I can't handle attacks. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 06-28-2014, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't handle attacks.

Recently two moms who I am not close enough to attacked me saying I complain about everything. I really feel it was none of their business. It's not like I go to them for moral support. They asked me if I was going to a certain place and I said I wasn't because of XYZ reason. It totally sucks that they invade my space, without using any manners and complain to me about me complaining. Wtf? Well, now I don't know how to handle it. I will see them again around town and I feel like I don't want to talk to them again. I wish I didn't have to see them ever again, actually.

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#2 of 17 Old 06-29-2014, 05:32 AM
 
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it's hard sometimes to be on the receiving end of "personnal" comments ... not everybody is tactful !!!!
no solution to offer, sorry, just commiseration ....

+ just a reflexion i'm still "working on" relating to that subject .... when i complain about something, i really feel i need to be "heard" & "understood" IF i want to be able, in a further step, to "let go" ... so i find out that the more i'm put down or ignored, the more i feel the need to express myself about it since my need to be heard and understood has not be met ....
and then, when, usually much much later, i realise that i was eventually able to "let go " of the issue that was so bothering me ... i then wonder why it took me so much time, since i'm in such a different frame of mind THEN ... and yet, i haven't been able to put the finger right where i need to understand these middle steps that need to happen so i finish being in peace about the issue .... a work in progress ....
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#3 of 17 Old 06-30-2014, 07:20 PM
 
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It sounds like these women were setting you up so they could say something nasty. They sound like they aren't strong enough to have an opinion and are resentful that you are strong enough to actually have an opinion, but to speak up about it when asked. So you could:

A. Kill 'em with kindness. Yes, it's a bit passive aggressive, but I admit, I sometimes enjoy throwing people for a loop by acting in a way they don't know how to deal with. They meant to be mean and upset you. What are they going to think when they think that their words had no effect on you?

B. If they ask you something next time, tell them due to their reaction last time you offered an opinion, you have decided that you aren't willing to discuss it with them.

C. Let it go and realize that you are a stronger person to have real opinions and being able to express them clearly.

 
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#4 of 17 Old 07-01-2014, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow View Post
It sounds like these women were setting you up so they could say something nasty. They sound like they aren't strong enough to have an opinion and are resentful that you are strong enough to actually have an opinion, but to speak up about it when asked. So you could:

A. Kill 'em with kindness. Yes, it's a bit passive aggressive, but I admit, I sometimes enjoy throwing people for a loop by acting in a way they don't know how to deal with. They meant to be mean and upset you. What are they going to think when they think that their words had no effect on you?

B. If they ask you something next time, tell them due to their reaction last time you offered an opinion, you have decided that you aren't willing to discuss it with them.

C. Let it go and realize that you are a stronger person to have real opinions and being able to express them clearly.
I think I would do all three. Clearly, I would start with A. When the chance presented itself, I would use B. Finally, I would hope that I could get to the point in which C would occur. At that point, "A" would stop being "A" because it would become genuine. I still think B would be a reality because even if I was able to "let it go" I think I would learn from the past and avoid any situation that would cause it to start over again.

Amy

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#5 of 17 Old 07-02-2014, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies.

I like this: "What are they going to think when they think that their words had no effect on you?"

But, I find this conflicting with the above: "If they ask you something next time, tell them due to their reaction last time you offered an opinion, you have decided that you aren't willing to discuss it with them."

At the time I continued to behave like it hadn't bothered me and I actually even believed it. But later when I came home I was upset. One of these two people I was a little bit more closer to but still I never became friends with her; she's just not my type.

Maybe I am sensitive to it because when we fight dh says that and it just makes me believe that maybe I am a complainer.

Please help me with this if someone asks you something and you have an issue about the topic, should I tell the truth or just say a white lie to not look like I am Complaining.

