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Do you contradict people's "facts" in public settings? - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by treegardner View Post
If it's a safety issue or something that would seriously undermine a mom's ability to be successful at something she is striving for (natural childbirth, breastfeeding, etc.) then I speak up.
This. I spoke up when my BIL told my SIL that she was feeding her 2 week old too much, and picking her up too much. I couldn't let that one go.
post #22 of 34
It depends on what it's about. Actually, I've been in a similar situation and almost started a post once that I was going to call "how much do you bite your tongue to keep the peace with mainstream parents?".

For me, part of it depends on if it's something that is past and I can't do much or anything about, or if it's something that is happening at the moment. For example, one issue I let go was extended rear-facing when I heard one of the moms say she forward faced her daughter at 10mo. Now, I know ERF is so much safer, but I also knew from an earlier conversation that I was the only one to still have DS RFing at 14mo, and was unlikely to easily convince anyone so I just mentioned something about RFing being safer but just left it at that.

OTOH, one issue I couldn't let go was one of the other moms admitting to basically co-sleeping and the "vocal" mom declaring that "You can't do that, he'll never leave your bed!" etc. Now, co-sleeping is one of the few "crunchy" things we don't do, but I do agree with it in principle. And this poor mom was getting verbally run-over! So I spoke up then just to support the other mom. After all, I certainly know what it feels like to be the unsupported, "weird" one!
post #23 of 34
Does menial laughter count as speaking up? Unless she is forcing someone to do something they didn't want to do. Like if a kid starts crying over something and she hold the mom down saying "They need to cry it's good for them" or other such nonsence.
I guess if a a more timid mother is feeling like this woman is overbearing I would say something. I would say something even if I totally disagreed with the timid woman. Like if a milk-crusader was making her feel bad about FF, I would support her even tho personally I disagree with her decision.
I don't know if this woman is badgering other women, or if she is just noisy
post #24 of 34
I don't, as a general rule. Good manners and all that. If others in the group are ignorant of the facts, then if I were to speak up, it would just seem like a "she said - she said" situation and I would look argumentative. If I were close with others that were there, I might say something in private with them. But, no, not in public.
post #25 of 34
If the misinformation is dangerous, then I might speak up. More likely, though, is that I would avoid people like the one you mention.

In my developmental psych class, some woman sitting a row over from me mentioned that "letting" babies stand up and try to walk "too early" will make them bow-legged. I had no words. I ignored it. She is so....not smart....in so many ways, anyway.
post #26 of 34
I have a hard time not correcting someone if they are touting something as fact that I know is wrong. I do bite my tongue if needed in a workplace setting for example, but in the setting the OP described, I would likely speak up. I try to be as diplomatic as possible, but misinformation is more dangerous than folks think, especially to new mothers who are often doubting themselves.
post #27 of 34
Tigerchild really got me thinking with her comments about Alpha behavior. It lead to me having a really long conversation with my husband about this topic.

It's kind of interesting to me that this thread is devolving into an examination of social mores. Many groups seem to find any conflict at all to be problematic and to be avoided at all costs--even misinformation. I have grown up around computer geeks and geek culture. Arguing is not only ok, it is demanded. Someone spreading misinformation is nearly a sin. Opinions are argued hotly and constantly--at least among the geek crowds I have always known. The women I know who spend their time primarily in geek crowds (which are primarily male) tend to say frequently, "I just don't get along with women." This thread is illustrating that to me in interesting ways.

I have Alpha tendencies, but I am completely uninterested in being the Alpha of a group. I'm bossy and pushy and I will ensure that things get done--until someone a bit more bossy/pushy/knowledgeable shows up and then I move to the back of the bus with a smile on my face. I have no investment in being right all the time. However, when I'm right I'm right and I'm not going to back down on this. The way this thread has focused on "I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable..." is really showing me why I suck so much at being around mommy groups and why I am giving up almost entirely on real-time interactions with groups focused on parenting. I'm not interested in avoiding conflict in the name of group building. If the group needs me to shut up and listen to stupid crap to be part of the group then I don't want to be part of the group. I am thrilled if someone can argue a point of data with me--using research, of course. I am not interested in, "Well my cousin says" because unless your cousin is the lead researcher on some project I probably don't care.

