Author Topic: Catering to the particular person  (Read 3674 times)

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kareng57

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2013, 11:21:20 PM »
Re #2: I really agree with PPs here, although I am not familiar with Zappos (although I will investigate them soon!)  Lots of people who are not a hard-fit think that those of us who are, are incredibly picky.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I hate clothes-shopping in general anyway, but shoes are the worst of all.  One store in my local mall used to stock narrow sizes - now, they look at you as though you're from outer space when you ask about narrow.  Another store in the mall does stock some narrow - but it's very high-end.  Not for someone like me who just wants a decent pair of shoes for less than $100, if possible.

No, of course OP doesn't have to accompany her mom on any shoe-buying expedition, I'm just saying that it might not be as easy as she thinks.  I'll have to buy shoes for my DS's wedding next year and certainly expect to be doing it on my own.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2013, 05:02:05 AM »
I really think you need to disengage from your mother. I absolutely don't mean cut her off, or anything like that, but I really feel like you let her choices/wishes affect you more than is reasonable.

So what if she's super picky about shoes? Her feet, her problem. You don't have to shop with her or for her. If she wants to spend hours and hours finding the perfect shoe, let her.

Seriously, people will have their quirks. My sister will only allow the dishwasher to be stacked a specific way. I just let her stack the dishwasher.  ::)

It sounds like you are having the traditional mother-daughter "mum I'm an adult now" wrestling match. You want her to respect you as an equal, and not impose her preferences on you. By far the easiest way to achieve this is to let her do things her preferred way, and to just step back so it doesn't affect you. Drive yourself to the mall.

If she wanted to jump into a pool, would you stand right at the edge and let yourself get splashed? Or would you step back and let the splash fall somewhere where it doesn't matter? 99% of her actions are the splash. Getting annoyed about the splash when you could have just stepped out of the way ruins a perfectly good pool party for everyone.




Coley

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2013, 07:34:04 AM »
It strikes me that a person who wants to wear the same type of shoes, eat at the same restaurants, park in the same spots, etc. is seeking a "sameness" or predictability in her life. She knows what to expect, which minimizes the risk of any surprises. She has created a narrow comfort zone for herself. The problem comes in when she expects other people to reside within her comfort zone. 

If people have been catering to her all along, there has been no need for her to adjust her behavior. She gets her preferences met because everyone accommodates her. Changing your behavior may motivate her to change hers. Even if it doesn't, you can create conditions that minimize the impact of her preferences on you. You don't have to be stuck in her comfort zone. PPs have given some great ideas on how to do that.

postalslave

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2013, 08:49:45 AM »
When I read the "I'm an old lady!" bit I screamed a little inside. This is my mothers favourite excuse for not trying anything new.

Hugs.

Agree with PP who said to disengage a bit. You probally will never change her "I'm too old" spiel so distancing a bit should at least save a bit of your sanity.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2013, 08:57:41 AM »
Don't know how much of a factor this might be, but it sounds as though your mother may be an Optimizer (as opposed to a Satisfier, or as Wikipedia calls it, a "satisficer").  We suffer from this in my family.   :)  I catch myself shopping for a wool blazer thinking that one is in the fabric I like, another is in the cut I like, a third has the pocket configuration, and any one of them will cost me one of the features I really, really want.  I work hard to enjoy the thrill of the chase, though.  If taken too seriously, this trait can undermine peace of mind and take all the fun out of it.

Anyway, as other posters have said, disentanglement is key.  Limit the type of effort and amount of time to what you can comfortably commit . . . also, if you can, limit a co-commitment to perfection.  The hardest thing for me (when someone else is trying to find or choose something) has been not getting as wound-up as the other person when they start to think there's no solution.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2013, 10:11:16 AM »
When I read the "I'm an old lady!" bit I screamed a little inside. This is my mothers favourite excuse for not trying anything new.

You're right; it's an excuse.  My officer manager is 63, and will handle online returns and ordering, installing software, our accounting software, e-banking, and a lot I can't think of right now.  She's also taking Spanish and cake decorating lessons (she works part time).  It's all in the attitude.

gen xer

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2013, 10:36:44 AM »
 This reminds me chillingly of my MIL so I have been reading the responses with interest.   MIL is very security conscious - sounds like a good thing?  Think again.

Order pizza and someone has to pick it up because she is worried that a delivery guy may try to break in / see something valuable / be a pervert and plan an invasion.

