To ask for good answers to rude personal comments and questions(83 Posts)
DH's sister and her partner always upset me by the personal comments and questions they make to me when we see them. They have the knack of digging exactly where I am most sensitive. I avoid them whenever I can, but she is DH's only relative so can't go completely NC. I get so tense and wound up whenever we have to meet up with them and DH is no good at all at supporting me. Would IBU to hit back with some of my own? What can I say?
Just throw their comments back at them. Say 'why are you asking me ....xyz?' 'Why do you need to know..... abc' , and make them explain.
I've had this, and found that by confronting them with their own rudeness, they usually shut up. Try it.
Reflect to deflect. 'I'm interested to know why you are interested in xyz'
Depends on what they say but 'good job we're not all the same isn't it' is normally a good response. Remove isn't it if you don't want a reply oh and smile and go off and do something else.
Say things like "how rude" or "that's a bit personal" or even "I'm a bit sensitive about that". A well placed WTF might not go amiss, either.
Ignore or laugh. It really works! They won't persist if you don't answer or guffaw loudly.
Why can't you go NC? What's the point in hanging around people who upset you?
"Well you should know, shouldn't you?"
Or just be ruder back.
"Why is XXX any of your business?" might suffice.
Why is your DH useless at supporting you? Perhaps he should see them on his own. If things are as uncomfortable as you say then I would just refuse to have contact with them. Doesn't stop DH though.
As well as palming them off, as others have rightly suggested, learn to very quickly change the subject. For example, while listening intently to their rude question, look over their shoulder/round the corner, etc & say"Oh, my goodness... then fill in the blank with some diversionary comments, such as, "I just saw an enormous bird fly past the window" "I completely forgot, I have a TV show I must record right now" "I must just go switch the oven on".
In a word, don't get pinned down -flee. Good luck! These techniques are very important life skills, as, believe you me, they aren't the only rude people you will run into in life.
What does NC mean?
I would laugh and ask why
the fuck they want to know and what has it got to do with them.
NC = no contact
OP - I think you need to be just as blunt as them in order to get the message over....
'Aren't you a charmer?'
'I'm glad you take an interest but that's a bit too personal'
'I will answer that if you tell me xyz (something they really don't want to answer)
'Sorry, I drifted off'
'Did you actually just say xyz?' laugh.
Long, long, uncomfortably long pause, eyebrows raised and then 'moving swiftly on...' change the subject.
I am really interested to know what type of questions they're asking or statements they're making.
I have something similar. My default position for people like this is to either ignore or verbally nail them to the wall. Neither is healthy for long term successful familial relationships, so I, too, am looking for coping mechanisms. Skilful ways to side step/shut down.
It's very annoying, isn't it? The last time it happened to me, my partner tried to defend them - 'they don't mean it' 'it's not how it sounded' 'they're not conscious of what they're saying and how it can be received'
My response 'BOL****CKS - They're f****g grown ups! Don't you dare try to make excuses, we were both present and know exactly what was being insinuated/intimated/inferred - DEAL WITH IT BEFORE I DO!'.
Yes, mines got a bit like that between my partner and I...
Altimate, please be more specific. What exactly are they saying?
Agree you don't have to see them, and DH should have your back.
What exactly are they saying?
I suppose it depends on what they are saying really as to what the best replies might be.
I do think the key to this sort of this is confidence in your own choices. If they dont like something thats ok if you do.
Probably doesn't seem much to anyone else but it's things like 'Have you put on weight? Are you really having a potato with that?' 'Isn't (DGD) walking yet?' (she's 9 months!) 'You don't see much of your son, do you' - he's having a work crisis, so not as much as we'd like, no. 'Why haven't you been promoted yet?' On and on and on, til I could scream, or burst into tears, and instead sit there feeling more and more inadequate. If they are challenged on anything, it was always 'just a joke, don't be so petty'.
Have you put on weight? No - have you? Or no, isn't talking about weight really boring. Are you really having a potato with that?' Yes - I am really having a potato with that. (With a head tilt or eye roll). 'Isn't (DGD) walking yet?' No, don't be silly, she's 9 months! 'You don't see much of your son, do you' What on earth are you saying that for? 'Why haven't you been promoted yet? Why are you asking me such odd questions? or just ask them the same questions back, so "Why haven't you been promoted yet?" Accompanied by a huge grin.
Or you could just ignore anything stupid. I would probably just avoid her.
If they tell you not to be petty, just say they are very rude and have no manners. I wouldn't tolerate any of this shit and I wouldn't allow my siblings to speak to my DH like this either...........
Thank you all for good advice. I know I'm being pathetic about this - we have to see them on Saturday and I've already got this sick dread on me. My DH is a wuss and will never stand up to be counted.
If you have issues with being confrontational -and a lot of women on Mn seem to - I suggest simply saying 'What did you say?' or 'Could you repeat that?' levelly and neutrally, in such a way as for it to be possible you just didn't hear. Once people have to repeat their inane or nosy question or statement, some (not all, of course) will think better of it, and get embarrassed or will backtrack. If some brass-necked type does repeat the question, shake your head, say 'That's what I thought you said. Now - moving quickly on...' and change the subject. If possible to one of impenetrable boredom and obscurity. Disputed footnotes to early Norse manuscripts. The mathematics of campanology. Your longest dream.
Or you could simply not see them. Blood may be thicker than water, but bullshit is a lot thicker than either, as they say...
Then you have a DH problem.
I would tell him you aren't going anywhere near them, he can deal with them from now on. If you see them at family functions you can be polite, but that's it.
Seriously life is too short for this kind of shit.
Go on the offensive, really. But subtly.
You're looking a bit thin, are you ok?
Oh gosh you do look tired, hope you are looking after yourself.
You two still together? Haven't you done well.
No children yet, are you having problems?
I'd never, never say things like this to someone, but I think you need to push back. They will back off I reckon. Who knows, you might get to enjoy it!
I have a friend who is amazing at simply ignoring questions she doesn't want to answer and answering a totally different question (and repeatedly doing so if necessary) and in the most smiley, friendly way that leaves most people who ask inappropriate somewhat lost (and when it doesn't stump them she does it again, and again until they give up). Eg Q: "You don't see much of your son do you?" A:"Oh that is so lovely of you to ask about DGD yes her dress is fabulous isn't it, we found it in a little boutique in Yorkshire and just had to buy it for her even though obviously it was much to big for her then but now it fits her perfectly we're delighted." Q:"But I asked you about your son" A: "Oh yes that is so kind of you, I totally agree I would do if I could but we just haven't got the time at the moment."
It is a marvel to watch and my friend doesn't miss a beat (or let the smile flicker even for an instant) works every time and I now pray for inappropriate/intrusive questions,
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