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Author Topic: Direct or direspectful  (Read 17084 times)

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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2013, 09:42:07 PM »
Quote from Lilya........

I'm thinking about confronting her, but I'm not sure it would work: in the past, when I pointed out other hurtful things she did/said, she apologized but also said I ought to grow a thicker skin and learn to shrug it off. 
This is classic bully behavor.  She gets to say anything she wants, and if you - the victim - complains it is because there is something wrong with you.

You might try saying.......

You may **not** presume to tell me how I should or should not feel.

This is only a stopgap.  You need to get away from her, spend less time with her, spend some time with nice people who appreciate you. 

I suspect that your mother has been abusive for your whole life, and you many not know what normal is.


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2013, 12:42:55 AM »
I don't think you want to be working at the same company your mom does. From the sounds of it, there's no way that she's going to be willing to treat you as a co-worker rather than her kid. Plus, a company that shares application information with the applicants' mother is not a company that you want to be working for - that indicates a basic lack of understanding of confidentiality and appropriate behaviour.  There's a non trivial chance that if you were hired you'd end up with your performance review being more like a high school parent teacher interview than a professional evaluation. But I agree with PP that the word idiot is coming from your mom's mouth, not the employer.

On the larger scale, though is the issue of your mother, which is really two issues. One is the "I'm not being rude/mean, I'm just honest" excuse for being an unpleasant and nasty person. The other is the fact that she's your mother, so it's hard to disengage from her behaviour or fight back.

In the first case, I find that the easiest way to tell if someone is direct vs nasty is to see whether they can take what they dish out. If your mother is the kind of person who can be told that's she's an idiot for doing something, or called stupid for making a mistake, without being insulted or getting mad, then you can probably get away with responding directly. I have a few friends like this - they're blunt spoken but can take it in return, and if I tell them that they've crossed a line, they'll listen, and we get along fine.

With the latter type (nasty person making an excuse), I've found the best options, depending on circumstances,  are to either cut back on my interactions with that person, try to train them (leaving when they get nasty, only responding when they are reasonable, calling them on their behavior, as appropriate), or to simply totally ignore what they are saying and stop caring what they say, if it's someone I can't get away from or talk back to.

In your case, it's a much more complicated problem because it's your mother.

You don't say if you're living at home or not, or whether you're financially dependent on your parents. If you are, your first line of defense is to get some distance. Financial independence and your own place gives you a foundation for fighting back and setting boundaries in a way you can't do when you rely on your problem person for shelter and support.

The second line of defense is some good counselling. Breaking the patterns of years of bad treatment by a family member is something that can be very, very difficult to do, in part because after years of this it's hard to even recognize when behaviour is inappropriate, and even harder to stand up to it, when you've been trained to sit there and take it (or ignore it).  Counselling with someone who specializing in family issues can help a lot.

A third tactic is to pull back on the amount of information you share with your mother. Don't tell her where you are applying for jobs until you get one. Don't show her your application forms - have someone else proofread or critique them for you.  Find other people to share your triumphs and disappointments with - friends, other relatives, but people you can trust to be supportive rather than cutting you down


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2013, 04:46:14 AM »
I agree with all the PPs saying that you dodged a bullet in terms of working in the same company as your mother.

And those saying that her behavior is not 'honest' or 'straightforward'. It's downright unpleasant and unnecessary.

Do you think she might respond if you addressed it directly? I mean, by sitting her down and saying something along the lines of:

"I know you pride yourself on being straightforward and being honest about your views, so I am going to be equally honest with you. Often , when you speak to me, or about me or others, you go beyond being blunt, or straightforward, and over into being downright rude and insulting. You've commented that I am too sensitive and should grow a thicker skin, and you are free to hold that opinion, but that goes both ways, a big part of the problem is that you are not sensitive enough to how you come across. It's honest, and straightforward, to tell someone if they have made a mistake or done something the wrong way [if they ask your opinion] it is not honest or straight forward to tell them that they are stupid, or an idiot.  It's bullying. When you call be stupid, or sdya I am an idiot, I feel that you are bullying me"

It's possible that if someone is blunt with her, it may sink in, and it is very hard for her to be critical about you for being frank when she makes such a song and dance about being forthright herself. (I mean, she can, and probably will complain, but that allows you to then ask her why she feels it's acceptable for her to express her opinions so very frankly but not for you to do the same. Espcecially when yours, while unwelcome to her, are not rude!)


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2013, 06:35:23 AM »
If your mother calls you "stupid" consistently, perhaps you should adopt the habit of reminding her who raised you.

Well I guess if I'd grown up with better parental influences I'd have turned out better, but hey, I'm just working with the hand you dealt me, mom.

This x 10.  It will make you feel better in the moment because it will shock her.  Having said that, you need a long-term solution.

If you still live with your mother you need to move out as soon as you can afford to.  Think of how much more miserable she can make your life if you work for the same company whether you live with her or not. 

Unless your mother's company is like my last one where boundaries were really faint among the employees (and therefore not a good place for me or you) I can't believe that HR would say such a thing to her.  She is likely inventing this because she thinks or knows you will be too embarrassed or proper to go back to them to investigate this.

Don't do that because you should not work in the same company as your mother no matter how big it is.  Also, I recommend against telling your mother she has hurt your feelings.  If she is telling you to "develop a thicker skin" she doesn't care.  Freeze her out instead.

Never tell her anything personal.  When you are finally employed, don't tell her how much money you make, the office dynamic, or anything that leaves a window for criticism.  That's what I had to do and my mother not only didn't work in my industry she had no clue what workplace interaction is.


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2013, 07:07:41 AM »
To be honest, I think it probably went like this:

Mom: you know, my daughter is thinking of applying to our company. What should she do?
HR: well, I'd suggest doing A and B in this part of the application process.

Since I had already done X and Y, it immediately translated to "mistake!" (and, well, from the application angle it was a mistake) and mistake translates to "you're an idiot/stupid"

Honestly, it's the repeated name calling that bothers me (I already knew she was going to ask HR about applications in general): it just came out over this application, but it could have been anything else.
I guess the way it happened worked as a wake up call: I don't think I would have noticed if she hadn't put her personal spin in HR's answer.
i didn't understand your OP then. You are saying that your mother said to you that HR said that you are an idiot - even though they didn't say that? as in ,she thought up the "you're an idiot" on her own?

When she told me that, I was too busy metaphorically kicking myself for messing up to really think about it.
Right now, I don't think HR actually came out and said "your daughter is an idiot if she did X and Y". It's's short version of what they said. 

I probably shouldn't have used this incident, but it was the latest one and because she put it as if other people had said it, it caught my attention and got me thinking, "Wait a minute, they can't have honestly called me an idiot. Why did she have to put it like that? Come to think of it, it's not the first time mom calls me stupid when I mess up/make a mistake. That can't be right." 

If, say, I had accidentally broken a glass and she had snapped at me and called me an idiot, I would have still been hurt, but then I would have chalked it up to mom being mom and tried not to think too much about it because that's how she reacts to mistakes/messes.
But whether I make a mistake on a job application or break a glass, I don't deserve to be called names for it, I can see that now.

huge hugs.

i think that writing this out for yourself is helping you understand a little bit - when we grow up in a certain environment, we just *accept* things for what they are. After all, we don't expect our own parents to be mean or bullying to us! but then we grow up and realize that things aren't always the way they should be, or the way we want them to be.

My father is like this in a way - not as bad as your mother - but just simply incapable of saying something nice, constructive, complimenting. for years and years, into my 40s, i simply heard what he said and stewed about it. and then i said "hey, why do i have to put up with this? it's not normal to be like that". so i called him on it once or twice, i've hung up the phone onhim once or twice, and things are much better. he is never going to be the loving, affectionate, hugging father i would love to have but he stopped being mean and started paying attention and learnign to be supportive. A lot of saying to him "is that really helpful?", "do you think that is a nice thing to say?", or "stop. just say that you are proud of me" (this last one was when i was very proud of a grade i got on a uni essay - 97 - and he started to say "what, they don't give out 100s in that school" which was his stock answer to every grade we ever got in our school history)

I'm sorry your mom is acting this way to you. it's not OK. but you cannot change her - you can only change yourself and how you react to her. so don't let her talk to you this way - walk out of the room, hang up the phone, walk "away" from the conversation. don't make a joke about it, don't turn it into a discussion. she will either get it in the end or not - but you will feel better about yourself.

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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2013, 12:30:32 PM »
The real issue here is the name-calling, correct?

I think I'd be direct and honest myself...

Mom:  You're an idiot because you watered the tulips facing north instead of south.

You: Mom, I'm going to be direct and honest with you.  I will not tolerate being called names or verbally shamed by anyone, especially you.  If you want to continue to have a relationship with me, it stops now.

 ::OP exits the building::

Courage is the price life  exacts for granting peace.  ~Amelia Earhart~


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2013, 03:36:06 PM »
Lilya, I know you didn't ask, but I'm sending hugs your way.

Your mother is a bully...plain and simple.  She's using classic bully techniques of "don't be so sensitive" or "you need a thicker skin".  Don't go to work for her company.

Has it ever occurred to her that you wouldn't need to seek approval from outside sources if you got approval at home from her?

My mother doesn't sugar coat things.  She will tell me if I messed up (if I don't see it myself) but she has never called me a name.  She never let me believe I was anything but beautiful and brilliant in her eyes.  I learned well at her knee.  This is how I treat my DS.  This is how you should be treated.


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2013, 04:11:48 PM »
Your mother sounds toxic to me. Her words are mean and hateful, not helpful and definitely not loving.

I found this link on "Top Ten Most Dysfunctional Things People Say" and "I did nothing wrong, you're just oversensitive" is listed FIRST.

#6 is "You're an idiot." Here's what they say about that:
"This one needs no explanation. It’s just abusive, plain and simple. If this has been said to you, remember, it’s projection — people who say this have a tremendous fear that they themselves are the “stupid” one.

Everyone has something to offer. Everyone is good at something, and a comment like this is nothing but a reflection of the speaker’s own insecurities and fears. Typically, abusive people will pick the moment of a mistake to utter this, but everyone makes mistakes, including the person saying it, and their comment means nothing about the listener. People are not their mistakes, and are not necessarily what other people say they are."

This is not a healthy relationship. Do whatever is necessary to take care of yourself and remove yourself from the line of fire.

I strongly recommend the book "Toxic Parents."
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 04:14:55 PM by breny »


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Re: Direct or direspectful
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2013, 04:37:00 PM »
What would she say if she heard a child calling another child an idiot?

Probably that the child was just saying it for the other child's good, to let him know what people really think of him.  ::)  (Yes, I've encountered people who think this way ... we are no longer in contact.)

You've gotten good advice from others, OP, so I'll just add hugs. You don't deserve to be treated this way.
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites