Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: MissRose on December 04, 2013, 08:40:08 AM

Title: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: MissRose on December 04, 2013, 08:40:08 AM
My mother asked me to contact my sister, and ask her for the school website log in and a password so she can keep tabs on her grandkids's grades like a helicopter type grandmother.  They are not poor (in terms of grades) students by any means.  I have not contacted my sister to have her get our mother a log in and password to the systems.   I will not give in to the request as I consider it an invasion of privacy & none of her business.  My mother does not know I am gradually improving my spine when it comes to some of her requests & not giving in as I used to do in the past.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 04, 2013, 08:45:44 AM
That's really the best way to do things.  Don't state your boundaries, just live them. 

If you mother asks you for an update, you can tell her you didn't ask.  If she asks why, just say you didn't want to.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: cutejellybeen on December 04, 2013, 09:58:42 AM
Why wouldnt your mother ask your sister for this information herself? Would your sister get mad about it? If thats the case shouldnt that tell her something? I'm just completely blown away by this. In what world does she have the right to that information?
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: poundcake on December 04, 2013, 10:40:18 AM
Under most circumstances, unless given written permission by one of the parents, wouldn't this be illegal anyway?
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: MissRose on December 04, 2013, 01:15:46 PM
My mother wants my sister to contact the school to give permission for the access/details as she knows that my sister may not take the request directly from her (why my mother is trying to use a middle woman).   I will simply say to my mother I have not heard back from my sister even though its not good to lie. 
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: peaches on December 04, 2013, 01:26:02 PM
My mother wants my sister to contact the school to give permission for the access/details as she knows that my sister may not take the request directly from her (why my mother is trying to use a middle woman).   I will simply say to my mother I have not heard back from my sister even though its not good to lie.

The problem with your strategy (besides lying) is that it leaves your mother thinking that what she is asking (to be able to monitor grandkids' grades) is normal and acceptable. It's neither. It's uber-controlling. I have never even heard of such a request on the part of a grandparent. It's bizarre.

 
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: Kaypeep on December 04, 2013, 01:31:14 PM
My mother wants my sister to contact the school to give permission for the access/details as she knows that my sister may not take the request directly from her (why my mother is trying to use a middle woman).   I will simply say to my mother I have not heard back from my sister even though its not good to lie.

The problem with your strategy (besides lying) is that it leaves your mother thinking that what she is asking (to be able to monitor grandkids' grades) is normal and acceptable. It's neither. It's uber-controlling. I have never even heard of such a request on the part of a grandparent. It's bizarre.

Agreed.  You are misleading your mom that you are working on this request.  You need to be direct.  If she asks about it again just tell her "I should have told you this earlier, but this request makes me very uncomfortable and so I won't be getting involved with this at all." and then beandip. If she continues to try and get you to do it, then you can say "I told you I'm not comfortable and that's not going to change so either we need to change the subject, or I will have to end this conversation.  I'd rather change the subject though, since I do enjoy our chats.  So what are you making for dinner tonight?"
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: jedikaiti on December 04, 2013, 01:50:05 PM
My mother wants my sister to contact the school to give permission for the access/details as she knows that my sister may not take the request directly from her (why my mother is trying to use a middle woman).   I will simply say to my mother I have not heard back from my sister even though its not good to lie.

The problem with your strategy (besides lying) is that it leaves your mother thinking that what she is asking (to be able to monitor grandkids' grades) is normal and acceptable. It's neither. It's uber-controlling. I have never even heard of such a request on the part of a grandparent. It's bizarre.

Yea, don't lie. If/when she asks just say, "Of course I didn't ask Sister!" You can tell her how her request is wrong on how many levels if you like, but I am getting a sense that she won't get it and/or won't care, so I'd just stick with not passing the request along, and not pretending that you will/have.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: TootsNYC on December 04, 2013, 02:01:34 PM
I don't think the OP needs to "set her mother straight." And I don't think she needs to worry in the least about whether she is "lying" to her mother or not.

And I do applaud you, Miss Rose, for not mentioning this request in any way to your sister. Why spread the crazy-making around?
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: peaches on December 04, 2013, 02:24:47 PM
I agree that Miss Rose has made a great first step in not giving in to her mother's outrageous request.

Planning to tell her mother "she never called me back" doesn't seem like such a good idea. That's not going to put an end to her mother's crazy requests. Mom likely will keep pestering her. 

I think the next step in assertiveness is being able to say "Mom, I'm not going to get involved in that" or "I'm not going to do that."

Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: cwm on December 04, 2013, 04:09:02 PM
I don't think the OP needs to "set her mother straight." And I don't think she needs to worry in the least about whether she is "lying" to her mother or not.

And I do applaud you, Miss Rose, for not mentioning this request in any way to your sister. Why spread the crazy-making around?

POD. Don't we always say around here not to engage the crazy?
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: shhh its me on December 04, 2013, 04:47:15 PM
 Saying nothing might work but I don't think you should put it on your sister "sis never got back to me." .  I think you can respond with silence if you want but saying " I did the completely unreasonable thing you asked its sis that isn't going with the program." is not polite to either your mother or your sister and its not effective.  By saying you did it you would be say "Yes it is ok with me if you ask these things,please continue to do so."
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: dawbs on December 04, 2013, 04:53:22 PM
I would echo not to pass it off on sis--it's kinda throwing her under the bus if you do.
(although, if sis is OK w/ that--as in, you call her and say "hey, mom is being a twit and wants me to demand you give her the kids' grade info.  Are you Ok w/ me just saying "sis never got back to me" verbatim, over and over again?" and she agrees, I'd run with it.)

But "huh, it hasn't been a priority for me yet--hey, how about that bean dip" can work.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: EllenS on December 04, 2013, 05:01:14 PM
Saying nothing might work but I don't think you should put it on your sister "sis never got back to me." .  I think you can respond with silence if you want but saying " I did the completely unreasonable thing you asked its sis that isn't going with the program." is not polite to either your mother or your sister and its not effective.  By saying you did it you would be say "Yes it is ok with me if you ask these things,please continue to do so."

POD.

Completely not answering is better than pretending you did what she wanted and it's your sister's fault.  Lying about your sister would just make the manipulative game bigger.  If what you want is to get out of the middle, then don't stand there on purpose.

Another helpful E-hell phrase is "why would I want to do that"?

Another that might work for you is "This really isn't any of my business."
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: katycoo on December 04, 2013, 05:20:37 PM
I don't understand why you can't say "I don't feel comfortable asking her that.  If you want it why don't you ask her for it?"

Then when she says "Becuase she won't give it tome!" you can say "well then she obviously doesn't want you to have it and its not right to ask me to give it to youbehind her back expressly against her wishes".

If she argues, simply repeat "You need to take this up with sis".
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: DavidH on December 04, 2013, 05:46:42 PM
I applaud your not passing on the request, but I think that by lying about what you did, you are trading one unhealthy behavior for another.  I think a better course of action is to say Mother, I don't want to be and won't be in the middle of this, this is entirely between you and sister.  For any response from your mother than isn't :okay", I'd repeat, Mother, I'm not going to be in the middle of this.  You need to ask her yourself if it's that important to you.  This is an excellent time for bean dip.

It is perfectly possible to be polite about saying no to your mother, particularly in this case, but lying to her is not polite. 

Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: Craftymom on December 05, 2013, 05:24:15 AM
OP, if your DM brings it up again, you can always give her a surprised look and say,
"You were serious? I thought you had to be kidding around."
"No, of course I'm not going to ask Sis about that, that would be ridiculous. Bean dip?"
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: Luci on December 05, 2013, 11:29:14 AM
That's one of those situations where I would blurt out, "You've got to be kidding!" to the other grandmother before I had time to control myself. Wow!

Maintain silence, "I didn't ask. It's your place if you really want to know", and if pressured I guess you have to honestly say, "That's not appropriate, " or even something about privacy and none of her goshdarned business. Well, maybe not that last, but really......!
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: gollymolly2 on December 05, 2013, 11:37:10 AM
Whether the request itself is inappropriate or crazy is really not OP's decision to make. That's between OP's mom and sister.  Maybe for some reason OP's sister would be fine with her mom having this info.

