Author Topic: Was I rude to Mom?  (Read 3114 times)

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HollyAnn

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Was I rude to Mom?
« on: September 23, 2013, 09:56:25 PM »
Without asking, my mother signed me up for an automatic daily email of her favorite cartoons. They're cute, family oriented cartoons which give you an "aww", not a laugh. I'm really not interested in them and I never read them. I got tired of them glutting my in box so I finally asked Mom, politely of course, if she could cancel the auto-send. She seemed unable to comprehend that I wasn't interested in these cartoons and that I didn't want to receive them every day. I told her that I get a lot of email (including online bills) and that I just need to have less coming into my in box.
She did cancel the emails but now I hear from Dad that her feelings are hurt about it. Did I do anything wrong here? We have a good relationship and I'm always grateful to accept gifts from her (as well as give them). Do you have an obligation to accept anything a parent gives you, no matter how little you want it?

bopper

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 10:28:14 PM »
Unfortunately, your mom started this without asking you.  If she says anything, you could say "Mom, they were cute cartoons and I like them at first.  But now I feel like they are just something I have to spend time deleting so as not to miss online payments and the like.  I asked my self if they were starting to bother me, would mom rather I ask her to stop them or to get more an more annoyed that they come? I thought you would rather I just ask."

katycoo

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 01:37:22 AM »
Was this something that she paid for?  I don't understand why you couldn't otherwise just unsubscribe from?

starry diadem

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 01:47:46 AM »
Was this something that she paid for?  I don't understand why you couldn't otherwise just unsubscribe from?

Or block.  That way she'd never know.
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PastryGoddess

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 02:31:44 AM »
My mother used to do this when I moved out.  The emails were somehow forwarded from her mailbox to mine.  so I couldn't just unsubscribe myself. 

I finally told her that I was deleting every email she sent because 90% was crap that I didn't want.  the other 10% was important, but I got tired of seeing her name in my inbox 40 times a day and didn't read anything.  She was hurt and a bit passive aggressive.  But she stopped :)

shhh its me

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 06:36:35 AM »
  I don't think you were rude but even graciously rejecting someone can hurt their feelings. You have to decide if they're unsolicited communication is so annoying you're willing to hurt their feelings for it to stop.    I don't think you have to accept everything anyone gives you but you have to be aware people will have feelings when you say "stop".

Bluenomi

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 08:14:19 PM »
So your Mum signs you up for a whole lot of spam and you're worried you are the rude one? No, you aren't. Your mother on the other hand needs to learn a but more about email etiquette.

Zizi-K

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 08:36:00 PM »
  I don't think you were rude but even graciously rejecting someone can hurt their feelings. You have to decide if they're unsolicited communication is so annoying you're willing to hurt their feelings for it to stop.    I don't think you have to accept everything anyone gives you but you have to be aware people will have feelings when you say "stop".

I disagree. According to this logic, we'd be held hostage by the potential to hurt someone's feelings. These cartoons weren't drawn by mom, nor did mom pick out one or two that she thought the OP would like, she signed her up for them without asking first. Her good intentions don't make it any less annoying. Sure, she may be momentarily hurt that something she thought the OP would like actually wasn't appreciated, but she'll get over it. It's nothing. She put literally no effort into it. If this kind of thing seriously impacts their relationship, then there was something wrong before this issue came along.

In a similar case, my parents bought me a weekly subscription to a religiously-oriented publication for a community that I no longer live in. Technically it does address the community where I do live, but I'm far enough away that my community doesn't get mentioned much. More importantly, I'm not religious, and it is simply not of interest to me. Most of these go straight in to the recycling bin. My mom didn't even tell me in advance that she was signing me up, or I would have told her not to, so when she asked how I liked getting Publication, I was honest and said, "Did you get that for me? I wasn't sure. Actually most of them go right into the recycling bin." I've spent a lot of time and energy doing religious activities with my parents, but finally I decided enough was enough and that I'd only do it when I wanted to, and this includes not being fake-grateful for a gift that she knows is not of interest to me, but has more to do with her encouragement to be more religious.

Sorry, no. People don't get to decide what you'll like, force a 'gift' on you, and then be hurt when you reject it. Or, at least, you're not rude when you ignore all said parts of that equation.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 08:41:05 PM »
No, you weren't rude. You didn't insult her for liking these cartoons, just said your taste is different. Nor are you throwing a gift back in anyone's face; signing someone up for a free email service is not a gift.

While it's often polite to just say "thank you" about gifts that aren't quite right, I know my mother would rather be told "orange really isn't my color" or "I can't wear wool next to my skin" than spend good money buying me four or five different gifts that would either languish in my closet or be donated to a charity shop. The "accept a gift politely" rule doesn't, I think, extend to situations like this, when the "gift" translates to a small amount of clutter every day, world without end (or for as long as that site exists and you keep your email address). It's not as bad as giving someone an unwanted puppy, but that example is a reminder that some things labeled "gift" are actually burdens.
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blarg314

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2013, 08:56:45 PM »

No, you weren't rude.

Signing someone up for  unsolicited daily email spam - now *that's* rude. Although I can see how your Mom might think she was doing something nice for you.

TootsNYC

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 10:14:16 PM »
You weren't rude. And Mom was out of line.

I think I might know where she was coming from, though--if you and she get the same "joke of the day" email, it's a shared experience (in a way). She signed you up because she wants to have that feeling that the two of you are reading the same book / seeing the same movie / type of thing.

And when you told her you didn't want it, she felt rejected. Not just because her "gift" to you is being rejected, but also because you're rejecting the shared experience.

So you weren't out of line at all. But if you think your mom is a bit hurt, that might be why, and maybe you can smooth things over by reassuring her that you think of her often. Maybe step up the phone calls home for a day or two. Or find some other thing that works for you both and propose it (which she didn't do!) as a substitute "shared experience."

Pen^2

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 12:52:25 AM »
  I don't think you were rude but even graciously rejecting someone can hurt their feelings. You have to decide if they're unsolicited communication is so annoying you're willing to hurt their feelings for it to stop.    I don't think you have to accept everything anyone gives you but you have to be aware people will have feelings when you say "stop".

I disagree. According to this logic, we'd be held hostage by the potential to hurt someone's feelings. These cartoons weren't drawn by mom, nor did mom pick out one or two that she thought the OP would like, she signed her up for them without asking first. Her good intentions don't make it any less annoying. Sure, she may be momentarily hurt that something she thought the OP would like actually wasn't appreciated, but she'll get over it. It's nothing. She put literally no effort into it. If this kind of thing seriously impacts their relationship, then there was something wrong before this issue came along.

In a similar case, my parents bought me a weekly subscription to a religiously-oriented publication for a community that I no longer live in. Technically it does address the community where I do live, but I'm far enough away that my community doesn't get mentioned much. More importantly, I'm not religious, and it is simply not of interest to me. Most of these go straight in to the recycling bin. My mom didn't even tell me in advance that she was signing me up, or I would have told her not to, so when she asked how I liked getting Publication, I was honest and said, "Did you get that for me? I wasn't sure. Actually most of them go right into the recycling bin." I've spent a lot of time and energy doing religious activities with my parents, but finally I decided enough was enough and that I'd only do it when I wanted to, and this includes not being fake-grateful for a gift that she knows is not of interest to me, but has more to do with her encouragement to be more religious.

Sorry, no. People don't get to decide what you'll like, force a 'gift' on you, and then be hurt when you reject it. Or, at least, you're not rude when you ignore all said parts of that equation.

I concur with Zizi-K. See the "Magic Words" thread somewhere. If someone does something wrong (signing you up for unwanted spam without your permission) and you politely ask that they correct it, then you are in no way responsible for any hurt feelings. If you act in a reasonable and polite way, then you are not responsible for other people's bad feelings. If a random stranger approaches you on the street and tells you off for wearing a colour they happen to dislike, is that your fault? Should you bend to their will so you don't hurt their feelings? That is not how society works--it would be "PC gone mad!" times a billion. There are people out there who try to take advantage of things like this to bully and emotionally manipulate others and it's quite sickening. I can think of several co-irker threads currently active that display exactly this.

OP, you weren't rude. If your mother wants to have hurt feelings, that's her business, and although you were involved, you did nothing wrong and are not responsible. Although I agree that it would have been easier to just have them automatically sent to your spam/junk folder, only because it's faster: a few clicks as opposed to an entire conversation. Not because you should bend yourself ridiculously to avoid hurting people's feelings when they're not reasonable.

If it's brought up again, I'd say something straight-forward and neutral like, "I appreciate the thought, but please don't sign me up for things without asking me first. Now, how about some bean dip?"

mandycorn

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2013, 10:36:25 AM »
You weren't rude. And Mom was out of line.

I think I might know where she was coming from, though--if you and she get the same "joke of the day" email, it's a shared experience (in a way). She signed you up because she wants to have that feeling that the two of you are reading the same book / seeing the same movie / type of thing.

And when you told her you didn't want it, she felt rejected. Not just because her "gift" to you is being rejected, but also because you're rejecting the shared experience.

So you weren't out of line at all. But if you think your mom is a bit hurt, that might be why, and maybe you can smooth things over by reassuring her that you think of her often. Maybe step up the phone calls home for a day or two. Or find some other thing that works for you both and propose it (which she didn't do!) as a substitute "shared experience."

I think Toots might be right in her assessment of your mom's motivation, OP and I think her suggestion of proposing a new "shared experience" is spot on!
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TootsNYC

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Re: Was I rude to Mom?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2013, 10:40:42 AM »
  I don't think you were rude but even graciously rejecting someone can hurt their feelings. You have to decide if they're unsolicited communication is so annoying you're willing to hurt their feelings for it to stop.    I don't think you have to accept everything anyone gives you but you have to be aware people will have feelings when you say "stop".

I disagree. According to this logic, we'd be held hostage by the potential to hurt someone's feelings. These cartoons weren't drawn by mom, nor did mom pick out one or two that she thought the OP would like, she signed her up for them without asking first. Her good intentions don't make it any less annoying. Sure, she may be momentarily hurt that something she thought the OP would like actually wasn't appreciated, but she'll get over it. It's nothing. She put literally no effort into it. If this kind of thing seriously impacts their relationship, then there was something wrong before this issue came along.



Did you not read her whole post?

Specifically, I think you've glossed over the bodled, and I don't think (forgive me for speaking for you) shhh its me meant you to.

Of course you get to decide what you'll reject.

But as I also pointed out--there are probably emotions behind it, so be aware.

And if you care how they feel, then manage your rejection of their gift to minimize the damage to your relationship with them.

That's all she's saying.