Author Topic: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...  (Read 14640 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 06:22:24 PM »
Does Dark Sister do any tutoring? She could always say, "Yes, I can relate to your issues with teaching young people starting university. It does take them a year or so to find their feet in university! We instructors need to be so patient to get them started on the right path. I'm sure we both appreciate the professors who were helpful when we were just starting out."

No, but that would be something good to say if she did.
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shhh its me

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 06:51:56 PM »
   I think the offense part might be before or after"you can relate to that".  You can relate only says to me " you can remember" implying in the case of your sister and her SIL " you can remember more clearly then me" or " you are close to that side of the equation" . 

   I'll also say that most 24-26 year olds are different then they were at 20  but not as different then a 40 year old is from their 20 year old self.  If you ask a 13 year old how different they are from a 12 or 11 year old many would say they are practically a different species.  If you ask an 80 year old they might not feel there was difference between their 22 and 24 year old self,even those that had life altering events during those two years.  It's a matter of preception.   I suggest your sister address , how she is an individual if it is an unflattering comparison but an example  of how she "relates" might help people with advise.

NyaChan

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 08:12:40 PM »
I think that if SIL is implying that DarkSister has been an undergrad recently and therefore will remember & relate, that is not so bad - but the pat on the head, sickly sweet tone of voice kinda grates on me.  I will say though, if SIL is trying to say that DarkSister as a law school student is having a comparable experience to an undergrad student, man oh man.  I'm a law school student right now, and I am only a little ashamed to say that I would probably have to bite through my tongue to say nothing (because if I said something it would definitely be an awful something) to anyone who tried to compare going to law school to attending undergrad.  Law school is its own special kind of mad mad world.  We often joke that we must all be at least a little crazy, because no one who is sane would put themselves through this kind of torture. 

I would probably ask why she thinks DarkSister could relate to the undergrad & then explain why she could not relate if it is in fact an incorrect assumption.     

TurtleDove

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2012, 08:23:32 PM »
I wouldn't say that Dark Sister is looking down on people younger than her (not being able to relate to them isn't condescending).  I don't understand that interpretation.  Can someone please explain it to me? (No snark, I just don't see it and am trying to understand.)

I also think the reason Dark Sister feels slighted is because of the tone of voice in which FSIL is saying it, as if Dark Sister should feel like an 18 year old in the wake of FSIL age/experience.  As Merry Mrs Martin put it, it's a matter of delivery/context.

I'll be very honest and say that, at 24, if someone told me I acted like I was 18, I'd be insulted.  I am way different than I was when I was 18 and that all came with age, the maturity, the outlook on life, et cetera.  If someone told me I was just a silly college freshman, I probably wouldn't have anything nice to say.  Then again, I'm insulted when people call me "Hun" because I think it's belittling, which may be causing a bias in my opinion.

From what you've told us, Dark Sister does not like statements that she can relate to people younger than she is. That, to me, would be the connection with your subject line.  I don't see the snark in the FSIL comment.  I have been to law school.  I have been in undergrad.  They are different experiences, yes, but they are both experiences of being a STUDENT as opposed to having a JOB.  I just don't think it is at all rude or odd or snarky to acknowledge that, as a student and someone who has been through undergrad, Dark Sister can relate.  I really see this as Dark Sister making judgments about people who are not (yet) in law school than FSIL saying something snarky to Dark Sister.

Iris

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2012, 08:39:49 PM »
Honestly, this would just wash off me, and I'm afraid TurtleDove has a point about this being a big deal making DarkSister look a little...snobby (?)

BUT I remember what it was like to finish my undergraduate degree and start on post grad. I really felt like I'd achieved something and was in a much different place and was a different person. So I can kind of see why she finds it irritating, and probably doesn't mean any disrespect to undergrads. With that in mind I have two pieces of advice

1. Please try and listen to the people here. From the perspective of 40, 24 and 26 aren't that different. From the perspective of working, after a decade or so very few people would divide their life into 'undergrad' 'grad' and 'working. Eventually 'undergrad' and 'grad' just merge into 'student'. FSIL may not be being deliberately snarky by not seeing the difference, she is probably just seeing DarkSister as 'student'. As I said I can see why it might seem like a big deal to DarkSister, but to FSIL it may not even be a blip on her radar.

