Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: crashn2me on August 15, 2010, 08:13:57 PM

Title: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: crashn2me on August 15, 2010, 08:13:57 PM
Hi Everyone,
I've been on the forum a long time, but don't often post.  I've gotten a lot of help here (Thanks!) and now have a question with which I need some help.  Naturally, it involves FB.

A person from my family's past contacted me through FB.  This person found me through a mutual friend.  While I have very tight settings, this person was able to contact me & send me a message.  The message seems innocent enough as the person asked how I am, how my mother is & to pass along her regards.  The untold part of this is that this woman had an affair with my father when I was younger and, yes, I know this for sure.  My mother found out towards the end of the affair and confronted this woman.  So, my Mom also knows about the affair.  Now, all these years later, she contacts me & asks me to give her regards to my mother.  Even though my parents are now divorced, because of my father's "habits" but not because of this woman, there is no way I would even consider passing along this message to my Mom.

My question is what is the correct way to answer her FB message?  Or should I even answer her message?  I'm leaning towards ignore & delete, even though a part of me wants to write  back "What is wrong with you?"  The other consideration is that my Mom raised to be charitable.  Maybe this woman has changed & she is trying to be a better person.  Though I still won't say anything to Mom as I would never risk hurting her like that.  The only thing I remember about this person is how she hurt my Mom and caused so many problems.  (I should add: I haven't forgotten my Dad's role in all this but he has nothing to do with her email to me.)

So, I'm asking for your advice.  Should I:
1. ignore & delete
2. write back, we're all fine thanks for asking
3. something a little stronger like "please don't contact me anymore" & block

What say you wise ehellions?

Thanks!
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: hot_shaker on August 15, 2010, 08:28:55 PM
Wow!  :o

Myself, I lean toward option 1 and blocking her completely so that she can't even see that you're on Facebook.

I have to admit that option 3 is tempting; you would get the opportunity to tell her how her actions (in conjunction with your father's) affected you and tell her to go away forever.  It might make you feel like you finally get a little "payback" for the way she affected your life.  However, I think it's futile.  She has to know that it's inappropriate to contact you like she did.  I worry that she's she's trying to stir up some drama and you don't need that in your life.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Animala on August 15, 2010, 08:36:20 PM
Ignore and block.  What a jerk.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Jess13 on August 15, 2010, 08:38:22 PM
Ignore and block.  What a jerk.
Pod
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Alida on August 15, 2010, 08:39:20 PM
Ignore and block. That takes a LOT of nerve on that woman's part.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: clairesmom77 on August 15, 2010, 08:46:23 PM
Ignore and block.  This is the perfect opportunity to use the E-Hell approved complete silence.

I think that if you go with option 3, she'll know that her message irritated you.  It may please her to know that, or it may prompt her to attempt to contact you to apologize or otherwise discuss the situation.  Either reaction on her part is not wanted. 

Complete silence is definitely the way to go!
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: sisbam on August 15, 2010, 09:06:13 PM
Ignore and block.  What a jerk.

We shouldn't call her a jerk. We don't know her intentions. I do agree with ignoring and blocking, though.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Allyson on August 16, 2010, 01:34:51 AM
Whenever I see something like this, I wonder if the person isn't going through some sort of recovery program where she's being encouraged to make amends. Other than that, I just don't see what's to be gained...

I would ignore, myself. Responding snarkily is just unnecessary and will escalate..as it is now hopefully she'll get the message.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: MariaE on August 16, 2010, 01:48:58 AM
Ignore and block.  What a jerk.

We shouldn't call her a jerk. We don't know her intentions. I do agree with ignoring and blocking, though.

True, the e-mail might not have jerk'ish intentions, but she was still a jerk for having an affair with a married man (assuming she knew he was married, of course, but it sounds like she did).
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: missmolly on August 16, 2010, 01:57:17 AM
Ingore her and block. If she tries to contact you through other means, then I would tell her on no uncertain terms to leave you alone.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: iradney on August 16, 2010, 05:36:51 AM
Hand-write a letter where you tell her everything you want to tell her. Burn it. Then delete her FB message and block her. It's a win win! You get out all the things you want to say to her, but you don't actually engage her.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Larrabee on August 16, 2010, 06:02:47 AM
If it was me, I'd be too curious to know why she really messaged and if there was some other potentially important reason behind it so I wouldn't block as that prevents her from contacting again.

