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Thread: Talk about your troubles

  1. #10791
    FORT Fogey Debb70's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    I used to write a little poetry. I would normally do it when I was feeling sad and after a lover breakup. I guess it was like therapy. Whenever I run across any of the poetry now and read it, I crack up! Some of it is so funny! I was quite a little firecracker and so dramatic.

  2. #10792
    FORT Fogey KatesMom's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by prhoshay View Post
    Probably, the sooner the better. Why should you be concerned about the feelings of somebody who is not concerned about your feelings? You cannot predict/control the response you will get, but you just might get some enlightenment and learn a few things, which is always good, if you ask me.

    I'm one of those "lay it on the line" kind of people. It's not fair to expect other people to fight your battles for you....especially if you like the person to whom you are venting!
    I wish I could like the bolded a thousand times!! I used to stress about offending or upsetting people so often. Then someone basically pointed out to me that why should I be concerned when they obviously weren't. And here's the reality - if they are good friends and are just clueless, they will be so upset to realize they may have caused your parents' stress and will ask what they can do to make things better. If they really are people who are just taking advantage of your parents - then they will become morally offended that you could even suggest they were doing this. And then you will have your answer. And if it is the latter, are they really friends that are worth keeping around anyway?

  3. #10793
    FORT Fogey KatesMom's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I think it's healthy to vent a bit and get out your feelings. It helps you sort out how you feel and sometimes having someone to talk to who ISN'T directly involved can help you to figure out how to handle it. The thing that's frustrating for the person who's listening is when the one venting never does anything to change the situation. At a certain point - and this is when the situation actually can be addressed in some way and probably improved - I don't want to hear it any more. I think some people just enjoy complaining about things....and if someone solved all of their problems, they'd find new ones to complain about!

    I worked with a woman who did nothing but complain all summer about how they didn't have air conditioning in their house and how awful it was - we get triple digit temps, sometimes for weeks at a time here. Then, a co-worker offered her an air conditioner (used, but still working just fine) AND offered to come install it for her, but she balked and made some excuse about her landlord. She didn't even ASK the landlord. Like her landlord would have said no to something that would improve the property and that he didn't have to pay for. Of course, she kept on complaining about the heat. I stopped listening, because I just had no sympathy after that.
    Boy, I wish I could like this one over and over too! So true. I am one who is likely to listen once or twice. And then I have point blank said to people "this is not a discussion to have with me. Either talk to the person you are bitching about and deal with it, or stop talking about it. It doesn't involve me."

  4. #10794
    FORT Fogey Debb70's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Confronting an issue with people is almost impossible for some people to do. I can understand it, but I learned long ago to think of the fair and right thing to do. And by fair, I mean fair to ME. Why should I be the unhappy person in the situation? I shouldn't, so I say, if someone is going to be miserable, then better it be THEM, not me. I have explained this to my parents before, but it doesn't make sense to them. My dad is getting a little better as he ages in this regard, but not my mom.

    We are going to discuss the matter this weekend and then I will make my decison.

    I know what the guests would say. (OH, they consist of both family members and family friends.) They would be shocked that what they do is a problem and deny that it is a problem. They would blame me and say that I am making it up and causing a stink in the family, no matter how much they may know on the inside it is true. The big threat is that they might stop coming for a visit and that would break my parent's hearts. That is the real issue. That they might withhold their company completely, is too much of a risk for them to take.

  5. #10795
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    No disrespect intended....you can't be a doormat unless you lay down. You teach people how to treat you. Refuse to be blackmailed. Now, like you say, it's up to you to figure out your own path.
    "...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer

    When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, you know which one you hit by the one that yelps!

  6. #10796
    FORT Fogey Miss Scarlet's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Unfortunately when this type of behavior is being done to someone else, you can't always step in & lay it on the line. It has to come from the victim(s) or at least with their approval & support. We can't force others to stand up for themselves if they're not willing, and stepping in without their support often leaves the stepper-inner looking like the bad guy & trouble maker to all concerned, even the victim(s).

    My suggestion would be to have a frank talk with your parents & suggest that you're willing to be the one who speaks up & lays it on the line to the free loading imposers. All they have to do is back up your words after the fact, as in "Yes, she's right. We agree with her. It is a problem." If they are unwilling to go for this, your hands are tied. They are choosing to be victims, & short of being the family crazy lady & making them all resent you, you can't do a darned thing. And even then, they could decide to just let it still go on, & you'd be resented by all.

    I've been the crazy lady more than once & it did no good in the long run.
    "Some of us learn from other people's mistakes and the rest of us have to be other people."

  7. #10797
    Me and my shadow Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    If they aren't willing to let you speak up, I stick by my original suggestions of serving bland or vegetarian meals (get them a crockpot if they don't have one and always have an inexpensive, meatless soup going) or brainstorm with them other avoidance tactics. On days when they're not up for company, have one of them meet them at the door and say, "I'm coming down with something and I don't want to expose you to it." or "I'm not feeling well and I was just going to lie down for a little while... sorry." Or make a game of anticipating when they're coming and have the car keys ready so they catch you "just leaving to run errands". They wouldn't even have to actually leave. Just drive around the block and have a good laugh when they get home. They could still receive the company at their own convenience so as not to scare them off for good. I think a few times of the "guests" being turned away might make them rethink how often they are imposing. It's possible they think they're doing a good deed.
    Count your blessings!

  8. #10798
    I know, You know, Asteroids Champion, Alu`s Revenge Champion, Titans Champion, Little Protectors Champion spockwhat's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Debb70 View Post

    I know what the guests would say. (OH, they consist of both family members and family friends.) They would be shocked that what they do is a problem and deny that it is a problem. They would blame me and say that I am making it up and causing a stink in the family, no matter how much they may know on the inside it is true. The big threat is that they might stop coming for a visit and that would break my parent's hearts. That is the real issue. That they might withhold their company completely, is too much of a risk for them to take.
    Hi Debb70, I have to agree with prhoshay and Miss Scarlet here... your parents have to be on board.

    The bolded really concerns me. It's not even so much that the freeloaders would use blackmail (withholding their company)... it's that your parents would be so hurt by them not coming over anymore!.
    The freeloaders are using your parents, hurting them, and taking advantage of them. Choosing blackmail is even MORE hurtful. Personally, if they threatened to not come back, I'd be like fine. See ya later. Somehow, your parents need to see that this is NOT a healthy relationship. They need to see that they deserve better than that. They deserve far more than to be taken advantage of. I know many people have trouble saying no to family especially... blood being thicker than water in their minds, but it's ridiculous... that doesn't mean their vistors can act however they want.
    So, I guess I agree with others. Your most important talk is with your parents. They have to see that people who are willing to treat them like that aren't worth the time and energy... and sometimes it's simply good riddance to bad rubbish.
    My feeling is, even if the freeloaders threatened to not come back or 'punished' your parents by not coming around for a while... it won't last. They'll come around. And your parents will just get a nice break.

  9. #10799
    Never too old to Twinkle! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    I really appreciate the opportunity to read feedback from all of the folks here. It's good to get various points of view when considering a potentially stressful situation.

    Debb - can you get your parents to try to view this objectively? Ask them how much they used to spend on groceries before and how much they've been spending lately? Then suggest that they tell their guests that they LOVE seeing them, but ask them to bring food with them or "pitch in" to cover the costs of feeding them so often. If your parents are on a fixed income, there's no excuse for people increasing their expenses. If they can afford it and, as they say, they enjoy the company, your hands may indeed be tied.

    It does blow one's mind to see people act like that. I remember MANY years ago when I was a child, we got a freezer and stocked it with one of those meat plans where there was always a LOT of food available. All of a sudden, my aunt and uncle and their four kids invited themselves over every Sunday for dinner. One Sunday, my mother said, "We're getting rid of the freezer because we can't afford to keep the meat plan." No more Sunday guests. They weren't interested in family time or visiting. They were interested in freeloading.


  10. #10800
    Me and my shadow Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    I have known a lot of older people whose biggest problems were feeling isolated, so I can surely understand their concern that the "guests" might stop coming if they felt offended by being spoken to. I don't see it as the "guests" black mailing your parents, just reacting to confrontation. It is a real possibility, so your parents need to weigh things carefully. I still think a good compromise would be to think of inexpensive dishes they can have/make for the freeloaders... veggie soup in a crockpot: can of tomato soup, can of black beans, a couple of kinds of frozen veggies, and spices. Macaroni and cheese... mix a box of kiddie kind with a box of plain noodles and a little real cheese. Rice and beans. Chicken soup made from the carcass of a chicken cooked down in the crockpot with onions, carrots, and celery. You get the idea.
    Count your blessings!

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