She asks DH/ BIL / BIL's computer expert friend to constantly come over and fix her computer.  She refuses to call any form of tech support because she is concerned about identity theft etc.

She refuses to take a very convenient airport shuttle because she is worried she "won't be taken care of" properly at the airport.  That means someone needs to drive her. ( She can drive  and owns a car but thinks the car will be vandalized if left in the long term parking lot. )

You get the picture.

All these don't sound that bad if they were isolated incidents and of course we are always willing to help when needed....but to me it is rude to ask others to do stuff you are perfectly capable of doing yourself.  While I don't want to mock or dismiss her security / safety concerns there has to be a point where you realize that you are imposing on others




Teenyweeny

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2013, 10:57:17 AM »
This reminds me chillingly of my MIL so I have been reading the responses with interest.   MIL is very security conscious - sounds like a good thing?  Think again.

Order pizza and someone has to pick it up because she is worried that a delivery guy may try to break in / see something valuable / be a pervert and plan an invasion.

Don't order pizza at her house. At your house, order the pizza and get it delivered. Wave her concerns aside, "Oh MIL, I'm absolutely sure it's fine." Act like it's nothing, and if she keeps going, feel free to change the subject.

She asks DH/ BIL / BIL's computer expert friend to constantly come over and fix her computer.  She refuses to call any form of tech support because she is concerned about identity theft etc.

Stop going. She'll either get it fixed, buy a whole new system each time, or live with it.

"Oh MIL, I just don't have time to do that any more. I have the number of a great technician if you want it." When she comes back with security concerns, just keep saying, "This firm is very reputable. If you don't want to use them, you could try someone else."


She refuses to take a very convenient airport shuttle because she is worried she "won't be taken care of" properly at the airport.  That means someone needs to drive her. ( She can drive  and owns a car but thinks the car will be vandalized if left in the long term parking lot. )

Nobody needs to drive her. She'll find a way to get there if you say no. Trust me. She'll drive herself, take a cab, or find somebody else.

Basically, with people who make demands of you, decide what you are willing to grant them, acknowledge what should be their domain (e.g. if she doesn't want delivery people coming to her house, that's a bit weird, but it's her house), and disengage from the rest.



gen xer

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2013, 11:11:09 AM »
 Teeny I agree with everything you say.....but DH and his siblings keep catering....it's the whole "she's a scared old lady so we're going to humour her" thing.  She takes full advantage of them never saying no.

I try not to let it get to me but it's hard when you see them running themselves ragged and it really isn't necessary.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2013, 11:21:59 AM »
Teeny I agree with everything you say.....but DH and his siblings keep catering....it's the whole "she's a scared old lady so we're going to humour her" thing.  She takes full advantage of them never saying no.

I try not to let it get to me but it's hard when you see them running themselves ragged and it really isn't necessary.

Then you disengage from them. One of the best things I ever did for my marriage was to really internalise the phrase 'not my problem'.

That sounds cold, so let me explain.

I love my wife, and I would do anything for her, but there comes a point where any normal human being is going to begin to feel put-upon. Plus, she's not a child!

Therefore, it does neither of us any good for me to invest emotional and physical energy into problems she can easily solve herself. If she's running herself ragged because of her own poor planning or inability to say no, I feel perfectly free to sit in a hot bath with a book.

I am willing to come to the rescue, but that's on my own terms, and very definitely counts as a favour! And of course, if she is complaining about the situation, I'll talk it through and show support, but I'm not going to shoulder some of the consequences unless it's a) serious or b) an emergency.

This means I am free to help joyfully and out of love, rather than storing up resentment about taking on things that she should be handling.

Gosh, that sounds so awful of me, but I hope you see what I mean!



MrTango

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2013, 11:29:27 AM »
Teeny I agree with everything you say.....but DH and his siblings keep catering....it's the whole "she's a scared old lady so we're going to humour her" thing.  She takes full advantage of them never saying no.

I try not to let it get to me but it's hard when you see them running themselves ragged and it really isn't necessary.

Then you disengage from them. One of the best things I ever did for my marriage was to really internalise the phrase 'not my problem'.

That sounds cold, so let me explain.

I love my wife, and I would do anything for her, but there comes a point where any normal human being is going to begin to feel put-upon. Plus, she's not a child!

