Author Topic: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request  (Read 4531 times)

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Betelnut

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2012, 11:46:57 AM »
But weeks later I found out second hand that Annie had been kind of offended at my "I hate painting" comment as "helping friends isn't about doing what you like."

If that's really what she said, then I think she was offended by your reason for not wanting to help out. If you had said you had obligations at home or being short notice didn't work for you (not dressed for it), you might have been fine. But your stated reason implies that you pick and choose to help people based on how much you like the activity rather than if you can help your friend or not.

So yeah I can see why she'd be insulted. And I don't think JADEing is an issue here unless she's known to be someone who tramples boundaries when asking for help.

I agree with this. I think you were fine for refusing the request, and I actually don't think it WAS a serious request. I think that the "I hate painting" is what offended Annie.. it implies you'll only help if it's something you like doing. If I were Annie, I'd be thinking, "well, I didn't LOVE helping you move, but I did it because we're friends and you needed the help."

This exactly.  Annie wasn't upset about the refusal to paint but why she refused.  I think the request was a joke but maybe Annie would have felt better if the OP had said, "Oh, I can't tonight, LOL, but some other time maybe!"
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Shoo

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2012, 11:49:53 AM »
But weeks later I found out second hand that Annie had been kind of offended at my "I hate painting" comment as "helping friends isn't about doing what you like."

If that's really what she said, then I think she was offended by your reason for not wanting to help out. If you had said you had obligations at home or being short notice didn't work for you (not dressed for it), you might have been fine. But your stated reason implies that you pick and choose to help people based on how much you like the activity rather than if you can help your friend or not.

So yeah I can see why she'd be insulted. And I don't think JADEing is an issue here unless she's known to be someone who tramples boundaries when asking for help.

I agree with this. I think you were fine for refusing the request, and I actually don't think it WAS a serious request. I think that the "I hate painting" is what offended Annie.. it implies you'll only help if it's something you like doing. If I were Annie, I'd be thinking, "well, I didn't LOVE helping you move, but I did it because we're friends and you needed the help."

Annie didn't actually help the OP move. 

Girlie

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2012, 11:54:39 AM »
Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?

It's not like the OP said she would NEVER help paint. Her response was basically "No, not now, I hate painting." At least, that's how it came across to me. She said it the way she said it because she didn't think anything else of it.

I personally think Annie was just looking for something to talk about. 

SingActDance

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2012, 12:26:01 PM »
POD others who say it wasn't your refusal, it was your wording. It makes it sound as if you would have helped if it was an activity you enjoyed. Especially since you asked, "Is everyone just going home now?" That, to me, sounds like you would have been up for doing something else. Next time just go with, "I wish I could help, but it's late and I have stuff to do at home."
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

Virg

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2012, 12:37:19 PM »
The error in logic here is in the concept of "request".  There was no request for help.  There was an offhand comment about painting (not even made by Annie herself), but Annie didn't make any reasonable attempt at requesting help, so she has no room to expect anyone to take her seriously.  If she wanted help, the reasonable approach would be to ask for it, not get irritated when Raintree didn't infer the meaning of a secondhand comment the way she wanted.

Girlie wrote:

"Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?"

I see the reason as a red herring, because the underlying issue is that Raintree didn't realize that there was any serious request for help.  That fault falls to Annie (and in part to Mutual Friend) because she got upset over an issue she created by not asking directly.

SingActDance wrote:

"POD others who say it wasn't your refusal, it was your wording."

I find myself thinking that it was the non-request that created the wording that offended, so it's not the wording that's at the heart of the offense.  If Annie had asked seriously, I'd bet that Raintree's wording would have been different, ranging from "OK, I'll help" to "I'm sorry, but I can't due to my other commitments" so the whole concept of hating painting would not have entered the discussion.  If Raintree has to spend her time vetting her wording for every offhand joke so that it can't be interpreted seriously and cause offense, then I'd say it's time to back off the friendship.

Virg

violinp

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2012, 12:50:18 PM »
Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?

It's not like the OP said she would NEVER help paint. Her response was basically "No, not now, I hate painting." At least, that's how it came across to me. She said it the way she said it because she didn't think anything else of it.

