Author Topic: Was there a better approach?  (Read 7636 times)

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Amoreade

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Was there a better approach?
« on: December 21, 2013, 02:38:32 PM »
I recently had some friends over for dinner one of whom doesn't drink (H). H doesn't broadcast her not drinking. Another guest (OG) offered H some wine and when H refused began to pressure her about having some. I teasingly told OG to "stop with the peer pressure" and in response OG said she wouldn't stop until H drank. This is where I think I may have been harsh. In response I said that if OG continued to pressure H I would have to kick her (OG) out. OG did back off but I felt quite rude afterward.  Is there a different approach or wording that would've been better?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 02:43:38 PM »
I think you were fine.

You could perhaps have said, 'If you continue to pressure H, I will have to ask you to leave', rather than 'kick her out' but that's really nitpicky on my part.
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Zizi-K

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 03:24:55 PM »
I think you could have dealt with this more smoothly, with more humor. Turn to OG with a big smile (it helps if H does this as well) and say, "Wow, why do you care so much who else drinks? Do you feel the need to have a partner in crime?" H can say, "Now I definitely won't drink, even if I wanted to. Now I just want to see how far you'll go. Will you give me $50 to drink? Will you do a monkey dance? This is fun!" I would turn it into a fascinating look into the psyche of OG.

Mikayla

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 04:11:04 PM »
First, I think you were fine, considering the position she put you (and Sara) in.  But I do think there were better ways to handle it, especially since it backfired and ended up putting a spotlight on something Sara doesn't want spotlighted (again, not your fault).

One after-the-fact question to ask yourself is why you felt you needed to intervene in the first place.  If Sara is low profile on her abstinence, chances are this wasn't the first time she'd encountered this behavior, and it won't be the last.  People can be such boors about this issue.  So is it possible you pre-empted her own handling of it?  Have you asked her if your response was helpful? 

Humor can be used, but that's really difficult when you're gobsmacked!  I had a somewhat similar situation once at a dinner party, and I told the offender that *I* wasn't going to drink any more wine until *she* finished off the brussels sprouts (she was allergic to some of the ingredients I put in the casserole).

Also, on OG, I think you're well within your rights to be "harsh" with her now that the event is ended.  Her statement that she wouldn't stop yapping about it until Sara drank was stupifyingly rude, insensitive and cruel. 

Personally, my convo with her would be to point this out and then tell her that, because of her actions, she would not be invited to future events at my home.  She took it a lot further than simply "trying again" to offer wine, which is bad enough.  I shudder to think how she'd behave around someone with a severe peanut allergy. 

 

NyaChan

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 07:02:14 PM »
I think you escalated things way too early.  Was OG pressuring in a serious tone of voice or was she doing that joking tone thing?  I mean if you said your peer pressure in a teasing way and then she responded in kind, it was pretty unfair to suddenly threaten to throw her out.  You could have easily said something else to make it stop without going nuclear.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 07:10:12 PM »
I think you escalated things way too early.  Was OG pressuring in a serious tone of voice or was she doing that joking tone thing?  I mean if you said your peer pressure in a teasing way and then she responded in kind, it was pretty unfair to suddenly threaten to throw her out.  You could have easily said something else to make it stop without going nuclear.

I disagree.  From the OP:

I teasingly told OG to "stop with the peer pressure" and in response OG said she wouldn't stop until H drank.

Any guest of mine that is this clueless, at best, deserves to be told off.  H could have any number of reasons for not drinking, from being a recovering alcoholic to being allergic to just not liking the taste of alcohol.  Someone trying to force another of my guests to do something they don't want to do?  Will either stop or be shown the door.
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NyaChan

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 07:14:16 PM »
I think you escalated things way too early.  Was OG pressuring in a serious tone of voice or was she doing that joking tone thing?  I mean if you said your peer pressure in a teasing way and then she responded in kind, it was pretty unfair to suddenly threaten to throw her out.  You could have easily said something else to make it stop without going nuclear.

I disagree.  From the OP:

I teasingly told OG to "stop with the peer pressure" and in response OG said she wouldn't stop until H drank.

Any guest of mine that is this clueless, at best, deserves to be told off.  H could have any number of reasons for not drinking, from being a recovering alcoholic to being allergic to just not liking the taste of alcohol.  Someone trying to force another of my guests to do something they don't want to do?  Will either stop or be shown the door.