2. In the short term, if DarkSister decides she needs to do something about it she could just start subtly distancing herself from her undergrad days. When FSIL says "I'm sure you can relate..." then respond "Oh, yes, I remember what a nightmare that was as an undergrad..." Simply respond as an adult and eventually she'll be treated as one. After all, it's only two years ago. I'm sure she can remember how she felt back that far...
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TurtleDove

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2012, 08:44:54 PM »
Simply respond as an adult and eventually she'll be treated as one. After all, it's only two years ago. I'm sure she can remember how she felt back that far...

This.  In my opinion, getting upset at FSIL's comment comes across as the opposite of responding as an adult.  I like Iris's suggestions.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2012, 03:09:15 AM »
I wouldn't say that Dark Sister is looking down on people younger than her (not being able to relate to them isn't condescending).  I don't understand that interpretation.  Can someone please explain it to me? (No snark, I just don't see it and am trying to understand.)

I also think the reason Dark Sister feels slighted is because of the tone of voice in which FSIL is saying it, as if Dark Sister should feel like an 18 year old in the wake of FSIL age/experience.  As Merry Mrs Martin put it, it's a matter of delivery/context.

I'll be very honest and say that, at 24, if someone told me I acted like I was 18, I'd be insulted. I am way different than I was when I was 18 and that all came with age, the maturity, the outlook on life, et cetera.  If someone told me I was just a silly college freshman, I probably wouldn't have anything nice to say.  Then again, I'm insulted when people call me "Hun" because I think it's belittling, which may be causing a bias in my opinion.

The bolded is not how I would interpret the original comment at all. I'm currently in grad school (although not law school) and I certainly feel that I can relate to undergrad students. That doesn't mean I haven't matured and grown between being a freshman and being a grad student.

I can relate because as a grad student, I still share a lot of common experiences with the undergrads--we all have to deal with classes, homework, and exams; we deal with the same professors, although sometimes in different contexts; we share a lot of the same frustrations about the way the campus is run (E.g. This building always seems to be too warm, and that one too cold; there's never enough parking; Professor A is insufferable; etc.), and the same little "tricks" and "secrets" (E.g. There's a nice inexpensive coffee shop tucked away in this building; this on-campus food court is not as busy as that one; if you need help with administrative stuff, see Ms. B because she knows the department back to front, but leave plenty of time 'cause she'll talk your ear off...etc.). Some undergrads even do research for particular professors, like the grad students do--their projects are just at a simpler level and for shorter lengths of time.

This person may have a unpleasant tone and may be as condescending as you think she is, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think that a grad student might be able to relate to some of undergrad issues.

Coley

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2012, 10:25:29 AM »
I'll be very honest and say that, at 24, if someone told me I acted like I was 18, I'd be insulted.  I am way different than I was when I was 18 and that all came with age, the maturity, the outlook on life, et cetera.  If someone told me I was just a silly college freshman, I probably wouldn't have anything nice to say.  Then again, I'm insulted when people call me "Hun" because I think it's belittling, which may be causing a bias in my opinion.

Here's where I'm confused: It sounds like Dark Sister may be assuming that FSIL is comparing her to an 18 year old. I'm not sure I understand that assumption. After all, Dark Sister was in her 20s when she entered undergrad, and there likely are students FSIL teaches who also are older. It almost sounds as if Dark Sister might be reading more into FSIL's comment than is intended.

I'm a college instructor, and I teach both traditional (18-22 yo) students and nontraditional students. In my "traditional" on-campus classes last semester, I had a number of students who were older than 22, and I had three who were in their 50s. Given that, I'm don't see the logical connection between a discussion about undergrad and an intentional slight about Dark Sister's age on FSIL's part.

I'd encourage Dark Sister to keep an open mind about this. If it genuinely bothers her, then responding with something simple such as, "I'm not sure I follow," might help to clarify FSIL's intent.

Mental Magpie

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2012, 10:48:51 AM »
I'll be very honest and say that, at 24, if someone told me I acted like I was 18, I'd be insulted.  I am way different than I was when I was 18 and that all came with age, the maturity, the outlook on life, et cetera.  If someone told me I was just a silly college freshman, I probably wouldn't have anything nice to say.  Then again, I'm insulted when people call me "Hun" because I think it's belittling, which may be causing a bias in my opinion.

