General Etiquette > Family and Children

Spin off: Toxic relative meltdown

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pierrotlunaire0:
I didn't want to hijack Shatzie's thread (and BTW, Shatzie, I think you handled the situation very well), but a question did occur to me.

Toxic relative (let's say, grandmother) is notorious for having meltdowns at family gatherings.  Always has been, and if Toxic grandma has her way, always will be.  Other relatives who usually act as host/hostess know that Toxic Grandma will behave like this, but after a lifetime of trying to kowtow to Toxic Grandma, will always invite her to the party because they cannot say no to her.

But what if there is a guest of honor for the party, someone who would love to exclude Toxic Grandma from the guest list.  In Shatzie's case, she had just graduated.  But it could be for other reasons: wedding, funeral, baptism of one's child. 

Does the guest of honor have the right to say to the host/hostess, "Please, since this party is for me, please do not invite Toxic Grandma.  If this party is to celebrate my accomplishment, I do not want Toxic to ruin it with one of her famous tantrums?"

And if the guest of honor is not rude to request this, would it be okay for all situations, or would certain situations be exempt?  The reason I am asking this is because I was wondering about weddings,  They seem to be so important that excluding someone would be a major insult, and capable of tearing the entire family apart.

Lisbeth:
Well, the general rule is that the guest list is ultimately up to the host/ess, but I think that if one is hosting an occasion in honor of someone else, the honoree should get some input into the guest list.  Definitely toxic people should be left out.

Hawkwatcher:
If the point of an event is to honor an individual, than the host/hostess should consider the guest's wishes when sending out invitations.  The guest of honor has a right to request that toxic people not be invited.  This is especially true of weddings.  Hopefully, the guest of honor will only have one so the host/hostess should give the guest of honor's wishes full consideration. 

The problem is polite people don't comment on other people's guest list.  They are not going to thank the host/hostess for not inviting a toxic individual.   But they may appreciate attending an invent not marred by another person's bad behavior.  While some people might be upset, there is a good chance that most the guests will be grateful.

bellawitch:
Toxic grandma's actions are not appropiate for a 6 year old much less an adult. I think not being invited to a few events might be a good lesson to her.

A friend of mine had an Aunt and Uncle like this. Every Sunday there would be a family brunch, the A and U  could be up to an hour late because there was something good on TV. Grandma let them get away with this, since they were FAmmmmily. When Grandma passed there had been alot of resentment built up over the years, and with A and U tons of SS entitlements. The family flew apart. My friend said it would have been better had Auntie been confronted 20 years ago.

If someone has a habit of making family gathering a pain, then they need to be excluded.

Winterlight:
I think if the GoH wants toxic relatives left off the guest list, then they should be.

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