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She lives a fair way away. We chat occasionally and happily on the phone, but when we meet (about once a year) she usually gets angry with me over nothing. This last time at a family ashes scattering, she hit me on the head very hard because ‘I touched her hair’. No apology, and I have no memory of this annoying her previously. This is the first time I’ve realised that it’s meetings, not telephone talking, that causes problems. Any ideas about what is going on? I’m having a hard time working out whether to try to keep a relationship or not, or how for that matter.

I would never tolerate someone hitting me in the head. I would have a talk with your sister. She seems to have some unresolved anger toward you, if things do not improve, I would keep my distance, and just communicate via telephone.
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Reply to earlybird
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Thank you to the people who answered this. It’s helped me to step back and work things out. I think on the phone my sister talks mostly about herself. I am someone with an interest and knowledge about her issues, so it works well. In person, she sees me as her big sister, with some jealously issues thrown in. Our older sister and I have helped her out occasionally over many years, and ‘no good deed goes unpunished’. I’ll try to resume phone contact in a few weeks, but will raise the problem in advance before the next meeting. I don’t like getting yelled at, still less getting hit. She has a quick temper, and there are a few people who probably wouldn’t mind referring her to the police if she hits them. Not good!
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 8, 2019
The challenge you are facing is that you say you start the physical aspect, I don't think that physical violence is ever a good solution for these situations, but being the youngest I was always being touched by my older brothers as if they had a right to invade my personal space. I am not trying to make you wrong, I am telling you from the other side of the story.

She may feel that you're belittling her or reminding her that you are the big sister, the whole hierarchy thing that some people get hung up on.

Hopefully you can find out what motivates her to react so harshly when you touch her, until then, keep your hands to yourself, it always causes a fight with you girls. 😋
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You have no memory of this annoying her previously. That you touched her hair? Or you mussed her hair up like some people do to children?

I would look at how you are invading her space and figure out if you are treating her like you did when you were children.

My brother tried that crap and it never went well. See, I grew up and I didn't want anyone touching me with any form of aggression and he couldn't stop himself apparently. So we don't see one another because I won't tolerate being manhandled by anyone.
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The BEST advice I ever got was from my best friend who went through a rather nutty divorce, to me many years ago when I was pining for an ex. She said,

" Love them from afar. "

I can't emphasize how useful these words have been!

You can love people...from faaaar away. Good luck!
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Margaret, I have brothers who couldn’t be more different and I’m very different than them. I spent years trying to figure out all the dynamics between us. Then I finally put all that to bed and decided to make the best of it. What that looks like for me is that I have a friendly, but not particularly close relationship with them. There’s a long list of topics I avoid and the majority of our communication is on the phone. Even that isn’t often. Sounds like your sister has some weird issues of her own, no sense you taking them on or trying to figure her out, it probably won’t work anyway as adults rarely change odd patterns. I’d say just keep up the phone conversations and when you have occasion to see her in person, keep it nice but out of range of touch! No one deserves to be hit
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Some people have very tender scalps or they just don’t like people fidgeting with their hair. Some people don’t like any touching or hugs.

It’s interesting that she may not have been like that before. I just wouldn’t touch her. Not worth getting whacked on the head for!

How is she in person if she isn’t being touched?
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