Author Topic: Need something better than the stock phrases  (Read 3795 times)

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checkitnice

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2013, 11:58:41 AM »
I would also beandip the heck out of this one.  I like Redsoil's idea about going on about a tangent rather quickly.  Don't give them so many openings to start in on the job issue.  Unfortunately though, stock phrases are often the only thing that works with elderly relatives.   ::)

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2013, 07:05:10 PM »
 Also, my brother did give him great-grandchildren, and that just opened up a whole new arena of opinions

OK if that isn't proof that there's NO point in talking to him about this, I don't know what is.  I'd pick a set phrase that's a polite version of "It's none of your business" and repeat, repeat, repeat!!!!!!!

bopper

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2013, 09:26:03 AM »


Grandpa, I *own* my law firm. I don't need to look for a job.
Grandpa, are you suggesting that DF move away from his son?


I am assuming Grandpa is older.  I have no idea if he has memory issues.

Oh Joy

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2013, 10:46:37 AM »
I've read about how an important part of the aging process includes reviewing our life's experiences and applying our life's knowledge to them...which is part of why storytelling is so important to our older relatives, even if they don't know that's why they're doing it.

This sounds like a great opportunity to ask him questions about what he did, or how he made his career and family decisions.  It's a distraction from your choices, and you might each benefit in some way from him telling the stories. :-)

Best wishes.

CakeBeret

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2013, 11:41:08 AM »
My favorite technique to use on stubborn relatives is to gush about your happiness and then beandip.

"When is he going to get a real job in another country?"
"Actually we are so happy with how things are right now. He loves being here with his son and he's not ready to move. He's been coaching his son's baseball team, did you know that? They beat the Tigers last Tuesday, 7 to 2."

"Have you found a job?"
"I love what I'm doing right now and can't imagine doing anything else. My favorite part of my job is XYZ. It's so fulfilling to help the unicorns defend their right to have rainbows. The history between the unicorns and the rainbows is really fascinating, have I told you about it?"
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

norrina

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2013, 12:53:51 PM »
Thank you for the suggestions everyone! Please keep the ideas coming, I'm sure that I will come up with a combination of phrases. I don't have my perfect response worked out yet, but the ideas are definitely helping me get there. Gush and then beandip sounds really nice; though I'm not convinced any amount of beandip is going to put grandfather off the scent.  :-\

As far as I can tell, there are no memory issues with grandfather. It isn't that he forgets that we have already had this conversation, it is that he didn't like my answer last time and hopes that if he brings it up again it will end differently this time.

My best bet is probably to see if I can get him talking about something else. He does love to share his knowledge on various subjects.



cwm

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2013, 03:13:22 PM »
As far as I can tell, there are no memory issues with grandfather. It isn't that he forgets that we have already had this conversation, it is that he didn't like my answer last time and hopes that if he brings it up again it will end differently this time.

Are you sure your grandpa isn't my dad?

Honestly, the best thing I've ever used to deal with someone like this is a simple response repeated over and over any time it's brought up. "Thanks for your concern about my career. I've looked into some other options, but right now I'm in the best position I could be in."

"Thanks for your concern about DF's job options. We're looking into our options and we're sure we'll find the right job for him as soon as he graduates."

Just don't mention that the other options you've looked into were some time ago, or that the only options you're looking for DF are local. Just repeat variations of the same thing every time he brings it up. If that doesn't stop it, politely mention after the third repetition that it's not up for discussion. Be as stubborn as your grandpa is. If he won't let it go, don't give in. Make sure you have the final say on it, and that final say is exactly what you want to say.

Mikayla

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2013, 03:49:00 PM »

I would sit him down and ask him about it.  "Grandfather, the last few times we've spoken about jobs and the future, you really pushed hard on DF and I making different choices.  Why is that?  Are you worried about something?"


I like this best. OP, you ask what you should respond, but there's no reason you can't initiate the convo, and there are advantages to it.  It's a variation of the question-as-answer concept, and it works well.

Listen to what he says, but also have some bullet points in your mind.  There are 2 biggies, I'd think.  The first is that this is a different world than his.  Heck, dig out those stats that say the average person changes careers (not jobs) 4 or 5 times.  This is a totally different mindset than his world, where people worked 40 years at one job and got a gold watch when they left.

