Author Topic: Do you call people out on PA comments?  (Read 18477 times)

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Green Bean

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Do you call people out on PA comments?
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:15:16 AM »
If you have relatives that make PA comments, do you call them out on it? If so, what do you say and how do they respond? Does it matter how close you are to them?

In my case, this happened over text. The comment came from SIL, who I'm not all that close to. It's relatively minor in the whole grand scheme of things, but her comment doesn't help out relationship. However, if I were to say something, I'm afraid it will make me look petty. I'm wondering how other people deal with type of nonsense.

bopper

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 09:18:59 AM »
What was the comment?

In general we here at e-hell say to take a PA'er at face value.

So if MIL says "Don't bother, I don't want anything" then take that at face value.

If it is a "Must be nice to go on vacation" type comment then you say "Actually it really is.  We have worked hard saving up all year and it is nice to be able to do this."

Also, you can back off from SIL.  Don't reach out, but respond kindly if she does.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 10:02:19 AM »
And I find things come across maybe a little harsher in text--something that was a flippant comment when you hear the joking tone of voice seems a little stronger in black and white.  If they did mean to be critical--well, I always find ignoring them is much more effective than any response.

rose red

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 10:32:18 AM »
Depends on the comment.  Like bopper, I usually take them literally since what can they do about that?  I did exactly as they say.  But if they say something that needs no response (like they are making comments about a politicion), I just ignore them or make an excuse to walk away.  Nothing deflates PA people (or riles them up) than not playing their game.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 10:37:33 AM »
Nothing deflates PA people (or riles them up) than not playing their game.

Bingo.  It depends on the specifics of the relationship and what was said, but I generally act as though either I assume they wouldn't be so petty as to truly be PA, or I let them know I am on to them and it doesn't bother me but makes them look dumb. 

GratefulMaria

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 10:47:05 AM »
This thread http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=123236.0 is great.

I tend to do the cheerful "whatever you say" thing with my mother the rare times she does get PA; no intimate discussions, but the remarks gain her nothing.  The episodes resolve without discussing them, because I want to maintain an emotional distance from her. 

DH used to be quite passive-aggressive, and I did call him on it and we discussed it, but that's because I wanted to stay married to him.  (It worked, by the way.  His self-respect was on the line, and he didn't want to be someone who acted that way to get what he wants.)

Other people in my circle, friends and colleagues, are straightforward and civil, so I don't know how I'd deal with PA behavior from someone less close.  I think if the PA person is more interested in getting their way than improving things, then calling them on it becomes part of a one-way solution.  That's all right, too, I just try to have a Plan B in mind when approaching someone about their behavior.

Green Bean

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 10:54:11 AM »
OP here. Perhaps this wasn't really a  PA comment. I have difficulty always detecting it.

This message was in response to holiday plans. (Drat, those darn holidays. You may have seen my post in the holiday folder.). Her child is singing in their church's Chrustmas Eve service. DH and I are both atheist, a fact his family is disappointed with but accepts. Neither of us wants to go to a place of worship, especially for a holiday. We don't feel comfortable, and that is not where I want to spend my holiday. So I told her that we would skip on the service, but asked what time they would be home afterward. (I personally think it will be too late afterwards, but was hoping they would come to this conclusion independently as well.) Her response was "it disappoints me that you wouldn't want to see nephew sing."  Was that PA? I feel it's a bit manipulative.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 10:57:42 AM »
I see it as honest.  Your sister is disappointed that you won't be present to hear your nephew sing.  Presumably he has put effort into preparing and would like for you to experience it with him.  You are choosing to honor your desire to not attend a religious ceremony over hearing your nephew sing.  That is fine, just own your priorities.  Your sister has the right to be upset about it, but I didn't see her manipulating you or being PA at all - just honest.

Zilla

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 11:00:30 AM »
I do privately.  And only with my family.  It depends on what you want to happen ultimately.  If you want the PA comments to stop, then call them out.  But know there is a risk such as in your case with your sil and is it worth the fallout?


For me it's mostly my mom and kids.  I can't stand PA comments and will call them out quietly but firmly.

artk2002

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 11:01:27 AM »
I see it as honest.  Your sister is disappointed that you won't be present to hear your nephew sing.  Presumably he has put effort into preparing and would like for you to experience it with him.  You are choosing to honor your desire to not attend a religious ceremony over hearing your nephew sing.  That is fine, just own your priorities.  Your sister has the right to be upset about it, but I didn't see her manipulating you or being PA at all - just honest.

I agree. Nothing PA about it -- just honest disappointment.
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

mspallaton

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 11:01:38 AM »
If she knows about your distaste for places of worship (esp. during the holidays) then it is definitely manipulative.  I'm struggling to see if it would classify as PA - but the label is not the important part.

I think the other posters who suggested taking it at face value have given you good advice regardless of the label.  I think the main thing is (from other advice I've read on here): don't JADE.  You don't have to argue with the idea that you didn't want to see the nephew sing - I might go with a "what an interesting assumption" response since she's presumed your motive for not attending.

That and stick to asking when everyone will return from the event - you asked a legitimate question that she has yet to answer.

mspallaton

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 11:02:38 AM »
I see it as honest.  Your sister is disappointed that you won't be present to hear your nephew sing.  Presumably he has put effort into preparing and would like for you to experience it with him.  You are choosing to honor your desire to not attend a religious ceremony over hearing your nephew sing.  That is fine, just own your priorities.  Your sister has the right to be upset about it, but I didn't see her manipulating you or being PA at all - just honest.

I agree. Nothing PA about it -- just honest disappointment.

I pretty strongly disagree -- she didn't say she was disappointed that the OP wouldn't be there.  She said she was disappointed that the OP "wouldn't want to see the nephew sing".  One is honest, the other is manipulation.

Bethalize

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 11:03:15 AM »
So I told her that we would skip on the service, but asked what time they would be home afterward. (I personally think it will be too late afterwards, but was hoping they would come to this conclusion independently as well.) Her response was "it disappoints me that you wouldn't want to see nephew sing."  Was that PA? I feel it's a bit manipulative.

I think it's straight forward. For me, tolerance is a big thing. I'll not only support what I believe in, I'll be present at the practices of others. I don't go to church or similar myself, but I would make the effort for a public performance like nephew singing. Like TurtleDove said, you choose not attending church over being their to hear your nephew sing. That's your choice to make, but I'd make a different choice. For me, I don't believe, therefore what other people do or say as an act of worship has no impact on me.

Allyson

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 12:12:11 PM »
Seems a bit guilt-trippy to me. The "Don't want to see him sing" as opposed to "it disappoints me that you won't be there to see him sing" is what does it for me. It makes it sound like your lack of desire is about the nephew, rather than your own convictions. I don't think it's egregious of her, and I'd probably say something like, "I'd love to hear him sing in a nonreligious environment."

But, I'd probably just let this one go. She has the right to be disappointed, and you have the right to not allow that to affect your decision.

MrTango

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 12:17:29 PM »
I don't call out PA comments, but I take them at exactly face value.