Author Topic: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?  (Read 10259 times)

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auntmeegs

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Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« on: March 06, 2008, 09:49:17 PM »
I get that it's useful at time, but come on.  Every problem cannot be solved with "I'm afraid that's not possible." At least not in the real world.
People can invite whomever they want to their house.  Still, an "I'm afraid that won't be possible" hardly seems sufficient when you want to exclude a sibling or someone's BF, or not invite a relatives kid, or invite one friend and not the other or whatever.  It sounds good on paper, but it's just not always realistic.  There's always at least one such response when a poster has a problem, and I think it's dismissive and disrespectful to the op.  Obviously if "I'm afraid that won't be possible" were a valid option, the OP wouldn't be posting. 
Same with "my house, my rules."  The OP's are trying to come up with a solution that does not boil down to "it's my house, so you have to do whatever I say, if you don't want to, then just leave."  To me that's just childish and selfish. 
I'm also quite alarmed at how dismissive people are to their own families.  I understand that not everyone is as lucky as I, and some other posters, are in the family dept, but it makes me wonder who the toxic people really are sometimes. 
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 09:50:59 PM by auntmeegs »

jais

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 09:50:21 PM »
Flame me, but I think it's a truly useful phrase. PERIOD.

auntmeegs

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 09:53:21 PM »
Flame me, but I think it's a truly useful phrase. PERIOD.

I'd never flame you, jais, and I see where it could be useful sometimes too, but its not appropriate or useful for all situations. 

Lisbeth

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 09:58:09 PM »
I have to disagree.  There are times when these phrases are exactly the one to use.

True, nobody likes being the object of dismissive responses.  But, we bring up these phrases when it sounds like the poster doesn't know that they can be applied to the situations they're asking about.

And sometimes, there just isn't any better solution than "my house, my rules" or "I'm sorry but it isn't possible." 

Our using these phrases doesn't mean we're being dismissive and disrespectful to the OP, but suggesting the best ways we know of to help that person out.

I think you have to read through the whole situation that's being discussed before judging someone for using what sounds to you like a dismissive or disrespectful response, or even for assuming that being dismissive is a bad thing.
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jais

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 10:19:55 PM »
Flame me, but I think it's a truly useful phrase. PERIOD.

I'd never flame you, jais, and I see where it could be useful sometimes too, but its not appropriate or useful for all situations. 

ITA. It's just awfully versatile.

auntmeegs

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 10:36:12 PM »
I have to disagree.  There are times when these phrases are exactly the one to use.

True, nobody likes being the object of dismissive responses.  But, we bring up these phrases when it sounds like the poster doesn't know that they can be applied to the situations they're asking about.

And sometimes, there just isn't any better solution than "my house, my rules" or "I'm sorry but it isn't possible." 

Our using these phrases doesn't mean we're being dismissive and disrespectful to the OP, but suggesting the best ways we know of to help that person out.

I think you have to read through the whole situation that's being discussed before judging someone for using what sounds to you like a dismissive or disrespectful response, or even for assuming that being dismissive is a bad thing.

Yes, there are those time, like when you have to say no to an outrageous request from aquaintance, or something like that. 
I have read through situations where, upon putting myself in the OP's position, "I'm afraid that's not possible" just would never fly, and I've read a lot of posts where people give this advise and it's obviously not an option for the OP.

Like I said, maybe it's just me.  :)

caranfin

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008, 10:51:36 PM »
It's not necessarily the phrase, it's the attitude behind the phrase. "I understand this is what you want, but it's not going to happen. I'm not going to argue and I don't have to give you my reasons. I'm just telling you it's not going to happen."
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Laura

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 11:28:12 PM »
Because I'm picky, I dislike this phrase because it's very often incorrect. Yes, it is possible. It may not be likely, probable, or realistic, but in most cases, it actually is possible. (Unless it truly is impossible.)

