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Author Topic: I was rude today
Christine
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There's no question about it. I was terribly rude today. I have, for the past decade or so, been prone to hanging up on phone solicitors as soon as I identify that that's what they are. It's become second nature. I don't actually see that as rude, since it saves them time and me annoyance.

But today, I took it a step further. I hung up on my husband's aunt as soon as I identified that it was her on the phone.This is harder than it sounds, since she doesn't identify herself when she calls. She just starts talking. "How are you doing?" While I sit there, flummoxed, trying to figure out who I'm talking to and why in the world I should tell them anything about me, least of all how I'm doing.

Well, today I figured it out rather quickly, but I just didn't want to get drawn into anything with her. I was in the middle of a workout and well, quite frankly, I don't like the woman. Among other things, she got her then 14-year-old daughter drunk at my wedding, something that I doubt I will ever forgive her for.

So I hung up on her. She called a few seconds later and left a message on my machine, which I am currently ignoring.

I didn't handle it well, but I really don't want this woman to be any part of my life. I've got even bigger problems with her than what I mentioned above, that's just the one that feels personal.

Does anyone else have someone in their lives that they just don't want to have anything to do with, especially a family member? How do you deal with them without being rude?

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Orincoro
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I have an aunt with the unfortunate habit of calling the house, having you pick up, and then immediately querying as to who is on the phone- sweetheart, you called me, so how about you tell me who this is?
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scifibum
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I recently had my wife's parents living in my house for two months because they were both out of work, and for most of that time I simply ignored my mother in law. I rarely said anything to her. I sometimes pretended I didn't hear when she talked to me (which wasn't hard, because she would talk in breathy whimpers which don't really qualify as speech and I didn't understand most of the time anyway).

I figured it was better than getting to a point where I would have berated and insulted her for all the things about her that infuriate me.

So yeah, I've been rude to family. I don't know how to handle it better. Just don't let her move in. [Wink]

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The Pixiest
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I have two aunt-in-laws who like to call up and talk for over an hour (of my precious and irretrievable free time) about inanities that have nothing to do with me. I can't get a word in edgewise and they don't really seem interested in my life anyway. It's more like I'm just a target of their brain dump.

I know I should just let the phone ring and call back if it's work or my mom but I don't like doing that because if it's work or my mom I want to answer *RIGHT THEN*.

Anyway when either aunt-in-law calls I try to pass it off on my hubby. They're his family; they're his responsibility. Unfortunately, he's not always home when they call. =/

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katharina
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No one in my extended family calls me. Maybe my aunt every few months, but I adore her and love it when she calls.

I do have family I am not fond of, but they don't call me and I don't call them, so it doesn't matter.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:

Anyway when either aunt-in-law calls I try to pass it off on my hubby. They're his family; they're his responsibility. Unfortunately, he's not always home when they call. =/

I usually try to do this, too, but today my husband's at work. I listened to her message. Turns out that she actually had a legitimate reason to call -- she's making a gift for my husband's grandmother's birthday and needs to know my daughter's birthday. Trouble is, if I call her back I'll lose an hour of my life. Maybe I'll just pretend I was out all day and make my husband call her back this evening.
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Traceria
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For me, it's not a family member (in-law or otherwise), but a girl who used to be my 'best friend' back in middle and high school. At one point, I discovered she'd been lying to me, quite elaborately, for years and called her on it. (She went to a different school.) She instead decided it was all my fault (for finding her out) and started blaming me for this, that and everything, none of which I'd done.

Fast forward a few years, when we actually spoke again and were cordial. From time to time, she'd just lash out for no reason, even though our acquaintance was extremely casual and extremely sporadic. She accused me of abadoning her when her grandmother died, which was funny because I went to the viewings and funeral and sent sympathy items for starters, while she never came to any of my grandparents' things (the two in question passing away prior to her grandmother). At her own bridal shower, she pointedly ignored me. It was so obvious that my mother asked me what her problem was after we left, and I told her, "That's just [insert crazy girl's name]. One minute she acts like she's my best friend (again), the next like she hates me." My mom found that very demented considering I always go out of the way to be nice to this girl when we cross paths.

The funniest thing, which I'm tempted to laugh rather nastily at, is that she is not invited to my wedding yet has congratulated me on my engagement through, of all things, Facebook. I wonder when she'll realize she's not invited.

Wow, that's about as mean as I ever get. [Eek!]

