Author Topic: Prom Cling-on**UPDATE #87,#173**  (Read 33317 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2013, 06:14:31 PM »


I agree that it can't be done *effectively* without hurting this girl's feelings, but it still can be done nicely.
And the OP's DD and her friends need to realize that they do NOT have to worry about not hurting her feelings at all.

They only need to worry about not GRATUITOUSLY hurting her feelings.

So the DD can say, "I'm sorry--I have plans to spend the night with a group of my friends. I can't include you."

She should say it right away. And pleasantly. Without *too* much regret.

Your DD needs to internalize the idea that she is not being rude--that this girl is in error. Sort of like, her zipper's undone or something. That this girl has wrong information and your DD is actually honor-bound to *correct* it.  And that's what she's doing--correcting her, not rejecting her.

It will help if she also internalized the idea that the "party" is not hers alone, and so she is not authorized to include this girl in the party. (even if she is the one who would most object to her being included)

And your DD may need to gear herself up for saying, "I'm sorry, but I don't want to can't spend prom with you. I have plans already." (the second time she has to say this, she should add on, "with my friends" (implication being, you're not one of them)

(In fact, your DD *does* have "a date"--all the rest of her friends are "her dates," and so that's what she needs to say. "I have plans.")

Then, to make herself feel stronger (and better about herself), she should remember: Once she does say, "I have plans with my friends, adn I can't include you," this girl should get a clue. If she doesn't, then your DD is now in self-defense mode, and she is entitled to feel a little bit resentful.


(also, the sooner she does it, the better. It's kinder to the girl, for one. And easier on her because she'll have it over with and will have time to fix it so

Meanwhile, you and DD might role play some ways to completely discourage conversations with this girl at all--how to arrange so that your DD's lack of interest in a friendship is clearer.

Toots has given you good starter words. 

I do think it would be better if this were discussed privately before the prom so the girl isn't sitting there all night waiting for your daughter to show up and then glom onto her the second she walks through the door like she did at Homecoming.

I wanted to add my two cents about this. I think some things need to be said and some don't - this is what will affect how much AG gets hurt. IMHO DD does not need to say anything to suggest that she does not like AG and does not want to hang out with her - that is unnecessarily mean. If you don't want to be with someone, don't say so and make a point of telling them you don't like them! So don't say "I don't want" - say "Sorry, I can't." DD should use her etiquette obligations as a shield - she can't hang with AG because she already promised the night to her other friends.
I would recommend "Sorry with a Smile" - since AG is so oblivious and prone to steamrolling, all responses to her should be bright and informative as if DD is doing her a favor by kindly correcting her assumptions:

AG: Oh you and I are going to have so much fun with *AGs other friends* at Prom!
DD: *big friendly smile* Oh I know we'll all have fun...*serious frown* But sorry AG I can't hang with you, I already made plans to go to Prom with *DDs own group*. I didn't get a chance to tell you before, you should have asked me sooner - oh well! *Brilliant smile again* I'm sure we'll all have a blast right? Woo hoo Prom! Are you *BEAN DIP OUT TO WAZOO!* blah blah prom dress yadda yadda oh look at that I'm late for class bye!

Now, if AG insists that they can ALL hang out on Prom, or moves in to cling when DD gets there, DD can act surprised and amused and put AGs behavior off as silly for both of them. Instead of saying "Get away from me," she should redirect AGs attention to *food/music/hot guy/wow what is she wearing etc.*
AG: I'm going to hang with you!
DD: *lightly* Oh why would you want to hang with me, you have So and So and she's so cool are you guys *bean dip*, well I'm off to *whatever*. I'm sure we'll see each other around,
AG: I'll come with you.
DD: Oh you are so sweet but that would be mean to *AGs posse* you don't want them thinking you ditched them for me.
AG: Then we'll all hang together.
DD: Oh that would be fun but we came to hang as *DD group* and *AG group* we'll just keep it that way.
AG: But we could all-
DD: Yeah I know it would be great but I'm just hanging with *My group* tonight. Have fun with *Your group*!
AG: Oh come on... *makes a move to latch on*
DD: *laughing lightly like AG is joking* Oh AG, why are you following me around? You so kuh-razy! It's not like we can spend every second together.  ::) Ohmuhgaw stop being silly- look HotCuteGuy is checking you out you should go talk to him! *Quick Exit!*

DD doesn't have to convince AG of anything or give her any explanation. Just tell her what the reality is: "I am going to hang out with my group, so I can't hang out with you." Friends are loyal and keep their promises. They don't intrude on each other and they give each other their space. Act like AG understands that, and hopefully she will, or at least just pretend she does!
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Calypso

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2013, 06:32:04 PM »
It's been a long time since I was prom age, and I was too self-conscious to put myself into situations where I didn't know for sure I was welcome, so this suggestion may be way off.

