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How do you act when you're someplace you don't wish to be at?

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  • How do you act when you're someplace you don't wish to be at?

    If you attend a party, holiday gathering in someone's home or restaurant rendezvous for the sake of your spouse, children or in-laws despite "bad blood" with same certain individuals at this reunion several times a year, how do you act despite your discomfort? How do you deal with awkwardness and tension in the air? Thanks all.
    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

  • #2
    Donít go! Lol

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi!

      I'll answer your question with some of my own:
      - have you talked about your feelings with your spouse? I don't mean about the hard feelings towards other family members, but about you feeling awkward and ill at ease there?
      - why are you going several times a year? And why do you have to go each and every time?

      And last but not least, here's the best advice I can give without further information: try to avoid talking to those people you don't feel well with. You don't absolutely have to make friend of them, so just stay away from them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sexymama123 There are family commitments that I can't get out of, unfortunately but thank you!

        truffe2miel , Thank you. I appreciated your reply. Yes, I talked about my feelings to my spouse and while he can do as you had kindly suggested regarding avoidance, it's very difficult for me to deliberately go out of my way to avoid certain people because normally during social settings, I prefer to feel relaxed as opposed to constantly on my guard and walking on eggshells.

        Why am I attending several times a year? Because cousins or the next generation prefer to socialize with other cousins and they're still young.

        We reside locally. There are birthday parties, holiday parties, special occasion parties such as graduations, sometimes weddings, baby or wedding showers and the like. Our families, relatives and in-laws cross paths at these events. Estrangement would be easier if I didn't have children. However, since the children enjoy being with their relatives, it's a dilemma.

        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

        Comment


        • #5
          One question: do those individuals know what you feel about them? I ask because I suppose that if they know about them they will either keep away from you or try to make contact on purpose to provoke a response, which could lead to real problems.

          If they do not know, would let them know about it be a possibility?

          Comment


          • #6
            GrizzlyBear, Oh yes indeed these individuals know and if you were to stand up and speak up, they either gaslight you and / or send your head to the chopping block. Those are your choices and these are the results. It's either their way or the highway and if dare not put up and shut up, it's off with your head. I'm not kidding.

            I appreciate your being a reasonable person GrizzlyBear. Whenever you deal with unreasonable people who've always lacked empathy, it's a lost cause. You can't reason with stupid people. It's impossible.

            I have great difficulty "going through the motions" for family social events for the sake of my sons and cousins collectively.

            Keep in mind perpetrators never apologize because they're ignorant and narcissistic. They twist your words so you are perceived as the one flailing your arms up in the air causing trouble. It's truly sick how it is turned around on you. This is classic gaslighting.

            Estrangement is easier for friends whereas it's a difficult situation with relatives who reside locally and then there's my husband's parents and sister who are infatuated with my relatives' side of the family and we don't wish to air our dirty laundry to them. It wouldn't matter anyway to my in-laws because they'll attend anyway.

            I guess I can partake in these "festivities" several times a year for an upcoming grad-bday combo party and holidays later in the year (Thanksgiving and NYD brunch party). I can attend as a snob but I don't enjoy not being just natural and I don't enjoy not being able to relax. I don't enjoy feeling uptight during social settings because it feels unnatural. I don't want to walk on eggshells or deliberately go out of my way to avoid people whom I do not like due to bad blood.
            "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

            Comment


            • #7
              Are you going to keep your husband happy or your kids happy?

              If its purely for the kids sake, you can drop them off and pick them up, or let your husband take them and be there.

              Why go?

              If the kids enjoy being there so much , they won't actually miss their mother while there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maggiemay4791 Thank you. I appreciated your reply.I agree, the other option would be for the kids to attend minus me or the parents. Thank you again.
                "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I very much agree with Maggiemay4791... If you don't absolutely have to be there, then just avoid those gatherings. Invite the people you like to your place, so you can keep in contact and let your children play with their cousins, and just don't invite the ones you don't want to meet.

                  However, I don't really understand whose family you are talking about: yours or your husband's? Anyway, it all doesn't sound like your husband is being very supportive there, is he? I generally speaking feel that relationship issues outside the couple have to be dealt with as a couple. If you bond together against attackers, you'll be stronger... and more credible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    truffe2miel Thank you for what you wrote. I appreciated it.

                    It's my side of the family. It's my sister and her husband. Her husband is the one who has a mouth, he says whatever he desires, gets away with murder, it's always insulting and disrespectful. Then she defends him, tells me to stop "bashing" him, turns it around on me (gaslighting) and she enables him so he continues to insult with reckless abandon. She told me he'll never change and all sisters-in-law share notes because her husband has 5 brothers and they all act the same. They don't mind hurling insults because it is how they were raised and how they grew up.

