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Why are some people scared to ask for advice?

(14 Posts)
Sonnet Tue 23-Oct-12 20:03:54

SIL has never 'asked' for advice but manipulated the situation so that advice is offered but never asked for. Having observed this situation for 25 years it usually makes me chuckle but for some reason the latest escapade has wound me up.
DH received a phone call today at work from Sil who was puzzled why he answered as she had phoned an 0800 telephone number whilst trying to find self catering holiday accommodation for new year!!! As he (dh) answered could be suggest any websites she may find useful. Background is that we holiday in the uk regularly and she (Sil)has never booked self catering in the UK. It turns out that Sil is sorting new year holiday for12.
Why not just phone and ask us if we could recommend?
Sorry this should have been in AIBU

Sonnet Tue 23-Oct-12 20:10:21

Should have been in AIBU and have the title ' my F ing SIl again!!

Sonnet Tue 23-Oct-12 20:14:36

I have text her offering 5 websites we have booked through regularly that I would recommend. Funnily enough I have received back not a word of acknowledgement never mind thanks grin

SoleSource Tue 23-Oct-12 21:21:41

Sounds like a battle of control between both of you. I wonder what she would say about you!

Sonnet Wed 24-Oct-12 10:12:43

Control? How sorry genuinely don't understand your comment.
Cue today... Sil has an emergency dentist app and phoned me to see if I could have the dc. Instead of 'hi sonnet pls could you have the dc while I go to the dentist' I got ' I have no one to have the dc etch... Don't know what I am going to do wail...' It took me to respond 'no problem, I can have them' I just don't understand why she never asks but makes others offer. I don't see where the control comes in sole source and why the nasty comment 'I wonder what she thinks of you'

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 10:38:54

I know what you mean and it drives me nuts. As a 'speak as I find' Northerner I am rubbish at picking up hints for help, can't stand people who beat around the bush and it often ends up with an exasperated 'well if that's what you wanted why didn't you just bloody say so!!?'

Why does she do it? Maybe if she doesn't ask for anything outright but waits for pennies to drop this makes her feel less demanding? I don't get 'control' from these people I just get 'feeble'....

Sonnet Wed 24-Oct-12 10:42:32

Exactly cogito. Today I can cope with but tbh I got quite irked about the supposed wrong number to she to ask for website recommendations.... Why oh why. I am a straightforward northerner as well maybe that is it grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 10:45:52

Of course, what's really funny is the rare occasions when I actually do pick up on one of these oblique hints at help and choose to ignore it.... smile The hints get heavier and heavier and more and more obvious but if you stonewall it with lots of sympathy but no offer of help it's difficult to keep a straight face.

Sonnet Wed 24-Oct-12 10:50:21

grin might have to try that one

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 10:58:30

"I've called you by mistake when what I really wanted was CottagesRUs"
"Oh dear"
"Because I want to book a self-catering cottage"
"How nice"
"And I don't know who to call"
"Yes, it can be tricky"
"You go self-catering in the UK a lot don't you?"
"Yes we do. We enjoy it "
"So I wish I had got the cottage people and had dialled the right number.... I'm hopeless at this kind of thing"
"Well better luck next time"
"Do you know any websites?"
"Not off the top of my head but I'm sure you'll find some. Bye"
etc.

Sonnet Wed 24-Oct-12 11:00:23

grin grin grin were you there?! .....

lucyellenmum Wed 24-Oct-12 11:07:18

You could be describing my mother!!! She never asks for help but will phone me up in a feeble voice "oh, ive got to take the dog out now and ive just walked down the town" or "ive got no money, no gas, i'll just have to wait until the morning now" ad nauseum........not, "oh hello LEM are you busy only the dog is crossing his legs and i really don't fel like walking him, would you mind" or "could you go to the cash point for me" It drives me fecking senseless. I don't mind helping my mother out i really don't but sometimes i AM too busy or i might not even be home etc so the guilt tripping doesn't work, just fucking ask i can either help, in which case i will, or i can't and then i wont, its that simple.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 11:14:19

Guilt-tripping... that's the phrase. Spot on.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 24-Oct-12 11:19:03

It's passive aggressive.

I'm no shrink so I couldn't really tell you "why" some people choose to manipulate others rather than state outright what it is they want or feel. But I think it boils down to holding two conflicting thoughts: "I want control" and "I am disempowered and not entitled to ask for what I want".

So they go for indirect requests, and expecting others to read their mind (and getting pissed off if they are not successful), which is really manipulation.

You can't change her, but using non-committal replies like Cogito showed above will force her to either state her needs directly, or give up. It will also wind her up because her control tactics won't be working.

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