Author Topic: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request  (Read 7036 times)

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EllenS

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2014, 06:41:08 PM »

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.


I'm pretty sure I know what channel/program she is talking about, and I think a too-honest explanation of "why" would actually have created a worse fight.

And I think that the guest suspected the true "why," and that's why she was tense about it.

I would think the OP would need a not-quite-thoroughly-true reason, like "I find all-news/news-commentary programming to be really intrusive."

But it also sounds like the OP feels her rejection of that particular programming to be a bit of a "stand I'm taking," and so that sort of "true but not the *real* reason" might feel like lying.

I think OP was fine to say "no", but yes I do think there are ways it could have been done to be less confrontational/more gracious.  Perhaps, "Too much news gets on my nerves" or "let's not have politics, it's not very relaxing" or "I don't feel like watching news right now, let's watch that dancing show or that movie about elephants"

And if she insists, you could say "can't we find something we're both into?" without coming right out and saying it is X channel you don't like. 

There are a lot of things you could say that are true, but also deflective.  Maybe you tried some of this and she barreled through it, but it is an option.

TootsNYC

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2014, 07:26:21 PM »
I agree.

The OP would need to be a bit ready for it; i think when we get fixated on our strong objections, we lose our mental flexibility to see other ways to get the same end result.

Of course, the other person would have to go along with the refusal with good grace, and in my experience, people who keep this channel on as background noise get pretty insistent on it.

Part of it is that *any* constant background noise can come to be something that a person really wants t have around all the time. People who leave the TV on to -any- channel sometimes find themselves wanting the TV on.

But if it's the channel I suspect, there's an "adherence" issue as well.

blarg314

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2014, 07:43:31 PM »
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.


I know a few people like this. When you're at their home, it's their home so they set the rules. But when they visit you, you're the guests and you have to give them what they want.  ::)

Knowing what the channel is, I'm pretty sure that there wasn't a way to explain why you didn't want to watch it without starting a fight worse than what actually happened.  Personally, I can last about 10 minutes  before I start swearing and throwing things at the TV - at someone else's house, I'd cope with earphones and a laptop or iPod, or waiting in another room, but it's not playing in my home, any more than I'd comply with a request to turn on the Playboy channel during lunch.


TootsNYC

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2014, 07:46:09 PM »
Well, there is a way.

"I just don't like to have people on the TV talking at me. I'll happily watch an entertainment show, or even a talk show, but the whole talking-heads thing is not a mood I want in my home."

esposita

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2014, 09:49:42 PM »
Since we all seem to know what channel it is, and since its of a political nature, can we please stop with the negative generalized comments about people who watch it/agree with it? As a disclaimer I am not a fan of it myself, but broad statements about a political group or the sources of news they choose are not true to the nature of this forum.

Yvaine

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2014, 10:33:16 PM »
Since we all seem to know what channel it is, and since its of a political nature, can we please stop with the negative generalized comments about people who watch it/agree with it? As a disclaimer I am not a fan of it myself, but broad statements about a political group or the sources of news they choose are not true to the nature of this forum.

I'm not really seeing much of that here?  :-\ To me, most of the comments seem to be saying that people who are heavily into politics tend to like to argue about it, no matter what affiliation they have. And that saying "Channel X is not allowed in this house" can be touchy because the guest may read it as criticism of the whole affiliation or of themselves as people, and so it's a good idea to have a diplomatic way of putting it.

Sharnita

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2014, 11:08:22 PM »
For the sake of hypotheticals, let's say there are a variety of news networks but one leans heavily left and the other heavily right.  As a host I wouldn't turn on either channel for a guest who literally watched it all day long. I would be wary of either so I don't think it is one or the other but the ongoing stream of polarizing rhetoric of either side.

Another Sarah

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2014, 06:39:12 AM »
Ok clearly there's a cultural thing at play here - I wouldn't have a clue that a particular channel has a particular leaning, and it seems there is a ridiculously biased channel I'm just not getting the scope of.

But I do still think OP was rude. I understand why better now, but I do still think it's rude behaviour - just as rude as OP's Aunt's behaviour.

Good etiquette for entertaining a guest in your home involves making your guests feel comfortable and welcome.
I think OP's dismissal of Aunt's request was abrupt and not necessary. I think that makes it rude, and clearly it affected aunt's relationship with OP or aunt would not have been colder to her later on.

OP didn't go into this with her eyes shut - she knew aunt was strongly keen on this channel and that the subject would come up. She decided that she wasn't going to put up with the channel in her own home - fair enough, not a problem, politeness doesn't demand that she does.
But there were other routes for her to take than just sitting and refusing to watch.
She could have chosen to take herself out of the situation the way I originally suggested,  by giving aunt the remote and leaving her to it for a couple of hours.

