News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 21, 2017, 08:13:34 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore  (Read 9964 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Giraffe, Esq

  • Member
  • Posts: 453
Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« on: May 16, 2015, 06:12:45 PM »
The background on this is a bit long, sorry, but I have tried my best to keep only the relevant bits.

As overall background, I injured my back and have been using a wheelchair for several months. 

I went to a Specific Religion Legal Professionals ("SRLP") conference last year, pre-wheelchair.  I volunteered to share my hotel room with someone who wasn't able to get one and was paired with Katherine for one night (she chose to stay only one night, so I was paired with someone else the other two).  Coincidentally, Katherine lives and works in MyCity.

It was fine, but we have not kept in contact at all since.  I may have seen her at one of our monthly SRLP meetings in the meantime, but if so, we just smiled and waved, nothing more.

On Wednesday, I was at the monthly SRLP meeting.  I got there a little late, so I didn't have time to mingle with anyone before hand.  Afterwards, I was talking with other people, and she came over to me with what I interpreted as an expression of shock/pity/whatever, and said quickly, "I'll call you," and left.  The tone was very ... It's hard to explain, but it felt like she was reassuring me that she would do this thing I asked for / needed.  I was baffled because, um, we haven't talked since the conference, I didn't ask her to call me, I don't need her to call me.   

Later that afternoon, I got a text that simply said, "What happened?"  Due to technical glitches, it showed up simply from her number, not her name, and it took me a while to figure out it was from her.  I ignored it.

That night, she called a little after 9 o'clock.  I was driving and could not answer.  She did not leave a message.

Yesterday, she called again and left a message.  She apologized for her breezy text message, said she was concerned, wondering, wants to pray with me, pray over me for whatever my help needs might be.  Said, "If you want to call me back, I'd love to do that with you."

I find this whole thing to be very intrusive.  We barely know each other.  I'm not really a super private person as a general matter -- I share all sorts of details with all levels of friends -- but I'm extraordinarily sick of talking about this issue with everybody who thinks they have a right to ask for details.  Also, we are both members of Specific Religion and as part of that, I do believe in the power of prayer, but I also find it a very intimate activity and while I don't mind people praying for me, there are very few that I want to pray over me with me present.

I was inclined to respond with something like, "I appreciate the thought, but no thanks."  But even though I know that's an accepted polite social pleasantry, it feels a lot like a lie right now, because I don't appreciate it.  I'm pissed off and feeling very intruded upon.

I want to respond with, "Dude, Sweet monkey fritters!, we barely know each other, go away!"  But, don't worry, I know better than that.   ;D

So what I'm wondering is: can I keep ignoring her?  Is it rude to maintain complete silence, based on the reasoning that she's being inappropriately intrusive?  Or should I suck it up and go with the polite lie?

PastryGoddess

  • Member
  • Posts: 6370
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 06:20:24 PM »
Just because she wants to do something doesn't mean you have to acquiese. 

I would return the text message. 

Hello Katherine,   Thank you for your concern but everything is fine. Have a nice day/weekend/night

If she continues to push then just say no thank you.  You're not the one being rude.  she is...

MummySweet

  • Member
  • Posts: 642
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 06:23:36 PM »
How about a text, "My current schedule doesn't allow time to get together, but thank you for your thoughts and prayers."    -Giraffe


FoxPaws

  • Member
  • Posts: 5557
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 06:43:45 PM »
What about Brief Truth and Polite Shutdown.

"Sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner. I injured my back, but I'm on the mend. It's sweet of you to be concerned, but I can't think of anything I need right now. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers."

I honestly don't think she was out of line to text you the first time or ask what happened. Someone going from perfectly healthy to using a wheelchair is a big deal and I'd be curious too. And yes, I'd ask, although I probably would have done it casually when I saw you in person.

The subsequent contacts are over the top, but I suspect she will continue until she gets a response. So while you have every right to ignore her, you're more likely to accomplish what you really want - getting rid of her  - by responding.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

greencat

  • Member
  • Posts: 3899
  • Trap...Neuter...What was that third thing again?
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 06:50:43 PM »
"Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.  My friends and family have provided me with all the support I need to finish healing!"

gramma dishes

  • Member
  • Posts: 7329
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 06:52:32 PM »
...  I would return the text message. 

Hello Katherine,   Thank you for your concern but everything is fine. Have a nice day/weekend/night

If she continues to push then just say no thank you.  You're not the one being rude.  she is...
How about a text, "My current schedule doesn't allow time to get together, but thank you for your thoughts and prayers."    -Giraffe

Both of these are fine.  Whichever you personally would be more comfortable with.

Luci

  • Member
  • Posts: 7646
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2015, 07:14:10 PM »
Any of the above. Thank her for caring and praying, but you really don't need anything else.

So many people suddenly have a life changing event are ignored by their "friends" who do not know how to help that I think she is trying to compensate for them an d be understanding. You need to assure her that you have plenty of help.