But I'm just picky like that.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 11:31:27 PM by Laura »

AprilRenee

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 11:30:40 PM »
I get that it's useful at time, but come on.  Every problem cannot be solved with "I'm afraid that's not possible." At least not in the real world.
People can invite whomever they want to their house.  Still, an "I'm afraid that won't be possible" hardly seems sufficient when you want to exclude a sibling or someone's BF, or not invite a relatives kid, or invite one friend and not the other or whatever.  It sounds good on paper, but it's just not always realistic.  There's always at least one such response when a poster has a problem, and I think it's dismissive and disrespectful to the op.  Obviously if "I'm afraid that won't be possible" were a valid option, the OP wouldn't be posting. 
Same with "my house, my rules."  The OP's are trying to come up with a solution that does not boil down to "it's my house, so you have to do whatever I say, if you don't want to, then just leave."  To me that's just childish and selfish. 
I'm also quite alarmed at how dismissive people are to their own families.  I understand that not everyone is as lucky as I, and some other posters, are in the family dept, but it makes me wonder who the toxic people really are sometimes. 

Your last line really got to me. To not want to deal wtih a certain family member, or to not want a certain someone in your house does NOT make a person toxic... Most posts have a whole backstory that would be too long to go into, or maybe the person doesn't feel the entire back story is needed for thier question..no one knows but the OP. To insinuate that they are toxic is dismissive and rather rude to the OP, IMO.

artk2002

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 11:53:28 PM »
I find it very useful.  To me, the point of the phrase is to teach people how to say 'no' and not get into a negotiating session.  We've all been there -- we say 'no' to someone and then give a reason and then the negotiating starts.  For every reason, the requestor has an answer.  That's futile.  Saying "that won't be possible" is the end of the discussion.

I'm sure that most of us would prefer to give reasons for our refusals, but that can backfire. In those situations, "it won't be possible" is the way to go.

I'm sorry that you feel people are dismissive of their families.  Perhaps you've been fortunate, where others haven't.  Many of us must have boundaries with our families or they'd possess our lives; your family may have natural boundaries that they respect.  Not everyone is like that, sadly.
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Balletmom

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2008, 02:07:45 PM »
I agree it is not the phrase I would use for reasonable requests or even unreasonable ones the first or second time they're asked.

I would reserve this for work related type requests or business transactions--although I usually use my own variation, "I'm sorry, I/we can't do that."

However, when someone is asking something for the bazillionth time, and not really listening to the answers, I think that it would be perfectly appropriate.


CreteGirl

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2008, 02:25:42 PM »
I agree that it is not a one size fits all phrase.  It is good to use on people who won't accept no for an answer, but I would not pull it out the first time someone made a request of me.  Often a softer approach works better when it is said to someone who you have an ongoing relationship with.

Aeris

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2008, 03:38:24 PM »
I think it can be very useful, particularly in dealing with people who seem not to be able to be reasoned with, and for whom polite normal responses get no result...

...that being said, I do think it is terribly overused. I find it a completely inappropriate response when someone is having an issue with someone who may very well be open to reason and normal polite responses, but the OP just doesn't know how to bring it up, or how to phrase it to avoid hurt feelings, etc. Sometimes OP *could* pull out the big guns and say, essentially "because I said so", but it's sometimes 1) not necessary - and if it's not necessary, it does seem cold and sometimes 2) hurtful - and if the OP is searching for a 'how do I deal with this in a way that DOESN'T damage our friendship' solution, this probably isn't it.

The phrase is fantastic when it is necessary. Our challenge, I think, is really contemplating where the line of necessity is.

Twik

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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2008, 09:22:10 PM »
auntmeegs, are you a little uncomfortable with the concept of non-negotiation? Because sometimes you just need to not do something. And this phrase is intended for those times. It's not that you won't do it because of X, or until Y happens - you just won't do it.
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Re: Is it just me, or is anyone else a bit tired of this phrase?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2008, 10:35:31 PM »
While it's true that this line wouldn't be appropriate if, say, someone close to you was making a perfectly reasonable request (either inherently reasonable, or made reasonable due to their being in a difficult situation for reasons outside of their control), I've never seen this board recommend it for situations like that.  (that doesn't mean it doesn't happen; I'd be interested in a specific example on where you feel it's been used inappropriately.)  But the threads I've seen, it's been recommended in what seemed to me an appropriate way-- usually when, after a more gentle "no", a less-than-reasonable request is repeated with greater insistence rather than dropped.

(And i have to agree with AprilRenee-- While it may not have been intended as such, that last line of the OP felt unnecessarily snide, condescending, and dismissive to me, as well)