Cheerfulness enables us to remember no problem lasts forever ~ Unknown
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#6 of 17 Old 07-02-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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I don't tell anyone but my immediate family my personal reasons for anything. I was taught that the best manners don't leave you open to criticism or seem to criticize/complain to others. I just say "no, thank you"and change the subject if it's something that I don't want to get involved with. There is no reason (or excuse) to lie about anything, just don't engage in conversing on topics that you feel might be critical of others. If these ladies are "not your type" then just be cordial and go on your merry way.
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#7 of 17 Old 07-02-2014, 11:06 AM
 
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Please help me with this if someone asks you something and you have an issue about the topic, should I tell the truth or just say a white lie to not look like I am Complaining.
In your situation, when the women asked if you were planning to go to the certain place, I would have just said something vague like, "No, we aren't planning to go" or, "No, it doesn't work for us today." Like the poster above, I don't tend to give reasons/explanations/excuses, especially to people I'm not close to.

I assume the moms who asked the question were going to the place they mentioned? Maybe the fact that you gave a negative opinion of the place put them on the defensive, since they like it enough to go.

We all have our trigger words that hit us in that personal sore spot. For my mom it's "moody," for my good friend it's "selfish," for me it's "perfectionist," and for you it's "complaining." Whether the person's intent is to hurt or not, those words will always trigger a big defensive reaction (even if just internally -- like you, I tend to act normal in the moment and then go home and get more and more upset about it).

I think a good start is just to realize that that's your trigger word, own that there's probably some truth to it (or it wouldn't hurt so much to hear), and be aware in the future of when you might start coming across that way. It's really hard! I've caught myself sooooo many times over the last few years starting to fly my "know-it-all, perfectionist" flag, but since I've become aware of it, I try to rein it in when appropriate. And of course I slip up sometimes, because that's (unfortunately) part of who I am. But I think some self-awareness about it definitely helps temper it.
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#8 of 17 Old 07-02-2014, 07:45 PM
 
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Thank you for the replies.

I like this: "What are they going to think when they think that their words had no effect on you?"

But, I find this conflicting with the above: "If they ask you something next time, tell them due to their reaction last time you offered an opinion, you have decided that you aren't willing to discuss it with them."

At the time I continued to behave like it hadn't bothered me and I actually even believed it. But later when I came home I was upset. One of these two people I was a little bit more closer to but still I never became friends with her; she's just not my type.

Maybe I am sensitive to it because when we fight dh says that and it just makes me believe that maybe I am a complainer.

Please help me with this if someone asks you something and you have an issue about the topic, should I tell the truth or just say a white lie to not look like I am Complaining.
Yup! I think they are conflicting as well. That's why I listed them as 2 different options.

 
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#9 of 17 Old 07-02-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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i like this from pumabearclan ...
There is no reason (or excuse) to lie about anything, just don't engage in conversing on topics that you feel might be critical of others.

not that i'm yet able to do it, but i can see how much "safer" it would make interactions between people who have so different views ...

it reminds me of the so very "soft" comment of one of my sisters who just said once, "in your place, i would'nt have made that choice ..." when other would have probably been much more critical of my actions ... & but then i didn't take her comment badly at all, it helped me think & i found it constructive and i didn't feel attacked .... these two moms probably felt "attacked"in some ways when hearing that what they had selected to do ... wasn't quite "good enough" for you (whatever were your reasons not to go)

i wonder now why i felt the urge to discuss this topic ... i 've had instances in my life when i DID complain, in various settings, to some professional people (a pediatrician in a maternity, a psychologist in a creche who made a comment on my long term breasfeeding ....) and at that time nothing could have made me NOT speak up because i just NEEDED to feel that my right to say that the situation wasn't right had to be respected ...

it depends how much is at stake i suppose ... and in every day issues, about minor topics, it makes for an easier life "not to make waves" and not to appear critical of others (who then might react badly in reaction to them feeling they have been criticised ...)
does this make sense ? it's late, i feel i'm rambling a bit !!!
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#10 of 17 Old 07-04-2014, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was taught that the best manners don't leave you open to criticism or seem to criticize/complain to others.
Sorry I don't get this.

