Author Topic: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight  (Read 3300 times)

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Green Bean

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Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« on: October 27, 2012, 11:08:28 AM »
You may have seen my post earlier this week in the Tech folder. (I should have known better - it was about FIL posting controversial content from MIL's FB account.)  Since then, FIL has convinced MIL that I hate her and have no respect for her. This is not new, and she already has strained relationships in her life which I'm convinced he has moved in that direction.) 

I already apologized for my post (which I understand could be taken in a poor way), but I also feel that everything in the aftermath has attributed the most malicious motives to me, without trying to see the situation from my perspective. There have been discussions amongst a variety of third parties about me, but no one has even tried to talk to me. I think this is very unfair. (For the record, DH sees both sides but understands my perspective and supports me.)

So this discussion is to help mend the relationship.  It will not be productive if they start out attacking me.  I believe we all need to take responsibilities for our actions because they aren't innocent parties to the issue.  What can I say or do to make this discussion productive?

SleepyKitty

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 11:15:47 AM »
The thing is, you can only do so much. You can prepare beforehand, maybe by writing it down, what you'd like to say and what points you feel you need to make (this helps me because then I don't get upset and forget to say something). You can calmly tell them how you feel and what you think. But the rest is up to them, and frankly, they do not sound reasonable to me.

I would think about what you want to get out of the meeting. Do you hope to establish good relations between everyone? Keep in mind that takes both parties to work for it and want it. It will not work if they don't want it to work and are there to attack you, no matter what you do.

If I were you, I would not expect them to take responsibility or apologize. I would simply say, "I'm sorry for offending you. Do you accept my apology?" Hopefully they will say yes, and you can say, "Thank you. I'd like to move on from this issue, then, and put it behind us. Is that okay with you?" Again, hopefully they will say yes, and everyone can go on with their lives.

Honestly, I'd just completely block them both on Facebook and leave them alone until they decided they wanted to mend the relationship, but I know that isn't reasonable in every case.


Deetee

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 11:28:13 AM »
I would go in with very low expectations. This entire thing seems so trivial that it is obvious FIL and MIL are both just itching for drama. I suggest apologizing for the misunderstanding and then not engaging as they try to ramp up the drama.

 Then ignore them on Facebook ( either blocking or lowering priority)

doodlemor

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 11:41:59 AM »
When I was new to ehell I read this thread about confrontation, and was very impressed by how well things seemed to turn out.  Here is a link:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=92264.0

It is a very long thread.  If my memory is correct the OP and her DH had a meeting with her FIL and SMIL.  She let them tell their side of the story, and listened to them.  The parties then talked it out.  I think that the SMIL did have several points, but the OP was shown to be in the right when the whole thing came out.  The SMIL was one of those unreasonable people who causes problems in families.

I was very impressed that the OP kept track of everything on a large pad of paper.  I think that doing so showed the SMIL that she couldn't go back to her false stories.  It seemed to me that the note taking made the occasion more formal, which is a good thing, IMHO.  It showed the in-laws that the young couple took the whole thing very seriously, and that MIL wouldn't be able to go back to her habit of spreading falsehoods - at least about the meeting.  The resolution to the problem was also written down, so that there would be no question afterward of what was supposed to happen.

It sounds like your in-laws thrive on the drama and excitement.  Perhaps keeping things serious, but unemotional and logical would work with them, too.

Best of luck with this.  It may be that they *want* to be affronted and quarrelsome no matter what you do.  If so, there isn't that much you can do about changing their feelings.

camlan

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 11:49:09 AM »
I'd have a specific goal in mind for the meeting. It would not necessarily be that the relationship was perfectly healed and all was sweetness and light.

Your in-laws are posting things that could be offensive. But they cannot take it when someone disagrees with them. Then they talk about people (meaning the OP) behind their backs and possibly even lie about them.

I'm not sure I'd want a friendly relationship with these people.

I'd be more inclined to tell them that while you apologize for commenting on their FB posts, you do not appreciate their rumor-mongering and lies and going behind your back. That they have taken a small blip for which you have already apologized and made it into a huge deal and involved many other people. That until they can treat you with respect, you will regretfully have to limit contact with them.

Yes, I know that would probably start a minor war.

So, in a last ditch attempt to save things, I'd apologize for posting a comment that offended them. I'd point out that FB works that way--anything you post is up for comments by anyone who can read it, unless you take steps to prevent that. Since they didn't take those steps, you thought comments were welcome. Promise you will never comment on their posts again. I would take a firm line and not grovel or beg for forgiveness.

Then block them so you won't even be tempted.

Honestly, I think they have more fence-mending to do than you, but I doubt they will ever see that.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


bopper

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 06:49:08 PM »
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=122272.msg0#new

"I only said something because it didn't seem consistent with your prior views.  I know how much work you have done in <area>.   On FB, since it has your name and your picture on your page, people assume that it is you doing the talking. Are you no longer in support of <topic>?

Green Bean

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 11:38:40 PM »
Thank you for your responses. I felt that awful pit in the bottom of my stomach all day.
Doodlemor - that is one of my all time favorite threads. I actually was thinking of it earlier today. Everyone's comments helped remind me once again that I can't control what others feel or how others respond.

We had our sit down discussion. Last night MIL said we would talk but that they weren't staying long. I guess that's why I really had small hopes for a productive talk. Instead it ended up lasting 2 hrs with everyone being respectful of the person talking. It truly was surprising because FIL is known to monopolize conversations.

It did start out a bit contentious, but at some point actually turned around. I attribute that to DH. At one point they said something (I think when they said I'm disrespectful to them) and I just looked at him. He defended me by saying that in all the years we have been together, not once have I said a bad word about them to him, but the same couldn't be said of them.  I think that was the turn around point.

Another reason I think we were able to have a productive conversation was because enough time passed that we were able to get beyond our initial frustration and anger, and had enough time to think things through. It really did end on a good note, much better than I expected. I think I'll sleep well tonight.

doodlemor

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 11:20:49 AM »
I'm so glad that things went well for you, Green Bean!  Thanks for letting us know. 

Thats one of my favorite threads, too.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Need suggestions for a productive "Meeting" tonight
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 12:25:16 PM »
Thank you for your responses. I felt that awful pit in the bottom of my stomach all day.
Doodlemor - that is one of my all time favorite threads. I actually was thinking of it earlier today. Everyone's comments helped remind me once again that I can't control what others feel or how others respond.

We had our sit down discussion. Last night MIL said we would talk but that they weren't staying long. I guess that's why I really had small hopes for a productive talk. Instead it ended up lasting 2 hrs with everyone being respectful of the person talking. It truly was surprising because FIL is known to monopolize conversations.

It did start out a bit contentious, but at some point actually turned around. I attribute that to DH. At one point they said something (I think when they said I'm disrespectful to them) and I just looked at him. He defended me by saying that in all the years we have been together, not once have I said a bad word about them to him, but the same couldn't be said of them.  I think that was the turn around point.

Another reason I think we were able to have a productive conversation was because enough time passed that we were able to get beyond our initial frustration and anger, and had enough time to think things through. It really did end on a good note, much better than I expected. I think I'll sleep well tonight.

Good going, hubby!