                    He always paws my sister in front of everyone as if she is his property and she acts like a Stepford Wife. He sticks to her like glue and constantly follows her around like a lost puppy. Whenever she has conversations with others, he constantly interrupts her, she stops talking, she allows him to interrupt her endlessly and she lets him get away with it as if he's 2 years old. He interrupts her if she's talking to people whether in person or on the phone.

                    She is a SAHM, he is the sole breadwinner so she dare not say anything to discredit her husband for fear of losing her meal ticket as they reside in a $1.5 mil house and enjoy quite an affluent lifestyle, send their 3 children to private schools, drive luxury cars and enjoy their snobby lifestyle. She knows which side of her bread is buttered on. She's certainly not going to jeopardize her standard of living so she puts up and shuts up while expecting her sister (me) to do likewise. I've met my limits.

                    My brother-in-law (BIL) is extremely insecure and jealous. If anyone dares to upstage him in achievements, he'll behead them verbally. My sister doesn't do anything and allows him to say whatever he darn well pleases even if it is unkind and obnoxious. If I speak up and command him to stop, in their eyes, I look like the bad guy stirring the pot. I am perceived as a major drama queen. Then next, I get blocked and ghosted. I'm "too American," speak up due to being treated disrespectfully and they don't like that. You're supposed to put up and shut up if you want to be perceived as peace-loving and compatible. This time, I spoke up because it's one thing to insult adults and now it's a real deal breaker because he went after my kid! The insult was directed at son this time, not any of us adults. Kids are supposed to be off-limits yet he went there and broke the cardinal rule: Don't attack the kids!

                    Cousins enjoy being with each other a few times a year such as various grad or b-day parties, a few family restaurant gatherings, some random family reunions, Thanksgiving and NYD brunch party. (We celebrate Christmas with my in-laws, my husband's relatives.) I'm supposed to be "a good sport" and pretend I'm deaf, bite my tongue and look the other way which is increasingly difficult to do.

                    My sons act like the bigger persons by not letting their uncle get the best of them and they ignore his insults readily which is commendable but as their mother, I have a difficult time being the bigger person and taking the higher road. I'm not Christ Himself and cannot "turn the other cheek" forever.

                    My husband said he's willing to attend my sister and brother-in-law's parties and various family events throughout the year while consciously remaining distant but civil towards my sister and her husband. I know I should do the same for the sake of appearances and peace's sake for all guests but I find it hard to be that self-conscious and deliberately ignore my sister whom I grew up with! It feels unnatural to act that cold, frosty and aloof. I can do it but it would feel awfully uncomfortable. I don't want my sister and brother-in-law to feel charitable and I certainly don't need their pity either.

                    This is what I have difficulty reconciling with. Thanks for listening.




                    Last edited by chanelle; June 24th, 2018, 05:22 AM. Reason: Typo
                    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      chanelle, I think Maggiemay4791's idea could be the best solution, but I would like to ask you another question: do the kids know and understand the situation? If they do (even partially) and are old enough, maybe letting them know why you would stop going with them could help.

                      PS: I don't have any kids, so I really don't know how or if that would work with a child, or even if it would be worse to talk to them about it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        GrizzlyBear , Thank you for asking and for everything you wrote. I appreciated it. Yes, the kids know and they're better people than their mother because they're bigger persons and took the higher road. They're very forgiving regarding their uncle and accepted the way he is despite his endless insulting mouth problem. The kids ignore their uncle's stinging, insulting, extremely disrespectful comments but I don't and everyone basically gave up on him because he never changes. It's me who finally put my foot down and squawked only for my head to get chopped off.

                        I've given the kids several options. The 1st would be total estrangement and that was meant with great disapproval because they really do enjoy being with their cousins whom they only see a few times a year due to everyone's very busy schedules. The 2nd option would to drop off the kids and leave and that didn't go over well either. The 3rd option was for the cousins to arrange their own social gatherings without my husband and me and that was met with a thumbs down as well.

                        My husband said he can remain civil and distant towards my sister and her husband a few times a year whenever our paths cross at parties. I can, too but I don't want to because whenever I'm at social settings, I prefer to enjoy the party as opposed to having to don my best poker face while maintaining a cold distance from those who've wronged me sorely.

                        In biblical terms, "turning the other cheek" means to get slapped over and over again without retaliating. You get slapped, turn your cheek, get slapped on the other side of your face, turn left, get slapped, turn right, get slapped, repeat, you get the idea. Well, I'm not Christ and can't do it. I never say, "Come hit me some more, again and again and again and again and again." I can't do that.

                        Question for you and everyone, what would you say, when people whom you don't like approach you for a hello and good bye greeting hug and you don't feel like hugging? What do you say to prevent the hugger from hugging you? Thanks all!
                        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chanelle View Post
                          In biblical terms, "turning the other cheek" means to get slapped over and over again without retaliating. You get slapped, turn your cheek, get slapped on the other side of your face, turn left, get slapped, turn right, get slapped, repeat, you get the idea. Well, I'm not Christ and can't do it. I never say, "Come hit me some more, again and again and again and again and again." I can't do that.
                          I suppose Christ never met that kind of people, as that "turn the other cheek" thing only works with people that think about what they are doing, even if they do not do it the first time.