Then you can ignore.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Member
  • Posts: 7021
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2015, 07:46:43 PM »
Just because she wants to do something doesn't mean you have to acquiese. 

I would return the text message. 

Hello Katherine,   Thank you for your concern but everything is fine. Have a nice day/weekend/night

If she continues to push then just say no thank you.  You're not the one being rude.  she is...

I agree

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3722
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2015, 08:05:49 PM »
You don't have to like it, and I can understand why you don't, but it sounds to me like she's just trying to be nice.  There's nothing to be gained from assuming bad motives.  It didn't sound to me like she was just trying to entertain herself with your troubles or pry. 

No response from you might seem to her like things are so bad you can't respond, which is more likely to lead to further speculation and efforts to help -- exactly the opposite of what you want. 

Just respond nicely thanking her for her concern and assuring her you are fine and have plenty of support.  No need to explain your medical issues or specifically respond to her offer to pray over you. 

I'd let go of the issue that you don't really appreciate her concern.   "I appreciate ..." is just a social convention when saying "no thanks" -- you know, like when you sign a letter to obnoxious opposing counsel that you hate "Yours truly" or say "Thank you, your honor" to an idiot judge who just made a boneheaded ruling!

pattycake

  • Member
  • Posts: 1194
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2015, 09:02:14 PM »
"Sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner. I injured my back, but I'm on the mend. It's sweet of you to be concerned, but I can't think of anything I need right now. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers."

This is pretty much what I was going to say, and I agree that a short and to the point response is more likely to put an end to her inquiries.

mime

  • Member
  • Posts: 1822
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 11:10:13 AM »
"Sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner. I injured my back, but I'm on the mend. It's sweet of you to be concerned, but I can't think of anything I need right now. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers."

This is pretty much what I was going to say, and I agree that a short and to the point response is more likely to put an end to her inquiries.

I agree with this, too. I wonder if she's suddenly feeling bad that she did't keep in touch with you now that she sees you've had a major life event of some sort. Possibly feeling like she could have been a supportive friend and failed? After all, many religions emphasize the importance of taking care of each other...

The response FoxPaws suggests tells her that you're doing fine, you have whatever support system you need, but you appreciate the friendly concern. The simplicity also seems to send the message that you don't need pity or a ton of drama over your life right now.


peaches

  • Member
  • Posts: 1073
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 11:34:41 AM »
I would return the text message. 

Hello Katherine,   Thank you for your concern but everything is fine. Have a nice day/weekend/night


I like this wording.

Since OP doesn't appreciate this person's persistence, a brief Thanks and change of topic seems best.

It isn't the interest or expressed concern that's out of place, it's the persistence. A one-time inquiry, or offer of a sympathetic ear, is enough. If the recipient doesn't take you up on that, then it's time to back off.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3722
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 12:06:20 PM »
Posting again to answer more specifically your question, which wasn't exactly what to do, but this:
Quote
So what I'm wondering is: can I keep ignoring her?  Is it rude to maintain complete silence, based on the reasoning that she's being inappropriately intrusive?  Or should I suck it up and go with the polite lie?

Frankly, I do think it is a little rude just to ignore her.  I get why you don't like it.  But even if we would call her actions "inappropriately intrusive" (and I'm not sure at this point I would -- if you had already said "no thanks" once or twice and she kept pushing, or was asking for details, then yes, but she hasn't), it still amounts to "Does her being rude justify my being rude back?"  You know the answer.  As we always say here, retaliatory rudeness is still rudeness.  I do think that completely ignoring a gesture of concern and an offer to help is rather rude; anyway, it's cold.  If she would really start pestering you after you say thanks-but-no-thanks, ignoring her would be different, but at this point I think she deserves a response.

You don't appreciate her intrusion, but don't you appreciate her trying to be kind?  That's not a lie.

Margo

  • Member
  • Posts: 2153
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 07:37:34 AM »
for me, the fact that you shared a room at the conerne changes things a little, as I think, for a lot of people, that would mean they stopped thinking of you as a distance acquaintance, even if the realty is that you are not anything more. If you'd onl ever met her at a conference, and not shared a room, I think I would see it slightly differently and wouldn't consider you rude to simply ignore her (although if she has only asked once, I don't know I'd see her as being hugely intrusive either)

So with that in mind,  I don't think that she is rude, and I think that simply ignoring her would be a just little bit rude on your part, so I'd be in favour of a brief reply .You don't have to give her any details, and you don't have to thank her or mention her prayers if you don't want to.
A simple "Don't worry, everything is under control" would work, and doesn't tell her anything  personal.

Awestruck Shmuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 144
Re: Offer of "help" I wish to ignore
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2015, 05:29:33 PM »
Where's the inappropriate intrusion?
You can tell her 'oh no, all good - I injured my back but things are under control. Thanks for your prayers'. You can be polite, without going into detail.