Author Topic: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?  (Read 5539 times)

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Deetee

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2013, 10:42:56 AM »

So if someone states your success is a forgone conclusion, the only options are to maintain the status quo (with success) or fail them.  Success doesn't feel like success. It just feels like an avoidance of failure. And failure is double failure.

I think this is a personal belief rather than a cause and effect from what someone else says to you.  No one else can make you feel any particular way.  You are in control of that.

I agree that I am in control of this, and one of the ways I do that is that I avoid discussing things that are important or concerning or real to me with people who say such things. I mention things in passing or after the fact but this type of blind encourement (without any recognition or interest in the realities of the situation ) created distance not warmth.

Deetee

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2013, 11:03:48 AM »

Point of order: it's not the speaker's fault that you "hear" something he did not say.

Agreed.  To me, the OP and many of the responses come across as looking for offense.  I am not sure what kind of response from the dad would be deemed okay, and I am absolutely certain there would not be 100% or even 50% agreement from the board on that.  I think it's best to assume those offering encouragement mean well, and if it's not want you want to hear, change your behavior (talk to someone else who gives you want you want) rather than expect the person trying to encourage you to change theirs.  Unless there is some reason to believe the encourager is trying to hurt you, assume they are doing their best to help you.

I have listed plenty of extremely supportive statements that I think get across a warmth and a love and a faith in abilities that I don't think would feel unrealistic.
" I am sure you will do great!" (Leaving great to be defined)
"You have worked so hard for this and deserve it"
"You are so great at calligraphy on cows that you will shine"
" I look forward to hearing all about it"
"Really? How exciting! What a great opportunity"

 All of these avoid the pitfalls of promising or predicting an outcome.

For example, if your friend decided to run a Marathon and she practised and practiced and trained and fought injuries for over a year and finally signed up for a race with 5000 people in it would any decent friend really say "Oh, you'll win!".  Your friend may be concerned about finishing or aiming for top half or top 10% and those would be goals she could share and aim for, but its not up to others to guarantee some unreasonable result.

Itza

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2013, 11:26:13 AM »
I can feel your frustration, yet at the same time, I can understand parents can't always get it right.

There's your Dad's words on one end of the scale, and my mother's on another, "And remember... it doesn't matter if you don't pass."  :o Luckily, I wasn't shocked into silence, "WHAT?! It DOES matter!"  :o




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MerryCat

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2013, 12:29:53 PM »
The problem isn't that the OP's dad is overly encouraging, it's that he's refusing to listen to her. He shuts her down when she's talking and won't let her express her true feelings. When she points out that his actions aren't helpful he refuses to acknowledge her needs or change his behavior. It sounds like OP has being trying to avoid discussing things with him, but he snoops on her conversations with her mother and horns in there.

At this point it's not about the OP at all, but all about Dad. This "encouragement" isn't something he's doing for her but rather to her, to fulfill some need of his own.

OP, I'm not saying your dad is a bad guy. But even good people can have some traits that are annoying, dismissive and, yes, quite rude.

Lynn2000

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2013, 10:40:00 AM »
Conversation really can be a minefield. Between this thread, the count your blessings one, and whether or not to comfort someone crying, I am feeling a little overwhelmed!

I know that intent is not magical, but in some cases, I really think it has to count for something. A person's words are not always going to be the perfect thing, but perhaps we can give a little consideration to someone well meant?

To answer the question posed: no, I don't think blind (unconditional?) support is rude.

I do agree with you that intent matters, or rather, tone and context. If, in the course of a longer conversation about their specific concerns, you say to someone, "I know you'll win," I don't think that's going to crush them utterly. And, I think one can imagine how a "good" affirmation like "I know you'll do great" could be hurtful--picture it being said in a sarcastic way, or dismissively followed by, "But back to MY problems now." There's nothing magical about the specific words.

However, I like to learn how the words I say could be interpreted by (some) other people. For example, before eHell I used to say things like, "You look great now that you've lost weight!" and "When are you guys having kids?" as I heard other people say. I meant these things well and hopefully the person I was talking to knew this. But, I had never stopped to think what the implications of those words were--that the person looked bad before when they were fat, and that having children is the natural and desired next step. Again, not everyone "heard" those implications, and even among those who did, I hope most knew that I meant well. But, since it seems that a large number of people find those implications hurtful, I want to know this, so I can stop using those words. If "you will win" slips out of my mouth when talking to someone nervous, it's not the end of the world; but now I can articulate that this phrase has unhelpful implications, and I can make an informed decision to avoid that phrase in the future and substitute a different one in my attempt to be helpful.
~Lynn2000

Adelaide

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2013, 12:17:18 PM »
I didn't win, but I made top 9 of 90 and I've been invited to the reception after the final round to meet all the lawyers. And gollymolly2, yes, it's a moot court competition.

My parents were supportive/proud but they seemed a tad disappointed. I thought I did pretty well for someone who just doing it to get some experience!

gramma dishes

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2013, 12:18:45 PM »
Congratulations!!  Top 9 of 90 sounds very impressive to me!  We're proud of you.  That's quite an achievement.

gollymolly2

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2013, 12:19:13 PM »
Congrats!

Deetee

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #68 on: February 20, 2013, 12:50:57 PM »
Congrats! Top 10% is great!

I am part of a moot team right now and we have spent a huge amount of time and effort on this and we are hoping to do well. "Do well" means win over half the moots. We are daring to dream about making it to the third round (We are guarenteed two rounds :) ) If someone said "You will win" I would just laugh and laugh. We have a really good team. We have worked really hard. So has every other team.

I'm not actually part of the oral moot, just the prep, as the actual moot is directly on top of my due date and it is a team competition so it would be unfair to everyone else to be part of it.

onyonryngs

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2013, 01:09:35 PM »
This does seem more of a relationship issue rather than an actual etiquette one, especially after the update.  Support is not rude, but it doesn't seem like they're able to do anything right.  Sometimes parents just make you want to go "GAH!" and the simple act of telling you where the toilet paper is can seem like a judgment on your ability to fend for yourself.  It sounds like that might be a bit of what's going on here. 

mmswm

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2013, 01:44:16 PM »
Congrats!  From what you've described, number 9 sounds like quite an accomplishment.  I'm glad you had such a good showing.

Coley

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2013, 01:45:37 PM »
Congrats! Good for you.  :)

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Blind Encouragement/Affirmation: rude or not?
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2013, 02:04:59 PM »
This does seem more of a relationship issue rather than an actual etiquette one, especially after the update.  Support is not rude, but it doesn't seem like they're able to do anything right.  Sometimes parents just make you want to go "GAH!" and the simple act of telling you where the toilet paper is can seem like a judgment on your ability to fend for yourself.  It sounds like that might be a bit of what's going on here.
Your analysis is very insightful.