Author Topic: What Reaction WOULD You Like?  (Read 6450 times)

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cwm

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2013, 11:02:40 AM »
If OP's DH is anything like my dad and this is a pattern, I don't see how what DS did was so terrible. Rude?  Yes. But sometimes that is literally the only way available to shut someone down. And I would have cheered my mom's praises to the sky if she had ever stood up for me like that, but she avoided conflict at all costs.

I know we're all coming at this from our own angle and with our own experiences coloring our reactions, but I honestly don't see the need to "shut someone down". It seems to me that the OP's husband and your dad were just trying to make a connection with their child and were rebuffed. If I was the dad, I'd be hurt too. Instead of shutting them down, why not engage them, ask them questions, and relate it to your own interests?

Again, coming from personal experience.

If I did nothing: I'd basically be held hostage for at least half an hour nearly every day while he talked and I had to feign interest.

If I tried to related it to my interests: I'd be a horrible person because he was talking about this not that and I'd get a half hour tirade about how horrible and rude I was. Or I'd be told that under all the superficial stuff, they really are the same, you know.

If I tried to tell him politely that now wasn't the best time/I'm on my way out the door to work/have other things to do: I'm a horrible person because he's just trying to help me and how dare I be so rude as to not listen to him.

If what he was saying was factually incorrect and I had proof: I was horribly rude because he'd heard it from someone who had a niece who did that for a living, and that's not what this guy he'd just met said it was like, and I'd get a lecture on how my take on things (studying directly from experts in the field, no less, and with the course materials to back me up) was completely unrealistic and  how dare I question what he just learned that day, despite the fact that I'd been studying it for two semesters.

No matter what I did, unless I shut him down quickly and left the area quickly, I'd basically be treated to a half hour or longer lecture on whatever it is that he heard about, whether or not it was relevant to my interests. My dad never quite understood why I never wanted to hear about his friend's daughter the kindergarten teacher because teaching five and six year olds is really the same as directing a high school band, under the superficial stuff. Um, no it's not. Plus the ideas he had for my schooling, my career, and what I wanted to do where not the same ideas I had. He was trying to push me into things that I had no interest in, and I didn't have time every day to listen to his lectures on whatever thing was the newest and best thing for me to do. If I didn't shut him down quickly, I was a captive audience. He even followed me to the bathroom when I walked away. If I did shut him down, I was rude and unappreciative of whatever fountain of knowledge he was spouting.

Don't get me wrong, there were some days I listened to him and we had a good conversation about things, but most of the time I was in for either him blowing up at me because I was a horrible person and never listened to what he had to say or was treated to a lecture for over half an hour that had nothing to do with either reality or what I was interested in.

And yes, this is part of the reason I've given him the cut direct. I just don't deal with it any more.

BeagleMommy

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2013, 11:40:44 AM »
CWM, DH is not as extreme as your father, but it is similar.  He wants so badly to help that he doesn't realize he's not listening to what DS says.

Calypso, if you read my post from yesterday, I mentioned that this client of DH's has no restaurant/professional experience.  She also does not have any culinary training.  She caters small dinner parties and cooks out of other people's kitchens.  DS currently works in the kitchen at a local university and loves the pace of the line.

Believe me, we show interest in DH's work and he in mine.  When he gets on one of these "kicks" there is no talking to him.  All he wants to hear is "That's a wonderful idea.  I think I'll do that.".  If DS or I say "Thanks, but I'm not interested in doing that." we get treated to the "Nobody ever listens to my ideas" rant.

He loves information and goes into overload to the point that he finds it difficult to make decisions.  DS and I will look over pertinent information, make a decision and stick with it.  If something happens that we can't do as planned, we adjust and do another option.

DavidH

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2013, 11:58:01 AM »
What you've just told us, "I mentioned that this client of DH's has no restaurant/professional experience.  She also does not have any culinary training." is not presumably something that you'd know just by seeing the client on the street, but rather something he learned from talking to her.  We all agree, I think, that her experience isn't relevant.  On the other hand, the only way he knew that was by talking to her.  It is just as likely that when he started talking to her, she would have had some relevant experience or could at least have offered advice.

For example, I work in industry, but my background could just as easily have led to an academic job.  If you asked me, I'd say I never worked in academia, but do know people who I could introduce you to.  Alternatively, I could say my colleague worked in academia before coming here, I could introduce you and she could offer her perspective since she's seen both.

