Author Topic: Stop putting me in the middle!  (Read 8494 times)

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miranova

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2012, 02:28:50 PM »
For some odd reason, my family played this game for awhile, except it was my mom sending messages to me through other people instead of just telling/asking me herself.  I invited her for Thanksgiving months ago and never received a response.  The day before Thanksgiving my sister called and told me that she (mom) would be coming for Thanksgiving.   Um, ok....can't she tell me herself?  And just as I was thinking that, my sister said "she also asked me if she could stay at your house for the night but I told her that she would have to ask you herself this time".  To which I said THANK YOU, because I do not understand this game.  I'm so glad my sister finally decided to stop playing messenger for my mom because it really is irritating and makes no sense to me.  By the way, my mother never did call and ask to stay at my house for the night, so she left after dessert.    Um, ok then.

You are doing the right thing by refusing to pass messages along.  First of all, it's not your job.  Secondly, if nephew is ignoring her in order to get some work done, he has every right to that and his mother should be patient and wait for a call back instead of trying to get other people to harass him on her behalf.  Just stop doing it, you don't have to be her go-between.

Deetee

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2012, 02:36:53 PM »
Question first, background below.  How do I convince my sister to take me out of the middle of her relationship with her son and his wife?


You don't convince her of anything. You simply never pass on any messages and never speak for him and take yourself out of the middle.

As an aside, I assume that there is a back story or more to it, but I don't see letting a 17 year fend for themselves as something dreadful to be shunned. 17 or 18 about the age most of my friends moved out on their own. I wasn't "supported" after I was 18, though I was always welcome home for holidays or whenever I wanted to visit.

I am probably reading my own background into this, but it sounds to me like the nephew was left to his own devices without any parental support.  My parents pretty much did the same thing for me (but supported my sister on and off until she was 40), and I still hurt over it.

I assume there is more (as the sister sounds pretty self absorbed). I was just responding that the fact of the "abandonment" was anything that would raise my eyebrows.

(My story: My parents were and are brutally fair with all three kids, even though some of are half sisters, so there may be some reason to be less even and even though us older "kids" have expressed comfort with our younger sister being helped out a little more.  )

JenJay

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2012, 02:45:09 PM »
The best advice I've seen, regarding people who call and call repeatedly, is to tell them "Call me once and leave a message. I will call you back when I can. If you call me repeatedly I will not call you back." Then do that.

If that seems too harsh you could level with her and explain that it probably annoys DN to have her call multiple times and then ask you to call. Point out she's treating him like a child and she'll probably get a much better response if she calls once and waits for him to get back to her. As for you, tell her "I'm not going to be the go-between for you and DN anymore." Next time she starts interrupt her and say "I told you I'm not doing this."

Zilla

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2012, 02:55:06 PM »
The best advice I've seen, regarding people who call and call repeatedly, is to tell them "Call me once and leave a message. I will call you back when I can. If you call me repeatedly I will not call you back." Then do that.

If that seems too harsh you could level with her and explain that it probably annoys DN to have her call multiple times and then ask you to call. Point out she's treating him like a child and she'll probably get a much better response if she calls once and waits for him to get back to her. As for you, tell her "I'm not going to be the go-between for you and DN anymore." Next time she starts interrupt her and say "I told you I'm not doing this."

If she says the bolded, then she is putting herself squarely in the middle yet again.  She needs to be clear and speak for herself only by saying the italics.

BarensMom

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2012, 07:19:57 PM »
Question first, background below.  How do I convince my sister to take me out of the middle of her relationship with her son and his wife?


You don't convince her of anything. You simply never pass on any messages and never speak for him and take yourself out of the middle.

As an aside, I assume that there is a back story or more to it, but I don't see letting a 17 year fend for themselves as something dreadful to be shunned. 17 or 18 about the age most of my friends moved out on their own. I wasn't "supported" after I was 18, though I was always welcome home for holidays or whenever I wanted to visit.

I am probably reading my own background into this, but it sounds to me like the nephew was left to his own devices without any parental support.  My parents pretty much did the same thing for me (but supported my sister on and off until she was 40), and I still hurt over it.

I assume there is more (as the sister sounds pretty self absorbed). I was just responding that the fact of the "abandonment" was anything that would raise my eyebrows.

(My story: My parents were and are brutally fair with all three kids, even though some of are half sisters, so there may be some reason to be less even and even though us older "kids" have expressed comfort with our younger sister being helped out a little more.  )

The background is that, after sister received an inheritance from our mother, they sold their house and business, kicked my nephew out of the house, and took off for a desert locale.  My nephew found himself homeless with only a few days' notice.  He moved in with a friend and found a part-time job.  He worked his way up and is now supervisor of an IT department.  He married a lovely girl and now own a small home near his workplace.

Sister now thinks that nephew is rolling in cash and has been hinting for a handout, in addition to free computer advice and fixes.  Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

gramma dishes

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2012, 07:25:45 PM »
...   Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

I'm inclined to agree with him.

JenJay

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2012, 07:32:28 PM »
...   Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

I'm inclined to agree with him.