The part of the request that was inappropriate was asking OP to be the go-between. If OP's mom wants this info, she should ask her other daughter herself. 

And that's why I agree with those who said you shouldn't lie to your mom about this. Just be direct and tell your mom to ask your sister herself. By implicitly lying and making her think you're going to find out the information, you're putting yourself even more in the middle than you need to be.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: TootsNYC on December 05, 2013, 12:35:26 PM
I don't understand why you can't say "I don't feel comfortable asking her that.  If you want it why don't you ask her for it?"

Then when she says "Becuase she won't give it tome!" you can say "well then she obviously doesn't want you to have it and its not right to ask me to give it to youbehind her back expressly against her wishes".

If she argues, simply repeat "You need to take this up with sis".

This would probably be a good route--it might stop Mom from putting you in the middle.

Bcs gollymolly2 is right--it's not appropriate for your mother to do this.

Another tactic would be to say as often as possible, "Mom, I don't carry messages. Ask Sis this stuff yourself, and leave me out of it."
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: whatsanenigma on December 06, 2013, 02:00:11 PM
Maybe you could talk to your sister but not in the sense of trying to convince her to give mom what she wants.  Maybe you could just explain what mom has asked you to do and that you understand that this isn't your place and you don't want to get involved, but you want to find out how your sister wants to handle this.  She might want you to tell mom to ask her directly.  She might want to independently confront mom with no further involvement of you.  There are lots of different things she might prefer and and my opinion is that it would be best to explain this to her and ask what would work best for your sister.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: Pen^2 on December 06, 2013, 02:10:00 PM
That's one of those situations where I would blurt out, "You've got to be kidding!" to the other grandmother before I had time to control myself. Wow!

Maintain silence, "I didn't ask. It's your place if you really want to know", and if pressured I guess you have to honestly say, "That's not appropriate, " or even something about privacy and none of her goshdarned business. Well, maybe not that last, but really......!

I'd prefer to do this, personally. Just keep laughing about how funny and ridiculous the suggestion was. When they explain that they're serious, give them the benefit of the doubt: "Okay, it was funny the first time, but joke's over now. We both know you're not inappropriate enough to seriously ask something like that. Bean dip?" Insistence that they were serious is met with the same response. It gives them an out while making it clear that what they're asking is so out of the question that it won't even be entertained for a moment. Of course, you have to be prepared to look a little dim for constantly not understanding that they're serious.

But whatever you do, OP, I'd make it clear that you're not going to do what's being asked. Both so she won't keep bugging you about it, and so she won't ask for similar things in the future. Use whichever strategy fits best.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: Roses on December 06, 2013, 03:23:03 PM
I agree with other posters, I don't think you should lie. I think you should get out of the middle and redirect with lots of bean dip.

Mom:  Tell your sister to get me the password to the school computer.
You:  Mom, if you need something regarding sisters kids, talk to sister.
Mom:  But she won't give it to me.
You:  I'm afraid it won't be possible for me to help you with this.
Mom:  Why not, I really want it?
You:  How's the weather at your house Mom?
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: bopper on December 17, 2013, 05:27:55 PM
If your mom follows up:  "Oh, I didn't think you were serious.  Asking for access to their grades is so inappropriate."
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: MrTango on December 18, 2013, 12:30:23 PM
Any time anyone ever asks me to be a go-between (outside of work, where that is sometimes part of my job description), I decline.  I don't play that game.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: BeagleMommy on December 18, 2013, 02:14:10 PM
"Mom, anything you want to know about the grandkids has to go through sister.  I will not get involved."

Repeat, ad nauseum.
Title: Re: I did not use it verbally but in my own way: a request denied
Post by: Mikayla on December 18, 2013, 02:43:58 PM
In a situation like this, silence is an indirect form of bean dip - just a very quiet one.  These work for one-offs, but if this is a pattern, then I like the suggestions PPs have given.  I'd have trouble hearing this and not pointing out that I stopped playing post office in 6th grade.