Author Topic: "You just haven't met the right man"  (Read 13286 times)

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Iris

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 12:25:46 AM »
 ::) I agree with WillyNilly that the mere fact that you refrained from physically assaulting this woman means you did good. I am NOT a fan of violence, but that is so grossly offensive that many people I have met would have responded to that remark with their fists. If she is that insensitive all the time I'm secretly quite impressed that she's survived long enough to pass on her genes  ;)

Seriously, though, from now on just shut her down. Don't speak to her outside of professional necessity and DON'T relate personal information when she might hear it.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Lynnv

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 12:30:25 AM »
I heard that, unfortunately, regularly when I was single.  And I found it incredibly rude and condescending then. 

Someone who said that to me after knowing that I was in a relationship would not get nearly as polite a response as you have managed.  I have control over my temper most of the time, but belittling my DH would probably bypass all that control and cause the rather rough edge of it to come right out. 

I think coldly and professionally polite is a good way to go from here forward.  If you didn't work with her, I would suggest avoiding even that, but work sometimes makes us acknowledge people who we would normally avoid like the plague. 

She was at least 15 light-years over the line and headed for the edge of the galaxy at speeds previously thought impossible, except in sci-fi. 
Lynn

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PastryGoddess

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2012, 01:48:30 AM »
I also know that I don't want kids and I get this all the time.  I don't have a DH.  But I've found the overly long, just this side of awkward pause and saying "Wow!" *pause* "thanks for your opinion" in my most sarcastic voice, works like a charm.  During the awkward pause it helps to go from friendly to frozen glare in stages so they see the transformation.

It's second nature to me now and I've used it with family members, friends, and the occasional stranger as well

snowdragon

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2012, 09:01:37 AM »
I am 50, unmarried and I refuse all dates and I get this. My stock answer is "That's because that person does not exist" .  It stops them short, and I can extract myself.

RooRoo

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 11:28:56 AM »
Fallon, your response was perfect. Here are some suggestions.

Do start keeping a log. Every ding-dangity time she says you haven't met the right man yet, write it down with date, time, place, and your response. Keep one of those little notebooks with you. If Sandy is a good friend, get her in on all of this, and ask her to keep a log, too.

You could even do it in front of her. When she asks about it, you can wryly tell her that you think she doesn't realize how often she tells you to leave your husband.

Now for RooRoo's scripts.

1: a toned down version of David H's suggestion. Ask her, directly and seriously, "Are you really telling me to  leave my husband?" If she responds with anything resembling "No," then say something like "Then don't. say. that. again." Use an assertive tone of voice.

1a. At this point (and/or later), she'll probably accuse you of being too sensitive.

You, in a serious but friendly tone: Well, how would you like it, if, every time I saw you, I said, 'You shouldn't have children! Nobody should! The child-free life is marvelous! Give your baby up for adoption!'

Cow*: "Bla bla but I wasn't saying..." 

You: "You telling me I haven't found the right man yet is the same thing. You're telling me to leave my husband."

2: Cow: "Oh, you just haven't met the right man."

You: Raise eyebrows, silently look her in the eye for a few seconds... "Isn't (local sports team) doing well/badly this season!" (Or any other subject that has nothing at all to do with families or children.)

3. Raise your eyebrows, look her in the eye for a few seconds... Turn away. Ask or tell Sandy (or anyone but Cow!) about something you have in common. You can escalate this further by being even more obvious. "How about that local sports team?" Without naming any team, just saying "local sports team."

4. If, after a few doses of this, she still doesn't get it, it's time for the Cut Direct. Instead of following the Absolute Silence Look with beandip, you follow it by turning your back on her. If you're at your desk, ostentatiously (but silently) get back to work. Afterwards, talk to her only if your work requires it, with no smiles.

If even this does not work, then it's time to take your logs and go above her head. You have done everything you can, short of throwing a screaming fit. She is creating a hostile working environment for you, based on your lifestyle choices. It might be hard for them to take it seriously, especially if they have children. There is always somebody that rides their hobby horse too hard. But telling you you haven't found the right man, when you're married?  >:( Be sure to point out that she is telling you to leave your husband.

;) It's just an abbreviation for "Coworker." Honest!  >:D
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

HonorH

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2012, 03:42:33 PM »
1: a toned down version of David H's suggestion. Ask her, directly and seriously, "Are you really telling me to  leave my husband?" If she responds with anything resembling "No," then say something like "Then don't. say. that. again." Use an assertive tone of voice.

I agree with this. I would bet money that she wasn't really thinking and just blithered her way into foot-in-mouth disease. By making her realize that she just suggested that your husband is the wrong man for you, you'll drive home just how offensive her statement was. Plus, if she has the nerve to say that yes, she actually did mean that, she's unlikely to find any sympathy at all amongst your officemates.

All that said, though, I doubt you'll have to deal with her about this again. Chances are that she's replayed the conversation in her head, realized just how badly she's stuck her foot in it (up to her waist and rapidly sinking deeper) and is anxious to avoid you at all costs.
William wondered why he always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense.

--Terry Pratchett, The Truth

rabbit_woman

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2012, 04:53:37 AM »
Some people will always want to reassure themselves that the life choices they have made are the right ones. If you have made the completely opposite choice, it will make them question their choices, might make them feel insecure in themselves, and then the only way for them to reassure themselves is to undermine you! That's why people do it, I think, over all sorts of issues- I have had my faith questioned and belittled, my choice to be meat free challenged, my choice to work part time, my choice not to drive, and many many times, I have had close friends say to me "why don't you just try for a baby, you would make a great mum!" Well, I just don't want to, and my husband feels the same way!

I don't think there is a lot of harm in it, though, and always try to be aware of people's motives behind their words - they are not trying to make me feel bad, but themselves feel better!

greencat

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2012, 06:18:49 AM »
I suspect that she may have briefly brainfarted away that you're married.  However, if that wasn't the case and she repeats herself, you should say "Bee, you are being offensive.  Quit insulting my husband by suggesting that he's not the right man, and quit insulting me by saying that I don't know what I want."

As I'm sure she'll repeat the baby-related comments, just scratch the first half the the "Quit insulting" sentence to respond to those :(


Nuala

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2012, 10:56:58 AM »
If she were to say that again, I would likely lean in and very quietly say to her, "You must never insult my husband like that again." Let her understand how far over the line she is.

nuit93

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2012, 02:14:10 AM »
If she were to say that again, I would likely lean in and very quietly say to her, "You must never insult my husband like that again." Let her understand how far over the line she is.

I agree.  Though I would like to think she had a momentary case of mom-brain brought on by lack of sleep and forgot that you were, in fact, married.

Either way, she was way out of line and owes you an apology.

It's good to be Queen

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2012, 12:07:40 PM »
Like many people I say that I won't have children, when in fact I can't have children.  (If you say you can't it is amazing how many people ask why and then tell me about the latest fertility treatments or assure me I can adopt, etc. none of which is helpful to me.)  I would never question anyone's desire to have or not have children because you are flirting with a very touchy subject.  For her to keep insisting is rude and it is not wrong of you to subtly point that out to her.

BeautifulDisaster

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2012, 11:50:28 PM »
Thank you all for the ideas of how to handle her in the future. I am so very glad I posted this on Ehell before I mentioned it to my family. Being validated here made it easier when finding out certain members of my family agree with this coworker. It sounds like these ideas are going to be getting *alot* of use.

nuit93

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2012, 01:17:09 AM »
Being validated here made it easier when finding out certain members of my family agree with this coworker. It sounds like these ideas are going to be getting *alot* of use.

Ouch, I'm sorry to hear you have family members who think that way!


Redsoil

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2012, 08:47:02 AM »
I'd be saying to her:  "Isn't it funny how some people just can't accept others' personal choices?  It seems to me that they must be missing something in their own life to be so controlling/narrow-minded."

Let her stew in that.  Bet she doesn't bring it up again.  Use it for family members also.  It turns the tables nicely from the focus being "there's something wrong with YOU" to "She's saying there's something wrong with ME!!!" 

Ask me how I know...  *snerk*  (And yes, it can be phrased more strongly at need, but still remain polite.  Ask me again how I know.)
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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: "You just haven't met the right man"
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2012, 11:39:51 AM »
I am 50, unmarried and I refuse all dates and I get this. My stock answer is "That's because that person does not exist" .  It stops them short, and I can extract myself.

Wow, I've just found my twin!!   Hi snowdragon!  I've been saying that for years, too, and I'm OVER 50 now.
And never married.