Author Topic: Unfriending Backfired...  (Read 9132 times)

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Winterlight

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2012, 09:51:42 AM »
Or, drop her an email using regular, non-Facebook email, and say, "Hi, I saw your message on Facebook. I'm using email to communicate w/ family lately. How's your DD? The Mother Goose Club sounds like fun for her!"

I like this.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

TootsNYC

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2012, 10:57:46 AM »
I think your uncle's wife (your aunt?) was trying to send the message to you that SHE wants your Facebook conversations to be just about the family, and what the kids are doing, and other sorts of innocuous, friendly stuff. That's why she added that bit about her daughter and what was going on in her family.

If I were your uncle's wife, I'd be hurt and mad if you cut off contact with me because of his actions, even if he was rude.

I may love my husband, and I may be loyal to him, but I didn't create him and I don't control him. I know his faults, but I don't run around correcting him, or apologizing for him, etc. I'm a separate person from him.

If you want ME to treat you differently than HE does, you'll need to treat me differently from how you treat him.

I have a Rude Political Uncle as well, and I defriended him on Facebook. But I didn't defriend his wife. (At least, not until a few months later when it became clear that the only thing SHE could use Facebook for was to post jabs at the "other" political party. She didn't attack anyone directly the way my Uncle did, but it was really tiresome. That's when I defriended her--for her OWN reasons.)


Cleargleam

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2012, 01:22:01 PM »
I think your uncle's wife (your aunt?) was trying to send the message to you that SHE wants your Facebook conversations to be just about the family, and what the kids are doing, and other sorts of innocuous, friendly stuff. That's why she added that bit about her daughter and what was going on in her family.

If I were your uncle's wife, I'd be hurt and mad if you cut off contact with me because of his actions, even if he was rude.

(snip)


Yes, but how the Uncle's wife wants the OP to use the OP's Facebook is irrelevant.

There is no reason for the OP to use her Facebook to open the door to family drama. Uncle is a major source of family drama. For example, an improbable, but acknowledged possibility is that Uncle's wife *might* be prevailed upon, by Uncle, to try to pass messages. There is also a reasonable concern that Uncle might use his wife's account, either because he knows the password or because she fails to log out. 

Also, the Uncle's wife having a "message" in her posts about how the OP *should* use Facebook pretty much constitutes reason enough to defriend her.

It's not like Uncle's wife has been cut out - Uncle's wife still has email, phone and face to face options. It really is just as easy to pick up the phone or send an email as it is to post on Facebook.

TootsNYC

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 04:05:37 PM »
I didn't mean that the uncle's wife was saying how the OP "should" use Facebook.  (by the term "your conversations" I meant "the conversations the two of you have on Facebook"--"your" is a PLURAL pronoun sometimes, and that is how I meant it)

I meant that the uncle's wife was sending a message about how SHE INTENDS to use her own Facebook account and how SHE INTENDS to interact with the OP. That the underlying message is, "*I* won't harangue you about politics--you're important to me, and *I* want to keep in touch about lighthearted familiy things, like my daughter, your cousin."

And I too faced the possibility that my uncle's wife might be a conduit for my uncle's nastiness or annoyingness. But that hadn't actually happened yet, and I figured that if she did, it would be the easiest thing in the world to defriend her THEN. As it was, I defriended her for a reason specific to my aunt herself.

If my aunt had made a gesture like the OP's aunt, it would probably have had a very different outcome.

greencat

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 05:46:47 PM »
I would have probably said something to Aunt like "Given Uncle's attack on Brother on Facebook, I'm uncomfortable with anyone in his household having access to my Facebook page.  I'm glad to hear about Cousin though.  Blah blah blah about nice family related things."

I don't have my Mom on my Facebook page because she tends to make comments more apropos for the mother of someone with a single-digit age than a grown woman in her late twenties who hasn't lived at home for a decade - but I communicate with her using Facebook messages because she's more comfortable with the messenger system on there and she is always logged in playing Farmville when she's home (another excellent reason to not be Facebook friends with her IMO!)

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2012, 01:59:13 AM »
I think your uncle's wife (your aunt?) was trying to send the message to you that SHE wants your Facebook conversations to be just about the family, and what the kids are doing, and other sorts of innocuous, friendly stuff. That's why she added that bit about her daughter and what was going on in her family.

If I were your uncle's wife, I'd be hurt and mad if you cut off contact with me because of his actions, even if he was rude.

