Author Topic: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation  (Read 7135 times)

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MrTango

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2013, 02:49:34 PM »
When someone (B) orders for someone else (C), I think there's nothing wrong with confirming with C that the order is indeed what they want.

The exception to this is if C is a minor child and B is their parent.

ETA: to add emphasis to "Minor".

Also, if someone creates drama over another adult's choice of beverage, I would call them on it right then and there: "You're creating drama over the fact that C asked for a Coke instead of an iced tea?  Seriously?"
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 03:04:54 PM by MrTango »

artk2002

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2013, 03:10:58 PM »
Mom really didn't have the right to speak for brother, but if she had heard me reconfirming in a way that implied that she didn't get it right or that it wasn't her place to state his drink order, it would have opened up the venting session later. I usually let her vent her steam at me so that she wears herself out on it and it deflects her from the object of her venting. But it would have been awkward to have done it right before dinner and I don't know when she would have chosen to vent.

Don't let them make their issues into your problem. You seem to want to step into the breech between your mother and your brother -- stop that right now. Your brother is old enough to be living on his own and have a fiancee. He's an adult. He can deal with your mother's wrath, whether it's rational or irrational. If she tries to vent at you, the response is: "Sorry mom, that's between you and brother. I'm not going to get in the middle of this. If you have an issue with him, talk to him."

She vents because she's been allowed to vent. Stop that now. Cut her off. Yes, she'll vent more, and pout and do all of those things, but she will eventually learn that it's not acceptable behavior. She controls you (and your brother) because you're afraid to make a scene. Tough. It's not you making the scene, it's her.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

o_gal

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2013, 03:18:39 PM »
I can usually listen to her vents in a kind of "Anthropologist studying the Great Apes" mode. She uses me as her outlet because I'm a safe option for her. So I just let her vent and this deflects it/her from the object of her venting, as I said previously. It's just that sometimes her vents don't come in private between us, and I wanted to avoid triggering one of them, because I wasn't sure when she would go off. Triggering it right before dinner would have been very bad timing.

It sounds to me as though you are giving yourself way more power and control than you really have.  It seems to me that your actions are not the "trigger" - your mother's need to make her disapproval of your brother and his fiance is.  Regardless of anything you do, your mother will find some reason to rant.  My best advice is to stop walking on eggshells and call her out on her atrocious behavior.  To her face.  Every time she does it.  If she cannot alter her behavior, stop spending time with her.

FWIW, I have done this with relatives.  Some altered their behavior, and I remain in close contact with them.  Some did not, and I have had no contact with them.  But my life is relatively (pardon the pun) drama free so good riddance.

POD.

I hope that your mother doesn't think that you agree with her venting when  you listen to her.  I absolutely agree with shutting her down, immediately, and it sounds lie TurtleDove knows how to do it and has offered excellent advice.

I make sure that she knows I don't agree with her when her vents get beyond a certain point. Like, if she just wants to vent that fiance has brought a dog and 2 cats into a small house that already had a cat, and she doesn't think the house needs all those animals, I'll just kind of let her vent it out to me. But I won't agree with her, just make some non-commital comment. If she interprets that as agreement, that's her problem, she won't get any backup from me if she brings it up in the future, but it lets her get things off her mind. But when she vents about how wrong it is that brother and/or fiance did something and I don't agree, I make sure she knows I don't agree. She doesn't like that. One time during the planning of his first wedding, Mom was venting to me about how brother was "abandoning" his family in favor of hers. She didn't like it when I pointed out that biblically, he was correct (that leaving his mother and father thing and the cleaving to his wife thing.)

Mom isn't flat out against the fiance - don't read too much into that, everyone. It's just that she spent 3 years being "temporary Mom" to the boys, and all-around caretaker for my brother, and all of sudden here comes a new person. It's taken her some time to get used to it, and I think she still isn't 100% on board. The problem is that my parents and my brother are just enmeshed in their lives, and future SIL is slowly working to overcome that.

o_gal

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2013, 03:25:17 PM »
She controls you (and your brother) because you're afraid to make a scene. Tough. It's not you making the scene, it's her.

She controls brother, not me. It's too bad that you can't pick up word inflection with the written word this way, because then you'd hear my sense of amusement when I describe what she tries to vent to me. I'm stuck with smileys  >:D

One of Mom's issues is her lack of control over me. She doesn't like that I'm an independent person with a life and thoughts of my own. I'll let her have it in spades when she tries to gain any kind of control. Then she pouts. She desperately wants to be the gatekeeper and I won't let her, except that sometimes it comes through in little cases like this.

I think I've got the etiquette issue answered thanks to some good suggestions. So I'll just watch the discussion from here on out. Thanks!

doodlemor

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2013, 03:33:18 PM »
She controls you (and your brother) because you're afraid to make a scene. Tough. It's not you making the scene, it's her.

She controls brother, not me. It's too bad that you can't pick up word inflection with the written word this way, because then you'd hear my sense of amusement when I describe what she tries to vent to me. I'm stuck with smileys  >:D

One of Mom's issues is her lack of control over me. She doesn't like that I'm an independent person with a life and thoughts of my own. I'll let her have it in spades when she tries to gain any kind of control. Then she pouts. She desperately wants to be the gatekeeper and I won't let her, except that sometimes it comes through in little cases like this.