What if DD to AG aside and said, "AG, I want to talk to you about Homecoming. What's your memory of that night?"
AG: (DD listens respectfully) "Oh, we did this and that and etc and it was really fun."
DD: "OK, I need to be upfront with you about something. That isn't how I experienced it. To me, it felt like you were waiting at the door for me, and then stayed with me all night, even when I tried to step away for a couple of minutes to talk to someone else. It wasn't how I'd pictured the night going."
AG: (is embarrassed) "Oh I didn't mean to, etc etc etc"
DD: "It's ok. What happened happened, it's just that it's not how I want to spend Prom. And you're a terrific person (or whatever is natural for DD to say) and I think you should have more respect for yourself. You don't need to latch on to me to have a good time. Just chill out, enjoy being with A and B and C, get your dance on. Ok?"


JeseC

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2013, 06:40:51 PM »
I wanted to add my two cents about this. I think some things need to be said and some don't - this is what will affect how much AG gets hurt. IMHO DD does not need to say anything to suggest that she does not like AG and does not want to hang out with her - that is unnecessarily mean. If you don't want to be with someone, don't say so and make a point of telling them you don't like them! So don't say "I don't want" - say "Sorry, I can't." DD should use her etiquette obligations as a shield - she can't hang with AG because she already promised the night to her other friends.
I would recommend "Sorry with a Smile" - since AG is so oblivious and prone to steamrolling, all responses to her should be bright and informative as if DD is doing her a favor by kindly correcting her assumptions:

AG: Oh you and I are going to have so much fun with *AGs other friends* at Prom!
DD: *big friendly smile* Oh I know we'll all have fun...*serious frown* But sorry AG I can't hang with you, I already made plans to go to Prom with *DDs own group*. I didn't get a chance to tell you before, you should have asked me sooner - oh well! *Brilliant smile again* I'm sure we'll all have a blast right? Woo hoo Prom! Are you *BEAN DIP OUT TO WAZOO!* blah blah prom dress yadda yadda oh look at that I'm late for class bye!

Now, if AG insists that they can ALL hang out on Prom, or moves in to cling when DD gets there, DD can act surprised and amused and put AGs behavior off as silly for both of them. Instead of saying "Get away from me," she should redirect AGs attention to *food/music/hot guy/wow what is she wearing etc.*
AG: I'm going to hang with you!
DD: *lightly* Oh why would you want to hang with me, you have So and So and she's so cool are you guys *bean dip*, well I'm off to *whatever*. I'm sure we'll see each other around,
AG: I'll come with you.
DD: Oh you are so sweet but that would be mean to *AGs posse* you don't want them thinking you ditched them for me.
AG: Then we'll all hang together.
DD: Oh that would be fun but we came to hang as *DD group* and *AG group* we'll just keep it that way.
AG: But we could all-
DD: Yeah I know it would be great but I'm just hanging with *My group* tonight. Have fun with *Your group*!
AG: Oh come on... *makes a move to latch on*
DD: *laughing lightly like AG is joking* Oh AG, why are you following me around? You so kuh-razy! It's not like we can spend every second together.  ::) Ohmuhgaw stop being silly- look HotCuteGuy is checking you out you should go talk to him! *Quick Exit!*

DD doesn't have to convince AG of anything or give her any explanation. Just tell her what the reality is: "I am going to hang out with my group, so I can't hang out with you." Friends are loyal and keep their promises. They don't intrude on each other and they give each other their space. Act like AG understands that, and hopefully she will, or at least just pretend she does!

I have to say, I worry that this is a case where "can't" isn't going to work.  It sounds like if DD says "can't", that's going to be a signal to AG to try to solve whatever problems there are.  And I don't want DD to have to spend an entire night coming up with redirections.  I would put it in terms of "don't know you that well" instead of "don't like you", though - "I'm sorry, AG, but I just don't feel like I know you that well, and with college coming up soon I really want to spend time with my friends.  Why don't you go hang with A and B?"

joraemi

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2013, 07:26:56 PM »
Op Here -

This is quite the situation isn't it?  Ugh. 