This thread has lead me to some really interesting conversations with folks in my life about social hierarchy and conflict and that's really awesome for me.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
Tigerchild really got me thinking with her comments about Alpha behavior. It lead to me having a really long conversation with my husband about this topic.

It's kind of interesting to me that this thread is devolving into an examination of social mores. Many groups seem to find any conflict at all to be problematic and to be avoided at all costs--even misinformation. I have grown up around computer geeks and geek culture. Arguing is not only ok, it is demanded. Someone spreading misinformation is nearly a sin. Opinions are argued hotly and constantly--at least among the geek crowds I have always known. The women I know who spend their time primarily in geek crowds (which are primarily male) tend to say frequently, "I just don't get along with women." This thread is illustrating that to me in interesting ways.

I have Alpha tendencies, but I am completely uninterested in being the Alpha of a group. I'm bossy and pushy and I will ensure that things get done--until someone a bit more bossy/pushy/knowledgeable shows up and then I move to the back of the bus with a smile on my face. I have no investment in being right all the time. However, when I'm right I'm right and I'm not going to back down on this. The way this thread has focused on "I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable..." is really showing me why I suck so much at being around mommy groups and why I am giving up almost entirely on real-time interactions with groups focused on parenting. I'm not interested in avoiding conflict in the name of group building. If the group needs me to shut up and listen to stupid crap to be part of the group then I don't want to be part of the group. I am thrilled if someone can argue a point of data with me--using research, of course. I am not interested in, "Well my cousin says" because unless your cousin is the lead researcher on some project I probably don't care.

This thread has lead me to some really interesting conversations with folks in my life about social hierarchy and conflict and that's really awesome for me.
A lot of this rings true for me too. I shudder at the thought of playing dumb or acting like I just happened to "stumble" upon the correct information -- what's wrong with being well informed and having sought out the research on a topic? I guess it makes other people more comfortable if it's presented more meekly, but somehow I can't bring myself to do that so I either bite my tongue if it's a minor issue or speak up with hard facts if it's something I see as important. It probably can be seen as abrasive or annoying, and as I said before it really is something I'm working on about myself, but I don't think I'll ever be able to go all the way to the "playing dumb" side of the spectrum. I could do the "what works for me" or "from what I've read" thing, but that's about it.
post #29 of 34
To be clear, I don't "play dumb". I just choose the most effective method of getting my point about IF I care about the misinformation (and to be honest, most of the time, I do not. If someone is so weak that they can't decide for themselves and are going to be swayed by the loudest voice in the room, at least for that moment, then frankly they're going to be just as swayed at the next loud voice.). Most of the time, when my inclination is to debate without invitation, it's because I'm spoiling for a fight. And let's face it, someone spouting off ignorant, unsolicited advice is an EASY fight. Junk food.

I am unapologetic for both my alpha tendancies and my love of verbal fencing. That's who I am. However, because I have a strong personality, I feel a sense of...well, I don't know if "honor" is the best word for it but it's the closest thing I can come up with, anyway...I feel honor-bound to be compassionate to those around me, even though it's annoying as hell. I may be very bullheaded, but even I can tell that in general at most acquaintance mommy groups, people really don't want to turn them in to Fight Club. I have no reason to impose my love of a good argument on them because I have other alpha or debate fiend friends who love to wrestle with me and we can get down and dirty without fear. If I choose to go to this sort of event, where I know that debate is not socially appropriate, then I am CHOOSING to obey the social cues so that I can be a gracious guest. It's etiquette, not intelligence. Just because people feel uncomfortable with parenting conflict in a group that's just there to have a playdate or whatever doesn't mean that they're stupid.

IME people respond best when you approach them in a sensitive manner. For most people, that's not going to be arguing with some other person in order to win their soul. The target is going to think you're both asshats, and it's likely that s/he is right.

So why look at it as dumbing down? I see it as choosing the most effective way to get your point across, with minimal asshattery. Let the ignorant person wear that label, while you get to be the discreet and correct one. ;>
post #30 of 34
Sometimes I do say something. I usually start with something like "Of course, every family has to find what's right for them. For us, we ......"
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
To be clear, I don't "play dumb". I just choose the most effective method of getting my point about IF I care about the misinformation (and to be honest, most of the time, I do not. If someone is so weak that they can't decide for themselves and are going to be swayed by the loudest voice in the room, at least for that moment, then frankly they're going to be just as swayed at the next loud voice.). Most of the time, when my inclination is to debate without invitation, it's because I'm spoiling for a fight. And let's face it, someone spouting off ignorant, unsolicited advice is an EASY fight. Junk food.

