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Author Topic: I'm Offending People?  (Read 14761 times)

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tash112194

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I'm Offending People?
« on: March 23, 2015, 09:45:24 AM »
Hi eHell,
This has come up a lot recently with dealing with my and DF's families while planning our wedding. (Which is less than a month out now! ;D)

It seems like a lot of people on both sides of our families are 'offended' that we are not asking them for help.

We haven't asked anyone for financial help, (although we have received some), we haven't asked for help setting up or breaking down the venue, (although people have offered), we haven't really asked for opinions on invites, favors, set up, seating, (meaning I haven't had a family discussion, and only spoken to the people who's opinions I want), and apparently our family members are offended that we aren't asking for help.
I got sucked into this big, 'that's what family is for' conversation at my house, and my DF got sucked into a conversation at his father's house because he has a friend who works for a print shop and we didn't go to him for our invitations. In both cases our parents were like "They would have probably done X and Y as your gift!" And DF and I both feel that we want our families to come to the wedding as guests, we don't only want to reach out to people because we need something, and we don't want anyone to feel like they have to do such and such for our wedding.
I mentioned to DF that if people really want to give us a gift/do something for us then they should do it as an actual wedding gift, instead of making us feel like we're pressuring them into helping us when maybe it isn't convenient for them.
In addition to all of this, my MOH is upset that I haven't asked for her help assembling our invitations, and that I don't plan on asking for help with the favors. It's not that I don't want the help, but that these are things I can easily do on my own, I have the time, I have the supplies.
I guess I'm wondering if we're wrong for not reaching out to everyone we know for help.
I also feel like I should mention that we're 20 and 21 so we think (especially because of our age) that it is important that we do the wedding ourselves, to show people that we're independent and mature enough to handle a wedding and a marriage without help. - In my family a "gift" is easily forgotten that it was given. "We want to pay for a DJ for your wedding" quickly turns into "We had to buy them a DJ because they couldn't afford it!"
Is it rude to want everyone to just show up and have a good time instead of enlisting them to "make my wedding happen"?

SamiHami

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 10:25:39 AM »
Of course you aren't doing anything wrong. When pressured by family to accept their unsolicited "help," all you need to say (with a smile) is "Oh, that's so sweet of you to offer! But we have everything under control and we are just having so much fun taking care of everything ourselves. We just want you and everyone else to come and enjoy our special day with us without worrying about a thing!"

If they continue to push and insist that family is supposed to help whether you want it or not, you could say something like, "Well, so far everything has gone really smoothly and just exactly the way we want. The best way you can help is to be there and support us on our big day!"

If they choose to be offended, that simply cannot be your problem. It's your wedding, you are not doing anything wrong and you shouldn't allow anyone to make you feel guilty.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

tash112194

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 10:32:34 AM »
I just keep getting it like this "talk" that's "you just have to be so rebellious and independent, can't let anybody help you, god all we're trying to do is help!"

I was like "Well that's very nice of you, and we really appreciate it, but we don't expect any help. We are the ones choosing to get married, and we feel that it's our choice and responsibility to provide a wedding for our families to attend. I don't want anyone to feel like they "have to do X,Y,Z for tash's wedding" I just want everyone to go and enjoy themselves."
And then I get, well do you not want your family involved? This is what families are for!"
My family is taking it super personal that I'm not sharing every detail with them and asking for their opinions and help. I really don't need a 'too many cooks in the kitchen' situation with my wedding though lol.
I just want them to understand that I appreciate that they want to help, but that it's something I need to do with my DF, for both of us. - And actually saying this does not have the desired effect lol.

acicularis

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 10:33:54 AM »
I fail to see how you are being rude by choosing to treat your family and friends as valued guests instead of unpaid labor.

 I think what it comes down to is that sometimes people want to "help" not because they want to make things easier for you, but because they want to be involved and feel important.

SamiHami

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 10:51:48 AM »
If they feel so very strongly that they need to be involved somehow, is there something you can give them to do so they feel included? Even though I think they are misguided, it sounds like they really do want to be a part of your day as more than just guests. Can you ask them to, I don't know...be in charge of the guest book, usher, or some other kind of simple tasks to keep them happy so they feel like they are doing something? Of course you don't have to do anything of the sort, but if it's simple and it makes them happy it might be a nice thing to do.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

cattlekid

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 10:52:38 AM »
I completely feel for you.  Although I was 10 years older when we got married, DH's family from a culture where everyone wants to get involved with everything. We like to call it the "Play-Dough" syndrome, where everyone has to have their hands in no matter what it is.