Anyway - I got some additional info from DD today that is NOT going to make it any easier.  When I was sharing your advice with her and I asked again who AG's other friends were that she planned to hang out with and DD said, "MOM - this is exactly the problem I've been trying to explain to you.  They aren't her friends.  They're part of our group! She's just sticking herself in with us and assuming she can hang out with us.  No one wants to do this!". Ultimately though, DD is the one that AG clings to.  :-\

I think in DD's mind part of the problem is that if AG doesn't hang out with them, DD doesn't know who (if anyone) AG will have to hang out with, and as a nice girl/people pleaser, DD is having a hard time with this. She really does not enjoy this girl's company, but feels sorry for her all at the same time.

I had to laugh - when I gave her some of the suggested wording for telling AG it just wasn't going to happen she went, "WOW." and closed her eyes and took a deep breath like she was having to summon up courage just to think about it.  LOL




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something.new.every.day

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2013, 07:46:16 PM »
Op Here -

This is quite the situation isn't it?  Ugh. 

Anyway - I got some additional info from DD today that is NOT going to make it any easier.  When I was sharing your advice with her and I asked again who AG's other friends were that she planned to hang out with and DD said, "MOM - this is exactly the problem I've been trying to explain to you.  They aren't her friends.  They're part of our group! She's just sticking herself in with us and assuming she can hang out with us.  No one wants to do this!". Ultimately though, DD is the one that AG clings to.  :-\

I think in DD's mind part of the problem is that if AG doesn't hang out with them, DD doesn't know who (if anyone) AG will have to hang out with, and as a nice girl/people pleaser, DD is having a hard time with this. She really does not enjoy this girl's company, but feels sorry for her all at the same time.

I had to laugh - when I gave her some of the suggested wording for telling AG it just wasn't going to happen she went, "WOW." and closed her eyes and took a deep breath like she was having to summon up courage just to think about it.  LOL

Given the update (so sad), it does not sound like this poor girl has any friends.  Is she in any activities?  Maybe your DD could re-direct her by saying, "I already have plans with a group, but you should go with your friends from soccer/band/whatever."

And I don't have kids and am several years out from high school, so take this with a grain of salt, but can anyone alert a school guidance counselor or someone that this girl does not seem to have any friends?  Perhaps she needs some help with life skills, getting put into an activity--something! 

WillyNilly

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2013, 08:04:39 PM »
With all due respect Softly Spoken, I completely disagree with your idea OP's DD shouldn't say "don't want to" (post #30).  This is not a situation of "can't"; she absolutely can hang out with AG, the truth is she doesn't want to. Let's imagine this was a guy asking her out on a date persistently. She could say "oh sorry I can't, I'm washing my hair that night" or "I can't, I'm dating Bill" but that leaves the situation open for the guy to offer another night, or watch her closely until she breaks up with Bill.  The better answer is "thank you for the offer, but I don't feel that way about you" (aka "I don't want to date you.") This girl is doing the same thing. Heck she might even have a crush on OP's DD!

Essentially you are suggesting OP's DD do what we always say don't do: JADE. DD does not have to have a justification. She does not need to argue her point or defend her current plans. She does not need an excuse to not hang out with this girl beyond "I don't want to."

Yes its hurtful for the girl to hear the people she likes don't want to hang out with her. But that's DD's fault or responsibility. DD's responsibility is to be honest and true to herself. She can be gentle, but she absolutely should be truthful - she doesn't want to hang with AG. And to her knowledge the greater group does not want AG around either.

And OP, when talking DD through this think about her age - she is going to have to learn to say "don't want to" in a strong way at college (to boys, to peer pressure, etc), or in the work world very very soon. This is an excellent opportunity for her to learn that skill.  Its a skill that will save her years of heartache and misery.

