Author Topic: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry  (Read 5998 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 11:02:12 AM »
You said: "She has had issues in the past which contributed to her not wanting to leave the house which we have made a lot of allowances for, knowing that it's hard for her. However, she's been getting much better and she does now go out to the shops and supermarket and visiting.  She has also started driving again."

Maybe she's not that much better or is having a setback. That she's started to lie to cover suggests she's aware it's a problem. Did she do that before? Do "events" like birthdays and first trips abroad stress her out to the point she can't cope? She might not want to say "I'm having anxiety about GD leaving" so she makes up something less damaging to her ego.

If you want to bring it up with her, I would politely state the facts: You told me one thing, you told DH another, either way your granddaughter was disappointed, she misses you.  I'm sorry things worked out the way they did, but we'd much rather you say I'm not feeling up to a trip/visit than to tell us stories.

POD. I see the dishonesty as a symptom of the larger problem. Before calling her out on lying, I would consider whether her intentions in making plans are good and whether her progress in coping with her issues (not able to leave the house) is not as advanced as you might think. I like Miss Tickle's suggestions on how to approach it factually in terms of the effects of her behavior on your family.

This.

Assuming we're talking about some kind of anxiety/agora thing: as someone who's also had issues of this variety for years, I can tell you that recovery from this sort of problem is very much not a linear thing. It goes in peaks and troughs. You can have a few weeks of quite happily going out and about and then bam, suddenly you're in the grips of it again for no apparent reason. It's a two steps forward, three steps back thing.

Without wanting to play armchair doctor, consider whether her lies could be a cover up for 'I just can't do it today' and then make your decision about whether to confront her accordingly.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:03:57 AM by perpetua »

bopper

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 11:29:04 AM »
I think the easiest thing is to assume she will do nothing.  Never tell your kids that she is coming over. If she actually does, then great.
She isn't going to change...you have to change your reaction to her.  "Oh, you want to bring over a metal? We are generally home after 5:00 so anytime is good."  Then go about your business. If she shows up, then great.

TootsNYC

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 11:45:50 AM »
She's lying because you're pressuring her. If you didn't make it clear that she was going to "get in trouble with you," she'd have no need to lie to you.

Stop trying to change or discipline her. Then she won't have a reason to lie.

And OK, so she's flaky and her granddaughter can't really rely on her. That's valuable info for granddaughter to have. And though she'll be disappointed, honestly that's just part of life.

It's not really a parent's job to protect their child from every injury or disappointment. It's your job to teach them how to handle those things when they come. And getting mad and giving people the silent treatment is not actually the healthiest way to deal with disappointment *for you*.

Model for your DD the right way to deal with Grandma: Love her, but recognize the limitations that she has, including that she's flaky. Adjust your expectations.

Also, your strong reaction to your DD's disappointment gives her the message that this disappointment really *IS* a big deal. Model that properly also.

Hollanda

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 11:51:02 AM »
I would say "But I thought you said..." and watch her catch herself out.  People who lie often get confused over details.  They embellish stoiries a tad too much instead of sticking to simple facts.  The more they get away with, the more they lie. Asking a simple question will get someone who lies very het up and anxious, whilst asking someone who tells the truth for a simple clarification will not.  I don't see that as "calling them out", just asking for clarification and observing what could be a very telling reaction.  It goes without saying that my trust in that perrson would be severely diminished if I had a strong suspicion or evidence they were lying.
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Zilla

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 11:52:26 AM »
It gets exhausting in trying to "catch" someone in a lie, and especially a habitual one.  I find the best thing to do is just humor them and treat like everything is true.




Oh you fell?  Ouch.  Anyhow, let us know when you can come by.  Bye!




Oh stepdaughter is coming?  Oh dd will be so disappointed, oh well.  Okay Bye!



Just don't react and you will be the better for it.  It's hard coming to terms with it, but once you are blase about it, it will be easier.  Just let go of the anger and it will only poison everything around you including kid.  If kid sees you just shrug it off, she too will accept it and shrug it off.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 12:21:45 PM »
I don't think confronting MIL will do much good siince this seems to be a well-established pattern with her.  Regardless of her reasons, you need to make sure your children know that GM is not reliable and expect her to back out of plans.  It's a sad, but necessary approach to temper the inevitable disappointment.

joraemi

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 10:27:23 PM »
POD to Perpetua. If she has had these issues in the past and she's having a recurrence of symptoms, calling her out about it is just not very nice, imho, and probably counterproductive to being supportive of her so that's she can make behavioral changes in her own.