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mr_porteiro_head
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Not inviting somebody to your wedding is not mean.
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Goody Scrivener
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Caller ID is a wonderful invention... I don't answer if I don't recognize the name and number on the display, and sometimes I don't answer even if I do recognize it.

I agree with mph - not inviting someone to your wedding is not mean. Especially when that someone is a former friend.

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Xann.
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The first time my parents ever left me home while they went on vacation I started getting calls at 3 am everynight for three nights in a row. The calls would come for an hour or two, and when I would pick up it would sound like someone at a bar, or listening to the radio. At first I thought it was some friends thinking they were funny.

Anyway I got angry and called back eventually, I swore the person out telling them to stop calling me. I might have warned them away with bodily harm. Right when I hung up I realized the voice I was cussing out, it was my grandpa.

Turns out he has been going to bars and pocket dialing me on his blackberry.

Lucky for me he is the one of two people in my family I plan on never talking to again once I am eighteen.

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Traceria
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Not inviting somebody to your wedding is not mean.

Perhaps not.

But this did answer the question of whether or not there was a person like her aunt-in-law in my life. [Wink]

And I'm afraid that really is as mean as I get, though it's approaching a 0 on the mean scale by most standards.

Wow, Xann. Was he just waiting for the opportunity to get you when you were home alone??

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adenam
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Christine could you just email her the information.
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scholarette
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I moved and simply never provided my brother with my new contact info. I also let it be known amongst my family members that anyone who gave my brother said info would face my wrath. I got a call from one of his creditors (who claimed that my brother gave the number as a contact number) and I screamed at the creditor, told them I did not ever want to be called again. I brought it up with my family and all of them swore that they never gave out my number. In the past, I had been called by a PI looking for him and I am assuming that perhaps that PI handed out my info.
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Xann.
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quote:
Originally posted by Traceria:


Wow, Xann. Was he just waiting for the opportunity to get you when you were home alone??

Not quite, he bought a new blackberry and never learned how to not pocket dial when he is out drinking. He does it about once a month now. He calls on purpose about once a year.
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Samprimary
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Christine, I am not too big on the idea of cold-dropping a call but I guess I don't totally understand the position between you and your aunt, nor the overall situation!
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PSI Teleport
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quote:

I agree with mph - not inviting someone to your wedding is not mean. Especially when that someone is a former friend.

Right. What's mean is inviting a former friend to your bachelorette party, but only because her husband is the best man.
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Glenn Arnold
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If you can't be rude to family, who can you be rude to?
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Orincoro
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(>->)
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AchillesHeel
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My aunt is an absolutly evil woman who is going straight to hell, just like her husband did. Somehow her children have forgiven her ignorance and looking the other way for more sixteen years, but I havent. I dont feel the need to elaborate my opinion to her, but every once in a while I speak my mind in the presence of family and no one tells me Im wrong, but no one speaks up either. She knows that I hate and am waiting for her to die so I can finnally feel some resolution in the matter, she doesnt get in my face and I dont damn her to hell, not cordial mind you but its something.

So yes, if you are completely in the right and dont mind some relatives dissagreeing with your blunt attitude, you can quite easily hate a family member openly. Especially in-laws, because they hate you too.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I dont damn her to hell
Actually, yes you do. You didn't get one sentence into your post about her without doing it.
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The Pixiest
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MPH: I think AH meant "to her face."
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mr_porteiro_head
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In that case, I meant "".
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The Rabbit
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In a situation like this, I will interupt and say 'I'm really sorry but I'm in a big hurry right now, maybe we can talk later.' If they don't follow that with and OK, good bye. I'll say 'Seriously, I don't have time right now, Bye bye' and then hang up.

Maybe that's rude, but frankly I think it is much ruder to expect someone to keep talking to you on the phone when they have something else planned to do.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
In a situation like this, I will interupt and say 'I'm really sorry but I'm in a big hurry right now, maybe we can talk later.' If they don't follow that with and OK, good bye. I'll say 'Seriously, I don't have time right now, Bye bye' and then hang up.

Maybe that's rude, but frankly I think it is much ruder to expect someone to keep talking to you on the phone when they have something else planned to do.

This reminds me of an anecdote and a related question about phone etiquette.

I usually answer my phone because I don't know whether it's important or not. One time I answered the phone and it was somebody who wanted to arrange for donations to be left on porches to be picked up for a well known charity. I had received several phone calls from this charity over the last 18 months, and each time I had to explain to them that I no longer lived where they thought I was living, and ask whether they have drives in my new location. Each time they have said no, they don't pick up donations in my new location. No big deal, really, but this time I looked at my clock and realized I had a meeting in about two minutes and decided I didn't want to go through the whole spiel right then.