Here's where I'm confused: It sounds like Dark Sister may be assuming that FSIL is comparing her to an 18 year old. I'm not sure I understand that assumption. After all, Dark Sister was in her 20s when she entered undergrad, and there likely are students FSIL teaches who also are older. It almost sounds as if Dark Sister might be reading more into FSIL's comment than is intended.

I'm a college instructor, and I teach both traditional (18-22 yo) students and nontraditional students. In my "traditional" on-campus classes last semester, I had a number of students who were older than 22, and I had three who were in their 50s. Given that, I'm don't see the logical connection between a discussion about undergrad and an intentional slight about Dark Sister's age on FSIL's part.

I'd encourage Dark Sister to keep an open mind about this. If it genuinely bothers her, then responding with something simple such as, "I'm not sure I follow," might help to clarify FSIL's intent.

I think you're right.  Instead of reading it as "you can relate to the experience of undergrad" I think Dark Sister is reading it as "you can relate emotionally/mentally to 18 year olds."  Not sure why she is reading it that way, could be the condescending voice and the other things FSIL has said to Dark Sister (which I just found out last night). 
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WillyNilly

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2012, 10:56:59 AM »
I'll be very honest and say that, at 24, if someone told me I acted like I was 18, I'd be insulted.  I am way different than I was when I was 18 and that all came with age, the maturity, the outlook on life, et cetera.  If someone told me I was just a silly college freshman, I probably wouldn't have anything nice to say.  Then again, I'm insulted when people call me "Hun" because I think it's belittling, which may be causing a bias in my opinion.

Here's where I'm confused: It sounds like Dark Sister may be assuming that FSIL is comparing her to an 18 year old. I'm not sure I understand that assumption. After all, Dark Sister was in her 20s when she entered undergrad, and there likely are students FSIL teaches who also are older. It almost sounds as if Dark Sister might be reading more into FSIL's comment than is intended.

I'm a college instructor, and I teach both traditional (18-22 yo) students and nontraditional students. In my "traditional" on-campus classes last semester, I had a number of students who were older than 22, and I had three who were in their 50s. Given that, I'm don't see the logical connection between a discussion about undergrad and an intentional slight about Dark Sister's age on FSIL's part.

I'd encourage Dark Sister to keep an open mind about this. If it genuinely bothers her, then responding with something simple such as, "I'm not sure I follow," might help to clarify FSIL's intent.

I think you're right.  Instead of reading it as "you can relate to the experience of undergrad" I think Dark Sister is reading it as "you can relate emotionally/mentally to 18 year olds."  Not sure why she is reading it that way, could be the condescending voice and the other things FSIL has said to Dark Sister (which I just found out last night).

Does FSIL only teach 18 year old freshmen?  Don't most college professors teach a variety of classes and therefore a variety of ages?  When I hear "college student" I don't think of an 18 year old.  I think of an ageless someone who spends the majority of their time focusing on academia.

The college experience is something totally and wholly different then someone who does not go to college (enters the job force immediately, goes to a shorter duration trade school, becomes a professional apprentice, becomes a homemaker, etc).  I would say a 40 year old full time student and an 18 year full times student can relate to university related topics a whole lot better then two 18 year olds one working full time as say an electrical apprentice and one who is a full time student, or two 40 year olds, one who is a full time student the other who is say a full time chef having never attended college.

Experience and age are not always at odds with one another. So if your sister has been a student for the last 5 years she will relate to student related topics better then someone who has not been a student for the last 5 years - that would be true if she was 18 years old, 26 years old 40 years or 70 years old.

lowspark

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2012, 11:00:27 AM »
It sounds to me that it's more the condescention that's bothering Dark Sister than the actual comparison to undergrads. If FSIL had said the same thing in a normal tone, would it have been as annoying?

In any case, I would probably ask, "relate to what?" And if she gave me a response that indicated that she put me on the same level as undergrads (in some kind of negative way), I'd probably laugh and say something like "Oh, being in law school has made being an undergrad feel like ancient history. So, no, I really can't relate."

