Author Topic: Kicking out a new playgroup mom  (Read 36628 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LazyDaisy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 997
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #75 on: September 01, 2012, 09:34:23 PM »
Don't feel bad about your last email at all LovePickles. This is the ploy of the emotionally manipulative -- they don't take hints, then they don't accept a simple polite no, making you get bolder and more blunt and then hit you with "Wow, you're overreacting. You don't have to be so rude/mean."  She hit you where you're emotionally vulnerable (by calling you a big bad meanie), then threatened you, and she hopes you'll crumble. She's trying to maintain her position of power over you.

One thing as I've been reading along, while it sounds so reasonable and polite, using the words "you're making me uncomfortable" is IMO providing boundry tramplers with what they really want -- you've just let them know their behavior has hit the target and given them a position of power over you. I would remove that phrase completely in the future. Instead of "Will you please stop interrogating me? You're making me uncomfortable," which puts the interrogator in charge of the conversation, use "I will not answer anymore questions until I get to know you better. I want to determine if you are a good fit for our playgroup," and turn the tables with the questions. Then you are in control.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6018
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #76 on: September 01, 2012, 09:53:24 PM »
I want to POD the PPs who advised you to send a short note to the group. Heaven forbid this lady contact someone and say "My Internet is out and I can't access the details for the next play date. Can you please give me the location/lovepickle's home number?" At this point I don't think it'd be gossipy to let everyone know not to respond to her, in fact I'd tag it "safety trumps etiquette".

You didn't ask, but hugs to you! What a horrible situation. Please don't feel bad, you did the right thing for your group!

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4153
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #77 on: September 01, 2012, 10:21:51 PM »
Don't feel bad about your last email at all LovePickles. This is the ploy of the emotionally manipulative -- they don't take hints, then they don't accept a simple polite no, making you get bolder and more blunt and then hit you with "Wow, you're overreacting. You don't have to be so rude/mean."  She hit you where you're emotionally vulnerable (by calling you a big bad meanie), then threatened you, and she hopes you'll crumble. She's trying to maintain her position of power over you.

One thing as I've been reading along, while it sounds so reasonable and polite, using the words "you're making me uncomfortable" is IMO providing boundry tramplers with what they really want -- you've just let them know their behavior has hit the target and given them a position of power over you. I would remove that phrase completely in the future. Instead of "Will you please stop interrogating me? You're making me uncomfortable," which puts the interrogator in charge of the conversation, use "I will not answer anymore questions until I get to know you better. I want to determine if you are a good fit for our playgroup," and turn the tables with the questions. Then you are in control.

I cannot agree more with the bolded paragraph, LazyDaisy. What you said also applies to mental abusers.

Lovepickles, you dodged a poison-dart.

HoneyBee42

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 620
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2012, 11:07:39 PM »
Yes I agree. I am realizing that my last note was over the top but I'm human. Oh well. The crap thing is that I keep feeling guilty and sorry for her and putting myself in her shoes. I think that is her approach with pretty much everyone. But it JUST occurred to me that if someone said I was harassing them I would totally and completely apologize IF I ever dared to respond.
I just want to say that your last email was not "over the top".  It's a very clear statement, and important to make it if you have to end up going a legal route to get her to stop.

johelenc1

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1858
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2012, 11:16:11 PM »
I don't know if this is relevant or not - and I may have missed something somewhere.  But, is WeirdMom not a native English speaker?  Her emails are worded very oddly.  I'm trying to find out if a cultural difference could be at play here.

Although, regardless, I think she's just too much and doesn't belong in your group.  I find it incredibly odd that she wants SO MUCH to be in YOUR group.  Honestly, if someone told me I didn't fit their group, the last thing I'd want to do is join it anyway.  I'd be thinking the whole time that no one wanted me there.  Are there not other groups she can join - even within the local organization itself - maybe another playgroup.  Not that I think you should have sent her on to be someone else's problem, but her desperation just makes no sense to me.  Just find a different group already.

You definitely shouldn't have sent the last email (the, no, really I meant it leave me alone email).  But, it's not that big of a deal.  Just ignore her completely from now on.

As far as spreading the news...I would approach one person in the leadership, tell them what happened, and ask if this is the kind of thing leadership would want to know about.  The person will either say yes, or tell you to just let them know if she starts stalking you.

Oh, and personally - I'd tell the other members of the group something.  This woman is really aggressive and it will definitely be easier to stop her from showing up (in terms of telling other members not to give out info about meetups) than deal with her if she does show up.  If she shows up somewhere, I can nearly promise it will end in much yelling, arguing and name calling.  This does not sound like a person who will leave quietly when asked to.

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12331
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2012, 11:48:41 PM »
This is where the book "The Gift of Fear" comes in handy...it would tell you at this point if you don't want her to contact you, you have to stop responding. Otherwise she learns that if she emails you, you respond.  She doesn't "get it" with your group, and she won't get why she is not included.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4153
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2012, 11:58:51 PM »
This is where the book "The Gift of Fear" comes in handy...it would tell you at this point if you don't want her to contact you, you have to stop responding. Otherwise she learns that if she emails you, you respond.  She doesn't "get it" with your group, and she won't get why she is not included.

Oh, yes indeed. Bopper.

kkl123

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1712
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #82 on: September 02, 2012, 02:29:07 AM »
Do you have a spam filter on your email?  Can you set her email address to go to the spam folder, RIP?  Ditto, if she has a cell phone number for you, I'd set it to silent ring when she calls.

SleepyKitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 576
  • Quid plura?
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #83 on: September 02, 2012, 07:51:55 AM »
Do you have a spam filter on your email?  Can you set her email address to go to the spam folder, RIP?  Ditto, if she has a cell phone number for you, I'd set it to silent ring when she calls.

I wouldn't respond to any of her e-mails, but I would read them just in case. If she is planning on escalating or trying to spread nasty rumors about the OP, it is not only a heads-up that OP needs to be on the lookout for it but it's also proof that she can forward to her chapter leaders that this is a pattern of harassment.

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 799
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #84 on: September 02, 2012, 08:17:58 AM »
If I were another mom in the playgroup, I'd appreciate a heads-up that WeirdMom has been denied membership.  Based on her past behavior, it seems likely that she'll start calling other members.  A simple, "I've informed WeirdMom that Playgroup cannot accept her membership," is not gossip; it's giving other members a chance to formulate a plan ahead of time.

Emmy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3799
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #85 on: September 02, 2012, 08:31:19 AM »
Yes I agree. I am realizing that my last note was over the top but I'm human. Oh well. The crap thing is that I keep feeling guilty and sorry for her and putting myself in her shoes. I think that is her approach with pretty much everyone. But it JUST occurred to me that if someone said I was harassing them I would totally and completely apologize IF I ever dared to respond.

I have a tendency to do the same thing.  Empathetic people want to show consideration for the feelings of others so I can see why you are putting yourself in her shoes over her feelings of being excluded.  However, you have to remember she caused her own problems by acting the way she did.  Even if you do feel sorry for her, it isn't your responsibility to accept her into the group and you shouldn't feel one bit guilty about that.  Weirdmom doesn't have empathy for anybody else, yet she tries to play on your empathy when she doesn't get what she wants.  She doesn't care about all the stress she is causing you.  I agree with others who have said having such a person in the group might scare others away from attending activities.  I recently joined a mom's group without knowing anybody beforehand and can't say I agree that her behavior was caused by nerves.  Deliberate boundary pushing, interrogating others while your child clings to you, and repeated phone calls are not the behavior of a person who is simply nervous about joining a new group.

You got a lot of good advice on this site, but you did the difficult work of keeping firm in a hard situation.  Unless you live in a really isolated area, I don't see why she felt she had to join your group.  If I had received a letter saying I wasn't a good fit for a group, my feelings would be hurt, but I wouldn't dream of going back where I wasn't wanted let alone trying to argue the decision.  I imagine Weirdmom won't have an easier time with other groups.

Craftymom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1283
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #86 on: September 02, 2012, 09:31:47 AM »
If I were another mom in the playgroup, I'd appreciate a heads-up that WeirdMom has been denied membership.  Based on her past behavior, it seems likely that she'll start calling other members.  A simple, "I've informed WeirdMom that Playgroup cannot accept her membership," is not gossip; it's giving other members a chance to formulate a plan ahead of time.

pod!
Please inform the other moms. It is NOT gossiping, it is being prepared.

RingTailedLemur

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2847
  • Rudeness is a small person's imitation of power.
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #87 on: September 02, 2012, 09:51:13 AM »
Yikes!

If I were another mom in the playgroup, I'd appreciate a heads-up that WeirdMom has been denied membership.  Based on her past behavior, it seems likely that she'll start calling other members.  A simple, "I've informed WeirdMom that Playgroup cannot accept her membership," is not gossip; it's giving other members a chance to formulate a plan ahead of time.

pod!
Please inform the other moms. It is NOT gossiping, it is being prepared.

And double pod!

Penguin_ar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #88 on: September 02, 2012, 10:38:47 AM »
At this point, it may be worth contacting the leaders of the chapter where she lived before, sound them out on what type of member she was.  Not looking for gossip, but just to see if there were issues there too. Depending on the answers you get, you could then discuss removing her from the chapter as a whole, if your local leaders feel it warranted.

SleepyKitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 576
  • Quid plura?
Re: Kicking out a new playgroup mom
« Reply #89 on: September 02, 2012, 10:54:04 AM »
At this point, it may be worth contacting the leaders of the chapter where she lived before, sound them out on what type of member she was.  Not looking for gossip, but just to see if there were issues there too. Depending on the answers you get, you could then discuss removing her from the chapter as a whole, if your local leaders feel it warranted.

Yup. It may have not been physical, but she has threatened you. She's going to "tell" everyone about you? Who knows what is going to be said, and this board has seen more than one example of how spiteful gossip can hurt you, even if it is untrue. I agree with others that I would forward the whole e-mail exchange to your chapter leaders, along with a short explanation of the concerns you had and the concerns that other playgroup moms expressed to you. Tell them you're just giving them a head's-up in case they hear anything about you. Then I would e-mail whoever would be the right person in the chapter of the previous place she lived - something like,

"Hi, [whomever]. I'm lovepickles from X chapter. I run a playgroup and recently had CrazyMom drop by one of our meetups to see if she would be a good fit for the group. Just to follow up on that, I was wondering if you could me some idea of the impressions she left on your chapter? I try to be sure that everyone in Playgroup is the right personality fit, and I would appreciate any thoughts you had on the matter. Thanks!"