So I said to the woman, "Sorry, I don't have time to talk right now."

She said "Excuse me?"

Figuring she didn't hear me, I said, again, "I'm sorry, I just don't have time to discuss it right now."

She sputtered briefly and said "But you answered your phone!."

Me: "Sorry." (Refrained from saying "I thought it might have been something important" or "What's your problem, lady?")

Her: "[huffing]* I just don't understand it. [click]."

I never thought that people only answer their phones if they have psychically divined that they have enough time to have the conversation that might result. Now, in this woman's defense, she probably expected the conversation to take less than 30 seconds. "Yep, come on by." "Ok, thank you!" or something like that. She didn't realize that I knew the conversation would take two minutes I needed to collect myself and walk to the conference room. (If it had been a police officer informing me my wife was in a bad accident my priorities would certainly have shifted.)

Still, I was a bit bemused by her reaction. I'm pretty sure she was volunteering, so professionalism might have been too much to expect, but even so: if you care enough to help a charity collect donations, shouldn't you care enough to be polite to people who might donate in the future?

*this may have been the first time I experienced audible huffing meant to demonstrate that offense has been taken.

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Xann.
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Now that I think about it I should have dozens of stories to tell about being rude over a phone, I worked as a telemarketer for three months.

In truth though, everytime someone cussed me out of told me to get a real job it didn't make me angry. It normally made my day. Mostly because I was looking for another job the entire time working there.

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Dr Strangelove
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quote:
Originally posted by Traceria:
For me, it's not a family member (in-law or otherwise), but a girl who used to be my 'best friend' back in middle and high school. At one point, I discovered she'd been lying to me, quite elaborately, for years and called her on it. (She went to a different school.) She instead decided it was all my fault (for finding her out) and started blaming me for this, that and everything, none of which I'd done.

Fast forward a few years, when we actually spoke again and were cordial. From time to time, she'd just lash out for no reason, even though our acquaintance was extremely casual and extremely sporadic. She accused me of abadoning her when her grandmother died, which was funny because I went to the viewings and funeral and sent sympathy items for starters, while she never came to any of my grandparents' things (the two in question passing away prior to her grandmother). At her own bridal shower, she pointedly ignored me. It was so obvious that my mother asked me what her problem was after we left, and I told her, "That's just [insert crazy girl's name]. One minute she acts like she's my best friend (again), the next like she hates me." My mom found that very demented considering I always go out of the way to be nice to this girl when we cross paths.

The funniest thing, which I'm tempted to laugh rather nastily at, is that she is not invited to my wedding yet has congratulated me on my engagement through, of all things, Facebook. I wonder when she'll realize she's not invited.

Wow, that's about as mean as I ever get. [Eek!]

That sounds quite a bit like my wife's "best friend." Except that my wife is too nice and actually asked her to be a bridesmaid, even though she never once congratulated us on anything and was nasty the whole time to my wife. Eventually my wife called her on it (after the wedding) and now we both ignore her calls.
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Orincoro
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There was a This American Life episode years ago called "the allure of the mean friend." Interesting- I never had a mean friend. Perhaps to some people I *was* the mean friend. Has everyone had one? Is it a very common experience?
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katharina
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Yep, I have had the "mean friend" many times. I didn't want to be mean myself and would be friends with people if they wanted to be friends with me. I don't anymore, but I don't have to put up with anything I don't like anymore.
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Orincoro
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Well, when does anybody really *have* to? The problem is of course we just feel like we have to.
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Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Maybe that's rude, but frankly I think it is much ruder to expect someone to keep talking to you on the phone when they have something else planned to do.

QFT
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Seatarsprayan
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I don't think of myself as a rude person, but I am unable to put on a false face to people, so the people that I don't care can easily figure out that I don't care for them, and consequently never confront me.

This doesn't bother me, because the people I hold in contempt are actually contemptible, so if they feel bad that I think that, it doesn't bother me. If they felt bad enough to examine their lives and make right all the things that make the contemptible, I'd more more than happy to help and forgive. But so far they don't seem interested.

Anyway, if you have someone that you don't want to be a part of your life, and they can't figure out you don't like them, I sort of consider it mean to act like you like them. Just let them know that you don't need them in your life and why. They can address the why, or they can leave you alone. And then that's it. If they still call, ask who they wish to speak to. If, audaciously, it's you, say "I don't have anything to say. Bye." and hang up. And that is not rude. That's just honest.

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