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"X has put me in a bad mood" - this is childish, yes?

(32 Posts)
Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 00:10:46

AIBU to think that every time something unexpected happens, the appropriate response is to work out how to fix it or work around it, and get on with life with a minimum of fuss?

My parents seem to think that the appropriate response is "the computer is playing up, this has put me in a bad mood, therefore I am entitled to stamp and shout, growl at people, and complain a lot about how stupid the computer shop people are, and about how much i hate that stupid little wheel that just goes round and round and round, and how stupid youare for having bought me the computer and set it up in the first place"

I'm trying not to get drawn into their childish shite, but would love to have something effective to say to them along the lines of "grow up". But telling 70-somethings to grow up is pointless, isn't it - especially ones with no empathy sad

MrsMoffat Mon 06-May-13 00:15:16

This reminds me of a terrible Xmas caused by me buying my mother a new mobile phone. She sulked and stamped her feet and took to her sick bed because it was not exactly the same as her old (broken, discontinued) one.

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 00:21:45


I don't mind them being irritated or baffled by not understanding the technology. I just wish they could understand that being unpleasant to all and sundry about it doesn't fix anything. Trying to do IT fixes at midnight from 18000km away is difficult, but having toddlerish dickheads moaning and stamping and slamming doors because they've done the same thing to the computer as they did last time, really doesn't make it much fun...

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:23:12

I think if they're in their 70's things aren't going to change any time soon.

If that's the case the only way to get through it is to distance yourself in your head when you see it kicking off and not get embroiled in it.

It is possible to forget the effect vocalising your frustrations can have on the people around you sometimes though. Could they be doing it without meaning to put a downer on everyone else?

Just throw out sympathetic nods/hmms while you plan out what you're having for tea elsewhere in your head and try not to get too bogged down with it.

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:29:48

'She sulked and stamped her feet and took to her sick bed because it was not exactly the same as her old (broken, discontinued) one.'

That's frightening MrsM, I would have to fight the urge to laugh at the gall of the woman to think anyone would care she could work herself up into such a state for not getting what she wanted for Christmas.

I'd fight the urge because I suspect there must be a distressing backstory for you to have a mum who chooses to behave like that.

(possibly me overstepping the mark going on such a small post, but you know when you say 'This reminds me of a terrible Xmas caused by me buying my mother a new mobile phone.' that you didn't cause it?)

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 00:38:39

You're right AgentZigzag.

I just find it really grating every time my parents demonstrate yet again that they are utterly self centred and incapable of putting anyone else's needs above their own. Of course - that is "they are putting me in a bad mood". I'd like to fix it be getting them to understand that it's not their right to inflct on others their own childish reactions to inconsequential stuff. And, of course I'm not going to fix anything...

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:48:31

Have you tried looking bored by it all Anna? grin

Distractedly giving the wrong answer (so they know you're thinking about your tea) and perhaps an effective thousand yard stare over the shoulder of the complainer?

If they don't feel they're getting the sympathy they feel to be their due they might move on to someone else?

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:52:57

Seriously though, could they have found this to be an effective way to get the attention/connection with other people they don't feel they can get in other ways?

Usually if you complain about a service or product you get a template kind of response from the other person making outraged on your behalf noises. Could that make them feel they have an 'event' in their lives worthy of note?

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 00:54:44

i spend most of my life doing that over the phone to them about everything... grin

Unfortunately i need to stay on top of their IT needs, or I won't hear from them, and (much as that would be a bloody big relief), they do need someone to keep an eye on them - there isn't anyone else.

Dsis is a useless entitled freeloader who does nothing to help anyone e.g. "didn't notice her MIL had had a stroke" shock while complaining her parents in law were late with my niece's private school fees..., and all together, they've pissed off everyone else to the point the rest of the family/their friends are at best guardedly polite on about 3 social occasions a year...

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 00:58:08

Re template reaction - no they tend to get more the opposite when my dad snarls obscenities at the frightened teenagers in the computer shop...

Both parents on autistic spectrum. However, both parents also selfish entitled arses most of the time. in their 70s they are very unlikely to change, but it drives me up the wall because I, too am on the spectrum, but i am always making an effort to apply empathy... and parents make NO effort whatsoever. Some of it is them genuinely not understanding, some of it is them being self-centred and sodding unpleasant.

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 01:10:30


Lots of sympathy for you though, it sounds a lot to have no option but to deal with.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 02:11:28


My ex was like that and it would go a bit like this.

I can't find my socks -moan winge grumble come out with something like " oh its just setting up the day for being crap"

Its raining - moan moan moan ohhh wooaa poor me CAN NOTHING GO RIGHT.

This kept up for entire journey to where ever we are going.

The baby crys- oh god what now, moan shout winge be bad tempered.

He goes off does his thing I have to go to work so text him ( I have all kids) I've got to go into work can you grab the bus back.- apocalyptic verbal tirade about how god hates him shite about a previous life everything is dreadful its the end of the fucking world.

I return from work ( he has not had to change anything about his day to accommodate me working apart from bus catching.