Therefore, it does neither of us any good for me to invest emotional and physical energy into problems she can easily solve herself. If she's running herself ragged because of her own poor planning or inability to say no, I feel perfectly free to sit in a hot bath with a book.

I am willing to come to the rescue, but that's on my own terms, and very definitely counts as a favour! And of course, if she is complaining about the situation, I'll talk it through and show support, but I'm not going to shoulder some of the consequences unless it's a) serious or b) an emergency.

This means I am free to help joyfully and out of love, rather than storing up resentment about taking on things that she should be handling.

Gosh, that sounds so awful of me, but I hope you see what I mean!

Agreed.  If someone feels that they need to "drop the rope" with regards to someone else's issue, then they are free to do so, even if others aren't ready to drop it themselves.

EllenS

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2013, 12:09:48 PM »
Teeny I agree with everything you say.....but DH and his siblings keep catering....it's the whole "she's a scared old lady so we're going to humour her" thing.  She takes full advantage of them never saying no.

I try not to let it get to me but it's hard when you see them running themselves ragged and it really isn't necessary.

Then you disengage from them. One of the best things I ever did for my marriage was to really internalise the phrase 'not my problem'.

That sounds cold, so let me explain.

I love my wife, and I would do anything for her, but there comes a point where any normal human being is going to begin to feel put-upon. Plus, she's not a child!

Therefore, it does neither of us any good for me to invest emotional and physical energy into problems she can easily solve herself. If she's running herself ragged because of her own poor planning or inability to say no, I feel perfectly free to sit in a hot bath with a book.

I am willing to come to the rescue, but that's on my own terms, and very definitely counts as a favour! And of course, if she is complaining about the situation, I'll talk it through and show support, but I'm not going to shoulder some of the consequences unless it's a) serious or b) an emergency.

This means I am free to help joyfully and out of love, rather than storing up resentment about taking on things that she should be handling.

Gosh, that sounds so awful of me, but I hope you see what I mean!

Doesn't sound awful at all, sounds very happy, healthy and normal.

It only sounds cold to those who are enmeshed.  Healthy boundaries make good relationships.  The biggest excuse/manipulation for those who trample other's boundaries (or have none of their own) is, but don't you caaaaaaaaare?  Don't you Looooooooove me?
 Unfortunately, enmeshed conflict makes excellent comedy and even better drama - so we see it in all our entertainment, and have come to consider it "normal" or even "romantic".
Yes, I love my husband.  Yes, I care what happens to him.  But if he insists on doing things his own way, (such as sitting up half the night watching cartoons), he is going to have a rotten morning.  I don't have to have one with him, I can go to bed.
If he refuses to look at the clock and get ready for church, I can drive my own car.  There is no reason for me to nag him and pick a fight. We actually are much happier and much closer, without the nagging/fighting, etc.

It took a few years, but I'm getting pretty good at it.

ladyknight1

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2013, 12:29:01 PM »
Quit catering to her and giving options

Always drive and park where you prefer. Drop her off at the door if you want.

Call and ask if she would like to go to X for dinner at 7. If she says she doesn't like X say ok, you'll get with her next week as you and DH really want to go to X.

For personal issues like shoe preference, just sit patiently while she shops. Don't make suggestions. Don't walk around collecting shoes for her to try on. If she says she can't find anything say " Darn, I don't have a suggestion for a different store. Why don't you think about other places and we'll go back out in a few weeks."

Pod to the above.

My parents are extremely particular about many things which has resulted in their children no longer wanting to travel/shop/what have you with them.

I would excuse myself from any interaction that concerns one of her areas of finickiness.

bopper

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Re: Catering to the particular person
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2013, 01:08:23 PM »
The question is how to accomodate without enabling?

1) Mom, drop me off and meet me at Macy's when you are done parking.  or "It's my car and I am fine parking here."

2) Like others say, she can have the shoe she wants. But you don' thave to drive to 3000 stores...use online shopping sites like Zappos.

3) For TV shows, let her watch what she wants. That doesn't mean you have to watch them.  Or for restaurants, go to other restaurants with other people and know when you go out with mom, it will be to a small set.   For technology, she may miss out on pictures.  "Mom, I put pictures on facebook if you would like to see them."  Or get an ipad, create a FB account for her, be her only FB friend, and she can see your pictures.  Or do something like a Cieva digital photo frame that you upload pictures to a site and the frame uses the telephone line to download new ones.  That way you don' thave to print them out, for example, and she doesn't have to learn anything.