Author Topic: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement  (Read 4899 times)

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SeaSprite

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Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« on: April 30, 2011, 03:05:57 AM »
How do you pull off the complete silence if you have a person that takes silence to mean you agree with them in person/email/etc.?

In person to avoid this do you adopt an icy cold stare?

Tonight I got an email from my sil. I love her to death and she is-at least I thought she was-worth her weight in platinum. The email she forwarded shocked me to pieces. In the 20 years I have known her I have never seen/heard her be so very racist. Dh's uncle is a different nationality and a well respected member of the family. So this just floored me. I don't want her thinking I agree with it, but I don't want to encourage any more being sent.
I caved....

MsMarjorie

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 05:05:58 AM »
Perhaps you could ask her if her account got hacked (which may actually be a possibility) because you can't imagine that she would send such an awful email?

Giggity

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 09:12:05 AM »
I would go with a variant of MsMarjorie's suggestion. I'd send the e-mail back to her, with a note on top: "Hey Sis, just thought you might want to know it looks like you've been hacked. I just got this and WOW. Might want to change your password."
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O'Dell

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 09:34:04 AM »
I use silence a lot. It helps to make the silence uncomfortable, so yes an icy stare helps. As does being kinda' mean looking like me. ;P With people who assume silence means agreement, you really need to say something. Usually the thing that pops out of my mouth is "I don't want to hear/receive jokes like that". I'm not accusing the other person of anything, just making my preferences known.

I like the PP's way of handling this case, if you think that will work. Otherwise, I'd send back, "I don't like jokes like this. Please don't send them to me. Thanks."
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missmolly

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 09:47:20 AM »
I like MsMarjorie's suggestion. It's your way of telling her that what she's said doesn't fly with her without directly calling her out.
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kokopellimom

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 10:26:21 AM »
I would go with a variant of MsMarjorie's suggestion. I'd send the e-mail back to her, with a note on top: "Hey Sis, just thought you might want to know it looks like you've been hacked. I just got this and WOW. Might want to change your password."

POD. This gives her a way to save face. It might even possibly be true.

Animala

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2011, 12:32:52 PM »
If silence will be taken as assent then I will disagree.  I like the idea of sending her a message about being hacked.  If she does come back with saying that she sent it on purpose I would probably send back something along the lines of

"I see.  I had no idea you found racism funny.  Please don't email me again."

Nurvingiel

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 12:48:57 PM »
Perhaps you could ask her if her account got hacked (which may actually be a possibility) because you can't imagine that she would send such an awful email?
Given your description in the original post, I agree with this. Your awesome SIL could have a virus or something.

Generally speaking, if I care that the person knows I disagree with them, I tell them. If I don't care, I go with silence.
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Ms_Shell

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 12:59:40 PM »
I agree with MsMarjorie.  There's time for icy glares and such later on if it turns out she actually sent the email, but I'd want to verify it first.  Especially since you said that this seems really out of character for her. 
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Lisbeth

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 12:59:46 PM »
If silence will be taken as assent then I will disagree.  I like the idea of sending her a message about being hacked.  If she does come back with saying that she sent it on purpose I would probably send back something along the lines of

"I see.  I had no idea you found racism funny.  Please don't email me again."

I like this course of action.  It gives her an out, and if she doesn't take it, you can then express how you feel politely.
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toontownnutter

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2011, 06:58:06 AM »
Yeah sometimes you've gotta make it clear you don't agree. Especially in this case if she often emails you funny jokes and you just have a chuckle to yourself and don't email her back saying that was funny.

My friend's husband works with a complainer and he quickly realised he had to outright tell her he didn't agree otherwise she'd be complaining to someone else and say "he agrees with me" and point to my friend's husband. He didn't agree at all he just doesn't like conflict so kept silent when he didn't agree with what she said and even when he did agree with what she said he still didn't voice his agreement.

Itza

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2011, 08:19:20 AM »
Yeah, in my effort to avoid conflict (dragged into an arena for debate), I felt like I was giving tacit approval for my former friend to continue saying the vile things she was saying. It really didnít feel very nice causing myself internal conflict to avoid external conflict with her. I still didnít truly speak up and now the friendships over (siggy blog link).




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JocelynCS

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Re: Etiquette vs Silence being thought of as agreement
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 04:00:31 PM »
When something crosses the line into bigotry and the like, I will generally call the person out if it's a friend or relative.  One of my aunts once reposted (inadvertantly) one of those "clever" death wishes to our President - I coolly inquired as to whether she really meant it, and she realized what it actually meant, apologized, and took it down.  A cousin reposted something rather crude about a particular religion, and I pointed out how insulted he would be if someone made such a display about his faith.  He didn't get it, but at least there was no doubt that some of his family did NOT consider it okay.

When it comes to bigotry or advocating violence, I think complete silence is not enough.