Author Topic: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?  (Read 6470 times)

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Adelaide

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Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« on: February 15, 2013, 12:54:12 PM »
I'm about to go into a law school competition where the preliminary round culls out 90% of the participants. All of the people participating are very talented and there are GPA requirements to be able to compete at all. Last night I was talking to my family and I off-handedly mentioned it, saying that I was just doing it for the practice of it all, not to actually advance. My father said "No, you're going to do great. You're going to advance and you have a great shot of winning." He has made statements like these many times in the past. Problem is, a) he has no idea what the competition is or is about (nor would anyone outside of a law profession) and b) he has no idea of the requirements to even enter.

So his affirmations/praise seem hollow, empty, and patronizing to me. I don't appreciate blind, ignorant statements of faith in my abilities, and I told him as much, and said that I wish he'd give more credit to the other people competing because this is a talented, special pool of of my colleagues. Statements like hope you do well/take a deep breath I can handle, but as I'm getting older I'm starting to get sick of "I just know you'll win!" phrases coming from friends and family members. Am I alone in this, or is this one of those things I should just accept without comment?

Yvaine

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 12:58:24 PM »
He probably really believes that. I doubt he's trying to be patronizing--he loves you and believes in you. I think most (non-dysfunctional) parents have a really high opinion of their kids' abilities. :)

LeveeWoman

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 12:59:41 PM »
I don't see how it's rude to encourage your children no matter if you're familiar with the competition or not.

Adelaide

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 01:03:34 PM »
He probably really believes that. I doubt he's trying to be patronizing--he loves you and believes in you. I think most (non-dysfunctional) parents have a really high opinion of their kids' abilities. :)

I'm not questioning his intent, but he's doing a poor job of expressing it if by "I'm 100% sure you'll win" he actually means "I hope you do well". And he won't listen to me when I say things like "My colleagues, talented, etc.". I suppose that it makes everyone else seem inferior, somehow, every time he says things like that. And so if I'm constantly doing things where he "knows" I'll win because I'm "the best" then apparently all I've been doing all these years is competing against a bunch of mediocre people. And that doesn't say anything good about my aspirations.  It also doesn't say anything about the effort I put into things either, if he won't acknowledge that this is hard stuff I'm doing.

I don't see how it's rude to encourage your children no matter if you're familiar with the competition or not.

I suppose I phrased the title poorly. "I know you'll win" or "You have a 100% chance of beating everyone" isn't encouragement. Saying "I hope you do well" or "I bet you do great" or "Breathe and you'll be fine" is encouragement. I guess that what irritates me is that there is no acknowledgement or respect for what I'm up against. So it seems really insincere somehow.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 01:06:00 PM by Adelaide »

Docslady21

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 01:06:27 PM »
I'm about to go into a law school competition where the preliminary round culls out 90% of the participants. All of the people participating are very talented and there are GPA requirements to be able to compete at all. Last night I was talking to my family and I off-handedly mentioned it, saying that I was just doing it for the practice of it all, not to actually advance. My father said "No, you're going to do great. You're going to advance and you have a great shot of winning." He has made statements like these many times in the past. Problem is, a) he has no idea what the competition is or is about (nor would anyone outside of a law profession) and b) he has no idea of the requirements to even enter.

So his affirmations/praise seem hollow, empty, and patronizing to me. I don't appreciate blind, ignorant statements of faith in my abilities, and I told him as much, and said that I wish he'd give more credit to the other people competing because this is a talented, special pool of of my colleagues. Statements like hope you do well/take a deep breath I can handle, but as I'm getting older I'm starting to get sick of "I just know you'll win!" phrases coming from friends and family members. Am I alone in this, or is this one of those things I should just accept without comment?

I don't think it was very nice to take his encouragement and accuse him of being patronizing. He likely truly believes you are good enough. He's your dad. It's kind of his job to love and admire you. And people that say the same kinds of things probably feel the same way. I've never given a compliment or praise I didn't mean, and to have someone say I was being hollow, empty, or patronizing would really make me angry.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 01:09:40 PM »
I'm about to go into a law school competition where the preliminary round culls out 90% of the participants. All of the people participating are very talented and there are GPA requirements to be able to compete at all. Last night I was talking to my family and I off-handedly mentioned it, saying that I was just doing it for the practice of it all, not to actually advance. My father said "No, you're going to do great. You're going to advance and you have a great shot of winning." He has made statements like these many times in the past. Problem is, a) he has no idea what the competition is or is about (nor would anyone outside of a law profession) and b) he has no idea of the requirements to even enter.

So his affirmations/praise seem hollow, empty, and patronizing to me. I don't appreciate blind, ignorant statements of faith in my abilities, and I told him as much, and said that I wish he'd give more credit to the other people competing because this is a talented, special pool of of my colleagues. Statements like hope you do well/take a deep breath I can handle, but as I'm getting older I'm starting to get sick of "I just know you'll win!" phrases coming from friends and family members. Am I alone in this, or is this one of those things I should just accept without comment?

I don't think it was very nice to take his encouragement and accuse him of being patronizing. He likely truly believes you are good enough. He's your dad. It's kind of his job to love and admire you. And people that say the same kinds of things probably feel the same way. I've never given a compliment or praise I didn't mean, and to have someone say I was being hollow, empty, or patronizing would really make me angry.

It would me, too.

Adelaide

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 01:12:11 PM »
I'm about to go into a law school competition where the preliminary round culls out 90% of the participants. All of the people participating are very talented and there are GPA requirements to be able to compete at all. Last night I was talking to my family and I off-handedly mentioned it, saying that I was just doing it for the practice of it all, not to actually advance. My father said "No, you're going to do great. You're going to advance and you have a great shot of winning." He has made statements like these many times in the past. Problem is, a) he has no idea what the competition is or is about (nor would anyone outside of a law profession) and b) he has no idea of the requirements to even enter.

So his affirmations/praise seem hollow, empty, and patronizing to me. I don't appreciate blind, ignorant statements of faith in my abilities, and I told him as much, and said that I wish he'd give more credit to the other people competing because this is a talented, special pool of of my colleagues. Statements like hope you do well/take a deep breath I can handle, but as I'm getting older I'm starting to get sick of "I just know you'll win!" phrases coming from friends and family members. Am I alone in this, or is this one of those things I should just accept without comment?

I don't think it was very nice to take his encouragement and accuse him of being patronizing. He likely truly believes you are good enough. He's your dad. It's kind of his job to love and admire you. And people that say the same kinds of things probably feel the same way. I've never given a compliment or praise I didn't mean, and to have someone say I was being hollow, empty, or patronizing would really make me angry.

I'm sure it would make anyone angry, but I didn't tell him that he sounded hollow, empty, or patronizing, I outlined the specifics of the competition (dispelling any ingnorance) and just said that I wish he'd give a little more respect to my colleagues, because the competition is fierce and I'm proud of the talented group of people I'm going against. I then reiterated the idea that I am doing this mainly for practice and not because I want to advance.

citadelle

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 01:16:23 PM »
I don't think he is discrediting or dismissing your colleagues. He does not know or likely care about them. He cares about and believes in you, and this translates to a belief that you will succeed.

Judah

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 01:17:18 PM »
It almost seams as though you're looking for offense here. Your dad believes in you and is trying to encourage you and show he has faith in you.  It doesn't matter what the abilities of the other participants are, he's talking to you. I honestly don't understand how you can see this in a negative light.
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 01:19:13 PM »
I think you need to consider how many people in this forum can never do enough or do right by their parents.  My father has blind faith in my abilities, and I look at it as affirmation of love.
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peaches

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 01:20:52 PM »
If his responses annoy you, then maybe he isn't the best person to share this information with. I would think that fellow law students would have a better understanding of what you are undertaking.

I don't find it unusual for parents to have faith in their kids or high expectations. He may be overdoing it with his comments (which can be counterproductive). I would keep him out of the loop, if his comments add stress to your situation. You could tell him about your experiences after the fact.



 

citadelle

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 01:21:42 PM »
Do these statements cause you to feel too much pressure to win/succeed?

Adelaide

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 01:24:58 PM »
I guess part of the reason is that I can never worry about anything around him. If I say I'm worried about anything noncompetitive, I hear "Pray about it and Deity will take care of it." If it's something competitive I hear "You're going to win no matter what." And if I say "But the odds/I'm afraid I won't/I'm nervous" I hear "No, you're going to win." and he refuses to entertain the notion of anything else, even of my stress/workload.

And trust me, this is no indication of my ability to "do right" by my father. When I was 14 he gave me a two-hour lecture about what an ungrateful spoiled brat I was because I didn't take an empty glass from the living room to the kitchen as soon as it was empty. :P

If his responses annoy you, then maybe he isn't the best person to share this information with. I would think that fellow law students would have a better understanding of what you are undertaking.

I don't find it unusual for parents to have faith in their kids or high expectations. He may be overdoing it with his comments (which can be counterproductive). I would keep him out of the loop, if his comments add stress to your situation. You could tell him about your experiences after the fact.

I tried to mention it only to my mother, but he overheard. He cut her off when she was telling me that it was okay to be a little nervous, and he kept saying that I was going to win no matter what.

Do these statements cause you to feel too much pressure to win/succeed?


I don't feel pressure to succeed so much as I feel irritation. Mostly because if I don't, he has nothing to say after the fact. No "at least you tried" or even "You should have won/you should have tried harder". Just nothing.

Yvaine

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 01:27:38 PM »
I guess part of the reason is that I can never worry about anything around him. If I say I'm worried about anything noncompetitive, I hear "Pray about it and Deity will take care of it." If it's something competitive I hear "You're going to win no matter what." And if I say "But the odds/I'm afraid I won't/I'm nervous" I hear "No, you're going to win." and he refuses to entertain the notion of anything else, even of my stress/workload.

And trust me, this is no indication of my ability to "do right" by my father. When I was 14 he gave me a two-hour lecture about what an ungrateful spoiled brat I was because I didn't take an empty glass from the living room to the kitchen as soon as it was empty. :P

If his responses annoy you, then maybe he isn't the best person to share this information with. I would think that fellow law students would have a better understanding of what you are undertaking.

I don't find it unusual for parents to have faith in their kids or high expectations. He may be overdoing it with his comments (which can be counterproductive). I would keep him out of the loop, if his comments add stress to your situation. You could tell him about your experiences after the fact.

I tried to mention it only to my mother, but he overheard. He cut her off when she was telling me that it was okay to be a little nervous, and he kept saying that I was going to win no matter what.

Do these statements cause you to feel too much pressure to win/succeed?


I don't feel pressure to succeed so much as I feel irritation. Mostly because if I don't, he has nothing to say after the fact. No "at least you tried" or even "You should have won/you should have tried harder". Just nothing.

Well, in that case he sounds like he's kind of a jerk (sorry), and the affirmations are really just an offshoot of the main problem. Sadly, you can't really fix him. I'd suggest just not confiding in him about this stuff anymore.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 01:30:01 PM »
I agree with Yvaine in that this sounds more like a problematic dynamic between you and your father.  In general, I wouldn't say that providing blind encouragement or affirmation is rude. I'd really hate for that to be the case!  It's kind of a depressing concept.