She could have made light of the refusal by using some of the other suggestions people have made and changed the subject for an amicable agreement on what to watch.

OP might have been taking a stand - good for her and I applaud the sentiment - but that is politicising the discussion just as much as actually standing on a soapbox and denouncing the channel. By doing it, she is opening the door for Aunt to start picking at why the channel is banned - and I think Toots is right, aunt was trying to pick an argument. (Good for OP for not giving in to it btw) If she really wanted to avoid the politics involved, she would steer away from the channel using another reason or she would remove herself from the situation.

OP's stand was using Aunt's time as a guest to make a political/personal point - "I am not of that leaning, I hate that channel and you watched it on-stop when I was at yours".
It wasn't about entertaining aunt, finding a compromise or even standing up for herself. The time to stand up for herself was by asking aunt to change the channel when OP was a guest and seeing what transpired, or when aunt wanted to stay. OP didn't have to have aunt stay, knowing the subject was going to come up.

EllenS

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2014, 06:54:00 AM »
For the sake of hypotheticals, let's say there are a variety of news networks but one leans heavily left and the other heavily right.  As a host I wouldn't turn on either channel for a guest who literally watched it all day long. I would be wary of either so I don't think it is one or the other but the ongoing stream of polarizing rhetoric of either side.

In fact, there are at least 2 such channels.  I just think one of them is more widespread/popular/well-known and therefore gets more flak about its bias.

Quite true that the content of the channel only matters to the discussion, inasmuch as the aunt took rejection of the channel as personal criticism, along the lines of an ongoing family tension.  Which is why I think it would be a good idea in future or with other relatives, to attribute the "not in my house" to some also-true but indirect reason.  Might not work, but it's worth a try.

veryfluffy

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2014, 09:36:17 AM »

Good etiquette for entertaining a guest in your home involves making your guests feel comfortable and welcome.
I think OP's dismissal of Aunt's request was abrupt and not necessary. I think that makes it rude, and clearly it affected aunt's relationship with OP or aunt would not have been colder to her later on.

OP didn't go into this with her eyes shut - she knew aunt was strongly keen on this channel and that the subject would come up. She decided that she wasn't going to put up with the channel in her own home - fair enough, not a problem, politeness doesn't demand that she does.
But there were other routes for her to take than just sitting and refusing to watch.
She could have chosen to take herself out of the situation the way I originally suggested,  by giving aunt the remote and leaving her to it for a couple of hours.

I don't think that good etiquette compels someone to have a product or service in their own home, to be made available to guests, which goes against their values and beliefs.

Let's imagine this wasn't political content, but instead, say, the "adult activities" channel. I can't imagine that any host would need to hand over the remote and leave their own sitting room, so that their guest could get a fix of their preferred viewing pleasure.
   

siamesecat2965

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2014, 10:10:40 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.


I know a few people like this. When you're at their home, it's their home so they set the rules. But when they visit you, you're the guests and you have to give them what they want.  ::)
 

Yes, this is my relative to a T! I will say she's pretty good if I simply turn the channel, as we both know, and can accept that we have different viewpoints on many things.

What's funny too, is she sort of "takes over" too, which irks me, but again, I've found with her sometimes you can't be subtle, and need to simply tell her, hey, quite it. She'll put her bags and other stuff where its in the way, and I just move it.  My apt is smalll, so not much room. She likes to spread out, but is fine if I move her stuff. She's really just clueless.

And last year, she and her SIL came to spend the weekend with me, and SIL confided in me recently that she was uncomfortable since other relative took over, spread her stuff everywhere, and she felt cramped. I told her do what I do, and just move it. If her suitcase is in the way, I move it. and so on.

Another Sarah

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2014, 10:11:09 AM »

Good etiquette for entertaining a guest in your home involves making your guests feel comfortable and welcome.
I think OP's dismissal of Aunt's request was abrupt and not necessary. I think that makes it rude, and clearly it affected aunt's relationship with OP or aunt would not have been colder to her later on.

OP didn't go into this with her eyes shut - she knew aunt was strongly keen on this channel and that the subject would come up. She decided that she wasn't going to put up with the channel in her own home - fair enough, not a problem, politeness doesn't demand that she does.But there were other routes for her to take than just sitting and refusing to watch.
She could have chosen to take herself out of the situation the way I originally suggested,  by giving aunt the remote and leaving her to it for a couple of hours.

I don't think that good etiquette compels someone to have a product or service in their own home, to be made available to guests, which goes against their values and beliefs.

Let's imagine this wasn't political content, but instead, say, the "adult activities" channel. I can't imagine that any host would need to hand over the remote and leave their own sitting room, so that their guest could get a fix of their preferred viewing pleasure.