Me, too!

Zilla, you are absolutely right! I amend my advice to "Tell her you're not getting involved, period, and stick to it."  :)

yokozbornak

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2012, 07:55:19 PM »
Question first, background below.  How do I convince my sister to take me out of the middle of her relationship with her son and his wife?


You don't convince her of anything. You simply never pass on any messages and never speak for him and take yourself out of the middle.

As an aside, I assume that there is a back story or more to it, but I don't see letting a 17 year fend for themselves as something dreadful to be shunned. 17 or 18 about the age most of my friends moved out on their own. I wasn't "supported" after I was 18, though I was always welcome home for holidays or whenever I wanted to visit.

I am probably reading my own background into this, but it sounds to me like the nephew was left to his own devices without any parental support.  My parents pretty much did the same thing for me (but supported my sister on and off until she was 40), and I still hurt over it.

I assume there is more (as the sister sounds pretty self absorbed). I was just responding that the fact of the "abandonment" was anything that would raise my eyebrows.

(My story: My parents were and are brutally fair with all three kids, even though some of are half sisters, so there may be some reason to be less even and even though us older "kids" have expressed comfort with our younger sister being helped out a little more.  )

The background is that, after sister received an inheritance from our mother, they sold their house and business, kicked my nephew out of the house, and took off for a desert locale.  My nephew found himself homeless with only a few days' notice.  He moved in with a friend and found a part-time job.  He worked his way up and is now supervisor of an IT department.  He married a lovely girl and now own a small home near his workplace.

Sister now thinks that nephew is rolling in cash and has been hinting for a handout, in addition to free computer advice and fixes.  Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

That's so sad.  She's lucky he answer her calls at all.  In his place, I doubt if I would.

cicero

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2012, 02:38:29 AM »
...   Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

I'm inclined to agree with him.

Me, too!

Zilla, you are absolutely right! I amend my advice to "Tell her you're not getting involved, period, and stick to it."  :)

me three.

in general i always feel that we don't *owe* our parents anything. it's nice when we *want to* help out our parents or we *want to* spend time with them. Our parents have a responsibility to raise us and send us on our merry ways. (I know that there are cultural differences in this aspect, i know that in some cultures the parents come to live with the children and it is considered an honor).

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LEMon

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2012, 10:29:39 PM »
Another thought that may help your spine: the more you retrain your sister that you will not be her middle man, and that multiple calls do not work, the more the training DN is trying to do may have an impact.  Sounds like he is trying to teach her that he will call on his terms.  If you do the same, then she may get the message.

Only one person you can control in all this: you.  So make a plan and stick to it.  Tough love and steel spine.  Good luck.

PeterM

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2012, 02:33:52 PM »
The background is that, after sister received an inheritance from our mother, they sold their house and business, kicked my nephew out of the house, and took off for a desert locale.  My nephew found himself homeless with only a few days' notice.  He moved in with a friend and found a part-time job.  He worked his way up and is now supervisor of an IT department.  He married a lovely girl and now own a small home near his workplace.

Sister now thinks that nephew is rolling in cash and has been hinting for a handout, in addition to free computer advice and fixes.  Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

Is there a reason either of you want to talk to this woman? I assume there is, and that's your choice, but if you follow the good advice here and just refuse to be the mediator/messenger between your sister and nephew, she might well start down the "Well, why won't he return my calls?" road when talking to you. I think you'd do well to just lay it all out for her and tell her she's lucky her kid is willing to acknowledge her existence at all. I doubt very much it'll help, but it might annoy her enough to stop calling you for a time.

Mikayla

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2012, 02:52:03 PM »
<<tree trim>>

Sister now thinks that nephew is rolling in cash and has been hinting for a handout, in addition to free computer advice and fixes.  Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

I totally agree with cicero et al that you need to make one firm statement and then let her learn on her own.  But with this update, I can see where you may have been subconsciously tempted to stay in the middle just to make sure he doesn't change his mind or get taken advantage of.

If so, you're between a rock and a hard place, because if you truly want to get out of that middle position, this also includes resisting the temptation to comment to nephew about his parents.  It's a really tough situation.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2012, 02:54:53 PM »
OP, you've gotten some good advice here and I POD most of it.  Sister is doing what she's doing because it has worked in the past.  If she says "Tell Nephew to call" you can respond with a simple "No".  Don't JADE.  If she persists tell her "If you want to talk to Nephew you need to call him.  I will not pass along any messages".  If she keeps it up:  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

LEMon

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2012, 06:39:57 PM »
Time to be a duck and a repeater: emotions flow off of you and have no impact, and all comments get the repeat the same phrase over and over treatment.

Winterlight

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Re: Stop putting me in the middle!
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2012, 11:22:19 AM »
...   Due to the above story and some borderline abuse by his father, he feels he doesn't owe his parents a thing.

I'm inclined to agree with him.

Thirded. Poor kid. I'm very impressed with him- despite everything he's made a success of his life.

Definitely time to tell her once that you won't carry messages and then hang up. Keep hanging up every time she tries this. It may take a while.
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