I think to a certain extent it would be ok for DD to get some help from her friends. I definitely think the first 'hey this isn't going to happen' conversation should be gently but firmly delivered by your DD. But after that, especially if it comes down to it at prom, her friends can chime in "sorry AG but didn't DD tell you she couldn't hang with you all night? Why don't you find some other friends for a while? We're having a private conversation here" or "sorry AG but we were invited to Sam's after-party personally, its not our place to just bring you."
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 08:10:23 PM by WillyNilly »

Minmom3

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2013, 08:52:52 PM »
I think it highly important to remind OP's DD that SOMEBODY is going to be unhappy, no matter how this resolves itself.  It isn't DD's duty to be the Unhappy Person.  AG is going to be unhappy unless she's allowed to glom onto DD, which DD is anticipating unhappily.  DD does need to figure out HOW to break it to AG that her plans aren't DDs plans, and DD has other plans.  AG is going to be unhappy if she doesn't get what she wants, but it isn't DDs job to make AG happy, which means she's going to have to figure out HOW the heck to say what needs saying.  I'd think role playing might be a huge help to DD in deciding how to say what needs saying, and resigning herself that she's going to make AG unhappy, because the alternative is that DD is unhappy.  Manners do not require us to be a doormat when someone else has unreasonable expectations...  It's just awkward as hell to DO something about it!   :-\  I predict that DD is going to need to be both blunt and repetitive to get through AG's preconceptions of Prom.
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2013, 08:53:33 PM »
Next time Ag approachers your dd about the  prom, your dd needs to state firmly, "AG, I am sorry, but I already have previous plans with some other friends as far as dinner and getting to the prom, but I am sure I will see you there".   If AG persists and asks to be included, "I'm sorry AG.  Everything has already been paid for and decided.  Again, I am sure I will see you at the prom sometime during the evening". 

loopyluna

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2013, 09:25:30 PM »
I can't think of any useful answers, because this one just keeps running in circles in my head. Your daughter doesn't have to do something she doesn't want to do, but without careful tact and compassion she will sound unnecessarily catty/cliquish. The ideal time to gently let this girl know she isn't part of this social circle has long since past, and no matter how your daughter approaches it this will not be an easy conversation.

This entire thread just makes me so sad for this girl. Once upon a time I was a socially awkward high school student, though I was fortunate enough to find my own band of misfits. It sounds like this girl doesn't even have that much. Were I in AG's position, I honestly don't know what wording would make me feel least awful about this, only that I would wish someone had said something sooner. I can only hope AG understands that, for people like her and me, life gets so much better after high school.

However this works out, I hope both girls understand that while things like homecoming and prom seem like Really Big Deals when you're a high school senior, in the grand scheme of things they really aren't.

Sharnita

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2013, 10:30:53 PM »
I think the thing that I am getting stuck on is that at prom itself "groups" intermingle.  Random Ralph who wasn't in your limo or at dinner and who doesn't normally hang with you might exchange a few words or even dance with your group - or in their general area, and then be on his way.  SOmetimes Sue might do the same thing.  They certainly don't attach themselves for the whole night or monopolize all of one person's attention but their is more mixing than the various groups ususually do.  This was my experience when I attended prom and has been the case at the many proms I've chaperoned.  I guess there are other schools where that might not be the case but it seems to be kind of the point of prom.  If OP and her group are obviously willing to intercat with people beyond their group it is going to become obvious that AG is the one person they are completely excluding.  And unlike the others, it doesn't sound like she would understand casual/limited interaction. 

Softly Spoken

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2013, 11:14:20 PM »
With all due respect Softly Spoken, I completely disagree with your idea OP's DD shouldn't say "don't want to" (post #30).  This is not a situation of "can't"; she absolutely can hang out with AG, the truth is she doesn't want to. Let's imagine this was a guy asking her out on a date persistently. She could say "oh sorry I can't, I'm washing my hair that night" or "I can't, I'm dating Bill" but that leaves the situation open for the guy to offer another night, or watch her closely until she breaks up with Bill.  The better answer is "thank you for the offer, but I don't feel that way about you" (aka "I don't want to date you.") Actually, "I don't feel that way" is an explanation of why she doesn't want to date him, and that wouldn't necessarily stop him either. This girl is doing the same thing. Heck she might even have a crush on OP's DD!

Essentially you are suggesting OP's DD do what we always say don't do: JADE. DD does not have to have a justification. She does not need to argue her point or defend her current plans. She does not need an excuse to not hang out with this girl beyond "I don't want to."

Yes its hurtful for the girl to hear the people she likes don't want to hang out with her. But that's DD's fault or responsibility. DD's responsibility is to be honest and true to herself. She can be gentle, but she absolutely should be truthful - she doesn't want to hang with AG. And to her knowledge the greater group does not want AG around either.