The point is that your son could have responded in a much less dismissive way while still not pursuing the conversation.  Your husband could have responded in a less PA way.  And you could have pointed out both things in a less dismissive way as well.

There is a lot of space between your and DS's response and jumping up and down, cheering and having his footpath strewn with rose petals.

I'm assuming he isn't as toxic as CWM's father or you wouldn't still be married to him. 

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2013, 12:09:58 PM »
The impression I am getting is that you and your son have learned from experience is that it doesn't matter if what your husband is saying is relevant or not to what you need.  Your husband is going to go on and on about it, no matter if you are hanging on every word or your eyes are glazing over.

Would it help if you were to sit him down and say, "Listen, I know you are trying to be helpful, but you also have to respond to us.  I will make a deal with you: if you promise not to do a monologue, I promise to listen.  If I think you might know something that could help me, I will ask.  You have to let me ask questions, you have to let me say that this is not the info I need.  You have to accept the fact that my disinterest in the info is not disinterest in you.  This is not personal, but when you go on and on, and get offended when we are not interested, you make it personal."
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

Petticoats

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2013, 12:28:43 PM »
I just don't see the son's response as being a total shutdown. Yeah, it wasn't super interested...because he wasn't. It's not like he said "Sod off, dad, nobody cares."

Agreed. And what exactly did DH say that deserved an effusive response? "My client is a personal chef." And? "Oh, okay" seems like a reasonable response to it. It's not as if DH was making a long comment or asking DS questions. He made a statement. That deserves acknowledgement but not any particular response, IMO.

Yes, I don't see why thanks even come into it. It's not like DH said, "I have a client who's a personal chef, so I picked her brain on your behalf, son, and have a lot of great info to give you." In that situation, sure, polite thanks would be in order.

But to say only "I have a client who's a personal chef" and expect thanks for it? For mentioning what kind of client he has? I don't think his reaction was reasonable.

Oh Joy

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2013, 12:31:09 PM »
...
DH seems to think if we don't jump up and down, cheer and have his footpath strewn with rose petals that we're rude. 
...
Sometimes I just want to smack him!
...
...
(I)f we don't sing it's praises and fall all over him with gratitude he gets offended. 

OP, I respect that casual conversations with your DH must not always be fun.  I can imagine how his reactions would irritate me.

That said, you did come to us for advice so I will be quite frank.  You want others in your home to practice consideration and empathy with others, right?  And for DH to not overreact when his feelings are hurt?  It may be helpful for you to model those traits as well, not only in their presence as an example of grace and courtesy, but also in your internal monologue and when sharing with others.  KWIM?

Best wishes in your family finding a more comfortable communication style.

Eeep!

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2013, 12:41:24 PM »
I just don't see the son's response as being a total shutdown. Yeah, it wasn't super interested...because he wasn't. It's not like he said "Sod off, dad, nobody cares."

Agreed. And what exactly did DH say that deserved an effusive response? "My client is a personal chef." And? "Oh, okay" seems like a reasonable response to it. It's not as if DH was making a long comment or asking DS questions. He made a statement. That deserves acknowledgement but not any particular response, IMO.

Yes, I don't see why thanks even come into it. It's not like DH said, "I have a client who's a personal chef, so I picked her brain on your behalf, son, and have a lot of great info to give you." In that situation, sure, polite thanks would be in order.

But to say only "I have a client who's a personal chef" and expect thanks for it? For mentioning what kind of client he has? I don't think his reaction was reasonable.

Thanks for this. I have been struggling with this whole thread because I feel like I'm not understanding the situation.  If all the dad said was "my client is a personal chef" I don't see how a fairly non-commital response is rude.  Perhaps it would be nice to ask the dad to elaborate, but that isn't required.  (Especially since it sounds like experience shows he will probably keep talking regardless. ;)) It just seems so weird to me that people are suggesting saying thanks and stuff to just that one comment by the dad. 
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Yvaine

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2013, 12:48:31 PM »
I just don't see the son's response as being a total shutdown. Yeah, it wasn't super interested...because he wasn't. It's not like he said "Sod off, dad, nobody cares."

Agreed. And what exactly did DH say that deserved an effusive response? "My client is a personal chef." And? "Oh, okay" seems like a reasonable response to it. It's not as if DH was making a long comment or asking DS questions. He made a statement. That deserves acknowledgement but not any particular response, IMO.

