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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just typed out a whole post but am paranoid about privacy. But does anyone else deal with parents who are extremely competitive? Or, who have to be in charge or organize every single thing in their child's class, etc, but it seems like it's because of how it makes them look, versus what's best for the child. Do they ever try to guilt you for not being as involved/active/whatever of a parent as they are? How do you handle it? Does it annoy you? Because it's starting to really annoy me.
 

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Sorry I can't be of any help-I'm lucky enough not to have to deal with this stuff but if I did it would really annoy me too.<br><br>
I hope someone has good advice.
 

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Um, to be honest, I can't believe I'm admitting this.<br><br>
Lady like that that I know is a few weeks behind me pregnancy wise and I just tell her she looks like a whale, which she does, and other moms have told her so. But it makes me feel so good......oh that's horrible.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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When I used to take DS to Gymboree some of the moms there were super competitive. There was this one lady who always liked to let everyone know how smart her son was, what classes he was taking, and how advanced he was. It's great to be proud of your kid and all, but this lady took it way too far. I just figured she was trying to fill some kind of need within herself and it had nothing to do with her child. I avoided her and when she did ask what classes DS was in, whether or not he was reading yet, etc I just answered honestly.
 

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I have to deal with that sort of thing in several places.<br><br>
What's helped me most is to take a deep breath, realize that parent is where they are, and I'm where I am. Just like I sometimes spout non sequiteurs in my feeble attempts to make small talk with other folks (I'm not really the best face-to-face socializer of a person), I believe (by choice) that parent is doing much the same thing in an attempt to relate to me and everyone else around them. I treat them the way I'd like to be treated when I'm kind of embarrasing myself, I know what I just said was lame, but it was just what I managed to get out. Kindly, with a smile.<br><br>
If you are allowing yourself to feel guilty, please realize that is your own internal voice that has nothing to do with them. No one can *make* you feel guilty. People close to you may be able to manipulate you, but it'shealthy to develop good boundaries, and it's pretty nice to practice with acquaintances whom are easier to blow off than a close friend or family.<br><br>
I find that when I remind myself of that, I'm more relaxed and less resentful, and can handle just about anything. I've gotten really good at, when grilled about what sort of extracurricular activities *I'm* doing with my kids (virtually none), smiling and saying "Oh, we just have a lot of fun together doing our own thing." And then laughing at any expressions of shock and saying "It sounds like you are doing lots of exciting things too." and "I love how calm and peaceful our life is."<br><br>
When you don't play the game, and don't jump when your chain is jerked, a lot of folks calm down. The ones that don't, I truly feel are just trying to relate to you and bungling it, so I react with compassion and internally distance myself, since I certainly know how it feels to be awkward in social situations and come across as something worse than I am.
 

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I have a friend who is like that!!<br>
She lives out of state, but she is still driving me so crazy that I don't know if I can continue being her friend.<br><br>
She always is bragging about her kids and what she does for them. But it is not in a normal way. It seems like the only thing she has in her life that she feels good about, I guess. And she takes credit for everything her kids do...ds #1 was an excellent sleeper, even as a newborn. She said it was because she maintained a good sleeping schedule while she was pregnant!<br><br>
She tandem nurses, but brags about it EVERYWHERE she goes. Gas stations, restaurants, everywhere! I believe one of her main reason for doing it is to stroke her ego, not just for the kids.<br><br>
She is EXTREMELY judgmental of every other parent. She cannot have any sympathy for a woman who may choose to not breastfeed, or parents who send youngsters to day care. If you don;t do it exactly like she would then she takes it as a threat!<br><br>
She is so competitive...her son is 2 years younger than my 4yo, but anything that I tell her my son is doing, she says her kid is doing it to. Only better!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br>
I know that is possible on some things, her kid is brilliant!! But I know she is LYING most of the time..I can tell it in her voice.<br>
And it isn't like I can just call her out on it without sounding crazy.<br><br>
I feel bad for her because I know it's from a low self-esteem. I keep telling myself that I should be able to let it roll off my back, but it is just getting under my Skin!!!<br><br>
I don;t know how much more I can take!! I am really glad that someone else posted about this. It's good to know that other get annoyed by this as well and I am not just being overly sensitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerchild</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8176334"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have to deal with that sort of thing in several places.<br><br><br><br><br>
What's helped me most is to take a deep breath, realize that parent is where they are, and I'm where I am. Just like I sometimes spout non sequiteurs in my feeble attempts to make small talk with other folks (I'm not really the best face-to-face socializer of a person), I believe (by choice) that parent is doing much the same thing in an attempt to relate to me and everyone else around them. I treat them the way I'd like to be treated when I'm kind of embarrasing myself, I know what I just said was lame, but it was just what I managed to get out. Kindly, with a smile.<br><br>
If you are allowing yourself to feel guilty, please realize that is your own internal voice that has nothing to do with them. No one can *make* you feel guilty. People close to you may be able to manipulate you, but it'shealthy to develop good boundaries, and it's pretty nice to practice with acquaintances whom are easier to blow off than a close friend or family.<br><br>
I find that when I remind myself of that, I'm more relaxed and less resentful, and can handle just about anything. I've gotten really good at, when grilled about what sort of extracurricular activities *I'm* doing with my kids (virtually none), smiling and saying "Oh, we just have a lot of fun together doing our own thing." And then laughing at any expressions of shock and saying "It sounds like you are doing lots of exciting things too." and "I love how calm and peaceful our life is."<br><br>
When you don't play the game, and don't jump when your chain is jerked, a lot of folks calm down. The ones that don't, I truly feel are just trying to relate to you and bungling it, so I react with compassion and internally distance myself, since I certainly know how it feels to be awkward in social situations and come across as something worse than I am.</div>
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No, I don't feel guilty at all. I know I do plenty for my children, and I'm secure enough with myself as a parent to not let it affect me like that. I could, however, do without so called friends constantly making jabs at me or others about their opinion of my or others' competency, involvement, etc etc, through frequent passive-aggressive remarks and smug looks. Sorry if I sound snarky, it's not about you at all, but I just wanted to explain myself more. Hope that's coherant, it's midnight and I need to finally go to bed!
 

