Author Topic: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?  (Read 2620 times)

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*new*mommyagain36

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Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« on: January 19, 2012, 12:54:38 PM »
We have lovely new neighbors and I'm really worried that I have offended them.  When they moved in the mother was the first to come over to our house with a beautiful cake as a welcome gift!   ;D  She then invited me to come over "any time" and visit.
About a week later I was on my way out and New Neighbor (NN) called me over.  She invited me in for coffee.  I politely (I think!) explained that I was running out for a bit and really couldn't stay.  A few days after that I returned NN's cake plate and she again invited me for coffee.  I declined the coffee but we chatted for a few minutes before I had to go. 
It has been close to a month now and NN has not said another word to me.  Whereas before we would wave and call "hello" in passing, she now seems to not see me. I feel terrible.  I really think I blew it.  :-[
Is it an Iranian tradition to invite neighbors in for coffee?  Did I offend because I declined the coffee twice and only stayed a few minutes before leaving?  What can I do to show NN that I would love to still be friendly but for the most part I honestly do not have the time to sit and chat at length?  I am really hoping I haven't completely screwed up on this one.
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ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 01:00:06 PM »
Well, we always say that if you dont want to be friends, decline the invitations, and that's what you did. We also say stop giving the invitations and take the hint if they've been declined a few times, and it sounds like that's what she did.

So this is really just natural consequences of the situation, imo. 

If you want the friendly relationship back, I'd make an overture - an invitation to coffee, to meet outside for a few, bring over some food or something, let her know about a neighborhood jewel, etc.  Or, if you really dont have the time, then just continue being friendly and engaging her in a chat every so often, but dont provide any invitations.  But I'd say you can't really have it both ways, kwim?
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Reason

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 01:02:24 PM »
I think from my understanding of Iranian politeness (Taarof), if you are ever offered something, like coffee, at first you decline it until they insist at which point you must accept. If they don't insist, then it doesn't really matter :)

Or they could be perfectly acclimated to whatever culture the incident took place in, in which case you can treat them as any other neighbor. To think of it, that's what you should be doing anyway.

That said, if a new neighbor declined my offer to come in for tea twice at the initial meeting without offering to reschedule, I too would assume they are not interested in getting to know me.

*new*mommyagain36

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 01:06:24 PM »
Darn it.  Then I did blow it.  I need to stop over there today and say hello.. thanks!
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Amava

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 01:11:02 PM »
Yep, the ball is in your camp now. Take the initiative, hop over or invite them. Good luck!  :D

Edited to add: I don't think you were rude. I just think that you gave off some signals of "not being really interested in socialising more".

Yvaine

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 01:50:46 PM »
Well, we always say that if you dont want to be friends, decline the invitations, and that's what you did. We also say stop giving the invitations and take the hint if they've been declined a few times, and it sounds like that's what she did.

So this is really just natural consequences of the situation, imo. 

If you want the friendly relationship back, I'd make an overture - an invitation to coffee, to meet outside for a few, bring over some food or something, let her know about a neighborhood jewel, etc.  Or, if you really dont have the time, then just continue being friendly and engaging her in a chat every so often, but dont provide any invitations.  But I'd say you can't really have it both ways, kwim?

I think the neighbor is going overboard, though. I agree that the OP's signals could be taken to mean "I don't want to be best buds," since that's what repeated declines are often used for, but on the other hand, the neighbor seems to have moved right to the cut indirect (pretending not to see the OP when she waves), which I think is OTT.

jaxsue

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 02:21:54 PM »
TBH, the inviting someone over for coffee/bringing homemade goodies is how I was brought up for the most part (in the upper midwest). The first time I moved to a n'hood where this wasn't the norm was strange...and lonely. OP, if I were the one being brushed off twice  (not saying you didn't have legit reasons) I'd stop giving the invites, too. I'd still say "hi" and would wave, but I'd figure you didn't want anything more than that.

Redsoil

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 11:29:41 PM »
I do think it would be a nice gesture if you took over a small house-warming gift.  A plant for the garden, some muffins or other small food item.  If you explain the you've been especially busy, but hope they're settling in well and go from there, you should be okay, surely?
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Adelaide

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 10:44:58 PM »
I do think it would be a nice gesture if you took over a small house-warming gift.  A plant for the garden, some muffins or other small food item.  If you explain the you've been especially busy, but hope they're settling in well and go from there, you should be okay, surely?

I agree with this. I don't think you've "blown it" because you haven't been rude, you just haven't been sending the signals you've been wanting to send. If someone declined two invitations I would think that they were politely expressing that they didn't want to be friends but I wouldn't think that they'd blown it, necessarily. Don't go over there with the mindset that you're in trouble or you've done something terribly wrong. :)

Danismom

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2012, 03:57:11 PM »
I don't think you've blown it, exactly.  I do think that the ball is now in your court to be social.  Perhaps you could take them some kind of baked goods to enjoy.  Generally speaking, I think it is really nice to return a cake/cookie plate with something you've made for the owner.  Just builds the bond, ya know.

rain

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Re: Was I rude to new neighbors (from Iran) ?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 09:27:21 PM »
update?
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