DEAR ABBY: My sister, "Frannie," and I are both professionals, married to men who are complete opposites. My husband, "Grady," is a blue-collar guy who never attended college. He has many wonderful qualities, but lacks self-esteem. He has a good, stable job and is more "street smart" than "book smart."
Frannie's husband, "Austin," has a graduate degree and a professional career. He is also a "know-it-all" who loves to flaunt his knowledge to everyone, especially to Grady. This makes my husband feel insecure and makes it difficult for us to be around Austin and Frannie.
I have told my sister how we feel. She says I need to talk to Austin about it. If I do, it will cause a huge argument. I just wish Austin could be a little less boastful and a bit more humble. Any suggestions on how to deal with this? -- FRANNIE'S KID SIS
DEAR KID SIS: Before I offer any, has it occurred to you that Austin may be even more insecure than your husband, and your sister is a wimp? It is not your "job" to teach her husband social behavior -- that's what a loving wife does when her husband does something obnoxious. And Austin's behavior falls into that category.
Perhaps, if you point this out to Grady, it will help him feel less insecure around his windbag of a brother-in-law. Educated people who feel good about themselves do not have to show others how smart they are. In fact, they are so adept at sharing their knowledge that they can converse with anyone on any level without the person feeling talked down to.