Author Topic: The flip side of commands disguised as a question  (Read 12383 times)

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Ceallach

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2012, 11:58:40 PM »
And finally, isnt' the larger issue not that there is a larger context to the request, but that grownups should notice on their own what needs to be done and be doing it without having a spouse point it out?

Ah, but this reasoning is what causes the problem in many relationships!

People assume that their perception of "how things should be" is universal fact, and therefore assume that  "what needs to be done" is obvious and clear to everybody.   But that's simply not true.  Everybody has a different perception and different priorities.    DH and I are both grownups, but we have a different idea about which areas of the house are a priority and which chores are more important.   Therefore it takes good communication - and some compromise on both sides - so that we're both working towards the same goals and are satisfied with the outcome.     

I think it's very SS for a person to go "I shouldn't have to tell them what needs doing, they should just know!" and then get annoyed when that person doesn't psychically know what they want.   Grownups need to be able to communicate their needs effectively.
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Sophia

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2012, 10:27:49 AM »
I realized something else that bothered me about the wording in the OP.

She mentions that "we are all adults", but then saying No is not an option.  The two don't seem to go together.

But, I think what really matters, is the OP's husband bothered by it?  Maybe he knows he is forgetful about things, and genuinely does not mind the OP's phrasing. I personally have never been a fan of social fictions, but some people are.

violinp

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2012, 11:05:03 AM »
And finally, isnt' the larger issue not that there is a larger context to the request, but that grownups should notice on their own what needs to be done and be doing it without having a spouse point it out?

Ah, but this reasoning is what causes the problem in many relationships!

People assume that their perception of "how things should be" is universal fact, and therefore assume that  "what needs to be done" is obvious and clear to everybody.   But that's simply not true.  Everybody has a different perception and different priorities.    DH and I are both grownups, but we have a different idea about which areas of the house are a priority and which chores are more important.   Therefore it takes good communication - and some compromise on both sides - so that we're both working towards the same goals and are satisfied with the outcome.     

I think it's very SS for a person to go "I shouldn't have to tell them what needs doing, they should just know!" and then get annoyed when that person doesn't psychically know what they want.   Grownups need to be able to communicate their needs effectively.

This, exactly.
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Minmom3

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2012, 12:42:39 PM »
clipped.... 

I think it's very SS for a person to go "I shouldn't have to tell them what needs doing, they should just know!" and then get annoyed when that person doesn't psychically know what they want.  Grownups need to be able to communicate their needs effectively.

This, exactly.
[/quote]

While I understand and agree with your point, I don't feel I should have to point out to DH that the garbage is past the danger level and is now actively overflowing, and that he agreed to take it out when it's full.  He has eyes, he can see the can, see the overflow, see the trash hit the floor when he puts yet another item on top of the heap.  WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DO I NEED TO TELL HIM TO TAKE THE TRASH OUT in this situation???  And yet, I do....  He does not see the overflow.  He does not see the trash hit the floor.  He does not see me getting red in the face with ire and frustration.  He does not care how bad the house gets...  He does not care.  The only time he does any house work is when he has invited somebody to the house that he does not want to see the mess he makes of our home.  The ONLY TIME. 

In my defense, and because I don't want to spend every waking hour picking up after him, I have made myself blind to the mess.  I can't stand it, and I do love him, but I hate how he lives.  I do all the house work that gets done, and there are certain rooms I have surrendered to him.  He was not this bad when we started dating, although I can look back now and see the beginnings of it.  If I had known then what I know now, I may well not have married him 29 years ago.
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Ceallach

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2012, 10:00:51 PM »
clipped.... 
I think it's very SS for a person to go "I shouldn't have to tell them what needs doing, they should just know!" and then get annoyed when that person doesn't psychically know what they want.  Grownups need to be able to communicate their needs effectively.

This, exactly.

While I understand and agree with your point, I don't feel I should have to point out to DH that the garbage is past the danger level and is now actively overflowing, and that he agreed to take it out when it's full.  He has eyes, he can see the can, see the overflow, see the trash hit the floor when he puts yet another item on top of the heap.  WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DO I NEED TO TELL HIM TO TAKE THE TRASH OUT in this situation???  And yet, I do....  He does not see the overflow.  He does not see the trash hit the floor.  He does not see me getting red in the face with ire and frustration.  He does not care how bad the house gets...  He does not care.  The only time he does any house work is when he has invited somebody to the house that he does not want to see the mess he makes of our home.  The ONLY TIME. 

In my defense, and because I don't want to spend every waking hour picking up after him, I have made myself blind to the mess.  I can't stand it, and I do love him, but I hate how he lives.  I do all the house work that gets done, and there are certain rooms I have surrendered to him.  He was not this bad when we started dating, although I can look back now and see the beginnings of it.  If I had known then what I know now, I may well not have married him 29 years ago.

