Author Topic: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute  (Read 4226 times)

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veronaz

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Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« on: October 13, 2013, 11:39:06 AM »
I had a dispute with a relative and his wife about two yrs ago.  (The issue is complicated, and without telling the whole story, suffice it to say that aside from that touchy subject, we got along quite well.)  They periodically brought up the subject, and I gave my perspective and discussed it to the point where I told them I didn’t care to talk about it anymore.  We disagreed, and I knew that’s the way it would always be.

Anyway, despite them agreeing not to bring up subject, they did it again and made another effort to get me to “come around” to their way of thinking.  The fur hit the fan and we exchanged a few tense emails.  Since then there has been no communication. However, I didn’t discuss the dispute with any other relatives.

Those relatives (they live in another state) are liked/respected by many (with good reason).  However, I noticed that a few (local) people with whom they are quite close suddenly ‘cooled’ towards me.  (Not replying to my emails or FB msgs, not returning calls.)  That stung.  I had what I felt was a decent relationship with those relatives (who were not involved in the dispute at all).  Most recently, a few weeks ago I left a touch base vm with one of those people, but never got a reply.  Okay……. well, I’m not going to force myself on them.

Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 12:39:42 PM by veronaz »

something.new.every.day

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 11:44:20 AM »
It seems clear they are taking sides.  I'm not sure if it would help to share your side of the story or not.  I'd lean towards not doing so since these relatives cooled their contact with you without even asking for your side of things.

((hugs)) 

veronaz

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 11:56:53 AM »
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since these relatives cooled their contact with you without even asking for your side of things.

Yes, that's what stung.

Very different from the way I handle such situations.  For example, off the top of my head I can think of disputes between relatives or friends.......people I care about.  If/when one side complained, I listened but said "I'm sorry because I care about both of you.  But it's between the two of you."  I would never just sbruptly cut off contact with the other side.

The experience taught me a lot about all parties involved.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 11:58:46 AM by veronaz »

flickan

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 12:07:56 PM »
My reaction to this would be to not assume anything at this point but instead to proceed as normal and when you notice someone treating you a bit coolly ask honestly if something is wrong.

For example if you call someone and they don't return the call, play dumb and call them again and ask, "what gives?"  They do owe you an explanation for suddenly withdrawing.  There is no way you will be able to defend yourself if you cannot get people to acknowledge they are changing their behavior around you to begin with.

It's also the only way you'll ever know for sure.  Speculating will only make it worse.  Proceed as normal and question their deviations in behavior when you encounter them.

veronaz

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2013, 12:17:03 PM »
There have been several efforts on my part….calls/messages, emails, all ignored.  There have been no encounters because we haven’t seen each other.  Obviouusly they don’t feel they owe me an explanation or even the courtesy of a reply.

flickan

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2013, 12:21:42 PM »
There have been several efforts on my part….calls/messages, emails, all ignored.  There have been no encounters because we haven’t seen each other.  Obviouusly they don’t feel they owe me an explanation or even the courtesy of a reply.

For the emails that went ignored, have you called them out on it?  Have you sent a subsequent message saying, "Hey I'm trying to get in touch with you, is something wrong?  Is there some reason we aren't talking?"  And are there any of these people that you must run into eventually?  Because I guarantee you will have a response if you have called and emailed someone and then finally you do run into them.  I mean you have a right to be livid.  They're basically asking you to assume you know why you're being shut out.  That's no way for them to behave. 

darkprincess

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 01:05:49 PM »
Unfortunately they don't owe you an explanation. A person who decides to cut off someone doesn't have to explain themselves. They then have the consequences of losing the relationship that they might have been able to save by listening to both sides, but they don't have to explain themselves.
However they have not told you that you are cut off or even asked you not to contact them. So you have the option of asking them why they are not returning your contact and hope that they choose to respond.

BarensMom

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 01:22:25 PM »
It's obvious that these people aren't interested in hearing your side of the story, or even maintaining contact.  Why should you have to beg for their attention?  After all, if they are willing to cut you off just like that, then it says more about them than about you.  Perhaps you're better off without those people in your life.

shhh its me

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2013, 01:48:09 PM »
I think it does matter what the dispute was about and how heated the exchange got.   There are a few thing that just disagreeing about would be enough for me not to want to speak to another person, there are things that could be said in an argument with 3rd person that would be enough for me to cut someone off.  I'm being general and theoretical not specifically talking about OP, the types of things I'm thinking of would be  rare and extreme or would either be very "in your face" or take some action.  My opinion of these things is so ridged that if my family disagreed good riddance.

That said , those types extreme issues and opinions that strong on both sides are rare.

Normally I want to hear what the other person had to say and/or expect both parties to be able to keep the disagreement to themselves.

veronaz

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 05:06:32 PM »
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and how heated the exchange got.   

There was no cursing, name-calling, screaming, throwing objects, or storming out in a huff.

When I said the fur flied what I mean was the wife of my relative came to me at an event  (to the side…no one else heard) and started to broach the subject which we had agreed not to discuss.

Her:  "You need to listen to me."
Me. "Here we go again.  Last time we went down this road we agreed not to discuss this".
Her husband:  (overheard and stepped to her defense) "We know YOU don’t want to talk about it, but WE do". 
Me:  "Then you will have to talk to each other or someone else".  (I stepped away)  A few minutes later I said a proper thanks and goodbye to the host, and left.

Over the next few weeks, we exchanged terse emails then stopped communicating after they both said they did nothing wrong.  That was about two years ago.

JenJay

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2013, 05:40:38 PM »
It sounds to me like some of the other relatives feel as strongly about the subject as your estranged relatives do and they've all collectively decided that maintaining their argument is more important than maintaining this relationship. I've been there and I'm sorry. It hurts to realize that some people value being "right" over being in your life.  :(

veronaz

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2013, 05:52:41 PM »
Having thought about it, I don’t think the other relatives agree with them.  In fact, I happen to know that a couple people agree with me about the issue itself.  I think it’s a matter of “How dare Veronaz insult/hurt/disagree with (subject relatives)?  Everyone knows they are perfect people.”

TurtleDove

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2013, 06:05:05 PM »
I am dying to know what this dispute was? It sounds like they wanted a debate and are angry you didn't give it to them, or wanted you to change your mind and are angry you did not. The topic must be a very polarizing one but I cannot fathom why or what. What were the terse emails? We're they argumentative or more of you saying "I am not going to discuss this with you?" Do you get the sense the relatives disagree with your position on the topic or are rather upset that you wouldn't debate it? I am all kinds of confused about why they would care so much.

veronaz

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2013, 06:19:55 PM »
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or wanted you to change your mind and are angry you did not.

It was this - and their position that until I do change my mind they will keep hammering away to show me why I am wrong (in their eyes).  They are relentless.  Prior to the communication breakdown this had been a sore point for many years.  Aside from that we had a good relationship.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 06:26:52 PM by veronaz »

TootsNYC

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Re: Cold shoulder from relatives not involved in dispute
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2013, 07:04:44 PM »
Having thought about it, I don’t think the other relatives agree with them.  In fact, I happen to know that a couple people agree with me about the issue itself.  I think it’s a matter of “How dare Veronaz insult/hurt/disagree with (subject relatives)?  Everyone knows they are perfect people.”

Then I think it's important for you not to assume that you know what those other relatives are thinking, or why.

I think if you care about them, then you might make a specific attempt to say to them, "I've tried several times to get in touch, and I get no reply. I confess I am feeling deliberately rejected. I hope that's not so, since I can think of nothing that might drive a wedge between us.
   "Would you call me to reassure me? Or, if my worst fears are indeed true, would you tell me what as come between us?"