Friday, March 04, 2005


Have you ever been in a situation that makes you doubt your decision, even though when you look at the parties involved in the situation you know you are still right?

I am in one of those precarious situations right now.

Lets explain it this way... Party A is young... Party B is Party A's senior by almost a decade. Party A is in a position in it's life where the only things that matter are partying and making sure that their budget is managed well enough to include gas for the car to get to the parties and the ocassional meal as to not result in death due to starvation. However, party B is in a very different stage, children, relationships, full time jobs, bills to pay that do not include debts to the local deal, you know the regular adult domestic stuff. Now Party B is wise and also very sensitive... call it a bit isolated if you will. Party A has shoot off mouth syndrome that has no effects on anyone because Party A has yet to learn that there is reprecusions for everything in life. A says a series of things to B without thinking and inadvertantly hurts B feelings and makes B doubt decisions that have been made long before the conversation occurs. Since A still has blaitant disregard for everything other than partying and the occasional meal, how does B deal with A? How does B help A to understand that this is wrong and that A needs to start to consider the possible outcome of the hurtful words that spew from A's mouth all too frequently?
Does it help with the dilemma if A and B are related?
What about if A doesn't repsect B?
Just to add another loop in it A nd B are the same gender!

Help... any input would be greatly appreciated.


Mark A. Rayner said...

I think the answer is in your post. B has to find a way to gently -- without accusing, or guilt-tripping -- describe how hurtful A's comments have been. If you're related, it's actually a bit easier, I think, because that blood tie is not as easily broken as a friendship (particularly if the frienship is between women, which I've seen can be kind of fragile in these circumstances, depending on the depth of the friendship.)

In terms of B questioning a previous decision, there are a couple of ways to approach it. Was it a decision B was truly happy with at the time? Perhaps the comment from A is hurtful because there is a grain of truth to it. (That doesn't deny that it's hurtful, but B should be honest with B's self on that.)

If B was content with the decision, and would make the same decision again, then ignore that aspect of it, and concentrate on getting A to respect B more.

That was weird to write, but hopefull it's helpful in some way.

Good luck.

Leanne said...

Thanks Mark :)

All very good insight, to further the conundrum... B has no regrets to the decision just doubts from the comment. As for the family tie it is an inlaw situation, would that change your advice?

Carmi said...

Mark's wisdom is clear. The fact that it is an in-law scenario makes me think that running screaming from the room might be a viable tier 1 strategy.

I'm not going to be of much help on this one: I'm not exactly poster boy for in-law-relationship-of-the-year.

Karen said...

Depending on the age (the maturity level is evident) of Party A, Party B may well be wasting their breath trying to make Party A understand that there really is a little voice in your head that asks you to consider how what you are going to say is going to sound. If the verbal diarreah (sp?) is commonplace, then Party A has too many friends at too many parties who support the verbal abuse. Unfortunately, it is obviously something that is simply a lack of respect but unfortunately you can't demand that. Party A should not be cajoled into understanding that words are hurtful, he should be told that just as his decisions are his own, so are those of Party B's. You don't have to like them, but you should respect that they were made, possibly for reasons that Party A does not understand or agree with, but were made consciously and with the best of intentions.