I agree, please see the bolded.
What I'm saying is that the way she handled it was rude. She made her aunt uncomfortable with an abrupt and repetitive answer rather than a polite steer, not the refusal to watch the channel.
ETA: I also added this in my post, which I would expect someone to do in the situation that they absolutely would not have that channel in the house

Quote
She could have made light of the refusal by using some of the other suggestions people have made and changed the subject for an amicable agreement on what to watch
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 10:16:04 AM by Another Sarah »

etiquettenut

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2014, 12:58:34 PM »
Quote
I agree, please see the bolded.
What I'm saying is that the way she handled it was rude. She made her aunt uncomfortable with an abrupt and repetitive answer rather than a polite steer, not the refusal to watch the channel.
ETA: I also added this in my post, which I would expect someone to do in the situation that they absolutely would not have that channel in the house



I disagree with this. The aunt made herself uncomfortable by refusing to accept the answer she was given by her host, pressing for more information than was needed, and being deliberately obtuse as to why the OP would not want to watch that channel. If she was unhappy with the answer she should have stopped asking the question. It is obvious to everyone on this board (and anyone familiar with the channel*) why the OP would not want to watch this channel; forcing her to say it is only fixing for a fight. I'm with those who think the aunt was pressing so she could argue about it.

I don't think she was uncomfortable anyway. I think she was unhappy she didn't get her way.

*I'm not saying that everyone should disagree with it, just that it's obvious that if you don't like a particular channel that leans one way, it's because you lean the other way.

Mikayla

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2014, 01:20:39 PM »
But you just said in the post above that you don't put news channels on when people are over.  So use a minor rewording, and then it's not a lie. 

My only point here is I personally would have offered *something* up by way of explanation. Otherwise, it turns into exactly what happened here -- a tug of war over what to watch. 

You asked in your OP if you were rude, and I do not think you were.  But I would have handled it differently.

Given the *extremely* well-known views of the station, I don't think an explanation is really necessary.  I also have relatives who are fans of that station, they know my POV, and they absolutely know why I don't like that station, no need for me to explain.  Luckily we tend to joke about our different viewpoints, so we don't have a problem...if they have that station on when I visit, I just stagger around moaning, "A hit, a palatable hit!"  All is good.

Actually, I agree with you!  In fact, my sister and BIL put a certain channel on during 9/11 and haven't turned it off since.  And we, too, handle this with humor.  I'll start yelling about brain bleach, or even changing the channel and hiding the remote.

But in OPs case, it doesn't sound like this was an option.  And certainly if someone I didn't know well happened to be in my home and wanted it on, I doubt I'd yell for brain bleach. 

I think Toots came up with another good option to use rather than a flat refusal.

Another Sarah

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Re: s/o host's choice of TV show: guest's TV request
« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2014, 01:31:12 PM »
Quote
I agree, please see the bolded.
What I'm saying is that the way she handled it was rude. She made her aunt uncomfortable with an abrupt and repetitive answer rather than a polite steer, not the refusal to watch the channel.
ETA: I also added this in my post, which I would expect someone to do in the situation that they absolutely would not have that channel in the house

I disagree with this. The aunt made herself uncomfortable by refusing to accept the answer she was given by her host, pressing for more information than was needed, and being deliberately obtuse as to why the OP would not want to watch that channel. If she was unhappy with the answer she should have stopped asking the question. It is obvious to everyone on this board (and anyone familiar with the channel*) why the OP would not want to watch this channel; forcing her to say it is only fixing for a fight. I'm with those who think the aunt was pressing so she could argue about it.

I don't think she was uncomfortable anyway. I think she was unhappy she didn't get her way.

*I'm not saying that everyone should disagree with it, just that it's obvious that if you don't like a particular channel that leans one way, it's because you lean the other way.

please have a look at my post above the one you quoted - I stated there that I also agreed with your point that aunt was fixing for a fight.

My point was that OP was fixing for a fight herself by choosing to make a stand about watching the channel rather than smoothing things over by giving another reason for not doing it. She is perfectly entitled to do so, but I still think it's not polite to speak to someone staying with you the way OP describes.

Aunt's rudeness is obvious, but I think announcing "we will not watch that channel" is prompting someone to ask why. Repeating those same words over and over is not going to defuse the situation, it's treating her aunt like a child with no provocation - sure aunt may be highly politicised and keen to start a debate, but OP set up a situation where aunt was prompted to do so. I don't actually think OP did it on purpose, but yes, her behaviour was rude IMO because making the point about not watching the channel became more important than her aunt's company.

note I am not saying now, nor have I ever, that OP should've watched the channel. I'm saying that the way she approached not watching it was to treat her aunt - whose behaviour she knew and should've anticipated - in a manner that I find rude.

I'm on the verge of repeating myself ad infinitum and I've seen other posters get told off for doing that, so I'll step away from this thread now. :)
edited to fix quotes
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 01:32:43 PM by Another Sarah »