General Question

broncosgirl's avatar

How do I handle my sister getting engaged 3 weeks before my wedding?

Asked by broncosgirl (712points) June 13th, 2012

I realize this problem makes me sound like a jerk, but I am kinda upset. My sister got engaged last night and I am getting married in three weeks. It was a complete surprise, but her fiance was well aware of my wedding seeing that my sister is my MOH. It really hurt me, because now a lot of things that were going to be about celebrating my wedding are now about her engagement. I feel like it was really inconsiderate for him to do right now, he could have waited three weeks, but I feel terrible for being mad about it. Afterall, it’s a wonderful thing for my sister…but I feel like it “stole my thunder” a bit. What do you guys think? I am really struggling with how I should feel, I feel selfish for being upset, but I do think it’s a little justified. Help!

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94 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Your wedding is in three weeks, not today, your brother-in-law-to-be was considerate to not announce it at the rehearsal dinner or at the wedding, but instead did it sufficiently ahead of time that it will not steal the spotlight from you. Your wedding day will be your day, but the world does not stop for the duration of your engagement.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Wow, I really think you’re out of line. I am sorry you feel upset but the reality is that both you and your sister should be happy for one another and celebrate all the joyous occasions that come your way. Being engaged or getting to attend your wedding isn’t about you or it is but it’s not about how much attention everyone gives you. I really don’t understand this kind of upset that you’re feeling. Why on earth would her fiancee need to think of you first when deciding to propose? So I suppose you handle it by remembering that if you’re getting married, others think you’re an adult – it’s time to act like one.

tom_g's avatar

Stole your “thunder”? Guess what – the thunder you hear is in you and your partner’s heads. And that’s where it should be. People are going to come to your wedding to take part in an event that is important to you and celebrate you and your partner. I’m not sure what any of this has to do with anything else going on in anyone else’s life, including wedding proposals, births, deaths, job promotions, personal achievements, etc.

bolwerk's avatar

What @zenvelo said. Also, they are no doubt excited and wanted to share the news. It seems inconsiderate to make them wait three weeks. It’s just a wedding.

Coloma's avatar

I think you should be happy and excited for your sister and see it as a positive. Maybe your wedding has sparked them to take the plunge too. Nobody is stealing your thunder, you have a choice to be petty and jealous or to be happy and excited, I say go for the latter.
This sort of thing often happens, it happens during divorces too, haha.

The trickle down effect.
When I filed for divorce another family member and a friend followed suit soon after. Look at it as being the trail blazer and your wedding sparked another couple to decide they too are ready to set a date.
Do not let this come between your relationship with your sister.

You’re big kids now, time to let go of your childish sibling rivalries. This is not your sister copying you by buying the same Barbi doll, ya gotta do the work and realize that your feelings are coming from the childish and immature part of your personality.

Ela's avatar

How does your sister handle you getting married in three weeks when she just got engaged?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Just enjoy the happiest moments of your lives together, help each other and soak in the joy of it all! It’s NOT a competition!

syz's avatar

“now a lot of things that were going to be about celebrating my wedding are now about her engagement”

I don’t understand. What’s involved in being engaged besides a few “Congratulations!”? What’s wrong with 4 happy people instead of 2 happy people?

jca's avatar

I never did understand the “bride as queen” thing – you have a wonderful event coming up and so does your sister. It’s wonderful all around, not a competition for who gets attention.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

By the way congratulations to both of you, make it a memorable time and DON“T start about who will get pregnant first and deliver before the one baby is due, when that wonderful time comes!

geeky_mama's avatar

You sound a lot like my (younger) sister.

I got engaged shortly after she got engaged. She called me as soon as she heard the news and the first words out of her mouth were: “How could you? This is MY year to get married.”

I was nearing 30 and honestly had sort of stopped hoping I’d ever marry..when I met the man who was perfect for me. We got engaged once it was clear I’d be selling my house to move to be near him and his infant daughter. To me, it was a big sign of commitment to sell off my house and move cross country to be near him—and the ring was merely an outward sign that he felt as seriously about our future as a family as I did.