The second bullet has to do with both you and DF doing continuous gut checks on where you are right now, and that you are both very happy and excited about how you've positioned yourselves. 

Oh...and on the child, don't get sidetracked by limited job opportunities in your area.  Just ask him point blank: "Grampa, with your beliefs on family, you can't be suggesting I'd be better off with someone who didn't put parenting above all else".

Then just make sure to get closure on this convo, since you don't want repititions of it.  If you have to end up telling him his questions make you uncomfortable, and/or even sad because he's worried for no reason, do so.  You don't want to play whack-a-mole with this.  Address it once and then make it clear you hope the topic is shelved.

sammycat

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2013, 08:05:54 PM »
Grandpa, I *own* my law firm. I don't need to look for a job.
Grandpa, are you suggesting that DF move away from his son?


I like these.

norrina

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2013, 10:18:03 PM »
Grandpa, I *own* my law firm. I don't need to look for a job.
Grandpa, are you suggesting that DF move away from his son?


I like these.

I like the first one. My concern with the second is that grandfather thinks we can all just pack up and follow DF wherever. I can't (see law firm that I own, above), and it wouldn't be fair to relocate DFSS, both because we've only been here for 2 years, and because it would take him away from his mother. DF and his ex have week-on/week-off custody right now, so if either of them moved away one parent would end up with summers and the other with the school year. It isn't an arrangement either of them is interested in considering. But if I get into all of that with grandfather then it's just another line of "discussion" about how we should be making different choices.

I might try something along the lines of, "Grandfather, DF's commitment to his son keeps him here where he can be a full-time parent. The health and bond of our family is the most important thing to us."



lowspark

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2013, 01:04:42 PM »
Also, my brother did give him great-grandchildren, and that just opened up a whole new arena of opinions

OK if that isn't proof that there's NO point in talking to him about this, I don't know what is.  I'd pick a set phrase that's a polite version of "It's none of your business" and repeat, repeat, repeat!!!!!!!

Pod. My stock "it's none of your business" phrase is "I'll take it under advisement."
You just have to come up with a phrase that works for you. "Thanks for your input Grandpa!" or "I'll think about what you said" or some phrase that gives him a sort of validation for advising you which might be the very thing he's looking for while emphasizing that it's your decision, not his.

I think the problem with your approach is that you are viewing his suggestions as a debate, and therefore you are responding with logical arguements. But he's seeing it as him having the only right answer so your responses are falling on deaf ears.

That's why it's best not to prolong the conversation with any response other than an acknowledgement of his kind intentions and the indication that it is ultimately up to you (and your fiancÚ) to decide.

edited to fix a typo.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 08:36:02 AM by lowspark »

Thipu1

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2013, 04:57:36 AM »


Grandpa, I *own* my law firm. I don't need to look for a job.
Grandpa, are you suggesting that DF move away from his son?


I am assuming Grandpa is older.  I have no idea if he has memory issues.

Older people don't necessarily have memory issues.  They have perception issues.  They often tend to see us as we were rather than as we are. 

MIL is mentally very sharp.  However, she seems to have forgotten a decade or two.  As a young man, Mr. Thipu had brief problems with credit card debt.  As a result, our financial condition is of
great interest to her.  She often asks about the state of our mortgage.  That was paid off 15 years ago. 

She also treats her Grandchildren as if they're just out of college.  All three are in their 40s and have well-established families.

I tend to agree that Grandpa hasn't forgotten that the questions have been asked before, he just hasn't liked the answers he's heard. 

acicularis

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Re: Need something better than the stock phrases
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2013, 08:14:26 AM »
As far as I can tell, there are no memory issues with grandfather. It isn't that he forgets that we have already had this conversation, it is that he didn't like my answer last time and hopes that if he brings it up again it will end differently this time.

That sounds like my mother! It's frustrating and infuriating. Usually I have a stock response, and make sure it's not too long (if it's too long, it sounds like I'm justifying, or that the topic is open for further discussion). Sometimes I preface it with "As I said before. . ."

Eventually she lets go of these topics, but I'm not sure it's because of what I've said so much as how I've said it. I remind myself that I'm an adult and don't need to justify anything to my mother (yes, at 50 years old I still have to remind myself that I'm a grownup!), and speak with confidence, not defensiveness.