Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: New approach to mil

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    2,426

    New approach to mil

    Quiet honesty.

    you know "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" I've always had trouble with that with my mil, because I was taught that it's rude to "ignore" someone who is talking to you. So I am always trying to participate in the "conversation" as tactfully as possible.

    but after watching my new son in law interact with her, I have realized that she almost never asks a direct question and that even when she does, she doesn't care if you answer because she is likely to ignore what you say.

    so this weekend I tried the approach of not speaking. I just looked at her. When she stopped talking, I counted to five in my head and she usually started talking again before I got there. When asked a direct question I counted and then if she hadn't started talking again, I answered honestly, but with as few words as possible. Usually "no." (As in I am cooking lunch and she is cleaning out the fridge and she says "I have this much corn left that I cut off the cob, do you think I should just dump it in there?" "No." - recipe has no corn, needs no corn, and it is a third of a cup in a recipe that serves 25 people. But I don't make excuses for rejecting her corn, I just say "no.") And then she just started talking again.

    also, I Asked my husband to please come rescue me if I had been missing for a while, so when she got me "cornered", after less than an hour he came and gave her a reason I had to go. (I.e. "Go change into your bathing suit and come swim with me") and then I just walked out of the room without speaking.

    and it was so much less stressful!

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    10,690
    Hmmm, that is interesting.

    Do ya thnk she will think you are mad or churlish for not talking ip and at her? Or will she even notice this new communication style?

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,111
    Sorry that you have to make that effort but sometimes it just is what it is so good you have found a way to manage.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    2,426
    She does not appear to notice. That is what makes it work. Sil has always related to her like that and I think he may be her favorite grandchild. She thinks he's brilliant and polite (I also still do dishes)

    i was was always afraid she would think I'm churlish, but it turns out she just wants to talk to an audience. As long as you look at her now and then she assumes you are enthralled. And I am now getting smarter because she doesn't have to explain to me why I am wrong all the time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    765
    My son did this on the phone recently with his very talkative aunt. He just said "uh huh" or "wow" every once in a while, but after 20 minutes he wrote me a note, "She's going through her entire career and she's only to 1998."

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    1,455
    Chicken lady - you are putting on a therapists hat and it's working. Good job. This is how I cope with difficult people. I put on my psych nurse hat. It means that there is less emotional connection and authenticity, but a lot more peace for you. It's worth it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    2,426
    As I have no positive emotions in connection to my mil, a lack of emotional connection is good.

    i have moments of gratitude and moments of sympathy (I cannot understand her enough to really empathize in the emotional sense) but that is as good as it gets. And they are rare.

    i am finding a form of authenticity that is working for me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    10,690
    Authenticity. I need some.

    I am recovering from a large event of several days where I had to babysit a few nutty and needy people, one of whom is yet another "social vampire " as I call them you know, the sensitive, feeling people who have to tell you every five minutes how they feel. I don't care. I don't care how she feels. I am there to do a job. She is there to do a job. If the feelings interfere with a job then leave.

    What does this have to do with authenticity? She and others mistake me for someone who cares. That is not me,don't tell me your feelings, they are not interesting to me. My dead mother rode around on my shoulder for 5 days straight, admonishing me to "be nice." Yes, I could hear her whispering in my ear.
    Ugh.

    I have been home and crabby with poor DH for a few days, trying to recover from vampires sucking out my soul.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    8,043
    One of my favorite themes:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfmVBmDKLZI

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •