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Author Topic: Ugh. I failed.  (Read 9452 times)

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lorelai

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Ugh. I failed.
« on: March 19, 2015, 11:23:01 AM »
My MIL takes an inappropriate amount of interest in the state of my medical condition. She likes to know details, and I have in the past been a complete pushover. I don't try give her details but I do end up answering with more information than I would like to. After I gave birth I was not interested in people knowing the status of "down there" yet she pushed and pried and somehow got the information anyway. She is the type who shares freely about her own conditions even if I don't want to hear about it.

I am just getting over a bout of bronchitis and I also suffer from a newly diagnosed skin condition and have also recently weaned from breastfeeding. She is now visiting and keeps asking me questions. I told myself I would deflect and yet I failed. I do think it's kind of her to taken an interest but I also think this is all none of her business. I told myself if she asked about the state of my chest I wouldn't say anything but that it was nice of her to be interested, or if she pointed out any of the rashes I would say the same. She asked if I was still in pain and I pretended not to hear her. She asked about something on my arm and I failed and ended up telling her I had a rash. But I didn't even want to do this much.

What I want to say is that I prefer to keep my medical conditions private. My instinct is to give people what they want and I end up blurting things out that I hate myself for later. I don't want to reward her nosiness. I can't seem to get it together though. How do you deflect nosy people while acknowledging that it's kind of them to care about your well-being?

Lynn2000

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 11:30:36 AM »
Don't be too hard on yourself. Change is difficult and you are making progress by not giving her all the details, even if you still said more than you want. Think of it as taking a few steps up the mountain--you are not at the top yet, but you are closer than you were before.

It might be helpful to come up with a few rote phrases you can say to her. I like one pattern where the "no" or "none of your business" is couched between positive phrases. Like, "Oh, I'm doing better, it's so kind of you to be concerned! I don't want to get into the details, but I really appreciate you asking." If she's doing something positive for you, you can work that in: "...I don't want to get into the details, but I really appreciate you coming over to help clean."

Sometimes people feel like they have to be more subtle, but when I'm stuck--especially if I feel a tendency to blurt something inappropriate--I just say what I literally mean and lay it out there. "I don't want to tell you more, but I really appreciate that you asked. I know it means you care."
~Lynn2000

JeanLouiseFinch

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 12:47:01 PM »
It's hard not to answer a nosy MIL, especially since MIL relationships are often fraught enough. When you described your situation, I thought you were good not to tell her outrageous lies - like that your rash is some rare skin condition that only a good local spa knows how to treat, so you will be going there for the day while she babysits! So, as the prior poster said, don't be too hard on yourself. You did better than I would have done.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 01:13:23 PM »
"I don't like to discuss the details."
Bingle bongle dingle dangle yickity-do yickity-dah ping-pong lippy-toppy too tah.

JenJay

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 01:29:25 PM »
You didn't fail, it's really hard to set boundaries when you're worried about causing tension. I've been there! One thing that really helped me was something that another poster here once said - They aren't worrying about making you uncomfortable, so don't worry about making them uncomfortable. Not that you're trying to cause a scene or hurt her feelings, but really she's not thinking "I hope it's okay with lorelai if I say this. I hope I don't upset her.", she's just going for it. You can do the same.

I'd say "MIL, I know that to you medical stuff is no big deal, but it's really private to me and I don't like to talk about it. Thank you for understanding." It'll be awkward, but you only need to say it once. If she's a great lady she'll say "Okay. I'm so sorry if I made you uncomfortable." and train herself not to ask again. If she's pushy and nosy she'll persist or even argue with you but then, because you've made the statement, you can just keep saying "everything is fine, thanks." and walk away or change the subject.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2015, 02:05:06 PM »
I would just stick with bland phrases like "It's coming along, thanks.", or "My doctor is happy with my progress."

lorelai

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2015, 05:51:35 PM »
Change is so hard!! Thank you for saying that. I like a few of these responses. I have a hard time coming up with something in the moment so I'm memorizing a few. Thank you!

TootsNYC

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2015, 05:58:58 PM »
I suggest you have a response  that you can go to automatically.
I love Lynn2000's suggestions that include "I don't want to go into the details."

There's also, "I hate talking about this stuff, it's really boring."

But you might need something more terse and more direct, like maybe, "I don't really want to share. Please don't push."

And practice saying it out loud a few times, so it will come more easily.

You could also brace yourself and have a conversation in which you say, "MIL, I really don't want to answer questions anymore about my health or my body. I'm finding that I'm really uncomfortable with that, so please don't ask me anymore."

If she argues with you, say: "Nevertheless. This is my preference, please respect me by honoring it." And every little argument she makes, answer with "Nevertheless."

Later, when she forgets, you can say, "I think you forgot--I don't like for you to ask me questions about medical things."

Here's the thing about being worried about causing tension:  Tension already exists.
You are tense. So it's her turn to be upset.


bopper

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 10:18:37 AM »
"Doctor says everything is doing well."

but how is it?

"Doctor says everything is doing well."

but but

"I don't understand...Why do you need to know?"

cuz i am interested

"Doctor says everything is doing well."

BeagleMommy

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 02:59:34 PM »
"My doctor is happy with my progress."
"But how is it?"
"Oh, he spoke a lot of medical jargon that I don't remember.  He's happy with my progress.  Thanks."

Carotte

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 03:30:56 PM »
"Oh (that), don't worry about that, it's nothing/the doctor has it figured out/it's already improoving..."


Runningstar

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 04:56:11 AM »
I have advice from the other side of this.  My SIL has a disease that she found out about a few weeks ago.  We were talking about holiday plans and I asked her how she was and if she needed any help.  And I asked her about the disease. 

She said "I don't want to complain, or even talk about it.  I talk to my doctors enough already and just want to focus on the holidays."
This was all said very nicely and although I got the message that I shouldn't have asked, it didn't embarrass me.

So, now that is how I go on with her.  No questions.  I did try to convey that I'm available if she needs me. She is very dear to me.

TootsNYC

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2015, 11:15:45 AM »

So, now that is how I go on with her.  No questions.  I did try to convey that I'm available if she needs me. She is very dear to me.

Wouldn't this be a wonderful thing to hear someone say to you?

"I'm available if you need me. You are very dear to me."


Runningstar, I got teary when I read your post!

Runningstar

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Re: Ugh. I failed.
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 07:48:08 PM »

So, now that is how I go on with her.  No questions.  I did try to convey that I'm available if she needs me. She is very dear to me.

Wouldn't this be a wonderful thing to hear someone say to you?

"I'm available if you need me. You are very dear to me."


Runningstar, I got teary when I read your post!

Thanks Toots - it would be wonderful :)