I think I've got the etiquette issue answered thanks to some good suggestions. So I'll just watch the discussion from here on out. Thanks!

I'm glad to hear that you have disengaged from her clutches, OP.  She does sound like a formidable matron of the old school.

gramma dishes

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2013, 03:40:33 PM »
Do your brother and his twins and now the new fiancee all live in your parents' home?  If they do, I understand, but if they have their own place I can't figure out quite how Mom can have this much influence on what your brother, his SO and the kids think, say or do.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 04:05:53 PM by gramma dishes »

artk2002

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2013, 03:42:22 PM »
She controls you (and your brother) because you're afraid to make a scene. Tough. It's not you making the scene, it's her.

She controls brother, not me. It's too bad that you can't pick up word inflection with the written word this way, because then you'd hear my sense of amusement when I describe what she tries to vent to me. I'm stuck with smileys  >:D

One of Mom's issues is her lack of control over me. She doesn't like that I'm an independent person with a life and thoughts of my own. I'll let her have it in spades when she tries to gain any kind of control. Then she pouts. She desperately wants to be the gatekeeper and I won't let her, except that sometimes it comes through in little cases like this.

I think I've got the etiquette issue answered thanks to some good suggestions. So I'll just watch the discussion from here on out. Thanks!

I'm sorry, but if you won't do certain things because you're afraid that she's going to cause awkwardness, then she does control you. If you won't confirm with someone what drink they want because she's going to get upset, she's controlling you.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

TurtleDove

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2013, 03:52:55 PM »
It's just that she spent 3 years being "temporary Mom" to the boys, and all-around caretaker for my brother, and all of sudden here comes a new person. It's taken her some time to get used to it, and I think she still isn't 100% on board. The problem is that my parents and my brother are just enmeshed in their lives, and future SIL is slowly working to overcome that.

This paragraph makes my head hurt.  Your brother is an adult, who is not developmentally disabled.  Why on earth would he need a caretaker?  I think your brother is equally at fault here.  No matter what, you cannot control them.  As art2k pointed out, however, you are allowing your mother control in your life.  Either accept that you allow her to control you, or stop letting her.

bah12

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2013, 03:56:12 PM »
She controls you (and your brother) because you're afraid to make a scene. Tough. It's not you making the scene, it's her.

She controls brother, not me. It's too bad that you can't pick up word inflection with the written word this way, because then you'd hear my sense of amusement when I describe what she tries to vent to me. I'm stuck with smileys  >:D

One of Mom's issues is her lack of control over me. She doesn't like that I'm an independent person with a life and thoughts of my own. I'll let her have it in spades when she tries to gain any kind of control. Then she pouts. She desperately wants to be the gatekeeper and I won't let her, except that sometimes it comes through in little cases like this.

I think I've got the etiquette issue answered thanks to some good suggestions. So I'll just watch the discussion from here on out. Thanks!

I'm sorry, but if you won't do certain things because you're afraid that she's going to cause awkwardness, then she does control you. If you won't confirm with someone what drink they want because she's going to get upset, she's controlling you.

This exactly.

lowspark

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2013, 04:06:16 PM »
I think that there's a difference between allowing someone to have control over you and picking your battles. There are times when I'll go along to get along. Sometimes, it's just best to let people have some minor victory for the purpose of peace. Cuz really, is Easter dinner with the family the best time to have an unncessary confrontation? Ya gotta judge the potential flare up against the time & place. So sure, OP should (and apparently does) stand up for herself when Mom tries to control her. But honestly, in the grand scheme of things, going through the minor fiction of drinking the tea (in the case of the brother) or making up some excuse to ask Brother what he wants to drink instead of confronting Mom, is a small price to pay for having a nice, peaceful family dinner. I've learned that sometimes, letting someone like this have some minor victories goes a long way toward getting me the major victory that is so much more important to me. The little squabbles usually just aren't worth it.

Salvage3

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2013, 04:10:09 PM »
Back to your original question:  if you knew that brother or anyone brought drinks, I don't believe you would have been out of line to simply serve that drink rather than asking.  In most situations I've been involved in over many, many years, if people bring something to drink for themselves, it is quite obvious.  If they are bringing something just to contribute, it's usually something others enjoy but not necessarily them. 

Thipu1

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2013, 05:41:39 PM »
To be frank, I don't understand why this thread has provoked 40 responses in six hours. 

It's about a simple substitution of  inexpensive drinks.

Ditch the iced tea and pour the soda.  Breathe in, breathe out, move on.   

Sharnita

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2013, 05:47:34 PM »
Why not ask bro if he could help out by getting everyone their drinks?

TurtleDove

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2013, 05:54:13 PM »
Thipu, I think the responses are because some of us are so surprised that this would be an issue at all, and from the OP's responses this has little or nothing to do with the beverages.

Giggity

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Re: How to confirm a choice in an awkward situation
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2013, 05:57:44 PM »
I'm sorry, I just don't get why this was a thing?
Words mean things.