I am unapologetic for both my alpha tendancies and my love of verbal fencing. That's who I am. However, because I have a strong personality, I feel a sense of...well, I don't know if "honor" is the best word for it but it's the closest thing I can come up with, anyway...I feel honor-bound to be compassionate to those around me, even though it's annoying as hell. I may be very bullheaded, but even I can tell that in general at most acquaintance mommy groups, people really don't want to turn them in to Fight Club. I have no reason to impose my love of a good argument on them because I have other alpha or debate fiend friends who love to wrestle with me and we can get down and dirty without fear. If I choose to go to this sort of event, where I know that debate is not socially appropriate, then I am CHOOSING to obey the social cues so that I can be a gracious guest. It's etiquette, not intelligence. Just because people feel uncomfortable with parenting conflict in a group that's just there to have a playdate or whatever doesn't mean that they're stupid.

IME people respond best when you approach them in a sensitive manner. For most people, that's not going to be arguing with some other person in order to win their soul. The target is going to think you're both asshats, and it's likely that s/he is right.

So why look at it as dumbing down? I see it as choosing the most effective way to get your point across, with minimal asshattery. Let the ignorant person wear that label, while you get to be the discreet and correct one. ;>
I didn't say dumbing down. I said shut up and listen to stupid crap.

I think that part of what is going on here is a difference in priorities. I don't feel comfortable in groups where consensus/lack of conflict is a priority. It's a result of a wide variety of influences in my life. Does that mean that other people are stupid because they want to be part of groups where consensus/lack of conflict is a priority? Of course not! It means that there are things that other people get from that kind of group interaction that I don't get, and that's ok.

I didn't say my last bit because I was trying to attack anyone. I said it because it was a neat realization for me and given that it seems to be true for a number of my female friends (I asked around this morning) it might be true for other people. I think it is important that women in general hear that it is ok to not be anti-conflict and that not all women believe that group consensus should always be the main focus. I think there is plenty of agreement in this thread that a great many women think that I/my behavior is rude. It's ok that people who are more on my side of the fence see that they aren't alone too. I'm not actually trying to convert anyone. Just furthering the conversation.
post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 
Tigerchild, my last post wasn't directed at anything you said. Some other posters specifically said that they "play the ditz" or act like they just "stumbled" upon information. I was just saying that there are ways to dispense information in a sensitive, social-mores-obeying manner without doing those things.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
If it's something that I think people might believe, then I speak up. If I can tell that everyone else is thinking "really? You believe that?" then I don't bother.
:

And I might not phrase it as "you're wrong", but rather treat it like they were sharing a old wives' tale (even if they're obviously serious) "I know, isn't it freaky that they used to believe that?? My granny told me they were told to give babies ORANGE JUICE at 4 weeks? Man, some crazy crazy advice back in the day, no wonder dad gets ulcers. "

This thread makes me think of this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0...07.html#s79612
post #34 of 34
For me, it definitely varies depending on the situation. Often, a smile or laugh goes a long way in taking the sting out of correction. With my MIL, for example, I usually say 'you're joking right? hahaha! I know you know better than that!' (when she wanted to take six-weeek-old DS in the car without his car seat ) or *smile* 'actually, it's more common these days to ___ now that we know more about ___' (when she found out that we didn't circ.)

When I was pregnant and working, my two managers were always mainstream and usually downright wrong regarding labor and birth. If I'd been the only one pregnant I would probably have let it go, but I wasn't, plus there were several other impressionable girls. So their 'when is your doctor going to induce you?' type questions would get an immediate 'why-that-is-NOT-GOING-TO-HAPPEN' lecture.

In a group like the OP described, I'd probably say something. For one thing, a mild, polite contradiction or disagreement is not going to ruin the afternoon or the playgroup. Anyone listening who is not knowledgeable about the topic will get the benefit of knowing that there's more than one opinion on the matter. For another, why does she get to be the expert? If it's always the same person, I'd want to deflate her ego just a bit-- maybe not by starting a withering, fact-filled debate but by at least piping up and saying "I don't think that's true!"
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