I'd ignore and see if she tries again, and if she does, what the content of the second message is.

Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Twik on August 16, 2010, 07:44:54 AM
Ignore and block.  What a jerk.

We shouldn't call her a jerk. We don't know her intentions. I do agree with ignoring and blocking, though.

I'm trying to think of intentions that a woman might have for contacting the wife of the man she once had an affair with, to "ask how she was", and most of them fall within the purview of "jerk".

At best, she's doing one of tose "spiritual cleansing" things, where she has decided to run around apologizing to everyone she thinks she's hurt. Unfortunately, I think that these sorts of things are more often self-indulgent than honestly helpful to her victims. And if that's what she's doing, she needs to be upfront instead of starting out, "Hi, person-whose-life-I-worked-to-ruin, how ya doin'?"

I would be tempted to reply, "My mother's welfare is none of your business. Please don't contact me again."
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Twik on August 16, 2010, 07:47:45 AM
Ignore and block.  What a jerk.

We shouldn't call her a jerk. We don't know her intentions. I do agree with ignoring and blocking, though.

? Not sure what happened to my original message.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on August 16, 2010, 08:26:15 AM
So this.  We absolutely can call her a jerk - it's a jerk thing to do to so casually ask "how're doin?" after having an affair with someone's husband. If she had good intentions, there would have been a letter of apology.  And she would have thought twice about sending it in the first place!

Ignore, Delete, Block.  That's your answer, OP. And, you dont have tight settings if a random person can send you a message, so the second part is to check your settings again. 

Ignore and block.  What a jerk.

We shouldn't call her a jerk. We don't know her intentions. I do agree with ignoring and blocking, though.

I'm trying to think of intentions that a woman might have for contacting the wife of the man she once had an affair with, to "ask how she was", and most of them fall within the purview of "jerk".

At best, she's doing one of tose "spiritual cleansing" things, where she has decided to run around apologizing to everyone she thinks she's hurt. Unfortunately, I think that these sorts of things are more often self-indulgent than honestly helpful to her victims. And if that's what she's doing, she needs to be upfront instead of starting out, "Hi, person-whose-life-I-worked-to-ruin, how ya doin'?"

[omit]
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: sisbam on August 16, 2010, 09:20:46 AM
*shrug* You can decide on a course of action without name calling.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: jibby on August 16, 2010, 10:05:16 AM
Wow.  Where is that jaw-drop emoticon?

Ignore and block.  It would be very tempting to reply, however that will just engage her.  She'll either respond with more drama (and who needs that), or she'll respond with apologies that will probably just seem empty and annoying (or at least, I know *I* would be annoyed).

If she's looking for forgiveness or inner peace, let her contact her deity of choice. 
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Flora Louise on August 16, 2010, 10:33:21 AM
Ignore and block.

Some people want to turn their lives into General Hospital. Don't help them.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Winterlight on August 16, 2010, 11:10:55 AM
Hand-write a letter where you tell her everything you want to tell her. Burn it. Then delete her FB message and block her. It's a win win! You get out all the things you want to say to her, but you don't actually engage her.

I like this.

She may want to apologize. but contacting the child of someone she had an affair with is not the way to do it. If that's what she's doing, she could contact the mother directly, and leave the child out.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Shoo on August 16, 2010, 11:15:54 AM
If you want to know why she's contacting you, I think it would be perfectly okay to ask her.  I think it's normal to be curious when someone contacts you out of the blue like this.

You could PM back to her and say something like, "After all these years and after what you and my father did to my mother, I am quite surprised to hear from you.  Why are you contacting me now?"

I see no reason to give her a pass on her prior behavior.  You can politely make her aware of your discomfort with her message and at the same time inquire as to WHY she's contacting you now, if you are curious and really want to know.

Block and ignore is good advice, but it's not very satisfying if you are a curious person.  You can make your case and still be polite.  If, after you've PM'd her, you can still always "block and ignore" her.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: zoidberg on August 16, 2010, 11:39:47 AM
Even if - and that's a big if - she wants to apologise, after all this time, the best, no, the kindest thing to do is leaving the people you hurt in peace. They don't need to be reminded of this. They don't owe anybody their forgiveness.

Seeking someone out for forgiveness is selfish, IMO. Just let them live their lives in peace.

