I said something I shouldn’t have, and it fueled a feud

Dear Amy: I have caused a huge rift in our family.

I was supposed to keep a secret for “Niece A” and unintentionally blurted it out at a family function.

This led to “Niece B” running out and buying a house before Niece A did, which upstaged Niece A, causing her to be very upset.

Then I told Niece A that the house Niece B bought was crap (a foreclosure), not knowing that B’s father was standing right behind me.

Now both families are upset with me.

I’ve apologized and tried to make amends with Niece A, but she is standoffish, and her parents are upset with me.

I’m very upset with myself for letting the cat out of the bag for Niece A, but obviously I had no idea that B would upstage her like that.

The two families have been jealous of each other for a long time. When there is a family get-together, there is a lot of tension. The two cousins avoid each other and don’t appear to be speaking.

I feel this is all my fault, though the tension has been building for years between the two families.

How do I fix this?

 Big Mouth

Dear Big Mouth: The way to fix this is to learn to modulate your behavior and, when around family members, to always behave as if your utterances might be broadcast and shared.

The way to build trust is to behave consistently, judiciously and discreetly. This is a tall order for anyone, but especially for you, and it takes practice.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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