n reality, if you stand up for yourself, people just get the hump?(28 Posts)
Two recent situations, one at work, a new colleague is very dismissive, rude, she talks down to me. So I said in a calm flat tone, no hysteria, no swearing or dramatics "I really don't like the way you talk to me, I find it really demeaning and belittling, so I'd like you to stop please". I'm now in Coventry, 6 weeks down the line. It is to the point of ridiculousness.
Second situation, longstanding friends of 40+ years wish us (and two other couples) to go on holiday with them, and they won't let up, its the subject of conversation every time we go out. Ourselves and the other two couples are happy enough for weekends away, as we regularly have but we simple know we all have large personalities and in close confinement there would possibly be a falling out.
I've tried every angle of no, cant afford it, aren't in a position to do it this year, another time, not something we are considering, childcare issues and so forth. In short our youngest has HFA, is still at school, its a pivotal GCSE year, I am not prepared to leave him to go on a sunshine jolly watching other people get drunk (I don't drink) and I said "Look, we wont be going away, we have child to consider" only to be told older siblings could look after him whilst we all decamp to Spain and I said "That wont be happening and I'm not leaving child and I'm not taking parenting advice either!". They now have the huff and have removed themselves from our social circle for the time being.
AIBU to think the standard MN advice of "no" just doesn't work?!
What hasn't worked? You're doing what you want, their reaction is entirely their own problem.
What FloggingMolly said.
It has worked, they just need to get over it (or not if they're that way inclined).
Some people don't like to be told about themselves, but that's no reason not to do it when you have to.
I see perfect resolutions to your well handled situations. If people want to be stroppy when you assert yourself that's their problem. What other people think of you is none of your business.
The alternative is to put up with shit to keep THEM happy. Would you rather that?
It has worked but if you want people to still like you after you have stood up for yourself you need to do it in a more tactful way- sorry.
Yes it says a lot about them, doesn't it.
But it did work - you're not doing something you don't want to. Just as you didn't want to go on the trip/don't like the way a colleague speaks to - they can not like you telling them so - they are just as entitled to their reaction as you.
I don't see your problem really. You asked someone to stop talking to you in the manner they do, now they don't talk to you. Job done, I'd say.
And friends who try and bully you into doing something you don't want to and then ignore you when you don't, they aren't very good friends, are they? So job done again.
Are you expecting to "stand up for yourself" and everyone to say "oh I'm so sorry, you're absolutely right, I will change that aspect of my personality or behaviour immediately and be a better person!"?
That's a bit naive. You got the outcome I would have expected.
Well done on both occasions for standing firm and telling people how it is!! It's the other people's problems, not yours.
A certain kind of person sees you standing up for yourself or putting your own needs and wants first as a personal attack on them. It's exhausting so when they cut you out it's not a bad thing as who needs to have to deal with that kind of drama?
Most people are reasonable and will accept your decisions, those that get annoyed when you do something that suits you aren't worth worrying about. I
was very worried about the fallout when a very close family member threw her toys out of the pram over what was really a non-event, she has since gone low contact and our lives are calmer and less stressful now.
There doesn't seem to be a way of saying "no" without a monumental tidal wave.
Coventry, whilst it doesn't affect me really emotionally, it is making everyone else's life unpleasant because there is that black cloud hanging over the office. FWIW my line manager says it is absolutely none of my making and she is in no way blaming me. HR are somewhat slow in arranging mediation.
I hear you OP. I am something of a doormat and every time I have tried to stand up for myself, particularly with XH, it has gone badly, and it's had a knock on affect on others, so I generally just stick to being a doormat now. Some people are just dicks.
I agree with Roomster that if you had wanted to keep these people feeling friendly you would have had to put a bit of thought and care into saying something very tactfully and in a friendly tone.
In general making "I" statements is helpful ("I would feel really uncomfortable leaving my kids behind, and wouldn't enjoy myself"), and it is also helpful to have a private and sincere chat, explaining why you are uncomfortable, etc.
None of this is relevant if you just want to get away from annoying people quickly, but is sounds like you did what you needed to to get rid of people you don't really like, but want them just to keep being friendly to you.
I think you have to not care if they get the hump. And people usually only send you to Coventry because they think it will achieve something.