To my sister—she saw it as encroaching on her plans. She was marrying a guy she met in University and they were both about to graduate. My engagement and wedding were “wrecking” her careful “life plan” as she saw it.
She actually demanded that I not get married until after her wedding. (She planned for a June wedding the following year. We were both engaged in 1999, married in 2000.)

Her wedding had 10 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, 6 junior bridesmaids, 6 junior groomsmen a full jazzband/orchestra and a reception at the finest country club estate I’ve ever seen. It was truly like something out of a movie.
It cost our parents over $30K and HIS (far wealthier) parents paid at least 3X that. Her Vera Wang Couture wedding gown cost over $8K—and that was BEFORE the $4k alterations.

At my sister’s request I waited and had a small destination wedding about 3 months later. We timed it to coincide with Labor Day so it was easy for our nearest & dearest to get away for the long weekend. (And we chose a place where family had vacation homes so it wouldn’t cost them much to attend.)
We married at a lovely B&B and I bought my wedding gown off the rack for a couple hundred bucks. The whole wedding, including our honeymoon and the reception and the reception we held back home cost us less than it cost just to ATTEND (the dress, gift, hosting her shower, etc.) my sister’s wedding. That’s right—as MOD at her wedding it cost me more than $7K…whereas my entire wedding & honeymoon cost less than $3,500 in total.

Guess which marriage lasted?

I’ll give you a hint. My younger sister who was jealous and angry at my engagement was married only 10 months. When they divorced acrimoniously they still hadn’t paid off the wedding expenses.

I’m going on 12 years and 3 kids with my husband.

I’m not saying you’re just like my sister…because honestly I don’t know you at all…but I will say this:
If your focus is on wedding and the attention of the wedding and all the hoopla around it…you are completely missing the point.

The wedding is but one day…one pretty day to take some nice pictures. The real work of marriage and the real joy of sharing your life and building a family with another person is by FAR the more important thing to be focused on.

As for WHEN you find that person who you want to share your life with——that’s not something people can pick. Unless her prospective husband isn’t really someone you and your family like…why ever wouldn’t you just be happy for your sister?
Really think on that. Examine your own emotions and think on whether perhaps you’re feeling sort of a “sideways” feeling..some discontent from another part of your life manifesting “sideways” as jealousy perhaps?

broncosgirl's avatar

I appreciate your sentiment geeky_mama. I am in no way demanding anything of my sister or her fiance, I am actually very happy for both of them and I really like him. I would never want something like that to happen for both of us, as I very much love my family and my sister
...I think we have all had a weak moment where we felt something we didn’t expect or want to feel. And I am just sorting through those feelings.

tedd's avatar

@geeky_mama No offense but your sisters a B… lol… It’s obvious her wedding failed, because the event was more about the event itself than the marriage to her. Doesn’t stun me at all.

As for the OP (and your sister @geeky_mama ) Get over it, the world doesn’t revolve around you. No one is going to think less of your big day simply because your sister got engaged 3 weeks ago. Why should she and her groom put their plans on hold?

Frankly if I were your husband to be and saw how shallow you were being, I would rethink the entire thing.

YARNLADY's avatar

@broncosgirl this problem makes me sound like a jerk You got that right.

chyna's avatar

I am totally at a loss for “a lot of things that were going to be about celebrating my wedding are now about her engagement.” Her engagement has nothing to do with your wedding. Don’t be a bridezilla.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@broncosgirl Yes, agreed – and you’re smarter for understanding that you need to diffuse these kinds of thoughts. I agree with @geeky_mama – it’s much more important for you to be sure of the person you’re marrying and of your marriage than your wedding. So many of us have stories where the time when we focused on the wedding and got obsessed, the marriage failed and the time when the wedding was just a fun day and we didn’t spend much on it, that’s when it worked.

jca's avatar

I do give you credit, though, @broncosgirl, for acknowledging your feelings and wanting to sort through them. Feelings are not always logical, and so you can’t help feeling them. It is mature of you to acknowledge them and want to find out the source of where they’re coming from.

