I'm writing about this because of an entry in another person's journal. I gave her the set answers that I use to deal with my relative. She replied that my answers wouldn't work. Selfish, callous, cruel, unfeeling, and insensitive were words that were brought up.
I started to reply, but then I couldn't. At least I couldn't reply in her journal. Here, I will admit to 4 of those 5 attributes when it comes to dealing with that one relative who upsets me (in dealing with this relative selfishness doesn't normally apply one way or the other).
With my relative It's the "boy who cried wolf" story. Now that the person is getting advanced in years and the complaints may well have some merit I still doubt them.
Everyone in the family knows the situation, and knows that there is no real animosity between this person and I, but now I have to actively stop my initial reactions to that person's whining and ask if there might be some merit to the complaint this time.
I like to think of myself as a caring and empathic person, but I'm not always. (Simply for my own ego, I will sate those are traits others have told me I have.).
I think it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that no man truly likes what he sees deep within his own heart. All I can say is we all have a dark side that we act upon from time to time.
We are all bastards at some point or another in our lives, the trick is to keep those times to a minimum.