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#11 of 17 Old 07-04-2014, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In your situation, when the women asked if you were planning to go to the certain place, I would have just said something vague like, "No, we aren't planning to go" or, "No, it doesn't work for us today." Like the poster above, I don't tend to give reasons/explanations/excuses, especially to people I'm not close to.

I assume the moms who asked the question were going to the place they mentioned? Maybe the fact that you gave a negative opinion of the place put them on the defensive, since they like it enough to go.

We all have our trigger words that hit us in that personal sore spot. For my mom it's "moody," for my good friend it's "selfish," for me it's "perfectionist," and for you it's "complaining." Whether the person's intent is to hurt or not, those words will always trigger a big defensive reaction (even if just internally -- like you, I tend to act normal in the moment and then go home and get more and more upset about it).

I think a good start is just to realize that that's your trigger word, own that there's probably some truth to it (or it wouldn't hurt so much to hear), and be aware in the future of when you might start coming across that way. It's really hard! I've caught myself sooooo many times over the last few years starting to fly my "know-it-all, perfectionist" flag, but since I've become aware of it, I try to rein it in when appropriate. And of course I slip up sometimes, because that's (unfortunately) part of who I am. But I think some self-awareness about it definitely helps temper it.

Thanks. In fact I assumed she had absolutely no interest in going to the place. I was asked if I was going to watch a girly animation film being shown out in the open. And dd has a huge problem with mosquitoes; she'll get big huge swellings. (I don't know if it's because we always buy the All Natural repellents but inspite of coating ourselves with it thoroughly we get bitten.) When this person, let's say A, asked me, B was distracted and hadn't heard our conversation. Person A has a boy and I assumed she has no interest. But in fact her ds likes the movie. B joined in at the point that she said I complain and happily agreed with her not knowing what the topic was about. I had absolutely no intention of giving a negative opinion on purpose.

Well, I know every single mom, every single one, has a complaint or another, about the school, teachers, their kids, husbands, stores they shop in, it goes on and on... I hear nothing but complaints. Just saying.

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#12 of 17 Old 07-05-2014, 07:52 AM
 
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All we can do is work on our selves, right? I like to think that if some "friends" told me that they think I complain too much that I would think on that. Yes, I would be hurt and probably irritated. I would probably feel defensive and think of the ways that they complain too. It would occur to me that them complaining about my complaining was rather ironic and hypocritical.

Then I would ask myself if it DO complain too much. I would realize that I am grateful that they had the courage to tell me this to my face (rather than gossip behind my back, which I feel is much too common in our culture).

I do not like to be around people who are quick to point out the negative. I was just away for the week with a school principal who helped a bunch of teens focus on what they DO like because she had a growing concern for how young teens (specifically girls) go through a phase of identifying themselves by what they DON'T like. I tend to agree with her that this is an unfortunate way to go about living.

So, I think I would decide if there is any truth to this. If there is, I would consider the value of being a "complainer". I think that if you hear nothing but complaints that this may well be in part because of what you choose to communicate to others. I know that if I choose to focus on the negative that others will join me (for a time). The opposite is also true. If friends are pointing this out, I would at least consider looking at myself for my role in this.

BUT, if you look at yourself and decide that, no, they are wrong and you have a good balance of perspectives, I think you should set them free to their "if you don't have anything nice to say" fantasy worlds. ;-)

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#13 of 17 Old 07-05-2014, 08:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pumabearclan
I was taught that the best manners don't leave you open to criticism or seem to criticize/complain to others.



Sorry I don't get this.
To avoid expressing opinions and preferences frequently or strongly which gives people material and insight that might affect their (hopefully good) opinion of you; to avoid saying things that could be inflammatory & put people on the defensive or that would be easy to use as gossip (or that could be considered gossip); to avoid talking more than listening or to give the impression that you are judging the other person by not acknowledging their right to their autonomy.

