Mother-in-law constantly seeks praise by pretending to have prior knowledge of a fact she's just heard. -

Mother-in-law constantly seeks praise by pretending to have prior knowledge of a fact she's just heard.


My MIL, (whom I care for), has been doing this for many years so I don't know if it's part of dementia or just her personality, but I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced it.

After hearing someone state a fact, she will state the same fact and look for credit for it, pretending it's the first time it was said. For example, I said, 'Caravaggio painted that,' and seconds later she said, 'Didn't Caravaggio paint that?'. My mother said, 'Shakespeare died aged 52.' and she, having only caught the last words immediately said, 'I saw on the news someone died aged 52.'. My niece said, 'London has a new mayor.' She immediately said, 'Did you know London has a new mayor?' This is constant, everywhere and with everyone.

It's as if she doesn't want anyone else to get the credit, or she is desperate to show she already knew this fact and therefore she is just as clever. It is so blatantly obvious it baffles people, but mention to her someone just said this and her stock reply is, 'Oh did he/she? I didn't hear him/her.' Her smugness when she does this is infuriating. My husband and I just look at each other and laugh, but frustrated strangers sometimes argue with her, 'He/she just said that!', they'll say and become annoyed and then contemptuous when she insists she didn't hear.

What is going on here? Dementia? Or a vanity so overpowering it overrides the brain's ability to rationalise the obvious outcome of such ridiculous behaviour?

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LOL, babygirga, that is very similar to my MIL. If she suspects for a second that my idea or opinion is better than hers she immediately changes tack.

Buying a jumper the other day she said, 'I really like this colour.' I replied, 'Do you? I think it's a bit drab.' She immediately said, (as if nothing had been said prior), 'I hate this drab colour.'

As you say - like a bad comedy skit.
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I laughed so hard when I read this because God knows I thought this was unique to my mom. Examples for her would be she'll say "I need to sweep the carpet". To which I say "or you could use the vacuum". To which she'll say quickly "I had just said I was going to run the vacuum". Which of course she didn't.

Or she'll do the opposite of what I tell her to do. I put her tithe in an envelope and said "put this in your purse so we give it to the deacon at church. Don't open it". I leave the room and hear paper hearing. Guess what? She opens the envelope.

Very frustrating. But often like a bad Abbott and Costello skit.
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My father is 80 years old and was just recently diagnosed with Vascular Dementia stage 3. How can we convince him to keep his wander guard on, take his meds, and stop having mean outbursts or he is going to get discharged from the Assisted Living Home?
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Yes, cwillie, she certainly has a need to be the centre of attention, she rarely lets anyone finish what they're saying, cuts them off mid sentence to say something about herself.

But maybe she has had mild dementia for longer than we think, and it could be short, (very short), term memory loss. Maybe it goes into her brain, but she can't remember she heard it from someone else and thinks she thought of it.

She is with it on so many levels, (has a laptop, is active on Facebook and emails everyone), it makes it hard to believe she can't see what a fool it makes her look. And it's not just one statement that she'll repeat, she sometimes repeats a whole dialogue two people at the table have just shared - always seeking praise for her knowledge.

My sig other does that to me too, freqflyer, but I know he hasn't been listening. But he never does it to anyone else, just me!
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Oh my sig other does the same thing... but for him it's selective hearing as he is pretty sharp, he just doesn't pay a whole lot of attention whenever I talk. I usually fire back at him "I just said that", and he doesn't even hear that.... [rolling eyes]. It's just part of his personality.
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Well, with dementia short term memory can be the first thing to go, so it could be she actually doesn't remember who said it or when she heard it. That she has been doing something similar for years makes it sound like something else is mixed in too, probably the need to be the centre of attention and to come across as knowledgeable. I bet she didn't do it in the same conversation years ago though, did she?
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