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There's this family, that have their DD's in DD's school, and in the mother's day party in March, she was bragging about her daughter abilities in ballet, but when the kid came to the stage she couldn't even do a releve(is that the way your write it??? lol I was in ballet as a kid and I do remember the steps lol) the easiest thing in ballet.<br>
And other sutff like that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaley</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8177193"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No, I don't feel guilty at all. I know I do plenty for my children, and I'm secure enough with myself as a parent to not let it affect me like that. I could, however, do without so called friends constantly making jabs at me or others about their opinion of my or others' competency, involvement, etc etc, through frequent passive-aggressive remarks and smug looks. Sorry if I sound snarky, it's not about you at all, but I just wanted to explain myself more. Hope that's coherant, it's midnight and I need to finally go to bed!</div>
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I'm glad you wrote that, because I was feeling that way too, and so glad for such a good word in this world as SNARKY.<br><br>
Some folks out there just have to put others down to try to make themselves look or feel good. Or sneer at others, whatever. They suck. Literally. They suck the sparkle out...<br><br>
Tell them how they are sucking the pleasure out of your acquaintance by constantly making everything a competition and by the use of passive-aggressive communication. And when they say:<br><br>
"What do you mean?" You say, looking them in the eye as you have been for the whole time:<br><br>
"Oh, I didn't realize you were standing right there! Sorry!" Exit, stage left.<br><br>
You may look nutty, but SMILE big and pretty, and think: PINWHEEL EYES (on you). She is passive-aggressive and competitive! Way worse. Is she going to spread it around that she's been accused of being passive aggressive by a nut job? I don't think so. Not after she looks it up in the dictionary and realizes that she is, and she probably won't compete with you anymore, because she will become a little afraid of you and your wild-eyed looks. Haha. Have fun!<br><br>
VF
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm glad you wrote that, because I was feeling that way too, and so glad for such a good word in this world as SNARKY.<br><br>
Some folks out there just have to put others down to try to make themselves look or feel good. Or sneer at others, whatever. They suck. Literally. They suck the sparkle out...</td>
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YES!! LOL.<br><br>
This thread is helping me to look at this situation with some humor...lol...thanks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaley</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8177193"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I could, however, do without so called friends constantly making jabs at me or others about their opinion of my or others' competency, involvement, etc etc, through frequent passive-aggressive remarks and smug looks.</div>
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Then may I suggest that you drop these so-called friends? The jabs and passive-aggressiveness is only going to get worse, not better. You can either learn how to better ignore it, or you can limit your contact and seek out new people. Or maybe it would help if you didn't even consider these people your friends (because if they're that wrapped up in themselves, they're not going to have energy for real friendship anyway), but acquaintances (since you don't have to run away from them, and there's always going to be situations where dealing with unpleasant people is unavoidable).<br><br>
Would you get upset at a stranger rolling their eyes at you in a grocery store? If not, perhaps it'd be helpful, once the competative person gets rolling, to internally compartmentalize them into the 'obnoxious stranger' category.<br><br>
You're not going to cure or be able to one-up answer these type of folks. It only feeds their enjoyment, IME. The only things you can control are your reaction, to a lesser degree your presence, and how you think of them (friends/acquaintances/outsiders/ect).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dachshundqueen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8176013"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just tell her she looks like a whale, which she does, and other moms have told her so.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerchild</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8179508"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Then may I suggest that you drop these so-called friends? The jabs and passive-aggressiveness is only going to get worse, not better. You can either learn how to better ignore it, or you can limit your contact and seek out new people. Or maybe it would help if you didn't even consider these people your friends (because if they're that wrapped up in themselves, they're not going to have energy for real friendship anyway), but acquaintances (since you don't have to run away from them, and there's always going to be situations where dealing with unpleasant people is unavoidable).<br><br>
Would you get upset at a stranger rolling their eyes at you in a grocery store? If not, perhaps it'd be helpful, once the competative person gets rolling, to internally compartmentalize them into the 'obnoxious stranger' category.<br><br>