I personally think Annie was just looking for something to talk about.

This. I love to paint, but I'm not gonna make a night of it.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


still in va

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 12:55:39 PM »
Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?

It's not like the OP said she would NEVER help paint. Her response was basically "No, not now, I hate painting." At least, that's how it came across to me. She said it the way she said it because she didn't think anything else of it.

I personally think Annie was just looking for something to talk about.

This. I love to paint, but I'm not gonna make a night of it.

and i'm not going to start painting at 9 PM, after a full day.

violinp

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 12:57:40 PM »
Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?

It's not like the OP said she would NEVER help paint. Her response was basically "No, not now, I hate painting." At least, that's how it came across to me. She said it the way she said it because she didn't think anything else of it.

I personally think Annie was just looking for something to talk about.

This. I love to paint, but I'm not gonna make a night of it.

and i'm not going to start painting at 9 PM, after a full day.

That too. I'd be too exhausted to do a good job.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


hobish

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 12:58:51 PM »
Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?

It's not like the OP said she would NEVER help paint. Her response was basically "No, not now, I hate painting." At least, that's how it came across to me. She said it the way she said it because she didn't think anything else of it.

I personally think Annie was just looking for something to talk about.

This. Picking on the wording of a response that was meant as a reply to something that was not thought to be serious is just nitpicky. If this is Annie's normal MO it sounds like she was looking for something to complain about.

Girlie, if i didn't know better i would wonder if we were related. My sister is like that, too. I love her and even like her; but dang being around her is downright tiring sometimes.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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SingActDance

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2012, 01:01:26 PM »
The error in logic here is in the concept of "request".  There was no request for help.  There was an offhand comment about painting (not even made by Annie herself), but Annie didn't make any reasonable attempt at requesting help, so she has no room to expect anyone to take her seriously.  If she wanted help, the reasonable approach would be to ask for it, not get irritated when Raintree didn't infer the meaning of a secondhand comment the way she wanted.

Girlie wrote:

"Am I the only person who thinks hating to paint is a valid reason to refuse to help? At 9:00pm? After dinner?"

I see the reason as a red herring, because the underlying issue is that Raintree didn't realize that there was any serious request for help.  That fault falls to Annie (and in part to Mutual Friend) because she got upset over an issue she created by not asking directly.

SingActDance wrote:

"POD others who say it wasn't your refusal, it was your wording."

I find myself thinking that it was the non-request that created the wording that offended, so it's not the wording that's at the heart of the offense.  If Annie had asked seriously, I'd bet that Raintree's wording would have been different, ranging from "OK, I'll help" to "I'm sorry, but I can't due to my other commitments" so the whole concept of hating painting would not have entered the discussion.  If Raintree has to spend her time vetting her wording for every offhand joke so that it can't be interpreted seriously and cause offense, then I'd say it's time to back off the friendship.

Virg

Again, I really don't think it was a serious request. I don't think Annie expected the OP to help at all. But when she heard the response, it might have stung a bit. Imagine you were out with a friend for dinner and afterward you said, "So, is everyone just going home now?" Your friend responds, "Yeah, I guess so. Unless you want to come help me put my fussy child to bed. Haha!" Would responding, "No thanks, I hate kids" be the best response? I think that "Ooooh, well as appealing as that sounds, I've got an appointment with my Stephen King novel. LOL." would be better.
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

camlan

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2012, 01:06:48 PM »
The wording of the reply/refusal wasn't offensive.

Annie chose to take offense at it.

Really, if we have to watch what we say so closely, even at the end of a long day, with friends, that we can't just come out and say "I hate painting," then I'm just going to stop talking. One should not have to think and rethink every sentence spoken on the off chance that someone's not going to like exactly what one says and how one says it.

Maybe the OP might have been able to phrase her refusal in a nicer way, but I know that by 9 pm I'm fading fast and I'm tired and therefore not quick to think of the absolute bestest way to phrase things. What the OP said was not rude or mean. And it doesn't sound as if she said it in a rude or mean way. Is there a requirement out that that we never, ever say anything that might possibly upset anyone at any time?

Annie is being a bit precious, here.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


SingActDance

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2012, 01:10:27 PM »
The wording of the reply/refusal wasn't offensive.