All I can say is "begin as you intend to go on".  I agree that you will have to be a broken record on this.  If anyone gets offended then it will be their issue to deal with, not yours.

lakey

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 10:55:16 AM »
There's nothing wrong with how you are handling this. Also, if they are not accepting your explanation about why you don't want their help, there is a pretty good chance that they will also not listen to you if you allow them to help. My suspicion is that every time an issue comes up about how to do something, they'll try to push you to do it their way, just as they are now.

paintpots

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 11:09:25 AM »
Oh boy does this sound familiar.

Do remember that people are excited and happy for you, and that weddings are often (not always, and I should stress this is entirely personal to the B&G) family occasions. That means people want to feel a part of it and be involved, even if it's just folding wedding programmes.

That said, you can't win. If you do everything yourself (sparing them all the work), then you're excluding people, and if you let everyone muck in/do their piece, you risk ramping up your stress (quality control, dealing with people who have their own idea, lots of answering questions when it might just be easier to get on and do it yourself).

Since you're pretty committed to doing it yourselves, stick at it. After the wedding, the fuss will die down, you'll be happily married and none of it will matter.

From my perspective, getting married is totally worth never having to plan another wedding ;-)

EllenS

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 11:12:45 AM »
There is nothing objectively wrong with what you are doing. However, do bear in mind that accepting appropriate help with things you actually want done, is also a sign of maturity.

I see two possible things that could be going on. They could be either/or, depending on the person, or most likely they are mixed together.

1) The families show love by doing. Without something to do, they don't know how to show their love. They feel you are distancing yourself and rejecting their love by not giving them something to do.

2) The families have serious problems with boundaries and control. If you are independent of them, they feel insecure because they are not able to control you and your choices.

As I say, the most likely answer is "some of both". A good solution for both is this:  Give them something to do that you actually want done, or that would make you feel good/give you a break, or that would actually feel like a gift to you.

"Oh, mom/dad/friend, we just want to enjoy your company, not make you work. But if you really want to help, I sure would enjoy/appreciate [fill in the blank]."

Tailor it to the person and their resources and skills, and you can offload some of the things that really are a hassle for you, as well as making them feel connected.  If you can't think of anything on the spot, you can say "If you really want to help, I am sure I can come up with something. Can I email you after I've had a chance to think about it?"

One of the first jobs you assign, could be for someone to keep a list of all the people who want to help and what they are offering/are good at, so you can know who to ask when you do want to delegate. Then the next time someone approaches you with this, direct them to your designated help-list-keeper.

But most importantly, you will be setting a precedent on communicating your own wants and needs, rather than rolling over just because other people are being pushy.

nuit93

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 11:13:11 AM »
Not rude at all!

My DF and I are handling things similarly since we're paying for everything ourselves and aren't particularly traditional.  I've been getting some pushback about the non-traditional elements but since we're olderish (I'll be 34 on the wedding day) no one's been giving me grief about not asking for help.

I think you're handling things wonderfully :)

TootsNYC

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2015, 11:36:24 AM »
If they keep at this, maybe it's time to be offended. Though, maybe that will just feed their internal narrative of "tash is just so rebellious, like a toddler saying 'I'll do it myself.' "
So maybe not.

I guess my advice would be for you to be amused at their reaction, and just blow it off. Don't hold it tight; regard it as "an interesting sociological phenomenon" and be lightly amused.


(and I think you're wise not to have your relative do the printing of your invitations. Best not to go there, in many instances.)

(Also, I share your "if you want to give me a wedding gift, give me a real one. Don't do some wedding thing and label it a gift" reaction. I am totally on board with the "you don't have to give me a gift" idea, but I personally would prefer a gift that you thought of, etc., instead of you taking care of a chore or a budgeted-for expense for me.

EllenS has some nice observations (as always).

And I agree so much with paintpots:
Quote
Since you're pretty committed to doing it yourselves, stick at it. After the wedding, the fuss will die down, you'll be happily married and none of it will matter.

You might also say, lightly, "You'll have to get used to the fact that we're independent. After all, we're creating our own independent family. Something for you to get used to." Because I have a feeling that you are "beginning as you mean to go on." And they can be the ones to adjust. You just have to give them time to do so (which means, staying consistent yourselves, as part of the "training" process).

greencat

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 11:46:23 AM »
"The implication that we can't afford to have the wedding we want without your help is getting offensive.  Drop it." - for offers to pay for things.

For the relatives who have businesses that could have 'helped' - say what you said here.  "We want them to just be guests," or say, "We want to keep our relationships with our vendors strictly business so that if something does go wrong, we can deal with the problem without the possibility of offending Cousin Bobby."

Furthermore, beandip your way out of these conversations, or get up and leave.  Don't get trapped in them.

tash112194

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 11:47:30 AM »
(and I think you're wise not to have your relative do the printing of your invitations. Best not to go there, in many instances.)