Fly's avatar

I think you guys are really being too tough on @broncosgirl. She already recognizes that this is not a rational feeling, so it’s not as if she is being a “bridezilla” or acting like a “queen,” like @geeky_mama‘s sister. I would venture to say that most people would be dishonest were they to say that they have never experienced an irrational feeling of negativity towards someone. Planning a wedding is a really big deal for a lot of people- it’s very stressful and emotionally taxing, which can certainly make a bride a bit emotionally unstable. For such a big even to happen with in the family so close to when all of the planning and effort that went into it will come to fruition, I can understand her feeling a bit like the focus has been taken off of her. The important thing is that she is aware of it and not acting on it.

@broncosgirl I understand how you are feeling, and I think people are reacting far too harshly to this. That said, I do not think it was inconsiderate of your soon-to-be brother in-law to propose to your sister at this time. Remember that this was a big and stressful decision for him, too, and it probably never occurred to him that you might feel this way, nor should it have. You know that these feelings are wrong, so why would he think that you would have them? Three weeks is more than enough time for the excitement over the engagement to die down. You are still feeling the initial shock of the whole thing, but I suspect that these feelings will pass soon enough. You and all of your friends and family can be happy for your sister and be happy for you at the same time, so don’t let the engagement get to you like this. Just remember that on your wedding day, the focus will be on you, no matter what.

geeky_mama's avatar

@broncosgirl – I should also defend my sister to explain that her second wedding, 5 years later, was far more low-key and she’s happily re-married and really truly not a bad person at all.

She just got a little..rigid…around the time of that first wedding. I think she had sort of a specific picture in her mind of how life was supposed to go and my getting married the same year as her didn’t “fit” how she pictured it would go. (She was also really frustrated that they couldn’t afford to buy a house right after marrying…because she just didn’t think it through. The money they spent on the wedding could have paid in full for a house!)

@Simone_De_Beauvoir‘s advice and mine is just to think it through for yourself. You’re not wrong for however you feel…just try and figure out why you’re feeling something like jealousy or being a bit upset. Better to sit back and really know your own heart, right?
No harm in asking the internet to help you think it through—it doesn’t make you a bad person..just, make sure you’re doing what’s right for you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@broncosgirl Congratualtions! I think you’re getting it. It’s great that you came here to vent rather than blowing steam at your sister.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think this is a great question, @broncosgirl – there is something wrong with our culture where a wedding becomes such a stressful event for a woman (and for many men or other genders) and when it’s also one of the only events that women think is theirs to compete over with other women. When women aren’t allowed more roles beyond the slut or the married/mom archetype and they’re individuals with a lot of energy, all that energy goes to waste on meaningless shit like 3 year long wedding preps.

tranquilsea's avatar

The year I got married so did my sister and my brother-in-law. My sister and I had a blast planning both our weddings. My brother-in-law didn’t care that my hubby and I ended getting married before he did even though he proposed first but his (now ex) wife did. So did his mother but that wasn’t surprising lol.

My sister and I also got pregnant at the same time and ended having our babies within 2 weeks of one another. Again, it was an opportunity to bond with her and our kids are still close 18 years later.

I think you are brave to put words to what you’re feeling. Your work now is to turn a corner and see this as something you can share and remember for the rest of your life. Maybe you can save something from your wedding to gift to your sister for hers.

Trillian's avatar

Kudos to everyone who realizes that it’s not about the wedding, it’s about a marriage. Try to ignore the media’s portrayal of what life is really all about. Figure out what your standards are, and live your life according to them.

wundayatta's avatar

I see this as the OP knowing the real situation, but just using us as a kind of place to vent her feelings and get used to the idea.

It’ll be fine. People will focus on your wedding and you will get all the attention you expect. Some of your reaction may be from your own nerves about the craziness of being so close to the wedding and wondering if everything is going to come together they way you want it to.