Block and Ignore!
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Sharnita on August 16, 2010, 03:42:56 PM
I don't see it as name calling so much as fact stating.  She participated in behavior that hurt several innocent people and then contadte them in a manner that indicated she expectes them to act as if she never did anything wrong - which makes her not only a past but a present jerk.  If they had run into each other and she had been forced to choose a strategy to deal with being in OPs presence then I'd say live and let live but she approached OP, voluntarily with this innocent persona and asked OP to apporach her mother with it.  Sorry but jerk seems pretty factual to me.

OP, I think I would be a bit direct with this one.  I might reply something along the lines of "Your thoughts and wishes have already meant more to mom mom than you could eve imagine.  please do not contact any of us again"
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 04:04:06 PM
"Your thoughts and wishes have already meant more to mom than you could ever imagine.  please do not contact any of us again"

*POW!!* *ZING!!* *BAM!!*

(sorry sharnita, that just seemed so comic-book awesome. I doubt that it would have the desired effect, tho :()
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: sisbam on August 16, 2010, 04:09:36 PM
"Your thoughts and wishes have already meant more to mom mom than you could eve imagine.  please do not contact any of us again"

*POW!!* *ZING!!* *BAM!!*

(sorry sharnita, that just seemed so comic-book awesome. I doubt that it would have the desired effect, tho :()

That is a pretty awesome response.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Sharnita on August 16, 2010, 04:11:01 PM
she sounds kinda comic book-y to me.  I mena, contacting the child of the married man you had an affair with and insisting that now-grown child specificly make sure to tell her mom you sent your best wishes?!
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Animala on August 16, 2010, 04:20:02 PM
she sounds kinda comic book-y to me.  I mena, contacting the child of the married man you had an affair with and insisting that now-grown child specificly make sure to tell her mom you sent your best wishes?!

Exactly!  Who does that?
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 04:24:59 PM
Oh, ITA.

Even if this were the result of a 12-step program 'making amends' type of thing, she'd be going rogue, as no worthwhile sponsor would countenance this type of contact. If she wanted to make a real amends, she would start by finding out the mom's real address (or email address) and not involve innocent bystanders in her drama (tho obviously this isn't the first time she's 'involved' them ::)). The whole thing reeks of self-absorbtion, and if she is in a recovery-program, she is being poorly advised.

OP, just delete and block. If this blockhead really feels the need to get in touch wih your mom, she will do so without your help. (((hugs)))
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: TurtleDove on August 16, 2010, 04:29:17 PM
I agree with Shoo.  I would call her out.  You can always block later.  My curiousity and desire to let her know how much harm she caused would compel me to respond, politely, and ask what her intentions are now given the harm she caused before.  There is no need to offer forgiveness unless it is truly offered.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Darcy on August 16, 2010, 06:17:54 PM
If you're searchable on Facebook, I think anyone is able to send you a message.  I'm locked tight on Facebook except for being searchable, and people can send me messages even if they aren't on my friends list.

If you think that this person might continue trying to contact you, I would tell her simply "don't contact me again" and then delete.  If she continues to try to contact you, you can complain to Facebook about harassment from this individual.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: hot_shaker on August 16, 2010, 06:20:39 PM
If you're searchable on Facebook, I think anyone is able to send you a message.  I'm locked tight on Facebook except for being searchable, and people can send me messages even if they aren't on my friends list.

If you think that this person might continue trying to contact you, I would tell her simply "don't contact me again" and then delete.  If she continues to try to contact you, you can complain to Facebook about harassment from this individual.

Actually, I've just discovered some people on FB who I can't message without being their friend.  As in, there was simply to option to contact the person other than the friend request.  They must be on some sort of super secret lock down.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: crashn2me on August 16, 2010, 08:42:18 PM
OP here.  Thanks everyone! As much as I would like to respond with this:  "My mother's welfare is none of your business. Please don't contact me again."  (♥ this response, btw!) I've decided to ignore & block.  It's the high road and it is what my Mother would want me to do. 

I tell my sister all the time not to feed the drama llama.  I need to take my own advice.  Thanks everyone for confirming my instincts to just ignore her.  I really do appreciate it!
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: hjaye on August 17, 2010, 12:17:43 PM
Whenever I see something like this, I wonder if the person isn't going through some sort of recovery program where she's being encouraged to make amends. Other than that, I just don't see what's to be gained...