And OP, when talking DD through this think about her age - she is going to have to learn to say "don't want to" in a strong way at college (to boys, to peer pressure, etc), or in the work world very very soon. This is an excellent opportunity for her to learn that skill.  Its a skill that will save her years of heartache and misery.

I think to a certain extent it would be ok for DD to get some help from her friends. I definitely think the first 'hey this isn't going to happen' conversation should be gently but firmly delivered by your DD. But after that, especially if it comes down to it at prom, her friends can chime in "sorry AG but didn't DD tell you she couldn't hang with you all night? Why don't you find some other friends for a while? We're having a private conversation here" or "sorry AG but we were invited to Sam's after-party personally, its not our place to just bring you."
I understand what you are saying to a point. It seems like there is a clash between taking care of ones own needs and being as polite as possible to others (without sacrificing boundaries). I have to say I am having trouble understanding how "don't want to" is better or more appropriate in the bolded life situations you described. If people are pushy they are pushy. Also, part of being a grown-up often means doing things even though we don't want to because life is tough. Say your boss asks you to work late - which would you tell them: "Oh sorry I can't" or "I don't want to"? I'm pretty sure that in that situation "I don't want to" would not fly! IMHO, "can't" is useful because it suggests forces outside of our control - "Oh I can't work late I have a prior commitment/have to pick up kid from *sport practice* etc.". You think "I don't want to" is a good thing to say in response to peer pressure? By definition, peer pressure does not respect the wants of an individual. Why not instead say "Oh I can't my Mom would kill me!" You are suggesting that stating your wants/not-wants is a way to show your strength - standing up for what you want is great and expressing your wants is great...but people are rarely impressed when we say what we don't want. If a five year old said "I don't want to clean my room," do you think his parent would reply with "Well, I respect your wants so you don't have to"? We can't always get what we want, sometimes it doesn't matter what we want, and rude people rarely care about our wants. How many "I don't want to"s have been answered with "Tough beans"?

If I recall correctly, many many people have been cast to fiery eHell as Special Snowflakes because the only reason they gave for not doing something was "But I don't want to!"

When it comes to the pushy and the clueless, both "can't" and "don't want" will probably be met with a whiny or belligerent "Why not?" People who aren't getting what they want always try and force a JADE.

I was under the impression that most etiquette rules operate on the assumption that bluntness is called for only if diplomacy fails. I have seen mostly bluntness being encouraged under the assumption that AG is social clueless and must be dealt with more harshly or it won't sink in. True to my handle, I chose to suggest the diplomatic route first. I feel that the suggested wording above that I underlined went beyond blunt and into harsh and catty territory. Everyone here, whether they have kids or not, can most likely say from personal experience that adolescent self-esteem is a fragile thing. There is a world of difference between AG being hurt because DD didn't want to hang with her on Prom, and AG being hurt because she was told that she was a total loser who no one wants to hang out with. :( I don't think DD and her friends should (or want to) be personally responsible for telling AG the reality of her place in the social hierarchy.

*deep cleansing breath*

The emotional charge that seems to flow behind every event in a teen's life also seems to be muddying the etiquette waters. This is not about AGs likability, her place among the girls, or even her relationship with DD - any and all of which may change at any time. This is about ONE NIGHT, and how DD is going to get through it and enjoy herself. I POD Minmom3. DD doesn't have to turn this into a *thing.* She has plans that do not include AG. Period. She should try and say so as politely as possible, and be prepared to practice her evasion tactics on Prom Night. Incidentally, since the Prom is a gathering of all the school kids, DD is not actually entitled to an AG-free night no matter how she may wish for it or try and ask for it. If she were at her own home she could refuse to answer the door if AG came by, but she can't resent AG occupying the same gymnasium (or whatever public space it's being held in) or even the space next to her for that matter! AG has the right to be there and to talk to (or try to talk to) anyone she wants. DD has the right to be there and to talk to (or not talk to) anyone she wants. The only thing she has control over is how politely she makes her socialization choices.
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
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Sharnita

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2013, 11:23:10 PM »
Softly Spoken, I think you articulated what I have been thinking.  This is not DD's group outing, not exactly.  It is the school's prom.  When you decide to go to prom it is with the understanding that it is open to all qualifying students who will be sharing your social event.  You decide to go with the knowledge you will be having a celebration with people beyond your tightest group.  There becomes a balancing act between enjoying yourself and being polite to the other attendees who aren't your bestees.  So I don't know that you could reasonably tell somebody not to sit at your table if there were extra seats available.  It is their prom too.  It might be better to invite others to fill those seats.  I am not saying DD's wish for peace is wrong, just that the etiquette of ding this is a bit trickier than if she tried to include herself in a trip to the movies.  At a certain point trying to get the message across without stepping over the line could be more stressful than just trying to evade her.