Mental Magpie

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2012, 11:16:21 AM »
It sounds to me that it's more the condescention that's bothering Dark Sister than the actual comparison to undergrads. If FSIL had said the same thing in a normal tone, would it have been as annoying?

In any case, I would probably ask, "relate to what?" And if she gave me a response that indicated that she put me on the same level as undergrads (in some kind of negative way), I'd probably laugh and say something like "Oh, being in law school has made being an undergrad feel like ancient history. So, no, I really can't relate."

I think so too.  From what Dark Sister told me last night, this is a common theme with FSIL when talking to Dark Sister.  I can give more details if someone thinks it may be relevant. 
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WillyNilly

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2012, 11:25:56 AM »
It sounds to me that it's more the condescention that's bothering Dark Sister than the actual comparison to undergrads. If FSIL had said the same thing in a normal tone, would it have been as annoying?

In any case, I would probably ask, "relate to what?" And if she gave me a response that indicated that she put me on the same level as undergrads (in some kind of negative way), I'd probably laugh and say something like "Oh, being in law school has made being an undergrad feel like ancient history. So, no, I really can't relate."

I think so too.  From what Dark Sister told me last night, this is a common theme with FSIL when talking to Dark Sister.  I can give more details if someone thinks it may be relevant.

Condescending comments are never nice, or appropriate.

But sometimes it helps to frame a reference.  FSIL is probably accustomed to socializing with professionals who closer to her age and being a position of authority over people 15-20 years younger who are still students.  She is now is a position where she is supposed to see Dark Sister as a peer - because of family ties - but its totally against her grain because in every other arena of life someone such as Dark Sister would not be her peer.  FSIL might really be struggling (perhaps even subconsciously) with that disconnect.

figee

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2012, 04:23:05 PM »
It sounds to me that it's more the condescention that's bothering Dark Sister than the actual comparison to undergrads. If FSIL had said the same thing in a normal tone, would it have been as annoying?

In any case, I would probably ask, "relate to what?" And if she gave me a response that indicated that she put me on the same level as undergrads (in some kind of negative way), I'd probably laugh and say something like "Oh, being in law school has made being an undergrad feel like ancient history. So, no, I really can't relate."

I think so too.  From what Dark Sister told me last night, this is a common theme with FSIL when talking to Dark Sister.  I can give more details if someone thinks it may be relevant.

Condescending comments are never nice, or appropriate.

But sometimes it helps to frame a reference.  FSIL is probably accustomed to socializing with professionals who closer to her age and being a position of authority over people 15-20 years younger who are still students.  She is now is a position where she is supposed to see Dark Sister as a peer - because of family ties - but its totally against her grain because in every other arena of life someone such as Dark Sister would not be her peer.  FSIL might really be struggling (perhaps even subconsciously) with that disconnect.

This.  I wonder how FSIL usually speaks.  Is there a mannerism, accent, tone which causes her to sound condescending when it isn't meant that way?  I'm a college professor and my DH says that sometimes I sound condescending, snobby and so on when really, I'm thinking very carefully about what to say, trying to explain something clearly or if I don't know someone and I'm uneasy (and so really watching what I'm saying).  It's a habit held over from teaching and lecturing and having what I say deliberately or accidentally misinterpreted with disastrous results (most notably when I was accused of being a Nazi sympathiser AFTER a full hour of discussion on the Holocaust and medical experimentation,  Nuremberg Trials and the resulting and necessary development of a stringent code of research ethics).  I can see myself reaching out to someone like DarkSister in much the same way and accidentally offending.

Mental Magpie

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Re: When someone thinks your age makes you less than her...
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2012, 05:19:03 PM »
So I misunderstood the conversation that FSIL and Dark Sister had.  Now that I understand it, it's worse.

Pretty much, FSIL was talking about how she didn't like how her students dressed because it portrayed their immaturity, that it was inappropriate, et cetera in front of Dark Sister who was pretty much wearing those exact types of clothes (out of four items, for example, she was wearing three).  FSIL then, in trying to explain a particular outfit, looked at Dark Sister and said, "Well, you understand" in a condescending tone. 

figee - I've been accused of that, too.  Usually I'm just trying to explain something in great detail so others understand, but I've been told it comes across as if I think they're stupid.  I really try to make sure I don't over-explain things anymore.
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