The bus journey was dreadful and full of all manner of dramas (1 hour spent on this) the day was a write off how bad his life is nothing ever goes well.

After 3 hours of ignoring this I say "oh dear your day was shockingly bad. Today I met with a woman whose husband threw her out of a moving car after raping her I'm guessing her day was much worse than yours.

After the colour drained from his face I couldn't resist adding "now fuck off get out of my house and don't come back until you have learnt what real problems are"

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 08:28:27

Sockreturningpixie - your ex sounds a nightmare, you have my sympathies. Good on you for ditching the ex though.

My dad smashing a plate on the kitchen bench deliberately, because the back door key had been left in the lock of the wrong door, while I was sitting right next to both doors and not going anywhere and both doors were unlocked, seems rather mild in comparison grin

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 06-May-13 08:35:36

Everyone I know has turned more difficult once they hit 70,strangely.

I imagine if they are also on the spectrum this might be magnified even more at their age.

You have my sympathies.

MrsMangoBiscuit Mon 06-May-13 08:37:38

If X = "pregnancy" or "my mental illness" then I could understand it. Stropping because you don't know how to use a computer, or you can't find your socks it's childish to the extreme, even my 3yo has largely grown out of it!

I'd be sorely tempted to come back with "Oh fuck off, you have your health!" or similar, but for me "pregnancy HAS put me in a bad mood" ! grin

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 08:53:23

I flipped this morning at more stroppy emails whining about the computer. I told them that the computer is not deliberately trying to make their lives difficult, and if they get annoyed at the computer, which is just doing its job, then its just their lives that become more unpleasant every second of the day while they whine about something that is easy to sort out.

Incidentally, this is one of four computers in the house, 2 iPads, 3 email accounts, wifi, 2 printers, a negative scanner, innumerable digital cameras, a telescope, 2 microscopes, a TV, a DVD player, a DVD to VHS converter, various setups for converting LPs and cassettes to CD, a CD player...., not to mention all my sister and BIL's stuff.... all of it set up and maintained by me, from the other side of the bloody world. THen they turn round and tell me I'm an ugly fat failure who can't keep a man because i don't spend my time clothes shopping in Paris. NO? maybe because I'm too busy being their personal IT slave? AAAHHHHHHH!

Fanjo/MrsMango - yes, exactly grin

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 06-May-13 09:02:15

My elderly relatives are also trying to learn how to use a computer and finding it hard because of poor short term memory, I do sometimes wish they had never been invented.

(computs, not my relatives, although its a close thing sometimes)

thegreylady Mon 06-May-13 09:13:43

I am 69 and fly into a panic when my laptop or tablet play up! All that stuff lost forever, I'll never get it back, it will cost hundreds to fix, I've lost the receipt and it is out of guarantee anyway! Why won't it switch on? Why did it say the battery was dead then switch itself off? I plugged it into the mains why didn't the little light come on? That was all this morning and why did the tablet start working when I took the cover off?
As for mobile phones .......

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 09:23:01

Very close run thing here too grin

My parents have been exhibiting old-person tendencies since their 30s... I haven't yet come across anything that they do that's actually new. They've been ahead of their peers for decades and the peers are all now catching up...

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 09:25:57

thegreylady - you have my sympathies. But you're probably quite grown-up about your panic too though, I'm guessing?

Also, when did you start using a computer?
My parents have been using them routinely since the early 1980s. They should be more competent than I am. But at the first sign of something they don't get, they stamp and scream and yell abuse. Dad used to have IT people at work who put up with him and sorted it all out for him time after time after time. His colleagues must have been saints.

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 09:26:51

NB thegreylady - you are using an external hard drive to back up your laptop aren't you? If not, can someone help you set it up?

Anna1976 Mon 06-May-13 09:33:21

Oh and - thegreylady - your computer will turn itself off if the battery has drained to nothing. So when you plug it into the mains after that's happened, the battery will start charging (except on some older laptops) but it won't switch itself back on - you have to do that bit.

Tablets are touch-screens. The touch bit works by you conducting a little bit of energy away from the sensor when you touch the screen. If something else like a stylus or the tablet cover touches the screen, that will work the same way too. Thus your tablet probably thought that the cover brushing across the screen was telling it to turn on. smile

MaryRobinson Mon 06-May-13 10:05:59

Generally, my parents are normal- though of the Luddite persuasion when it comes to technology. If they behave like this e.g. about their health I just refuse to discuss unless it is to be constructive. I say t

MaryRobinson Mon 06-May-13 10:07:53

Sorry about that random cut off I say things like " we'll talk after you've been to the doctor" or " but you haven't done anything about it yet"

JacqueslePeacock Mon 06-May-13 10:11:16

My entire relationship with my mother is just like this. That's probably why we don't have much of a relationship. Phone conversations are a long list of who has pissed her off and why. Occasionally she throws in a few random attacks on people who are "stupid" and a good dose of self pity. My side of the conversations goes "mmm", "ahhh" and "aha". I don't call very often.

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