I.e. they hope you will cave and will stop if you don't.
You only had to say no to them because the are, by nature, unreasonable people. Their responses have been true to their unreasonable nature. Did you expect them suddenly to change personalty? You got your point across, stood your ground and they've gone in a huff so fuck'em.
but is sounds like you did what you needed to to get rid of people you don't really like, but want them just to keep being friendly to you.
But we (all) do like them, but they railroad to get you to accept their wishes. It is their wish to go on holiday with the rest of the group - the rest of the group are content with weekends.
Little bit of a back story - isn't there always - they've lived abroad for 15 odd years, came back to the UK about 3 years ago, and yes, they are more than capable of picking up where they left off, the relationship dynamic between us all is good - but they have this need/desire to convert us to their way of doing things. They cant accept that we don't have a need to go for a long holiday with them, and we will not be facilitating their need. As I say, the holiday thing has been ongoing for about a year, every time we all meet up. But this is along line of things from trying to get us all to emigrate with them, dodgy pyramid schemes, diet pills and shakes etc etc.
Just because people have personality quirks and traits, it doesn't mean you cant love them for their positive qualities, even when you acknowledge they have some qualities that are irritating too!
I think the sort of reactions you are describing are more likely if people are used to you toeing the line. If you are known as somebody who stands up for themselves, these kind of reactions stop.
I did a lot of free childcare, non-reciprocal sleepovers and day trips during a somewhat under-busy year. Once I worked full time again it came as a shock to several families who, as it turned out, had started to rely on me for spontaneous favours. Some had no contingency plan at all and what I believed to be spontaneous play dates were planned childcare as far as they were concerned.
They all took note and started pulling their weight after the initial upsets and cutting me out for a bit.
Saying no works, it's just other people don't like it (mostly because it works!) In my late teens I ended up going for a week's holiday with a couple I didn't like because I was worried saying no would upset them. It was awful. I appreciate that you actually like these people, but other than going away with them there's not much more you could have done. As for the colleague, she is unprofessional and displaying that for all to see, it's only goung to reflect badly on her, not you.
Nabootique me too with XP. It's his issue that he has a strop but I decide that I'd rather just forego whatever it is I want (proper maintenance would be nice, more care of DD) than have him be nasty for six months. He has older children and their mother and him don't speak and I see how horrible it is for their kids. It's annoying though.
I agree with the PP about I statements, it's more difficult to argue with I feel anxious / upset about whatever it is.
I do have a friend who suggests we go on holiday together every year. She always starts planning and I always say I want to go on holiday with just my family, thanks. She is grumpy for a few days after this, but since this is an annual occurrence I am prepared and I know she'll get over it.
If I ever caved in I'd fear for our and our children's friendships after a fortnight of being cooped up together. Some really lovely people are lovelier in small doses and both she and her child fall into that group.
If people think that they are being "normal" or "reasonable" in their behaviour then they often take offence when someone tells them that they are not being that good after all. I think your phrase "I really don't like the way you talk to me, I find it really demeaning and belittling, so I'd like you to stop please" would certainly upset someone who doesn't know that they are treating you in a way that upsets you. They are confused, they don't understand how their "normal" could be so upsetting to you. They don't know how to react, how to treat you, how to speak to you in future... so they don't. Rather than risk upsetting you further, they cease making an effort to speak with you at all.
I am surprised that your manager has noticed it but doesn't want to deal with it themselves. That sounds like poor management to be honest - this is the sort of circumstance they should sort out without delay.
I also think that you need to understand that being assertive is not the same as being confrontational. The way you dealt with your friends over the holiday - well, I can understand them being upset with your reaction. You basically erupted at them because they wouldn't take your gentler hints.
In the examples you describe you are right to stand up for yourself and not allow yourself to be belittled or railroaded. Perhaps I am wrong and the way you went about it was more polite and friendly than I'm imagining (I wasn't there after all!) because there are some people out there who simply cannot be reasoned with. Sometimes, with some people, the "nuclear" option is the only one you have, and you have to decide whether the mutually-assured destruction is really worth it.
I find that if an obnoxious user doesn't want to speak to you that in itself is a positive result. But then that's me and I am quite a solitary soul.
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