Annie chose to take offense at it.

Really, if we have to watch what we say so closely, even at the end of a long day, with friends, that we can't just come out and say "I hate painting," then I'm just going to stop talking. One should not have to think and rethink every sentence spoken on the off chance that someone's not going to like exactly what one says and how one says it.

Maybe the OP might have been able to phrase her refusal in a nicer way, but I know that by 9 pm I'm fading fast and I'm tired and therefore not quick to think of the absolute bestest way to phrase things. What the OP said was not rude or mean. And it doesn't sound as if she said it in a rude or mean way. Is there a requirement out that that we never, ever say anything that might possibly upset anyone at any time?

Annie is being a bit precious, here.

I pretty much agree. I'm not saying that the OP was rude at all. Just that I can see where offense might have been taken, and that there was probably a better way to decline. Annie can be offended, but it would be silly to hang onto that offense and let it affect the friendship.
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

TootsNYC

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2012, 01:11:09 PM »
But weeks later I found out second hand that Annie had been kind of offended at my "I hate painting" comment as "helping friends isn't about doing what you like."

If that's really what she said, then I think she was offended by your reason for not wanting to help out. If you had said you had obligations at home or being short notice didn't work for you (not dressed for it), you might have been fine. But your stated reason implies that you pick and choose to help people based on how much you like the activity rather than if you can help your friend or not.

So yeah I can see why she'd be insulted. And I don't think JADEing is an issue here unless she's known to be someone who tramples boundaries when asking for help.

I think I'm with O'Dell. If you'd said, "no, I wish I could help, but I've got to get home," you wouldn't have the issue.

Now, I don't think Annie is right to get all terribly bent out of shape about it. But I can see why it might hit her wrong.

It's 9pm for HER too, and she's been painting, etc., all day. And so SHE is going to react more strongly than normal. Cut her some slack.

And really, all the REST of the people Annie knows need to stop repeating all the gossip she says, because THAT is making it worse.

In fact, I'm wondering how seriously p.o.'d/offended Annie is. Maybe this is not a terribly big deal to her, but that it did hit her wrong. And now OTHER people are running around repeating it to you, as if it IS a big honking deal.

For all you know, this was a casual observation--I can see me making it to someone, in a "wow, I felt upset and couldn't figure out why, but now I have, and that wording really hit wrong" way. And never in a million years imagining that the person I'm musing to would run around and tell other people--let alone tell the person I am *momentarily* and *minorly* miffed at.

Since when did people forget the idea that you don't REPEAT gossip to people?

Let it lie. Let it be a small thing. Pretend you never heard it.

You were fine--I'm sure none of them were really asking you to help paint, and your joking response was not all that rude. It just happened to hit wrong in a small way.


Betelnut

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2012, 01:35:37 PM »
The wording of the reply/refusal wasn't offensive.

Annie chose to take offense at it.

Really, if we have to watch what we say so closely, even at the end of a long day, with friends, that we can't just come out and say "I hate painting," then I'm just going to stop talking. One should not have to think and rethink every sentence spoken on the off chance that someone's not going to like exactly what one says and how one says it.

Maybe the OP might have been able to phrase her refusal in a nicer way, but I know that by 9 pm I'm fading fast and I'm tired and therefore not quick to think of the absolute bestest way to phrase things. What the OP said was not rude or mean. And it doesn't sound as if she said it in a rude or mean way. Is there a requirement out that that we never, ever say anything that might possibly upset anyone at any time?

Annie is being a bit precious, here.

Oh, I agree even though I was one of the posters who said that what the OP said is the issue.  I agree that it is ridiculous to have to worry about every statement coming out of your mouth hurting someone's feelings.  Annie is definitely too thinned skinned.

I was simply commenting on the fact that it wasn't the refusal to paint that hurt Annie's feelings, it was how it was refused.  That's Annie's problem though, not the OP's!
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BeagleMommy

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Re: I declined to help...but I didn't realize it was a serious request
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2012, 02:08:31 PM »
OP, I don't think you were rude, but I also agree with Twik that you're getting second-hand knowledge of Annie's reaction.  I think it might be best to let it pass.