Yes, I don't see why thanks even come into it. It's not like DH said, "I have a client who's a personal chef, so I picked her brain on your behalf, son, and have a lot of great info to give you." In that situation, sure, polite thanks would be in order.

But to say only "I have a client who's a personal chef" and expect thanks for it? For mentioning what kind of client he has? I don't think his reaction was reasonable.

Thanks for this. I have been struggling with this whole thread because I feel like I'm not understanding the situation.  If all the dad said was "my client is a personal chef" I don't see how a fairly non-commital response is rude.  Perhaps it would be nice to ask the dad to elaborate, but that isn't required.  (Especially since it sounds like experience shows he will probably keep talking regardless. ;)) It just seems so weird to me that people are suggesting saying thanks and stuff to just that one comment by the dad.

Yeah, this sounds like the type of statement to which one might reply with a "Mmm, OK" even if one did want him to elaborate. It's not a shutdown, it's a "listening noise." Dad was the one who escalated to hostility.

Petticoats

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2013, 02:24:38 PM »
I just don't see the son's response as being a total shutdown. Yeah, it wasn't super interested...because he wasn't. It's not like he said "Sod off, dad, nobody cares."

Agreed. And what exactly did DH say that deserved an effusive response? "My client is a personal chef." And? "Oh, okay" seems like a reasonable response to it. It's not as if DH was making a long comment or asking DS questions. He made a statement. That deserves acknowledgement but not any particular response, IMO.

Yes, I don't see why thanks even come into it. It's not like DH said, "I have a client who's a personal chef, so I picked her brain on your behalf, son, and have a lot of great info to give you." In that situation, sure, polite thanks would be in order.

But to say only "I have a client who's a personal chef" and expect thanks for it? For mentioning what kind of client he has? I don't think his reaction was reasonable.

Thanks for this. I have been struggling with this whole thread because I feel like I'm not understanding the situation.  If all the dad said was "my client is a personal chef" I don't see how a fairly non-commital response is rude.  Perhaps it would be nice to ask the dad to elaborate, but that isn't required.  (Especially since it sounds like experience shows he will probably keep talking regardless. ;)) It just seems so weird to me that people are suggesting saying thanks and stuff to just that one comment by the dad.

Yeah, this sounds like the type of statement to which one might reply with a "Mmm, OK" even if one did want him to elaborate. It's not a shutdown, it's a "listening noise." Dad was the one who escalated to hostility.

Yes, this.

Yvaine

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2013, 02:30:05 PM »
It sounded like Dad wanted Son to prod him for the rest of the story, which is kind of an annoying game. I know people who do this--they drop what they think is a tantalizing hint, and if the other person just says "Mmmhmm" instead of the question they had scripted in their head, they're annoyed. Just tell the dang story already. Dad had scripted in his head, "That's fascinating, Dad! Tell me more!"  ;D

Shoo

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2013, 02:30:45 PM »
Obviously, "I have a client that's a personal chef" was a conversation starter.  A lead-in.  The son's clipped response did not invite further discussion, which is what the OP's husband wanted.  He felt rejected before he even got started.  That's what hurt his feelings.

Would it have been so hard to say, "Really?  Sounds like an interesting job."  The son was dismissive in his response. 

Yvaine

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2013, 02:36:57 PM »
Obviously, "I have a client that's a personal chef" was a conversation starter.  A lead-in.  The son's clipped response did not invite further discussion, which is what the OP's husband wanted.  He felt rejected before he even got started.  That's what hurt his feelings.

Would it have been so hard to say, "Really?  Sounds like an interesting job."  The son was dismissive in his response.

I just don't see how it's dismissive. He might not have even realized Dad was fishing for a response. I mean, if you were in a conversation with someone and they suddenly, as a non sequitur, said "I have a client who's a personal chef," would you automatically know what script they wanted you to follow, or would you maybe just nod and let them continue their story? He didn't ask a question ("I have a client who's a personal chef; have you ever thought about going that route?"). There's nothing rude about verbally "nodding" so Dad will presumably keep going and finish his thought. It just didn't go the way he imagined the conversation in his head, so he got annoyed.

ETA: How was he to even know where Dad's thought process was going? The story could have been "I have a client who's a personal chef, and today she was in a car crash on the way to work," or something, and the conversation wasn't even meant to go in the direction of career advice. It's sometimes useful to see where people are going with their anecdotes before jumping in to gush.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 02:39:55 PM by Yvaine »

Shoo

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2013, 02:38:33 PM »
Obviously, "I have a client that's a personal chef" was a conversation starter.  A lead-in.  The son's clipped response did not invite further discussion, which is what the OP's husband wanted.  He felt rejected before he even got started.  That's what hurt his feelings.

Would it have been so hard to say, "Really?  Sounds like an interesting job."  The son was dismissive in his response.

I just don't see how it's dismissive. He might not have even realized Dad was fishing for a response. I mean, if you were in a conversation with someone and they suddenly, as a non sequitur, said "I have a client who's a personal chef," would you automatically know what script they wanted you to follow, or would you maybe just nod and let them continue their story? He didn't ask a question ("I have a client who's a personal chef; have you ever thought about going that route?"). There's nothing rude about verbally "nodding" so Dad will presumably keep going and finish his thought. It just didn't go the way he imagined the conversation in his head, so he got annoyed.

Would I, personally, think someone was attempting to start a conversation?  Yes, I would.  Absolutely.  I think answering anyone's statment with "okay" is snotty.  I have a teenager myself, and i hear it too.  Yes, it is dismissive and disrespectful, IMO.

Yvaine

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2013, 02:42:18 PM »
Obviously, "I have a client that's a personal chef" was a conversation starter.  A lead-in.  The son's clipped response did not invite further discussion, which is what the OP's husband wanted.  He felt rejected before he even got started.  That's what hurt his feelings.

Would it have been so hard to say, "Really?  Sounds like an interesting job."  The son was dismissive in his response.

I just don't see how it's dismissive. He might not have even realized Dad was fishing for a response. I mean, if you were in a conversation with someone and they suddenly, as a non sequitur, said "I have a client who's a personal chef," would you automatically know what script they wanted you to follow, or would you maybe just nod and let them continue their story? He didn't ask a question ("I have a client who's a personal chef; have you ever thought about going that route?"). There's nothing rude about verbally "nodding" so Dad will presumably keep going and finish his thought. It just didn't go the way he imagined the conversation in his head, so he got annoyed.

Would I, personally, think someone was attempting to start a conversation?  Yes, I would.  Absolutely.  I think answering anyone's statment with "okay" is snotty.  I have a teenager myself, and i hear it too.  Yes, it is dismissive and disrespectful, IMO.

If you think the actual word "okay" is itself snotty, then we will find little ground for agreement. Certainly it can be said in a snotty fashion (see Office Space), but IMO the word itself is acceptable and inoffensive in casual conversation. Said in a friendly tone, it can mean "Yes, I'm listening."

Shoo

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Re: What Reaction WOULD You Like?
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2013, 03:02:14 PM »
Obviously, "I have a client that's a personal chef" was a conversation starter.  A lead-in.  The son's clipped response did not invite further discussion, which is what the OP's husband wanted.  He felt rejected before he even got started.  That's what hurt his feelings.

Would it have been so hard to say, "Really?  Sounds like an interesting job."  The son was dismissive in his response.

I just don't see how it's dismissive. He might not have even realized Dad was fishing for a response. I mean, if you were in a conversation with someone and they suddenly, as a non sequitur, said "I have a client who's a personal chef," would you automatically know what script they wanted you to follow, or would you maybe just nod and let them continue their story? He didn't ask a question ("I have a client who's a personal chef; have you ever thought about going that route?"). There's nothing rude about verbally "nodding" so Dad will presumably keep going and finish his thought. It just didn't go the way he imagined the conversation in his head, so he got annoyed.

Would I, personally, think someone was attempting to start a conversation?  Yes, I would.  Absolutely.  I think answering anyone's statment with "okay" is snotty.  I have a teenager myself, and i hear it too.  Yes, it is dismissive and disrespectful, IMO.

If you think the actual word "okay" is itself snotty, then we will find little ground for agreement. Certainly it can be said in a snotty fashion (see Office Space), but IMO the word itself is acceptable and inoffensive in casual conversation. Said in a friendly tone, it can mean "Yes, I'm listening."

I guess I'm hearing it in my head the way I've heard a lot of teenagers say it when they can't be bothered to properly respond to something someone else has said.  So I guess that means I am imagining it said in a snotty tone.  That's hard for me to get past.  I can't picture this teenage boy saying in such a way that his father should have known he meant, "Yes, I'm listening."