I may love my husband, and I may be loyal to him, but I didn't create him and I don't control him. I know his faults, but I don't run around correcting him, or apologizing for him, etc. I'm a separate person from him.

If you want ME to treat you differently than HE does, you'll need to treat me differently from how you treat him.

I have a Rude Political Uncle as well, and I defriended him on Facebook. But I didn't defriend his wife. (At least, not until a few months later when it became clear that the only thing SHE could use Facebook for was to post jabs at the "other" political party. She didn't attack anyone directly the way my Uncle did, but it was really tiresome. That's when I defriended her--for her OWN reasons.)

That was my main worry.  It's a little late at this point, and I don't see how I could have done anything differently.  I did hear from her tonight, and she was confused as to why I unfriended her, since it had nothing to do with her.  This was what I was afraid of, but it went over better than I thought it would.  She was civil, and so was I.  I made it clear that I wasn't cutting anyone off (though I've thought about it on and off since last November), and that I was still available by phone and email.  By Facebook too, really, because while I unfriended them I didn't block them.  We both seem to want the same thing, which is to stay neutral, but we have different ways of doing this.

I'm not a vindictive person, though I suppose I can seem that way when I'm backed into a corner.  I just don't always know how to handle some situations, and I still make mistakes.  It's one reason I joined this message board. 

O'Dell

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2012, 08:55:38 AM »
I agree with Toots. I don't see why the aunt had to be defriended when it was your uncle that was insulting. Plus his insults were directed at someone else, so it seems doubly odd to defriend her over something he did to a third party.

Personally I think defriending either of them was a mistake if you didn't want drama. The result you wanted was distance, yes?But you chose actions that weren't going to give you that result. They are family so you are going to have to deal with them. Even if you have decided to give them the cut direct, you'll still be dealing with the consequences of that for a long time to come considering that they still visit your parents and you live there. (I'm remembering that right?)

The best way to handle someone that you don't want to know but can't avoid altogether is usually to be cool and polite and distant. Treat them as an acquaintance that you barely know and don't want to get to know. On FB that usually means hiding their feed and hiding yours from them, but not defriending them outright. Basically pretend they aren't there, use the tools available to help do that, and don't do anything noticeably dramatic that will trigger drama.

Since you've triggered the drama you say you didn't want, it's best to revert to cool/polite/distancing tactics. I like Dandy Andy's approach "I've decided to change the way that I use my facebook page. Feel free to give me a phone call for updates on life." whatever exact wording you choose. You'll have to get comfortable with holding them at arms length no matter what your uncle or his wife does to try and suck you back in.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

O'Dell

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2012, 08:56:21 AM »
I agree with Toots. I don't see why the aunt had to be defriended when it was your uncle that was insulting. Plus his insults were directed at someone else, so it seems doubly odd to defriend her over something he did to a third party.

Personally I think defriending either of them was a mistake if you didn't want drama. The result you wanted was distance, yes?But you chose actions that weren't going to give you that result. They are family so you are going to have to deal with them. Even if you have decided to give them the cut direct, you'll still be dealing with the consequences of that for a long time to come considering that they still visit your parents and you live there. (I'm remembering that right?)

The best way to handle someone that you don't want to know but can't avoid altogether is usually to be cool and polite and distant. Treat them as an acquaintance that you barely know and don't want to get to know. On FB that usually means hiding their feed and hiding yours from them, but not defriending them outright. Basically pretend they aren't there, use the tools available to help do that, and don't do anything noticeably dramatic that will trigger drama.

Since you've triggered the drama you say you didn't want, it's best to revert to cool/polite/distancing tactics. I like Dandy Andy's approach "I've decided to change the way that I use my facebook page. Feel free to give me a phone call for updates on life." whatever exact wording you choose. You'll have to get comfortable with holding them at arms length no matter what your uncle or his wife does to try and suck you back in.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

TootsNYC

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2012, 12:19:13 PM »


That was my main worry.  It's a little late at this point, and I don't see how I could have done anything differently.  I did hear from her tonight, and she was confused as to why I unfriended her, since it had nothing to do with her.  This was what I was afraid of, but it went over better than I thought it would.  She was civil, and so was I.  I made it clear that I wasn't cutting anyone off (though I've thought about it on and off since last November), and that I was still available by phone and email.  By Facebook too, really, because while I unfriended them I didn't block them.  We both seem to want the same thing, which is to stay neutral, but we have different ways of doing this.