Whatever happens, that will be your wedding, and you will remember it fondly, warts and all. In fact, maybe more for the warts than anything else. That’s what gives a wedding personality. Emphasis on person. Unique to you. If you love your husband for many years, your wedding, engagement announcement and all, will be a source of good memories. Remember when you got so bent out of shape about your sister’s engagement? And you laugh and make fun of yourself. It’s a part of life and really, it’s all good.

marinelife's avatar

Your wedding will still be your day. In three weeks, the shine will have worn off of her engagement. Better they did it now than the week of the wedding.

You are right to feel a little hurt, but keep it to yourself and be gracious.

broncosgirl's avatar

I appreciate people like wundayatta who aren’t trying to throw me under the bus as some sort of evil bridezilla, but understand I know the situation and am venting as a stressed out person who has been dealing with more than just a wedding. I have a life outside of that and it has not been an easy one as of late, and for that, I am pretty sure the feelings I have stem from a slew of things that have been great disappointments in life lately. I literally am a human who is having a human moment. For any of the judgemental people here, I think it would be wrong to think you have never had a moment weakness where you KNEW you were feeling something you SHOULD NOT. Think of how you felt at that moment, and who you were most angry with. YOURSELF. Do not think I cannot clearly see that it is an irrational feeling, or that I am not disappointed in myself for having those feelings. But sometimes you feel what you feel, and it’s better to say it out loud to a stranger than hurt someone you love by saying it to them in that moment. That is all I am saying, and for that, I appreciate those whose comments were constructive and mature, and understand that I am baring an ugly feeling out loud so that I can get rid of it as soon as possible, and not at the expense of someone I care about.

Trillian's avatar

“I feel like it “stole my thunder” a bit. What do you guys think?”
If you only wanted people to agree with you, you should have stated that in your question. It’s generally understood here that when we ask for opinions, at least some of them are going to disagree with our own.

broncosgirl's avatar

I am ok with the disagreement, but some people are pretty cruel. I guess I just wanted to be able to like I said, bare an ugly feeling so I can let it go. With that comes things you don’t want to hear obviously, and I appreciate the mature advice without judging me as a person.

Coloma's avatar

@broncosgirl Well, it is clear that you are transferring some of your stress and unhappy life challenges lately and you are recognizing that connection obviously. THAT’s the ticket, knowing yourself and realizing that it might be easy to displace your overall emotional concerns onto your sister who could be a potentially convenient target for your baggage.

Stay insightful, you know what “they” say, ” you are never upset for the reasons you think you are.” I think this little mantra applies to your situation.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It shouldn’t affect your day aside from them getting some congratualtions from your guests. Really though, on your wedding day, if she’s a good sister as well as a good MOH then she will be busy making sure all is well with your day. Your wedding is just a few weeks away so it’s not like she’s going to have a joint engagement party, joint bridal shower or joint bachelorette party. Keep your focus on everything you need her to help you get through your big day :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m going to agree 100% with @zenvelo and @Trillian.

marinelife's avatar

Damn it. Once again the Futher nay sayers jumped down a new user’s throat and drove them to leave. Why can’t you people just not post rather than do that???????

Ela's avatar

She shoulda said she wanted a Randy in the description @marinelife : (

Coloma's avatar

@marinelife I don’t think anyone has jumped down her throat. I think that everyone gave thoughtful and mature answers while also acknowledging that feelings can be tricky, but…feelings are not FACTS!

As a rational thinking type female I have to say that it often amazes me how often people confuse their feeeelings with facts. It is one thing to recognize your feelings, and allow that they may be irrational and yet another to hold them as truth. I think this discussion was productive and hopefully helpful in discerning the facts from the feelings. ;-)

YARNLADY's avatar

@marinelife I just repeated her own words. She knew she was wrong. I am very blunt with this kind of question.

Coloma's avatar

@YARNLADY Agreed. Since when does not ” nice” mean not honest? Bah! One can be nice AND honest, they are not mutually exclusive.