Oh I do agree with that - yes, there are some things that are common sense.      If you have a spouse who is a complete slob, then to me that's a serious marital and communication issue that needs addressing.    And don't get me wrong, DH and I have those type of issues at times too, when one of us goes "Hey, the situation as it stands isn't working for me, we need to find a better solution".     And we sit down and deal with it.   But I find that is best done at a time when there isn't an immediate issue - if one of us goes "WHY haven't you done XYZ?" it's a tense situation (and usually leads to the response of "Well why haven't YOU done it then??").  Whereas if we sit down at a different time and have a conversation about the problem and how it is affecting us, then we can get some progress.  At the very least we can feel that our concerns are being heard.      It sounds to me as though living in a tidy house day to day isn't a big priority for your husband, but understandably it is for you.    I would suggest a very serious conversation on that topic is in order.    It sounds like a very stressful situation.

By the way, in our house, I'm the one who almost never puts the trash out.   :-[  I'm so absent-minded, I'll put something on top of the bin without realising it's full.   I know it upsets DH so I try harder to pay attention, but for the most part he has taken on bin duty as one of his chores as he knows it's a bit of a blind spot for me.  And if he empties it, then he doesn't have to stress about it getting overfull!
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VltGrantham

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2012, 11:09:45 AM »
Quote
While I understand and agree with your point, I don't feel I should have to point out to DH that the garbage is past the danger level and is now actively overflowing, and that he agreed to take it out when it's full.  He has eyes, he can see the can, see the overflow, see the trash hit the floor when he puts yet another item on top of the heap.  WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DO I NEED TO TELL HIM TO TAKE THE TRASH OUT in this situation???  And yet, I do....  He does not see the overflow.  He does not see the trash hit the floor.  He does not see me getting red in the face with ire and frustration.  He does not care how bad the house gets...  He does not care.  The only time he does any house work is when he has invited somebody to the house that he does not want to see the mess he makes of our home.  The ONLY TIME.


Make a list of the chores that need to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly basis.  Share the list with your DH and ask him which of those he will be committing to.  Explain that it is unfair and ridiculous for you to continue to share 100% of the burden of housework and why is he so concerned about a visitor's feelings but not his wife's?

Tell him you don't want to be a nag and that you resent being put in the position of having to "police" his share of the household work.  If he can't, or won't, do anything about it, I'd hire a professional cleaning service and deduct the money from his fun things.  And I'd also be seeking marriage counseling, either jointly or solo.  There is no reason to live like this.

edgypeanuts

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2012, 11:03:49 PM »

Quote
The problem with, "Would you like to?" for those of us who can't stand it isn't that it's a question, it's that it's not actually the question you're asking. 

This.  We just want you to ask the question you actually want the answer to.

I guess this is where I get confused, although tone of voice may play a role- I would find a command from my boss to be rather insulting.  I speak to my staff like I would like to be treated.  When I ask them "would you like to start the next appt?"  that IS what I mean and what I am asking.  They can answer no if they want to.  If they do not want to start the next appt there probably is a reason.  If they just plain hate their work so much that they just don't want to start the next appt, then I do not want them to do then next appt.

I guess you could argue that no one wants to do anything, but I guess I don't see that as true. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2012, 11:17:20 PM »
re: the trash thing - this is one of the things I pretty much entirely relegate to DH.  He's one of those "doesn't see it" guys, so the trash is a concrete thing I can leave to him and he can tell when it has to be done.  Not so with cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, etc. - he'll run a load of laundry every once in a while if he wants to wear a particular item, but I end up doing pretty much everything else except changing lightbulbs, killing bugs, and taking out trash.  I've really had to work on the "command disguised as a question" thing - and now I have to actually specify when it's a question.  "Would you mind changing the baby?"  I try to only say that if I mean "I'd rather you change the baby since I'm in the middle of something, but if you really don't want to I will drop what I'm doing and change the baby because I trust you're capable of weighing what you're doing against what I'm doing and making the decision."

greencat

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2012, 01:27:43 AM »
Crap.  I actually did this to my brother the other day - I asked him if he "Do you want to" load something into the car.  To be fair, I was perfectly okay with him completely refusing to do it, but he's a good brother, so he just said "Not really," in an amused tone and did it anyway.

Mental Magpie

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2012, 01:46:24 AM »

Quote
The problem with, "Would you like to?" for those of us who can't stand it isn't that it's a question, it's that it's not actually the question you're asking. 

This.  We just want you to ask the question you actually want the answer to.

I guess this is where I get confused, although tone of voice may play a role- I would find a command from my boss to be rather insulting.  I speak to my staff like I would like to be treated.  When I ask them "would you like to start the next appt?"  that IS what I mean and what I am asking.  They can answer no if they want to.  If they do not want to start the next appt there probably is a reason.  If they just plain hate their work so much that they just don't want to start the next appt, then I do not want them to do then next appt.

I guess you could argue that no one wants to do anything, but I guess I don't see that as true.

Aren't bosses supposed to tell you what to do, though?  Aren't they there to give you direction?  Also, if your staff answers "No" for a reason, it probably isn't that they don't want to, it is that they can't for whatever the reason, and we're back to where many of us see you as not asking the question you actually want the answer to.  You seem to what to know if they can, and if they can, would they please.

The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Betelnut

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2012, 01:15:09 PM »
The only time I say, "Do you want to...?" is if the answer IS "no."  For example, this morning, "Do you want a time-out?  If not, go brush your teeth!"  "Do you want to lose your privileges, like watching a DVD tonight?  Well, then, go get dressed!"

Um, can you tell that we had a hard morning today?
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norrina

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2012, 10:02:41 AM »
The only time I say, "Do you want to...?" is if the answer IS "no."  For example, this morning, "Do you want a time-out?  If not, go brush your teeth!"  "Do you want to lose your privileges, like watching a DVD tonight?  Well, then, go get dressed!"

Um, can you tell that we had a hard morning today?

I've been substituting teaching, birth-6 years, and giving my 3-6 year olds a lot of "choices". "You have two choices, you can get a book and read quietly on your nap mat, or you can keep running around the classroom and I will send you to your mat without a book," or, "Do you want to sit right here until you show me you can treat your friends nicely, or do you want to choose some work to do? It's your choice."



edgypeanuts

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2012, 04:23:08 PM »

Quote
The problem with, "Would you like to?" for those of us who can't stand it isn't that it's a question, it's that it's not actually the question you're asking. 

This.  We just want you to ask the question you actually want the answer to.

I guess this is where I get confused, although tone of voice may play a role- I would find a command from my boss to be rather insulting.  I speak to my staff like I would like to be treated.  When I ask them "would you like to start the next appt?"  that IS what I mean and what I am asking.  They can answer no if they want to.  If they do not want to start the next appt there probably is a reason.  If they just plain hate their work so much that they just don't want to start the next appt, then I do not want them to do then next appt.

I guess you could argue that no one wants to do anything, but I guess I don't see that as true.

Aren't bosses supposed to tell you what to do, though?  Aren't they there to give you direction? 
No, because my license is mine and my bosses is hers.  She owns the building and the business, but I make the decisions regarding my patients and my cases. 

Similarly, my staff are the ones who keep things moving and draw my attention to what needs it next.  So I am kind of asking them for direction if I feel the afternoon is getting off, as they generally have a plan for getting everything done.  There are lots of ways to do it and while I could dictate what we do next, things often flow better if I let them handle that end of things.  It is more of a working together thing than an ordering anyone around thing.  It works for us. 

Bethalize

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2012, 04:48:37 PM »
The one useful piece of information I took from "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" is that you should know the difference between "Please will you" and "Can you" when asking someone to do something. I always use "Please will you" to DH. If he says "No" either it is part of a conversation between us, or he has used his right to refuse and live with the consequences. This has helped us greatly. If I say "Would you like to?" he has an option to say yes or no according to whether he would like to or not. If I say "Please will you" he can still say no but he knows I want him to do something and he takes that into consideration.


Ceallach

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Re: The flip side of commands disguised as a question
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2012, 09:40:06 PM »

Quote
The problem with, "Would you like to?" for those of us who can't stand it isn't that it's a question, it's that it's not actually the question you're asking. 

This.  We just want you to ask the question you actually want the answer to.

I guess this is where I get confused, although tone of voice may play a role- I would find a command from my boss to be rather insulting.  I speak to my staff like I would like to be treated.  When I ask them "would you like to start the next appt?"  that IS what I mean and what I am asking.  They can answer no if they want to.  If they do not want to start the next appt there probably is a reason.  If they just plain hate their work so much that they just don't want to start the next appt, then I do not want them to do then next appt.

I guess you could argue that no one wants to do anything, but I guess I don't see that as true.

Aren't bosses supposed to tell you what to do, though?  Aren't they there to give you direction?  Also, if your staff answers "No" for a reason, it probably isn't that they don't want to, it is that they can't for whatever the reason, and we're back to where many of us see you as not asking the question you actually want the answer to.  You seem to what to know if they can, and if they can, would they please.

I was just trying to think about how I do this in my role as a boss.

I just realised that I always say "Can you...".    I use "can you" in that context because legitimately they may say "Yes but first I need to do XYZ" or "I'm not sure about ABC" or require further instruction.  But 90% of the time I would expect the answer to be "Yes absolutely" or "Yes I'll have it done by 3pm" or similar.   So it's not a command e.g. "Now do this!" but there's also a very clear expectation of compliance unless they raise a reason why they can't.

I would never say "would you like to" because quite frankly, they are my staff and whether they'd "like to" is irrelevant - we all have to do things we don't want to sometimes!   So I guess there's a line in between command versus request.
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