Although I like lively discussion and debate, that isn't a universally success approach to relationships; OK for me in a problem-solving situation such as discussion forum, executive committee, or family conference, but not OK in casual friendly relations where receptiveness & sensitivity to the other's feelings is primary. Honestly I am protecting myself at least as much as the other person because I don't want my feelings or reputation to be vulnerable. Everyone can make a faux-pas but I try to be very careful & mind my manners as well as possible.

I don't think it was right for these ladies to say what they did, but perhaps you gave them a push by expressing your opinion too often or in a way that they took offense to? Even if they were entirely in the wrong why give someone unnecessary information as once you put it out there you don't know how it can be received or used by the other.

EDIT: Was this really about mosquitos or was this a passive-aggressive dynamic (on their part, it seems)? Sounds like the latter to me. I still think that saying less is the best policy outside the most intimate relationships. "No, thank you" is about the most inoffensive and safest of responses. (Good idea to avoid these people who aren't good to you as well)

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#14 of 17 Old 07-05-2014, 07:33 PM
 
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Then I would ask myself if it DO complain too much. I would realize that I am grateful that they had the courage to tell me this to my face (rather than gossip behind my back, which I feel is much too common in our culture).
I really agree with this. I think it makes sense to take a look at yourself and consider if you are overly negative (since you've heard this from your spouse as well). If you decide you, you can change. This isn't a personality trait, it's something we control by choosing what we focus on. My mother is super negative, and I used to be. I work at being positive now. I keep a gratitude journal and every night write down 5 things I'm grateful for, and at dinner each member of our family says one things we are grateful for.

I also think they did you a favor by telling you to your face what their issue is with you. Over the years, I've read so, so many posts on this board from women who were dumped or cut off by friends and have no idea why. These women weren't passive aggressive, they were direct and honest. You can decide their friendship isn't worth it to you to work at it, but at least you know where they stand. Yes, it hurt to hear it. None the less, it really is better to know.

Decide what you want to do about these friends. If you really don't enjoy spending time with them, then focus on building relationships with other people who you have more in common with.

But, and here is a big piece of advice, figure out a way to be grateful for this experience. Either they did you a favor by helping you grow, or they did you a favor by releasing you from the friendship. Either way, you can win (if you choose to).

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#15 of 17 Old 07-06-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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I tend not to give reasons when people ask me questions like that. But I'll give you a reason why I don't give reasons

If you give a reason, it opens you up for either argument or judgment. The other person will be tempted to give you a reason why your reason isn't a good reason or just generally try to change your thoughtfully made up mind. Or she will try to problem solve your reason. That can be a good thing if she has thought of a solution you hadn't. But my reason is often "I can't afford it" and the only result of that would be her offering to pay for me or her feeling sorry for me, neither of which is desirable.

In general, I try hard to not complain. Not because I have martyr tendencies but I know I'd sound like a broken record. The things wrong in my life have been wrong for so many years even I find it tiresome. And focusing on those things by complaining about them doesn't help me. Asking for advice or suggestions from friends can be helpful but it's a different thing than complaining (active vs passive.)

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#16 of 17 Old 07-06-2014, 03:14 PM
 
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many thanks to all who are posting = am learning a lot .... (that was needed ...)
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#17 of 17 Old 07-06-2014, 04:23 PM
 
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Lately I've been having struggles with a mom in my group. I am a complainer. I know it. I'm a big whiner. This is a character flaw. But I'm up to whining and complaining from having rage issues and being antisocial in the extreme. I know I'm not perfect, but I try to give me slack even if someone else won't.

I avoid the people who comment negatively on my complaining. I take it as a sign that I am bothering them. I'm unlikely to stop complaining. I'm unlikely to decide that I have to keep all my opinions inside my head. I am not interested in being that kind of person. I'd much rather just stick to standing next to people who are ok with me having a range of expression that includes whining sometimes.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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