Except when everyone is talking in a joking teasing tone, its a bit much to be angry that someone didn't somehow divine that you were seriously asking them to stop as opposed to joining in the banter.  I mean, how hard would it have been to say after that - "Seriously, OG, stop bugging Sara about this.  You are making us uncomfortable."

purple

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 10:53:05 PM »
I don't drink.  All my friends and family know this, but you would be amazed at how much flak I get from 'other people' who try to pressure me into drinking.  So, I definitely agree with Mikayla who said that Sara has probably encountered this behaviour before.

I'm trying to imagine how I'd feel if the host of a party had stepped in and threatened to eject somebody who was hassling me about not drinking.

I think it all comes down to tone and atmostphere here, which is something that is hard to tell from your post.

Amoreade

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 02:27:05 AM »
The atmosphere of the party was great til that point, That's part of why I reacted as I did to OG. When OG responded to my teasing she stopped smiling and said her response in a serious and sort of standoffish way, it brought most of the conversation to a halt. Another thing I thought I'd posted in the original but I seem to have imagined it, H was underage at this point.

cicero

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 03:29:09 AM »
I recently had some friends over for dinner one of whom doesn't drink (H). H doesn't broadcast her not drinking. Another guest (OG) offered H some wine and when H refused began to pressure her about having some. I teasingly told OG to "stop with the peer pressure" and in response OG said she wouldn't stop until H drank. This is where I think I may have been harsh. In response I said that if OG continued to pressure H I would have to kick her (OG) out. OG did back off but I felt quite rude afterward.  Is there a different approach or wording that would've been better?
I don't think you were harsh and I don't think there was a better approach.

You started with humor which was fine. But when OG said she wouldn't stop until H drank, that is crossing a line IMHO and *I* would not tolerate that in my home. OG is either rude or clueless or mean or all the above but that is something that you just.don't.do. People don't drink for a whole bunch of reasons - none of which are OG's business. in a normal world, it should be enough for someone to say "no thanks" or "i'm not drinking today" or "I don't drink" for OG to back off.

wait a minute - i just read your additional reply - so H is underage? wow. OG was completely off. if she then threw a hissy fit/PA hissy fit that "changed" the party atmosphere, so be it. Please don't second guess yourself - OG was wrong in many ways

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Thipu1

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 11:02:02 AM »
In my opinion, part of the duty of a host is to make guests feel comfortable.  The OP did as well as she could to make H comfortable. 

There are many reasons why people choose not to drink alcohol. They may have a problem with it, they may be on medication that precludes it or they may just not like the taste of the stuff.  Pushing someone to consume things they don't want to do is always wrong. 

When someone like the OG gets pushy and obnoxious, more than a subtle hint may be in order.  I think the OP was just fine. 


NyaChan

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 12:44:36 PM »
The atmosphere of the party was great til that point, That's part of why I reacted as I did to OG. When OG responded to my teasing she stopped smiling and said her response in a serious and sort of standoffish way, it brought most of the conversation to a halt. Another thing I thought I'd posted in the original but I seem to have imagined it, H was underage at this point.

Thanks for the clarifications! I think that if you didn't like the way you handled it, there are alternatives that are firm without going so far as telling someone "I'm going to throw you out if you don't stop right now."  But given the nature of her response and the situation, I don't really think you were so far off the mark to do just that.  She definitely moved out of misguided teasing to a pressure zone. 

katycoo

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 03:48:15 AM »
I don't care why people choose not to drink but I HAT E people who push others to participate.  Enquiries as to why out of curiosity I'll leave to the non-drinker to decide how to handle but otherwise I will totoally shut it down.

Amoreade

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 01:51:41 PM »
Thank you all so much for your replies, I feel like much less of a boor now  :)

Surianne

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Re: Was there a better approach?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2013, 08:55:32 PM »
I think you handled this really well.  I'm a drinker (perhaps too much of one) but I have no tolerance for people who pressure others to drink if they don't want to.  You were firm in protecting the comfort of your guest, and I don't think you escalated the situation.  With most people, a light "stop with the peer pressure" would have worked.  OG was completely in the wrong here, and I would have asked her to leave, too.