I'm not a vindictive person, though I suppose I can seem that way when I'm backed into a corner.  I just don't always know how to handle some situations, and I still make mistakes.  It's one reason I joined this message board.

I think that's great, and I'm glad you and she have managed to smooth t his over so as not to create a bigger-than-necessary rift!

Glad it worked out for you.

(Rude Uncles are really, really annoying! Fortunately, mine has always been distant, so I don't have to put up with him much.)

TootsNYC

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2012, 12:21:40 PM »
Oh, and I'll say that blocking my uncle (totally blocked him, not just defriended him) HAS reduced the drama. Of course, I don't have to see him in person because he's so distant.

Though I *did* see him at my mother's funeral. I simply acted as though Facebook, and his political discourse, were simply nonexistent, as if they'd never been a part of anything. I had objected to his dragging his political discourse into family life, and so I decided that *I* should not drag anything related to it into family life, either. Not EVEN the concept that he'd behaved badly DURING his political discourse.

It worked.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...small update #25
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2012, 02:38:20 PM »
Well...It took a little longer than I thought, but it's happened.  Last night, my uncle sent a few Facebook PM's to my mother, accusing her of "poisoning your kids against me".  Because, you know, at 27 and 30 we're incapable of thinking for ourselves.  ::)  His wife and I are okay, as far as I'm aware.  To (belatedly) answer a question, yeah, she's technically my aunt, but she's only a couple years older than I am.  We just call each other by our names.

I really don't understand him.  ??? Saying he was "challenging" my brother's opinion, and "showing him what was logical", then turning his attack on my mother when we refuse to throw down and fight with him?  Then dredging up things that happened before we were even born, and throwing out accusations about all of us not caring and showing no interest in his children?  I don't get it.  If that's logical, I'm a rabbit.  Of course, it never occurred to him that we might have backed off because of his behavior.  My mom's responses weren't exactly Ehell approved, so I'm sort of bracing for impact...There's more to come in the future, there always is.

This is why I can't be around them anymore.  The few times I've tried the "beandip technique", I'm met with "Don't change the subject".  If I wanted to play Chess, I'd break out my Chess board!  ;D

So, yeah.  Pretty much a no-win situation, no matter what we do.  Maybe it is time to sever ties, because he expects everyone to agree with him and punishes those who don't.  The trouble is, I can't do it without it coming back to my mother, and she doesn't want to cut ties with her brother.  Not asking for advice on that, just sort of throwing my hands up in defeat.  We haven't gone over there much this year, but there's a good reason for that.  When we're over there, even though there haven't been any fights, we really haven't felt welcome.  It felt like we were going through the motions for the sake of the kids, or something.  I suppose I could continue to give updates as the situation unfolds, if anyone's interested, but it would probably just be more of the same.  This right here isn't because we unfriended his wife; it's because we unfriended him.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 02:42:41 PM by CrochetFanatic »

Jones

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2012, 02:47:25 PM »
This is the uncle who asked for your old toys back, 20 some years after giving them to you, correct?

If all of you cut him off, you have the potential of cutting a LOT of drama, it sounds like! Good luck!

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2012, 02:48:34 PM »
Yep, that's the guy.

TootsNYC

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2012, 07:50:50 PM »
I would just avoid whenever possible--you don't have to announce that you've cut ties.

Be Teflon. And insist to your mother that she cannot make her connection to her brother be YOUR responsibility.

YOU guys can just avoid him as much as possible, and she'll simply have to live with it. The more she acts as though it's completely normal that you and Bro are just too busy, or whatever, the more her brother will be forced to accept it.

BeeGee01

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2012, 07:55:21 PM »
Bottom line, it's YOUR Facebook account.  YOU are allowed to be friends with who you want, and also allowed to NOT be friends if someone if you don't want.

I don't think you were wrong at all, and I disagree that you created any family drama.  I think the best thing you can do is NOT be friends with those people on Facebook.

Think about it, Facebook is YOUR public "identity" if you will.  It's not just your family, but your friends and acquaintances.  Sure you could go to the trouble of hiding certain things, and make stuff private.  But that seems to be a lot of trouble for YOU to go through in order for your Aunt not to get her feelings hurt.  If your Aunt is not willing to tell her husband that he is inappropriate, then you are under no obligation to give her access to your personal life.   Your Uncle is entitled to his opinion, he is not entitled to put down you or your brother for not agreeing with him.

This is what I hate about politics.  There is no respect by either side.  And I honestly think it's the age of the internet that has brought us to such deplorable behavior towards our fellow Americans.