(Also, I share your "if you want to give me a wedding gift, give me a real one. Don't do some wedding thing and label it a gift" reaction. I am totally on board with the "you don't have to give me a gift" idea, but I personally would prefer a gift that you thought of, etc., instead of you taking care of a chore or a budgeted-for expense for me.

This is another big reason I don't want to have my family involved.
To me, it's kindof like mixing business with pleasure, since I will admit, I'm being a bit of a micro manager about wedding things. I don't want to have people try to help, and then want them to do it their way, or be offended if I'm not immediately satisfied, have other ideas, etc.
I much prefer having my vendors be my vendors, and not my guests or family.
Then I have no pressure at being talked into something I don't want, or accepting something that isn't what I would have wanted just because a family member is "being nice" and doing it for us.
Example:
My grandmother expressed to my aunt (who is actually involved in a lot of my wedding planning because she actually has boundries) that she would like to either pay for a flourist or a DJ for the wedding.
I said that I didn't want her to be involved with flowers because I knew it would be "let's go pick out flowers together, I like these" and when I didn't like whatever she liked it would turn into me being ungrateful  ::) - I did not say this to my grandmother, just for clarification.
So she found a DJ, and then was like "Oh did you want to meet him?"  ??? :o YES I want to meet the DJ for my wedding!
So my grandparents and my DF and I went to our venue and met him, and when I was trying to decide where to put him (since I hadn't planned on having a DJ originally) they wanted me to put him where he normally sets up (which would have put him in the center of my aisle ::)) and I was like "Well I'll have to think about it, I'm not going to decide tonight."
And they kept pushing and pushing, well tash, he does this all the time, he's a professional, he knows where he should be on and on, talking down to me like I'm a child.
I'm like "I understand what the DJ's point is, but you aren't listening to my point. And I'm not going to decide tonight just because you want me to. So I'll think about it, and get back to him later."

So it's just a power struggle when people try to help, and I don't want to be judged for wanting my wedding the way I want it. At least if I had only been dealing with the DJ I wouldn't have had the family pressure or the "I don't think you understand tash" aspect.  ::)

greencat

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2015, 11:54:12 AM »
(and I think you're wise not to have your relative do the printing of your invitations. Best not to go there, in many instances.)

(Also, I share your "if you want to give me a wedding gift, give me a real one. Don't do some wedding thing and label it a gift" reaction. I am totally on board with the "you don't have to give me a gift" idea, but I personally would prefer a gift that you thought of, etc., instead of you taking care of a chore or a budgeted-for expense for me.

This is another big reason I don't want to have my family involved.
To me, it's kindof like mixing business with pleasure, since I will admit, I'm being a bit of a micro manager about wedding things. I don't want to have people try to help, and then want them to do it their way, or be offended if I'm not immediately satisfied, have other ideas, etc.
I much prefer having my vendors be my vendors, and not my guests or family.
Then I have no pressure at being talked into something I don't want, or accepting something that isn't what I would have wanted just because a family member is "being nice" and doing it for us.
Example:
My grandmother expressed to my aunt (who is actually involved in a lot of my wedding planning because she actually has boundries) that she would like to either pay for a flourist or a DJ for the wedding.
I said that I didn't want her to be involved with flowers because I knew it would be "let's go pick out flowers together, I like these" and when I didn't like whatever she liked it would turn into me being ungrateful  ::) - I did not say this to my grandmother, just for clarification.
So she found a DJ, and then was like "Oh did you want to meet him?"  ??? :o YES I want to meet the DJ for my wedding!
So my grandparents and my DF and I went to our venue and met him, and when I was trying to decide where to put him (since I hadn't planned on having a DJ originally) they wanted me to put him where he normally sets up (which would have put him in the center of my aisle ::)) and I was like "Well I'll have to think about it, I'm not going to decide tonight."
And they kept pushing and pushing, well tash, he does this all the time, he's a professional, he knows where he should be on and on, talking down to me like I'm a child.
I'm like "I understand what the DJ's point is, but you aren't listening to my point. And I'm not going to decide tonight just because you want me to. So I'll think about it, and get back to him later."

So it's just a power struggle when people try to help, and I don't want to be judged for wanting my wedding the way I want it. At least if I had only been dealing with the DJ I wouldn't have had the family pressure or the "I don't think you understand tash" aspect.  ::)

Start politely saying "No thank you, we've already got that covered." or "We'll let you know when we choose a florist."

Have you given any thought to eloping?  8)

EllenS

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Re: I'm Offending People?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2015, 11:58:32 AM »
I think your aunt would actually be a great person to keep the List of Helpful People.

Then you can deflect all conversations about helping you, toward her. And all you have to say is "what a kind offer, please let Aunt know. Giant Honking Beandip." And you can choose who you do or do not wish to call back.