SPuck

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2013, 11:30:53 PM »
As someone who was socially awkward in high school (Aspergers) has been that clingy person and dealt with other people who are socially awkward, at this point diplomacy doesn't sound like it will work and DD has to be blunt with AG. You can only take being nice so far where to the point a person is being coddled and not learning how to act in public. Even though the poster's DD is in a public place she has a right to an AG free night. No one person has the right to monopolize one person's attention. If subtle hints don't work the direct path has to be taken. I can sympathize with AG, but as someone who has had these social problems no one person deserves to be her crutch.

WillyNilly

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2013, 11:32:06 PM »
With all due respect Softly Spoken, I completely disagree with your idea OP's DD shouldn't say "don't want to" (post #30).  This is not a situation of "can't"; she absolutely can hang out with AG, the truth is she doesn't want to. Let's imagine this was a guy asking her out on a date persistently. She could say "oh sorry I can't, I'm washing my hair that night" or "I can't, I'm dating Bill" but that leaves the situation open for the guy to offer another night, or watch her closely until she breaks up with Bill.  The better answer is "thank you for the offer, but I don't feel that way about you" (aka "I don't want to date you.") Actually, "I don't feel that way" is an explanation of why she doesn't want to date him, and that wouldn't necessarily stop him either. This girl is doing the same thing. Heck she might even have a crush on OP's DD!

Essentially you are suggesting OP's DD do what we always say don't do: JADE. DD does not have to have a justification. She does not need to argue her point or defend her current plans. She does not need an excuse to not hang out with this girl beyond "I don't want to."

Yes its hurtful for the girl to hear the people she likes don't want to hang out with her. But that's DD's fault or responsibility. DD's responsibility is to be honest and true to herself. She can be gentle, but she absolutely should be truthful - she doesn't want to hang with AG. And to her knowledge the greater group does not want AG around either.

And OP, when talking DD through this think about her age - she is going to have to learn to say "don't want to" in a strong way at college (to boys, to peer pressure, etc), or in the work world very very soon. This is an excellent opportunity for her to learn that skill.  Its a skill that will save her years of heartache and misery.

I think to a certain extent it would be ok for DD to get some help from her friends. I definitely think the first 'hey this isn't going to happen' conversation should be gently but firmly delivered by your DD. But after that, especially if it comes down to it at prom, her friends can chime in "sorry AG but didn't DD tell you she couldn't hang with you all night? Why don't you find some other friends for a while? We're having a private conversation here" or "sorry AG but we were invited to Sam's after-party personally, its not our place to just bring you."
I understand what you are saying to a point. It seems like there is a clash between taking care of ones own needs and being as polite as possible to others (without sacrificing boundaries). I have to say I am having trouble understanding how "don't want to" is better or more appropriate in the bolded life situations you described. If people are pushy they are pushy. Also, part of being a grown-up often means doing things even though we don't want to because life is tough. Say your boss asks you to work late - which would you tell them: "Oh sorry I can't" or "I don't want to"? I'm pretty sure that in that situation "I don't want to" would not fly! IMHO, "can't" is useful because it suggests forces outside of our control - "Oh I can't work late I have a prior commitment/have to pick up kid from *sport practice* etc.". You think "I don't want to" is a good thing to say in response to peer pressure? By definition, peer pressure does not respect the wants of an individual. Why not instead say "Oh I can't my Mom would kill me!" You are suggesting that stating your wants/not-wants is a way to show your strength - standing up for what you want is great and expressing your wants is great...but people are rarely impressed when we say what we don't want. If a five year old said "I don't want to clean my room," do you think his parent would reply with "Well, I respect your wants so you don't have to"? We can't always get what we want, sometimes it doesn't matter what we want, and rude people rarely care about our wants. How many "I don't want to"s have been answered with "Tough beans"?

If I recall correctly, many many people have been cast to fiery eHell as Special Snowflakes because the only reason they gave for not doing something was "But I don't want to!"