My first thought when I read your post was not etiquette related but more that I thought this is a good opportunity to teach your daughter that Nanny sometimes does things and makes decisions that have nothing to do with how Nanny feels about her.




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

*inviteseller

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2013, 09:49:45 AM »
I sympathize, because we have someone in our lives who makes plans, then comes up with the lamest excuses to cancel at the last minute.  I think, instead of calling her out on it, which will only cause more phone calls with more excuses and pleas for "don't be mad", you just have to teach DD to know that when she makes these plans, take them with a grain of salt.  Don't expect they will be followed through with so when she actually does, it will be a nice surprise. I used the line with my DD "Well, we might visit/go somewhere/have fun with person, but it isn't definite.   It sounds like your MIL has some issues she needs to deal with, but that isn't your families issue.  You have to focus on how your family deals with her empty promises.  Good luck because that makes me angry when a child is disappointed by someone they love.

cicero

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2013, 11:57:14 AM »
You said: "She has had issues in the past which contributed to her not wanting to leave the house which we have made a lot of allowances for, knowing that it's hard for her. However, she's been getting much better and she does now go out to the shops and supermarket and visiting.  She has also started driving again."

Maybe she's not that much better or is having a setback. That she's started to lie to cover suggests she's aware it's a problem. Did she do that before? Do "events" like birthdays and first trips abroad stress her out to the point she can't cope? She might not want to say "I'm having anxiety about GD leaving" so she makes up something less damaging to her ego.

If you want to bring it up with her, I would politely state the facts: You told me one thing, you told DH another, either way your granddaughter was disappointed, she misses you.  I'm sorry things worked out the way they did, but we'd much rather you say I'm not feeling up to a trip/visit than to tell us stories.

POD. I see the dishonesty as a symptom of the larger problem. Before calling her out on lying, I would consider whether her intentions in making plans are good and whether her progress in coping with her issues (not able to leave the house) is not as advanced as you might think. I like Miss Tickle's suggestions on how to approach it factually in terms of the effects of her behavior on your family.
i agree.

it sounds like "whatever she had in the past" is back. and i know people with agoraphobia and other issues - they do tend to lie about it because people don't really get it or they feel that people don't undertand them. it's easier to say "i fell in the bath tub" or "washing machine broke and i'm waiting for the technician" than say "i'm suffering from anxiety and just cannot leave the house"

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PeterM

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 05:20:23 PM »
I agree with the general consensus that trying to out her as a liar won't really do any good. You know she's lying, she knows she's lying, but even if by some miracle you can get her to admit she's lying do you really think she'll have an epiphany and completely change her behavior?

I just wouldn't believe anything she says, myself. Others have suggested letting her make her promises and plans but just living your life as normal, and I agree with that. You might go one step further the next time she says she'll do something and ask her if she actually intends to follow through this time. Some might see that as rude, but I think it's warranted. It's definitely inflammatory, though, so only go there if you're willing to allow things to blow up. If I were going to do it I'd save it for another case where failure to do what she says she'll do will be disappointing to your DD rather than "just" you or your husband.

Carpathia

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2013, 02:37:27 PM »
We decided in the end to gently point out that she cancelled on us a lot and that we were sad not to see her but didn't tell her that we didn't believe her because it wasn't going to achieve anything. We won't tell the kids in advance if she's planning to come over (if she does come and they're out we can always call them to say that Nanny dropped in).

I wondered if it was a going-out thing (which is why I mentioned the issues) and it still might be that, but I did ask her directly if that was a problem (I was the one who first persuaded her to see her doctor about that and it is something she does talk with me about - doesn't mean that it wasn't though).

Toots, I'd be interested to know where you got the idea that we're pressuring her - we invite her over occasionally but generally keep in touch by phone and all the cancelled visits have been initiated by her. We have not tried to change her behaviour or 'discipline' her and not considered up until this point where we both wondered if calling her on her excuses would actually stop it rather than our previous assurances that we understand and not to worry about it.

bopper

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Re: Can you politely call someone out when you think they're lying? Long, sorry
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2013, 09:24:30 AM »
I have a long time friend who one could think of as flaky.  She has some  OCD and depression issues.
She cancels or doesn't come to my parties, for example.
But I have learned that is going to happen with her.  If she can't make it and she is integral to the event, she lets me know.
I don't do activities that require getting tickets with her.
I know I can't change her so I work with what she can do and I let it be on her terms and at her pace.