Author Topic: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request  (Read 6807 times)

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Another Sarah

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2014, 08:29:19 AM »
I seem to be a lone voice on this one, so maybe it's a cultural thing.  Are any of the other replies from the UK?

Deep breath, I think both OP and her relative were wrong when they were acting as host; surely a gracious host would allow the guest to choose what they watched, or at the very least put it to them in the terms of "I'd really like to watch this episode of my serial between 8 and 9, but if there's anything you'd like to see at any other time, or if you'd prefer to have the radio, or music or nothing at all, please say. 

However, having been put in that position as the guest first I can see why OP stuck to her guns when the tables were turned.  The relative is pretty clueless that she thinks it OK to watch TV and ignore her guest, but when as a guest she spoke up to say can we watch ....., perhaps that indicates she thought that OP would have done the same if she'd minded one way or the other. 

Now, that would have been interesting.  If OP as guest had said, could we watch something else as I really hate this channel, this presenter,  this programme and the relative had said sorry, it's my television, my choice.  Then OP would have been really justified to take her stance, but would relative have been thick skinned enough to ask.

Don't really understand though why you'd have a visitor and then want to watch TV or a DVD.  For example, if there's an important episode of a serial, unless you both want to watch it, can't you record it or watch it later via the computer?   Nearly all our programmes are available for a week.  The only time I can think that the television goes on when I'm visiting or hosting is occasionally to watch the news, we're too busy talking and crafting and catching up the rest of the time.

I'm in the UK, and I was brought up to behave that the host chooses the activity and the guest gets to choose how it's carried out. If the activity was a board game, the guest picks the game. If the activity is TV, the guest picks the programme. However that cames with the caveat that both guest and host try to pick something that is mutually enjoyable - stating an opinion is not rude and "I don't like that programme, could we pick another?" is a perfectly acceptable thing to say as long as it is also used within reason.

 I think in OP's situation, her relative was incredibly rude by not paying attention to her guest and picking up the cues (although OP could have said something) to change the activity or ask OP what she would like to watch.

But OP, yes, I do think it was rude to flat-out refuse to watch the channel. You didn't appear to explain why at any point, which might have helped (I know we don't JADE, but there are limits). A compromise of "I really dislike it, but if you have a specific thing you really want to watch, you watch that and I'll do something else for an hour" would have been a lot more polite.
It might have actually made her more amenable to changing it for the pleasure of your company rather than sparking tension the way your response did, and I fail to see why - if the only reason you didn't send her to watch the office TV was that there was sensitive data in there - you didn't do the reverse and go watch something else in there yourself.

It's tricky, because you were coming at it from the situation of just having been stuck with not enjoying the activity, and the temptation is to play turn-and-turn-about, so I understand why you didn't want to accede, but it seems you didn't express a preference when you were in her home so she wasn't called upon to change the channel. That's not to say she shouldn't have noticed by herself, but you had an opportunity to be a better host than she was and you didn't take it.

staceym

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2014, 08:41:23 AM »
I agree that you were not rude for refusing to watch that channel.

But, if I were close enough to someone - close enough that we visit and stay over at each other's houses - and they told me that they will not watch a channel I would not just say "okay", my first response would be to ask why and yes I would ask again to find out the reason you wouldn't watch.  Not because I'm being childish; but I won't watch is not an answer; I would be really interested to find out why.  Unless of course it was the Playboy channel or some such and then I would know the reason without asking.

siamesecat2965

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2014, 09:20:48 AM »
I have the same situation with a relative, and I suspect its the same channel too! she loves it, watches it all the time in HER home, and when she does, and I'm there, I simply read, play on my phone or whatnot. She knows I loathe the channel, so she's fine with me not paying any attention to it in her home.

When she comes to visit me, she will turn on the tv, to that channel, if we are not sitting and watching tv. Like in the morning when I get up, and am making coffee, getting dressed etc. but when she goes to take her shower, I turn it to what I want to watch. I personally would prefer to not have the tv on at all, but she's one who has to have it on, so I just suck it up, as she is my guest.

But we both have an understanding that she likes this channel, and I don't, and can compromise.

In the OP's case, I think she was fine to refuse to have it on, and the guest was rude to keep pushing the issue.

metallicafan

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2014, 09:41:14 AM »
I am curious to know what type of show it was that the person wanted to watch.   Was it a religious channel, or about politics? 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2014, 10:02:58 AM »
There are some channels that I get on my TV because of the particular cable packages I purchase that I absolutely won't watch, even if a guest requests them.

I don't think the OP was rude at all; her guest was rude to push the issue when the OP indicated that she wouldn't watch that channel.  Guest was also rude, or at the very least, oblivious, when acting as host in her own home.  A good host should notice that a guest is uncomfortable watching a particular program and changed the channel.

If someone has a show that they absolutely must watch every week then they need to figure out how to watch it without affecting anyone else.  Either they record it or watch it later on the internet.  If they don't have either of those options, then they should plan to watch it at home and only have guests who also wish to watch the program.

And I say this as a rabid TV watcher.  I don't insist on watching anything at anyone else's home or even in my own home, if I have a guest.  If there is a show I'd like to catch, I'll ask a guest if they'd like to see it.  If they don't, we watch/do something else.
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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2014, 10:06:47 AM »
If it is the channel most of us think it is, I'd wager that watching it would also prompt uncomfortable comments or potential arguments.

I would have an alternative. "Oh, instead of watching television, I thought we'd play a couple hands of gin rummy while listening to Air Supply's greatest hits! Doesn't that sound fun?"

Twik

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2014, 10:15:34 AM »
I think a basic rule about who controls the television should be "The host controls the television (or lack thereof), except when the host's choice is actively distressing to the guest".

To use the driving example, one time I was driving with a friend, and developed a migraine. After an hour of listening to Alanis Morissette non-stop, I was forced to beg him for mercy, and he graciously switched to something that didn't make me want to jump out of the car into traffic.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2014, 10:40:22 AM »
Thanks for the input everyone.

I know that I could have worded my refusal in a gentler manner, but on this subject I am quite adament. In my own home, said channel is not going to be on.

I saw the suggestion of setting up parental controls and saying the channel is not available. That doesn't work for me. I shouldn't have to lie to a guest.

Was she pushing because she wanted to understand your reasons for disliking the channel?

If I were with say a sister and said "Let's watch Sponge Bob" and she said "No, we don't watch Nickelodeon in our home." I'd ask why. And if she said "sorry, it's not possible we don't watch Nickelodeon" I'd ask again why don't you watch Nickelodeon. It wouldn't be so I could argue with you about it but curiosity on why it was banned.

Example:
I do not shop at largest US retailer ever. If someone says something like "Oh, you can get a great deal on that at largest US retailer" I'll respond "I don't shop there." I don't give my reasons unless someone asks. But if they ask, I share my reasons I don't keep repeating "I just don't". I guess I might if for some reason I don't want to share my reasons with this particular individual, but I've never ran across that before. But I know that the vast majority of the US shops at this retailer and my choosing not too is out of the norm and it generates curiosity. (Well, 15 years ago it generated a lot more curiosity but these days I think there are a lot more people who don't.)

misha412

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2014, 10:50:07 AM »
OP here. Thank you all for your replies. This particular situation happened about 9-10 years ago.

A bit of B/G:

The relative in question is my aunt. She and my mother (her sister) were never close, mainly due to age difference (15 years apart). Becuase of their lack of closeness when I was growing up, my relationship with her is not close. The visits in question were done more for family obligation reasons, than personal enjoyment.  /BG 

I am in the U.S. The TV channel in question is a major news channel that has a very distinct point of view (POV). It is a POV that my aunt and members of my extended family embrace. It is not my POV.

The TV channel is only part of a larger situation involving this family. When I am in their homes, I do not participate in their discussions revolving around topics related to their POV. These discussions happen almost every time I am in their presence and it can go on for quite some time. Any opposing POV to theirs is met with derision and somtimes name calling (Yeah you can't choose your FOO). I am not a person who wants to get into heated POV arguments in what is supposed to be a visit with family.

I think the reason I was so adament with this relative over the TV request was because I had been made so uncomfortable in her home quite a number of times with the POV TV channel and discussions. Yeah, it is a bit of tit for tat, but it is my home and I don't think a family visit should devolve into a POV argument.

All of this accumulated into becoming a major reason why I do not visit them any more. The said relatives live about a 3-hr drive from my home and I have not seen them in over 5 years.

sunnygirl

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2014, 10:52:19 AM »
(UK here) - I think the OP was fine in what she did. If I was in that situation with a friend who was reasonable, I probably would explain my issue with the channel. But there are people who are not reasonable and with whom it's better not to engage in that kind of discussion.

Incidentally my only TV is in my bedroom, meaning watching is something I do only with pretty good friends, and leaving it on in the background isn't an option.

Some people have neither recording devices nor Internet. I have neither.
Just out of curiosity how are you able to post here if you don't have Internet access - do you go to the library or an Internet cafe?

MariaE

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2014, 11:47:46 AM »
Some people have neither recording devices nor Internet. I have neither.
Just out of curiosity how are you able to post here if you don't have Internet access - do you go to the library or an Internet cafe?
Internet at work/school would be my guess.
 
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laughtermed

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2014, 08:33:19 PM »
MY MIL favors this one political channel and plays it during most of the day. When we visit, DH jumped on her about her choice of news and politics. I got after him and said all he had to do was ask to change the channel and that his mom would have been with that.  I jumped in and said I'd rather talk and catch up and we could enjoy it more without the TV on. That saved the day.

rose red

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2014, 08:54:22 PM »
If my guest want to watch a program, then I would suck it up and do something else for the hour or two.  But if they want that channel on for two full days of their visit, then no dice.  I have over 50 channels and they can pick one we can both enjoy.  Your relative was rude to keep pushing.

iridaceae

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2014, 12:40:10 AM »
Some people have neither recording devices nor Internet. I have neither.
Just out of curiosity how are you able to post here if you don't have Internet access - do you go to the library or an Internet cafe?
Internet at work/school would be my guess.

Yep; mostly at work. Sometimes the laundromat or a restaurant with WiFi.

cb140

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2014, 04:53:46 AM »
From the UK too. The difficulty I have is that I generally would not ever be having the TV on at all when guests were present,so it wouldn't really arise. I *think* if I had a guest and they insisted on watching a programme I really didn't want to see I would not say no, because that might seem like being a bad hostess, but I would probably leave the room while they watched it if it was something I felt very strongly against (eg I could not watch a programme about animal cruelty, or a film or tv show that was very violent). It would definitely make me think less of them, and I doubt I would ever invite them again.

But there may be some cultural differences because first of all I don't really get the concept of an entire channel being off limits (wouldn't it depend on the programme, not the channel?) and secondly, just wouldn't really happen that the tv would be on at all when we have guests (and similar in other peoples houses that I have been to). Obviously an exception if the gathering is for the purpose of watching tv,like a Doctor Who marathon or Wimbledon finals or something. Also,we do have TiVo at home so that may make a difference. If my favourite programme was on when I had guests, it would be recording anyway - no dilemma.