                          Question for you and everyone, what would you say, when people whom you don't like approach you for a hello and good bye greeting hug and you don't feel like hugging? What do you say to prevent the hugger from hugging you? Thanks all!
                          I would take a step back and extend my hand for a common handshake. If needed I would say that I don't like hugs, which is true. I'm not sure of what I would say if I was not averse to hugs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello Chanelle,

                            Throughout your 2 last answers, I got the feeling that you would like your BIL to change. You wish, he would stop pestering and being insulting, and start behaving like a real man.

                            But there are 2 things you wrote about that would prevent that:
                            - this is the way he was raised (so he may not know how to do differently)
                            - nobody says anything to him, everyone including his own wife, silently accepting his bossing around.

                            So stop trying :
                            - you cannot change anything in his set ways
                            - you risk being thought of as a nag.

                            You're a woman, a wife and a mother. That's the most important. You are a sister after all that. If your sister needs help, she'll tell you. If she doesn't, don't try to force your help on her: she isn't ready to accept it.

                            In the meanwhile, just keep calm and follow your husband's wise lead. If you cannot, then don't go... but don't fret over things you cannot change.


                            Edit: regarding the hug => I would do exactly as GrizzlyBear says, just step back and air-kiss that person (if family) or extend a hand (if at work). You don't need to explain at all, but if the person is stupid enough to ask, just say you're not in the right mood for a hug right now. If you already had some quarrel openly going on with that person, just look surprised and don't say anything (like "hey, what's that question?").
                            Last edited by truffe2miel; June 24th, 2018, 01:05 PM.

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                            • #15
                              GrizzlyBear and truffe2miel , Thank you for your helpful advice. I appreciated it very much. Regarding the "turning the other cheek" biblical quote, it means that those who despised Him, publicly slapped his face hard each time. Instead of His retaliating the slappers and spitters, he simply "turned his cheek" so they could continue slapping that cheek, then He turned left, slap, turned right, another slap and it went on and on and on and on and on repeatedly. Well, I'm not Him and I cannot do that. And yes, Christ met the worst haters yet He never retaliated. Again, I can't do that.

                              Thank you for the advice about how to prevent from being hugged by those whom you don't want to receive hugs from in particular.

                              I've known my BIL for 19 years. When my sister was dating him long ago and he came over for dinner, he was overweight, wore a thigh length braided ponytail, was a drummer and his clothes and shoes looked as if he dug it out of a landfill. It was a step down from her first husband whom she was married to less than a year. Her 1st husband was a considerate conversationalist. She dumped her ex because he wasn't glamorous enough for her and instead, she thought it was exciting to marry a drummer.

                              When I met my BIL and he came over for dinner with my sister, he was quiet but normal-mannered at the time. Then as the years passed by, gradually and slowly, he would say comments which were way out of whack, highly inappropriate, obnoxiously rude and downright insulting. He is this way towards his wife and children; not just my husband, sons and me. My sister said she accepts her husband the way he is and keep in mind, I have no qualms regarding anyone's personal marital and family life as long as it stays there because it does not involve me, you see. However, once my men and I are roped into his insults and those insults are directed at us, then it is a real deal breaker and game changer. It's none of my business what goes on between other people's marriages and family lives but you make it my business once I'm sucked into it unvoluntarily! I was not asked to participate in the insulting jab incidents. I was forced into it without permission!

                              Yes, my sister, husband and mother all say I'm a nag. I'm the only one who is courageous and brave enough to speak up while everyone else pretends to be deaf and mute.

                              With all due respect, are you kidding? My sister would never ask for help. She always says it's none of anyone's business how awful her husband behaves in public but I beg to differ. As mentioned previously, of course, it's none of my business and I couldn't care less about my BIL. However, he makes it my business when it's one thing for bad blood between adults and a whole other ballgame when you go after your kid. That's breaking the cardinal rule when you go after your kid and that's hitting below the belt. I never go after the kids as they are off limits.

                              Thank you, I should try to emulate my husband's aloof and frosty distance from my sister and her husband. I can do it but the problem is that I don't want to do it. If I were childless, it would be easier to decline all of her invitations and resort to estrangement. However, since I'm a mother and the kids and cousins wish to socialize in person several times a year given we all reside locally, it's difficult to decline, be selfless, grin and bear it and attend for the sake of the children collectively. I never wish to attend any festivity if I have to be on my guard all the time and walk on eggshells while I'm there - for the sake of the children.

                              Regarding no hugs, thanks. I'll step back. I don't even wish to shake hands either. Do you think it's ok to say, "No thank you" if I'm approached for a hug but don't wish to give a hug? Thanks. I refuse to fake it 'til we make it. I don't play games and I definitely do not practice displays of pretentious behavior either.
                              "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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