Author Topic: Am I rude to mutter?  (Read 4437 times)

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figee

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2013, 05:58:16 PM »
Is it just me or after reading this thread is anyone else thinking that 'mutter' is a weird word, both to read and to say?

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 06:33:19 PM »
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Cami

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 06:52:03 PM »
I don't know if it's rude per se, but it's annoying. Not as annoying as whistling through one's teeth, but it's annoying nonetheless. Is it rude, then, to engage in a behavior you know others find annoying?

It drives me nuts to have heard talking, but not what was said. And it's not anything to do with caring about what was said, it's just that it feel like I have cotton wool in my ears when I hear muttering; like my head isn't clear.

And like Marguette, once I tune out his muttering, I tune out all his talking, then he gets annoyed that I'm not listening.

Exactly.

My dh has had a habit of mumbling instead of speaking clearly. Combine that with muttering and it makes me crazy. So i totally tune him out and next thing I know, he's loudly asking me why I'm ignoring him.  As I've told him, I can either listen to everything you say or nothing. Take your pick. He's chosen to stop muttering and mumbling.  I've chosen to stop throwing stuffed animals at his head.

ettiquit

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 09:12:12 AM »
'Am I rude to mutter?'

Are you rude to fahter?

Now I'm just giggling (in my head, so roommate doesn't ask) and the word "mutter" has lost all meaning to me.

ettiquit

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 09:14:48 AM »
I don't know if it's rude per se, but it's annoying. Not as annoying as whistling through one's teeth, but it's annoying nonetheless. Is it rude, then, to engage in a behavior you know others find annoying?

It drives me nuts to have heard talking, but not what was said. And it's not anything to do with caring about what was said, it's just that it feel like I have cotton wool in my ears when I hear muttering; like my head isn't clear.

And like Marguette, once I tune out his muttering, I tune out all his talking, then he gets annoyed that I'm not listening.

Exactly.

My dh has had a habit of mumbling instead of speaking clearly. Combine that with muttering and it makes me crazy. So i totally tune him out and next thing I know, he's loudly asking me why I'm ignoring him.  As I've told him, I can either listen to everything you say or nothing. Take your pick. He's chosen to stop muttering and mumbling.  I've chosen to stop throwing stuffed animals at his head.

Of course, I have no idea if roommate thinks I'm annoying, but I get what you're saying.  I don't actually find her muttering annoying at all, so I don't think she's rude when she does it. 

Ultimately, I'll probably try to catch myself before doing it from now on.  She's a temporary roommate anyway.  :D

bah12

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 10:54:13 AM »
 I don't like muttering personally.  I'm not going to say that it's rude, but it annoys me.  I have no idea if someone is trying to talk to me or to themselves.  And it always sounds like the mutterer is under distress.  I don't blame your roommate and MIL for asking you if something is wrong...because to them, it probably sounds like there is.

I think, though, that this could be easily fixed.  Just explain to them that this is a habit of yours whenever you are frustrated with the equipment you are using and has nothing to do with them.  That you will always let them know if you need something from them or they are doing anything to cause your frustration.  I think that if they understand this, they'll probably leave you alone.

citadelle

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 11:00:19 AM »
Do you curse when you are muttering? My husband does this, and it is difficult for me. I can tell he is angry, and it creates a tension in the room. He isn't angry with me, but at the tv remote or computer or something. Still, anger in the room can be felt. He tries to stop, when I complain, but it is kind of second nature for him and he'll be dropping "bombs" again in no time.

Jovismom

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 11:14:54 AM »
I don't know if muttering is rude but I do know it drives me around the bend. 

Allyson

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 01:14:07 PM »
You're not necessarily rude to do it, but as many here say it can be annoying/confusing. She's also not rude to ask you what's wrong, though you find *that* annoying. Possibly a conversation would be helpful, like 'when I do that, it's not directed at anyone so you can ignore it'. That would help me tune it out, though at the risk of tuning out too much of what you say--you might have to address her by name or something after that.

TootsNYC

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 01:24:21 PM »
OP, I get what you’re saying.  I also assume if you’re saying something you want a response to you speak louder and say the person’s name.

However, I don’t have the best hearing, and there is a cashier at the grocery store where I shop who constantly – and I mean constantly – mutters under her breath.  Several times I have had to say “Excuse me?”, “What was that?”.  She is as bad as the low talker in the famous Seinfeld episode.  She always responds “Oh, nothing.”

I avoid going to her lane because of her muttering.

People also often mutter when expressing anger, frustration, etc. at another person but they don’t want the other person to hear what they’re saying.  When asked, they reply.  “Nothing.”  (very PA)  I know you weren’t doing that, but just something to think about.

The grocery store scenario would drive me nuts too because you're in the middle of an active transaction with her. 

In a situation where my roommate is watching tv and I'm working on my computer, we're not actually conversing so it would be rude of me to mutter something to her and expect her to stop what she's doing to talk to me.  If I really wanted to say something to her, I would be much louder (and more polite if I'm interrupting something).  I guess that's why it surprises me that she does it so often.  I ignore her mutterings because I'm usually focused on something else and don't want to be distracted.

You may be disturbing her. It may be hard to hear the TV, or she may be more easily distracted.

Otherwise, maybe should have simply talk about it.

And if THAT doesn't make any difference, then start interrupting her everytime SHE mutters, and when she said, "oh, nothing," you can say, "Oh--sorry. Is this one of the muttering times, like I have? Where you don't really want any response, you just want to hear yourself? I understand how that goes."

So, nicely, without any "this is a dig" / "I'm making a point" vibe, give her the experience that you are having.

Moray

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 02:13:02 PM »
I do not believe that muttering, in and of itself, is rude. However, it can be very annoying and (depending on the content of said muttering) it can come off as passive aggressive.

OP, you state that you aren't muttering to gain attention or get people to help you, but you have to recognize that there are a fair number of people who do mutter to that end. It's unfortunate, but you do run the risk of being lumped in with that.

On the other hand, I find myself "reasoning with" my computer, spreadsheets, or various kitchen appliances an awful lot. I think the best thing to do is follow Yvaine's advice and speak up in a cheery voice.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 02:14:48 PM by Moray »
Utah

ettiquit

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 02:22:13 PM »
OP, I get what you’re saying.  I also assume if you’re saying something you want a response to you speak louder and say the person’s name.

However, I don’t have the best hearing, and there is a cashier at the grocery store where I shop who constantly – and I mean constantly – mutters under her breath.  Several times I have had to say “Excuse me?”, “What was that?”.  She is as bad as the low talker in the famous Seinfeld episode.  She always responds “Oh, nothing.”

I avoid going to her lane because of her muttering.

People also often mutter when expressing anger, frustration, etc. at another person but they don’t want the other person to hear what they’re saying.  When asked, they reply.  “Nothing.”  (very PA)  I know you weren’t doing that, but just something to think about.

The grocery store scenario would drive me nuts too because you're in the middle of an active transaction with her. 

In a situation where my roommate is watching tv and I'm working on my computer, we're not actually conversing so it would be rude of me to mutter something to her and expect her to stop what she's doing to talk to me.  If I really wanted to say something to her, I would be much louder (and more polite if I'm interrupting something).  I guess that's why it surprises me that she does it so often.  I ignore her mutterings because I'm usually focused on something else and don't want to be distracted.

You may be disturbing her. It may be hard to hear the TV, or she may be more easily distracted.

Otherwise, maybe should have simply talk about it.

And if THAT doesn't make any difference, then start interrupting her everytime SHE mutters, and when she said, "oh, nothing," you can say, "Oh--sorry. Is this one of the muttering times, like I have? Where you don't really want any response, you just want to hear yourself? I understand how that goes."

So, nicely, without any "this is a dig" / "I'm making a point" vibe, give her the experience that you are having.

I kind of like the bolded.  To be honest, she talks to herself far more than I do, and sometimes at a normal volume.  It took me awhile to learn to ignore it unless it's obvious she's talking to me. 

So trying to consolidate the "I do it and it may annoy her, but she does it more and it doesn't annoy me" is a bit difficult, because I don't necessarily want to have to stop muttering if she doesn't have to.  And yes, that is a very middle-school attitude I have about that.  :P

I'll start being more upfront about it - and I'll ask her if it's distracting her when I do it. 

Thanks for the feedback, all!

Giggity

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2013, 02:31:14 PM »
If something is said out loud, it is meant to be heard. That's why we have the option of saying it internally.
Words mean things.

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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 02:59:01 PM »
OP, I get what you’re saying.  I also assume if you’re saying something you want a response to you speak louder and say the person’s name.

However, I don’t have the best hearing, and there is a cashier at the grocery store where I shop who constantly – and I mean constantly – mutters under her breath.  Several times I have had to say “Excuse me?”, “What was that?”.  She is as bad as the low talker in the famous Seinfeld episode.  She always responds “Oh, nothing.”

I avoid going to her lane because of her muttering.

People also often mutter when expressing anger, frustration, etc. at another person but they don’t want the other person to hear what they’re saying.  When asked, they reply.  “Nothing.”  (very PA)  I know you weren’t doing that, but just something to think about.

The grocery store scenario would drive me nuts too because you're in the middle of an active transaction with her. 

In a situation where my roommate is watching tv and I'm working on my computer, we're not actually conversing so it would be rude of me to mutter something to her and expect her to stop what she's doing to talk to me.  If I really wanted to say something to her, I would be much louder (and more polite if I'm interrupting something).  I guess that's why it surprises me that she does it so often.  I ignore her mutterings because I'm usually focused on something else and don't want to be distracted.

You may be disturbing her. It may be hard to hear the TV, or she may be more easily distracted.

Otherwise, maybe should have simply talk about it.

And if THAT doesn't make any difference, then start interrupting her everytime SHE mutters, and when she said, "oh, nothing," you can say, "Oh--sorry. Is this one of the muttering times, like I have? Where you don't really want any response, you just want to hear yourself? I understand how that goes."

So, nicely, without any "this is a dig" / "I'm making a point" vibe, give her the experience that you are having.

I think that would come off as PA and a dig no matter how it's said.

Personally, when I'm doing something else, other people talking can become a blur and I don't really grasp what they're saying. I can't tell if they're talking to me or not, so I end up being the person who says, "What?"
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Re: Am I rude to mutter?
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 08:48:10 PM »
If something is said out loud, it is meant to be heard. That's why we have the option of saying it internally.

Not necessarily.  Many things come out before I even think of saying something because it is a reflex reaction.  I say things when there is no one in the house to hear them. 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.