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  • December 14, 2017, 02:14:55 AM

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Author Topic: A birthday message-when you and the birthday person aren't on speaking terms  (Read 14504 times)

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Lisbeth

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As I've posted previously, my brother and I are not currently speaking to each other and haven't been for several months, since I hung up on him when he got really snarky and mean-spirited during a telephone conversation.  That perhaps was not the best way to end it, but I'd asked him to knock off the snark and he refused.

Since then I've tried to be the bigger person and make contact a few times, but he never responded with anything but the silent treatment.  My mother told me that he'd told her that he would call me several weeks ago, but he has yet to make any contact with me other than a mass E-mail he sent to several people.

His birthday is on Monday.  I am not sure I want to make contact with him again.  He has spurned all my previous attempts at contact; on the other hand, if I don't post a happy birthday wish on Facebook at least, the absence of any greeting will probably be noticed.  I don't want to explain the situation. Even my parents don't know all the details-and they've decided to stay out of it, which is a different course of action for them.  They usually want us to kiss (virtually if not actually) and make up.  But after his snark plus months of the silent treatment, I've gotten used to his not being in my life.  

My family generally does not offer apologies-they always want to go back to business as usual without having to accept responsibility for the hurtful things they do-and when they do, they negate it with "Maybe I was wrong" and/or "It was your fault-you're too sensitive" kinds of comments.  So I have no expectation that my brother will apologize to me-and I'm not sure I even want to accept an apology from him, knowing that he very well may do this again.

I'm seriously tempted to just ignore him, given that I don't think I'll get anything positive in return for any gesture I make.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 12:05:13 PM by Lisbeth »
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Nurvingiel

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In that case, don't send him a birthday message. Nothing in your post indicates you should do anything for his birthday, or that you even want to. Carry on ignoring him.

Now, if you did want to reopen communication with him his birthday would be a good opportunity, but it seems to me like you don't.

:)
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Lisbeth

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In that case, don't send him a birthday message. Nothing in your post indicates you should do anything for his birthday, or that you even want to. Carry on ignoring him.

Now, if you did want to reopen communication with him his birthday would be a good opportunity, but it seems to me like you don't.

:)

Well, I'm open to receiving communication from him-but I'm not open to continuing to be ignored or treated with nastiness again.  The ball has been in his court for some time now and he has chosen not to swing at it.  So I don't know.  There was another time about seven years ago when we weren't speaking around the time of his birthday and I sent him a birthday card with a note letting him know that I didn't appreciate how he had treated me (that was an occasion where he sent me an E-mail full of profanity and rudeness, and I chose not to respond to it, and our parents pressured us to "kiss and make up").  He started speaking to me again after that, but he never apologized.  I don't think he ever will this time either.

I think I'll just keep ignoring him.  If someone asks questions, I'll just respond, "I'm not under the impression that he would appreciate it in the spirit it would be offered."
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Nurvingiel

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I think I'll just keep ignoring him.  If someone asks questions, I'll just respond, "I'm not under the impression that he would appreciate it in the spirit it would be offered."
I think this is perfect, especially if your parents pressure you to kiss and make up again.
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Snewt

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If someone asks questions, I would say "I have it under control!" and then bean dip.  I think that telling a stranger about your brother not wanting to hear from you puts them in an awkward position.

Bob Ducca

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Hmm... that's a tough one.  I think if you're not speaking, you're not speaking, and offering birthday wishes just for show would make it appear that you are prepared to move on without an apology from him, which it sounds like you're not ready to do.

I doubt this would raise anyone's eyebrows except your parents'.  If they were to question you, I would say something like, "I sent my good wishes to him privately."  The fact that "privately" means "in my head" and "good wishes" means "wish that he would grow up and learn to apologize when he's done something wrong" isn't their business; it conveys what it needs to.  Further inquiries could be met with, "Brother and I are adults and can handle our relationship on our own."

Sorry your brother and family are treating you this way.

Scritzy

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Sounds to me as if you are in between the devil and the deep. Either you ignore his birthday and possibly get slammed for that, or you post a birthday greeting and give the impression that what he did to you was okay.

I guess you just decide which is the least painful option.

Hugs and Coke.
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Lisbeth

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I think the least painful option will be possibly getting slammed for not posting birthday greetings on his Facebook wall (or elsewhere).

My brother has my contact information-he can reach me any time he wants.  I'm not in the mood to run the risk of any more silent treatment-my personal dignity and self-respect won't allow for it.

Thanks for the hugs, Coke, and sympathy-even though this isn't in the I Need A Hug! folder.  I appreciate your support.
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The703

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Lisbeth - I think you are doing the right thing by not wishing a happy birthday. It doesn't seem like he would respond anyway and like you said the ball is and has been in his court. Why reward bad behavior? I do think the silent treatment is bad behavior in some instances. FWIW, my mom used to do this to me an awful lot. Get angry about something and not tell me she was angry ( I know you didn't do this) and then she wouldn't talk to me for months. I finally got sick of it and stopped engaging her.

Dindrane

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For what it's worth, if I happened to notice that someone I know had not said anything on Facebook for a sibling's birthday, my first assumption would be that they sent their well-wishes in a different way.

And that's assuming I even noticed in the first place.  Except for my immediate family (siblings, parents, siblings-in-law, parents-in-law), I do not know offhand when people's birthdays are.  And except for that same group, I don't track what they say on Facebook enough to be sure I haven't missed a wall post here or there (particularly if it's a post on a non-friend's wall).

I think your reasoning for not reaching out to your brother is quite sound -- it doesn't sound like you've put up any roadblocks to his reaching out to you, or as though you'd have much to gain by reaching out yourself.


boxy

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Are we twins?  I am in the SAME position you are with my sister - we haven't spoken since last August when we had a fight. My parents act the same way as yours - just ignore problems and they'll work out, never apologize or 'own' your share things.  My sister's birthday was in September, so I sent her a card, no response.  I tried calling her, nothing.  Over the next few months I tried emailing and texting, nothing.  DH also tried texting, nothing.  We are in full blown silent treatment.

At this point, while I'm glad I sent my sis the birthday card and made attempts to contact her, I feel the ball is in her court.  It saddens me that she's giving me the silent treatment because it's so infantile, however, I can't control her and how she chooses to "punish" me.  (She is very self centered.  She rarely asks how my family is doing or shows interest in anything outside herself.  Even after DH's recent heart attack she hasn't made any attempt to contact us to find out if he's okay.)

All I can recommend is to take the high road because then you'll know that you've acted like an adult.  You won't have to apologize someday for behaving like an adolescent. 

auntmeegs

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Yeah, it's really hard when your ovetures of appology and attempted reconciliation are ignored.  May try one last time and send a card or email or call?  Then you can really know that you tried.  Bonus is that when your parents comment about it you have evidence that you tried to patch things up but brother was completely unresponsive, what else can you do?  Double bonus would be that you're brother would actually respond and you guys would really make up. 

Snooks

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I've got the opposite problem, someone who's upset me and I have no intention of speaking to sending birthday messages.  You can't really turn around and say "I'm not talking to you" because you sound like a 5 year old (no offence to 5 year olds).  All combinations seem to be a sticky situation.

Lisbeth

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Well, I did post on his Facebook wall and sent an E-mail.  I am not going to call him though.
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Lisbeth

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He responded to everyone else's greeting on his wall with a personal message-he just "liked" mine.
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