When it comes to the pushy and the clueless, both "can't" and "don't want" will probably be met with a whiny or belligerent "Why not?" People who aren't getting what they want always try and force a JADE.

I was under the impression that most etiquette rules operate on the assumption that bluntness is called for only if diplomacy fails. I have seen mostly bluntness being encouraged under the assumption that AG is social clueless and must be dealt with more harshly or it won't sink in. True to my handle, I chose to suggest the diplomatic route first. I feel that the suggested wording above that I underlined went beyond blunt and into harsh and catty territory. Everyone here, whether they have kids or not, can most likely say from personal experience that adolescent self-esteem is a fragile thing. There is a world of difference between AG being hurt because DD didn't want to hang with her on Prom, and AG being hurt because she was told that she was a total loser who no one wants to hang out with. :( I don't think DD and her friends should (or want to) be personally responsible for telling AG the reality of her place in the social hierarchy.

*deep cleansing breath*

The emotional charge that seems to flow behind every event in a teen's life also seems to be muddying the etiquette waters. This is not about AGs likability, her place among the girls, or even her relationship with DD - any and all of which may change at any time. This is about ONE NIGHT, and how DD is going to get through it and enjoy herself. I POD Minmom3. DD doesn't have to turn this into a *thing.* She has plans that do not include AG. Period. She should try and say so as politely as possible, and be prepared to practice her evasion tactics on Prom Night. Incidentally, since the Prom is a gathering of all the school kids, DD is not actually entitled to an AG-free night no matter how she may wish for it or try and ask for it. If she were at her own home she could refuse to answer the door if AG came by, but she can't resent AG occupying the same gymnasium (or whatever public space it's being held in) or even the space next to her for that matter! AG has the right to be there and to talk to (or try to talk to) anyone she wants. DD has the right to be there and to talk to (or not talk to) anyone she wants. The only thing she has control over is how politely she makes her socialization choices.

Whoa, in no way did I suggest OP's DD tell AG " that she was a total loser who no one wants to hang out with." In fact in the statement you underlined I suggested verbiage that tells AG she has other friends at the prom available to choose from.

I also think your examples of "I don't want to" scenarios are non applicable. This is not a situation of responsibility like a child being told to clean their room or an employer assigning work. This is a voluntary social situation. I remember adolescence peer pressure and in my experience saying "I don't want to smoke pot/have sex/get drunk" was a significantly stronger statement then "my mom would kill me..." Blaming ones parents for the reason for declining opens a person up to ridicule for being immature, and lots of suggestions of how to hide the action from TPTB. A confident "no that's not my thing" got way more respect.

I also disagree "[t]his is about ONE NIGHT, and how DD is going to get through it and enjoy herself." This is an on-going issue. This was already an issue at a previous night (Homecoming), and there is the repeated issue of AG bringing up the topic of prom as well as AG repeatedly trying to copy OP's DD's homework. No DD can't be assured of an "AG-free night" but she should be free to attend school and prom without worrying about being stalked and followed. A few moments of interaction?  Sure. Several hours of a human shadow?  Not ok.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:34:35 PM by WillyNilly »

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Re: Prom Cling-on
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2013, 11:54:18 PM »
It is a 'don't want to' situation, and there is nothing wrong with op's dd wanting to spend her prom night with her friends.  Yes, you do intermingle, but, altho it seems ages ago, I do remember all my different formals through school, and you primarily hung out with your main group of friends.  This girl is a classmate of the DD's, not a friend.  The DD is NOT responsible for being this girls social director...for finding her friends or making sure that she is happy and comfortable at the prom.  The DD is not being cruel to the girl, she just does not want to be her 'date' at her prom.  Hints are not working, and your DD is a very sweet girl for not being cruel or nasty as some high school girls can be (I have a high schooler and some of the stuff is just brutal), but she needs to nip this in the bud now before her anger and frustration over this girls attachment does boil over and she says something she may regret.  It is unfortunate that this girl is going to be hurt, but that is not the DD's problem.  If this was a guy exhibiting the same behavior, we would be saying he is a stalker.  Just because it is another girl, doesn't make it any less creepy when she has a friendship built up in her head, when none exists.  The sooner she learns that her dream night with the DD is not going to happen, the better because if it comes to a head the night of the prom, everyone is going to be miserable.  OP, you said she is a neighbor.  Do you know the parents?  Is there a way you could casually talk to them?