I would ignore, myself. Responding snarkily is just unnecessary and will escalate..as it is now hopefully she'll get the message.

My first thought is not as charitable, I think she's fishing for a way to get back in touch with her dad.  It would be too obvious to ask about him, so she asks about her mom and says give her my regards.

The OP says she knows all about the affair, I'm wondering if the woman knows the OP is aware of what went on.  Even if she did, some people can just be completely clueless and I think that's what's going on here.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Bryton on August 17, 2010, 11:38:42 PM
This was an interesting topic.  Thank you.  I had something similar happen.  My ex husband hasn't seen or contacted my kids (with him) since 1994.  He tried to friend them on Facebook.  They blocked him.  His current girlfriend is an old mistress of his when we were married.  She sent the kids a friend request.  They blocked her.  I resisted the urge to send a "curt" message.   I think I did the right thing.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: TootsNYC on August 18, 2010, 07:19:08 AM
Ignore and block. That takes a LOT of nerve on that woman's part.

Or a completely different view of the situation, or a different set of boundaries or appropriateness.

This woman may feel a sense of kinship with your mom, because they were both treated badly because of your dad's "habits." The world is full of ex-wives or ex-girlfriends who end up sort of banded together. They loved and were hurt by the same man.

So that may be what's driving her--and it isn't nasty or evil. But it's distasteful.

So I agree with the "ignore and block" advice.

Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: FauxFoodist on August 18, 2010, 07:41:21 PM
Or a completely different view of the situation, or a different set of boundaries or appropriateness.

This woman may feel a sense of kinship with your mom, because they were both treated badly because of your dad's "habits." The world is full of ex-wives or ex-girlfriends who end up sort of banded together. They loved and were hurt by the same man.

So that may be what's driving her--and it isn't nasty or evil. But it's distasteful.

So I agree with the "ignore and block" advice.

I think if her intentions were good, she would've stated as much, "Please give my best to your mother; I am so sorry for my actions years ago."  Since she didn't, I'd be incredibly suspicious (and probably annoyed that this less-than-worthy person were bothering me).  I'd ignore, delete, block, whatever you need to do so she can't contact you again.  That would make it quite clear that you've no intention of opening the doors of communication.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: gramma dishes on August 18, 2010, 07:51:54 PM
You mentioned in your original post that this woman found you "through a mutual friend". 

I'd block the "mutual friend" too, while you're blocking people.  What in the world was s/he thinking by giving this woman access to you?
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Hushabye on August 18, 2010, 08:51:23 PM
You mentioned in your original post that this woman found you "through a mutual friend". 

I'd block the "mutual friend" too, while you're blocking people.  What in the world was s/he thinking by giving this woman access to you?

That may just be a function of the way everyone's privacy settings are set up, not something the mutual friend did intentionally.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: O'Dell on August 18, 2010, 08:57:14 PM
If you're searchable on Facebook, I think anyone is able to send you a message.  I'm locked tight on Facebook except for being searchable, and people can send me messages even if they aren't on my friends list.

If you think that this person might continue trying to contact you, I would tell her simply "don't contact me again" and then delete.  If she continues to try to contact you, you can complain to Facebook about harassment from this individual.

Actually, I've just discovered some people on FB who I can't message without being their friend.  As in, there was simply to option to contact the person other than the friend request.  They must be on some sort of super secret lock down.

That's how I have my account set, so I know it can be done. There is a feature that allows you to test what your acct looks like to other people. For someone like affair-woman, I'd go for the block though. Then they see nothing...not even your comments on mutual friend's posts.
Title: Re: FB: Responding to Inappropriate Message (warning: affair mentioned)
Post by: Traveler on August 20, 2010, 03:50:10 AM
If you're searchable on Facebook, I think anyone is able to send you a message.  I'm locked tight on Facebook except for being searchable, and people can send me messages even if they aren't on my friends list.

Actually, I've just discovered some people on FB who I can't message without being their friend.  As in, there was simply to option to contact the person other than the friend request.  They must be on some sort of super secret lock down.

You can set this in Privacy Settings / Basic Directory Information / "Send me messages".   Basic Directory Information is also how you control who can search for you on FB and who can send you friend requests. Note that if you restrict "send me messages" to 'Friends Only', then someone sending you a friend request canNOT add a personal note to it. [i.e. "remember me from working at McD's 10 years ago? We had great times at the fry station..."]