokes and you will end the call every time she tells one. Then when she tells you an offensive joke, tell her that you don't like the joke and are hanging up now, but she is welcome to call back tomorrow, or next week, or whatever you feel is an appropriate time between calls.
If she gets angry, she can find another communication partner.
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Reply to Cynthiasdaughtr
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I would just tell her, "Aunt Mary, it's always good to hear from you but I would rather hear about YOU. No jokes. And start a conversation
How's the weather. Really hot, rainy here.
I made Grandma's meatloaf the other night. Did you ever make it?
What's your favorite recipe?
My grandson plays first base on his team
And so on.
Your Aunt may just want to talk to someone and doesn't know what else to say, rather than tell jokes.
Hope this helps.
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Reply to Chickie1
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In addition to my previous comment to tell her that the “jokes” offend you I have to add this...
I have a lot of jokes and on occasion I will post some here but I try to be very careful as times have changed and people have changed. What might have been “thought” to be funny in the past really isn’t. So she may think the jokes are funny, and to some they might be. But if you find them offensive you are well within boundaries to tell her so and stop the conversation if she continues. Much like you would stop communicating with a Bully, this is the same. She is assaulting you with words.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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She's probably, ironically, trying to impress you with her unconventional and racy style. I'd send her a book of jokes that actually *are* funny and hope she enjoys the new material.

You might also be able to break up her calling pattern by taking the initiative and ringing her for a good old chinwag, regularly and at a time that suits you, like every Sunday afternoon or something. Have interesting topics of conversation handy and talk to her as you would to any other lively-minded person you didn't (yet, God willing) know very well.

It is *fine* to tell her if you find something she says offensive. You don't have to be mean back at her or anything, just be truthful. She's a grown-up, she can take it.
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greeneracres Apr 24, 2021
Having a list of topics ready to switch to is wonderful advice. When I was overwhelmed when we first started taking care of my FIL (now deceased) I went to a therapist a few times. Probably her most helpful suggestion was for dealing with phone calls from my mother - who tends to repeat well worn tales of how wronged she has been in her life - which was more than I could take at the time. The therapist suggested having a list of topics ready and just switch. Just jump right in to something else. It works amazingly well. I still do it.
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With all the judgemental answers here you must be feeling terrible. Your aunt may not have a clue that her jokes are racist for two very good reasons: She grew up hearing them at a time when no one was sensitive to them so she thinks they are fine. Secondly, she may be slipping mentally and that part of the brain that over rides more "base" thoughts and words may not be functioning as well so even if she knows her jokes are offensive she may no longer have the capacity to stop herself from being offensive. I have worked with a number of elders who never swore in their younger lives who now swear up a storm and they seem obsessed with sex. Their younger selves would be embarrassed and appalled.

All you can do is listen with love and encourage a change of subject. You can gently tell her those jokes are no longer acceptable, but do not be surprised if she doesn't stop. These are thoughts are deeply planted in her memories. Then try to remember that whatever you think is funny today in 50 years will be abhorrent to your grandchildren.

She is lonely and wants to stay connected to the world. Are there Senior Services in the community where she lives? Can you contact them and ask if they have activities she could join? Do they have a support service that can pair her with other lonely seniors? This COVID year has been horrible for everyone but especially for seniors living alone.

And, please, do not rail at her for her jokes. Do not judge her as some people responding have suggested. It will only confuse her and cause pain for something she does not understand. You can limit how many times you talk to her by not answering if she calls too frequently. But think about how you would like to be treated in your senior years by those in your life and go from there.

Best to you and to your aunt.
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sp19690 Apr 24, 2021
Its not her job to placate this woman she barely knows. If this was an acquaintance would she continue talking to said person or move on and block them? And not everyone who grew up in the forties tells racist jokes or makes sexually inappropriate conversation. Sounds like the aunt has an undiagnosed nental condition and has probably always had it. The overt in your face sex talk is a big indicator to a malfunctioning brain.
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