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Not *strictly* relationships, but I need your help!

(13 Posts)
MolotovCocktail Tue 08-Jan-13 09:51:45

Dont know if I'm posting in the right place. I have posted this on _Chat and Mental Health but as I really need help (and this is to do with me and my responses to others), here we go in asking you sage people on Relationships. I'm almost 30 and I still get stuck when trying to retort if someone speaks to me in a way that I don't like.

A recent example: we're house-hunting in a competitive rental market. I've seen a house I really like and want to view it but as there are tenants currently in the property, it's dragging on.

The property isnt ready to move into until March but it is being publicly advertised. I called the agent just and they said "Like I said to you yesterday" [this in a curt/huffy tone] "the house still has tenants in and is not ready to move into yet anyway"


It's then I said "I appreciate that. I also appreciate that your office is busy ... I don't want you to forget"

"We haven't forgotten"

It was only after I put the phone down that I thought I could have said 'well, if the tenants aren't ready to move yet, why is it being advertised?'

My issue isn't with the agent. This incident has just highlighted something about my responses that irritate me - in that I'm slow to retort and/or then make apologies for myself when I don't actually think I've really done anything wrong!

Help me, please!

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 08-Jan-13 09:57:01

I think your response was fine. Being assertive isn't about "getting your own back", it's about stating your needs in a clear and unambiguous manner, which I think is what you did.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 10:03:45

I think you handled it fine. Estate agents are just glorified shop assitants selling houses, they're no-one special. If they're 'huffy' with all their customers rather than treating them courteously they won't do much business. Don't let it put you off calling again.... sometimes you have to be a thorn in the side to get action!!!

MolotovCocktail Tue 08-Jan-13 10:12:33

Ah, thank-you both!

I guess I came off the phone with the usual <thinks for an appropriate word to use> powerless feeling. I'd love to be a real tough-skinned woman who can get stuff done. I hate the feeling of meekness that I get from myself sometimes. And it's the slowness of my responses that irritates me. I clam up at times where it would serve me well to challenge, or be snippy. I need a strategy to reprogrammed responses.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 08-Jan-13 10:14:27

Im the same, it sucks.

MolotovCocktail Tue 08-Jan-13 10:22:43

fuckadoodlepoopoo I love your name. And if you are like me, that is one heck of an appropriate name!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 10:22:48

"I need a strategy to reprogrammed responses. "

My friend has a great way of dealing with this. Any kind of snotty behaviour from others and her immediate come-back is 'I'm not happy with that'. Sort of gets the assertive ball rolling and the other person on the back-foot without either being offensive or having a full reasoned argument ready to go.

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 08-Jan-13 10:24:20

Oooh, Cogito, I like that one! Will be incorporating that into my work daily I expect!

Einsty Tue 08-Jan-13 10:31:23

You have my sympathies, I'm the same. I think my problem is that I kind if freeze and can't think on the spot, so it is only afterwards that I can work out why I am not happy with something and how to express it. Anyone got tips for that?

tzella Tue 08-Jan-13 10:53:29

My strategy in these situations is to be super polite, while saying exactly what I want to happen. It works (for me) in that 1. I'm being polite, and there's not much come back anyone can rustle up for that 2. I'm stating exactly what I want to happen.

Me: I'm still very interested in the X property...
Estate Agent: Yes, and I told you that it won't be available until etc etc
Me: Ah, I understand. It would be great if you can call me the moment it's available to be viewed...
EA: Yes, yes, yes, whatever
Me: Here's my work number, and mobile. I can be reached anytime.
Me: It's 077... etc
Me: And my email is etc
EA: Fine
Me: And you'll call me when etc
EA: Yes.

So, I've done ALL I CAN and if they persist in being rude and unhelpful then I'm just going to have to accept that BUT I know I have done ALL I CAN.

If you see what I mean.

MolotovCocktail Tue 08-Jan-13 11:13:37

Every answer has been greatly appreciated smile Thanks everyone so very much!

Cogito you're ace - "I'm not happy with that" is excellent. Will be giving that a try!

fubbsy Tue 08-Jan-13 11:28:38

I am the same. My stock answer is like tzella's, I say "I understand that" to whatever nonsense they are spouting and then keep saying what I want to say.

Also, even if you had asked the estate agent why it was being advertised if the tenants aren't ready to move yet, she would probably not have given you an informative answer.

theghostinthedishwasher Tue 08-Jan-13 13:12:58

you are a people-pleaser like me! the trouble is that conflict makes me really stressed so if I try standing up for myself I sound really cross/snippy whereas people who are more comfortable with conflict just sound pleasantly assertive.

I have also learnt do tzella's thing of being effusively polite and friendly while sticking to my guns and I find it works well.

Sometimes if they're being particularly annoying or obstructive I play the game of trying to force them into smiling or saying something helpful against their will - you don't necessarily win the argument, but it's always entertaining.

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