JRJW- Sorry to hear that you have this emotional vampire of a sister in the congregation trying to suck the emotional life blood of your energy out. These people criticize us then try to bring the hatchet down on us by running to the elders claiming " I'm so concerned about sister so and so " when really they are just crossing our personal boundaries being busybody's .
I went through this a lot when I was in the organization over 14 years ago. Mostly from elders who wanted to snoop into my personal life as a single JW father - even though I was taking my teenage kids out in service averaging 20 hours a month in service ! I was doing the best I could , but they just wouldn't stop . Finally I stopped taking their harassing phone calls and they eventually stopped bugging me.
I think a person that's being harassed by these intrusive JW's just needs to disconnect from and not engage these nosy people and ignore them. Otherwise they'll keep crossing our personal boundaries. To most JW's - there is no such thing as having personal boundaries as they are told to rat each other out in the name of " Jehovah " and " keeping the congregation clean " . They think they get some kind of " brownie button " or score points with God for being our own " spiritual police men " . But it's annoying as hell, I'll tell you what. LOL. Take care my friend, don't engage them ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper
@Jrjw - I work with a lady just like yourself, and have a similar nature myself (even though being male). The thing you have to realise is that you DO have rights (this is not wrong or prideful/unchristian/selfish), and it's not unkind to draw boundaries for people (show where the line is without resorting to anger/malice etc). Don't make the mistake that "our type" always do and get confused between niceness and others constantly getting something from you (in this case, the woman is thriving on power). There are limits, and believe it or not, Jesus himself said so:
"Be innocent as doves, but cautious as snakes".
Of course, Jesus wanted people to be loving, but at the same time he knew the state of humanity - that given the chance some people (too many) will exploit what they see as "weakness". Hence the advice to be cautious, or in other words, have your wits about you - become more aware of the situation in an unbiased way (not automatically assuming that others will give the exact same decent courtesy to yourself).
This change in perception will take time, and at first it will feel wrong, but ultimately if you care about other people's feelings (i.e. our nature, the sensing types), then you HAVE to look after yourself first otherwise you'll be so sick and fed up you no longer have the emotional energy for others. This involves not feeling like some second class citizen who has to oblige all the time to other people.
Understand that you have the power to change this situation; not exactly how others behave, but how you let it affect you. In this case, I'd go for disfellowshipping the nosey sister from your life. Believe it or not, she may reflect upon how she's been behaving....and if not, she wasn't a true friend anyway. You don't need people like that in your life.
If I were you I'd hit her in the face with a brick.
As the poster, FLIPPER, says above, the Witnesses overstep people's personal boundaries. In fact, I don't even think they know what that term means. They do this and then go running and tattling to the elders under the guise that they are "concerned" about you. Nope, they are just looking for brownie points.
I remember being appalled and horrified at their nerviness and intrusiveness. I put a stop to it. I think they are inclined to do this more with women, but, as FLIPPER pointed out they also do it with men. But, a man may tell them off faster!
You have let this woman get away with too much and now it's time to STOP it. If anybody else approaches you and puts forth a nervy question, just tell them everything is fine. I would screen phone calls and not answer the door if any of these "concerned" people just happen to show up. Just don't fall for this open and confessing mode and blab your business to anybody. Keep your mouth shut as long as you are attending.
The poster GOODJW above has good advice as well.
Yes I have had a similar busy body who has no e taken it upon herself to try and wreck my relationship with my sister.
i have had some great advice on this forum all of which points to not letting them dictate or bully you be firm and don’t give anything away tell her to mind her own business and let you mind yours !
So sorry.... and yes, don't pick up calls from her....
If you DO happen to go to A meeting, and she "happens" to approach you, take a deep breath, look down at your feet, like you are shy and like you have a hard time speaking, (not mad) and say,
"Well, I wasn't going to tell you, but ummmm, one of the biggest reasons I don't make it to so many meetings is, well...... you. I don't like facing you, and the things you say to me are well, actually not very encouraging and I feel so bad afterwards, you know? "
Then just look at her, and walk away.
If she says anything else like "you need it" or "I am your big sister, and I am helping you"..... just reply, "See?" Then shrug your shoulders and walk away.
I take your point phoebe ,I just get frustrated with what I know now in such situations maybe I wouldn`t have handled it so much differently than jrjw when I was in over 30-60 years ago .
My apologies to you Jrjw for coming across so bluntly.
And others who maybe in similar circumstances .
I have a hard time dealing with bullies also, it's just not in my nature, although I am getting better. It's hard to overcome the conditioning that says you must be nice all the time, even when others are not. Just practice a few phrases that will work in multiple situation, say them over and over until they come naturally, like "I appreciate your concern, but she is just fine (or I am fine)", then walk away. I also like "Oh really? Interesting." said in a tone that conveys you don't actually find it interesting at all.
Never feel you have to explain yourself, that just gives them ammunition, the less said the better, you will never win an argument with people like that.
The org tends to bring out certain attributes in different people; those with a propensity to lack of self worth latch onto the parts that make them worse (e.g. counsel about pride, being submissive etc).
Then there's the type who're overflowing with confidence, and the org makes them worse (more entitled, more empowered etc).
You might try a little sarcasm jokingly. Say it with a smile and "sincere" emphasis while looking her straight in the eye.
"Oh thank you sister for your unneeded and unwanted advice! Be sure to keep it coming."
Keep your eyes on hers till she turns hers away. Then she will know you mean business.
You will both do her a kindness and lose a dedicated critic in one fell swoop.
Then again, since you plan on leaving in a month or so, it might be better to just ignore the behavior for the time being.