You're not going to cure or be able to one-up answer these type of folks. It only feeds their enjoyment, IME. The only things you can control are your reaction, to a lesser degree your presence, and how you think of them (friends/acquaintances/outsiders/ect).</div>
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<br>
Totally true. And we're moving out of state soon, so it's not much of an issue, in terms of long term relationships. As for reaction, etc, I was pretty firm without being overly aggressive, so I feel that I handled it ok.<br><br>
And maybe, what I should have asked, is WHY are people like this? I just don't understand. I know insecurity is a popular answer, and I'm sure many times true. But this woman seems very happy with her life--sure, there are some insecurities. Who doesn't have insecurities? But what causes her to handle that in such a competitive, mean-spirited way? Especially to those who are good friends to her? Why damage something like that, almost purposefully?<br><br>
As I mentioned, we are moving soon. I told another friend that sometimes when people move away, their friends/loved ones are more short tempered, etc, with them than they usually are, and this allows them to emotionally seperate themselves from the person. I hope this isn't what I'm going to be putting up with for the next few months from everyone we know! LOL.<br><br>
I'm rambling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I know exactly how the OP feels. I have a 'friend' whose daughter is on the swim team with my daughter and is constantly telling me how much faster her daughter swims than my daughter does. I carpool with her and she drives me nuts. Always talking about how great her daughter is. One time my son came up to me and told me that he was surprised how fast his sister swims and then my friend asks " Don't you think my dd swims fast?' I mean..it really irked her that dd got complimented by ds.<br>
If my dd has a 'bad swim'...it is like this friend rubs it in how great her dd did. I listen and i would not mind if she talked about it and finished it after 5 minutes...but she just goes on and on. I don't see her daughter as much of a better swimmer than mine is and it might be because i don't pay attention. I want both girls to do there best.<br>
I am so NON competitive but i find myself secretly hoping that my daughter will kick butt over her daughter just so that i can shut my obnoxious friend up!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br>
I don't think anything will change..but it felt good to express it.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dolphinkisser</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8183090"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Things are not always what they seem.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Good point. And glad to know I'm not alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jilian</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8176157"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When I used to take DS to Gymboree some of the moms there were super competitive.</div>
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We had this experience, except that the biggest offender was our Gymboree teacher! Her own son was in her classes and she frequently examined other boys and openly compared them to her own son. She was very insecure and occasionally berated her son for not doing things that some other kid did. She called my (3 year old) son out a few times in front of the other parents because he was doing things that her son was not yet doing. When he wrote his name one day in class and we were very quietly sitting there, she openly announced, "B's Mommy did him a favor by giving him a name with only three letters." She said the same thing (!!) the next week and many parents laughed. I still kick myself for not responding to her, but at the same time, I just didn't want to go to her level. I immediately withdrew him from that class and it caused a lot of bad feelings between us. I really wanted to report her to Gymboree for unprofessionalism but my dh worked with her dh and I just didn't want to cause bad vibes for him.<br><br>
I just try to create distance between myself and these kinds of people. And I also remind myself that they must feel insecure and unhappy on some level. Then, I ignore them.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dachshundqueen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8176013"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Um, to be honest, I can't believe I'm admitting this.<br><br>
Lady like that that I know is a few weeks behind me pregnancy wise and I just tell her she looks like a whale, which she does, and other moms have told her so. But it makes me feel so good......oh that's horrible.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:</div>
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I think that really is horrible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dolphinkisser</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8183056"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know exactly how the OP feels. I have a 'friend' whose daughter is on the swim team with my daughter and is constantly telling me how much faster her daughter swims than my daughter does.</div>
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UNbelievable. I mean, really. People say these things??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I often have a related, but different problem. People telling me how great my daughter is. It gets extremely awkward and makes me uncomfortable for many, many reasons. I know they are probably well-intentioned, but it sometimes comes across as insecurity on their parts, too. It's just...icky.
 
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