Trillian's avatar

I, for one, felt like I was extremely tactful. I disagree with @marinelife‘s assessment that she was “right to feel hurt”. How absurd. The sister got engaged, living her own life according to her own wants and needs. She didn’t bust up at the wedding with an announcement, or the wedding rehearsal dinner. She didn’t plan her wedding for the same day, she just got engaged for chrissakes.
If the OP is old enough to get married, she should by-god be old enough and mature wnough to deal with a few things that aren’t going her way. And a few anonymous people pn the internet politely telling her to get over herself is the least of things she’s going to have to deal with in the area of adversity.
How on earth will she ever cope with real problems is she falls apart when her freaking sister, for whom she should be happy, gets fucking engaged? Life is not all about her. That stopped around the age of 11.

jca's avatar

I don’t think users were especially cruel, at least not enough that it should make someone leave, just over this. A bunch of people, myself included, sympathized with her. Maybe the OP is just feeling extra-sensitve at this time. Since she’s not around to explain herself, nobody will ever know.

wundayatta's avatar

I agree with @marinelife. I think you need to have an especially tough skin to be a newbie here. A lot of new people here seem to ask questions that invite judgment, and we being who we are, we provide it. Yet I do think we treat newbies harder and harsher than we treat people we know and I think that is hurting fluther.

We seem to demand that new people explain themselves and if they leave any stone unturned, we’ll use a backhoe to dig that one up.

I don’t know what the solution is because I don’t really believe in asking people to hold back and I don’t believe in moderation, but if there is a role for moderation, this is it. Not the stupidity that it currently is. Help guide new people through the mine fields. Help assure them that we really do have good hearts even if we are judgmental. Even advocate for them.

This place needs new users and we are driving them away on their first day here. And it’s unnecessary. This woman didn’t need to be told how awful she was. She already knew that. What she needed was to understand how to cope with feelings she didn’t like.

You all know that I believe in looking for the question beneath the question. I know the moderators don’t like that, and if it’s a general question, your answer will be deleted if you answer the real question instead of the written question. That’s short-sighted, but par for the course for at least one of our moderators. Still, I believe we should all be doing that. We should be sympathetic to our users and try to help them. Beating them up, even if they ask for it, doesn’t help.

Moderating to the written question, also doesn’t help. We have to be able to read between the lines, and that means serving the heart of fluther, not the letter of its rules. The heart of this place is warm and caring, but we get easily turned aside when people write things in certain ways. If we stay true to our hearts, I believe we can avoid this kind of thing. If the mods would just lay off, I think that we can sort some of these things out ourselves without that ham-fisted censorship. We can talk to each other heart to heart, not emotion to emotion, catch-phrase to catch-phrase. And that’s what I hope this place is about.

Fly's avatar

I have to second @marinelife and @wundayatta on this one. Most of the time in situations like this I think the OP at least did something to receive harsh reactions on some level. But in this instance and another instance from the other day, the OPs did absolutely nothing to deserve the backlash that they received. I find it really hard to believe that so many of you are unaware of the very condescending and judgmental tones of your answers, and I find it very ironic that you chastised OP for being immature when you are acting like a bunch of elementary school bullies. Yes, some people were able to be truthful without being harsh or rude, but several of you were quite the opposite. And almost all of you completely ignored the point of her question and immediately jumped on her for just having an emotion, without even thinking twice about it.

How has treating new members like this become the norm here? We were all new members once. Imagine if you were new, and everyone on the site told you that your emotional response to something that you recognized was irrational and wanted advice on how to handle was comparable to this. Would you want to stick around? Whether or not she left because of how she was treated makes no difference to me, because the way you all treated her was completely unwarranted regardless.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t get why people always assume a user left because of how they were “treated.” People leave for many reasons.

wundayatta's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Have you ever “left” Fluther?

zenvelo's avatar

@wundayatta The OP has over 600 lurve, I think it’s a bit extreme to call it her first day here.

Ela's avatar

I have @wundayatta. A comment was made to me on one thread that I found to be extremely harsh. A day later, on a different thread, I felt bullied by the pally system that unfortunately exists here. I learned a lot in those 2 threads and came back a bit wiser, a bit tougher skinned.
I apologize to everyone for my Randy comment. I hadn’t read all the replies and honestly thought @marinelife was joking.
I’ve read through all the comments now and I personally don’t believe anyone said anything harsh enough to warrant leaving. From what I see, the OP changed the tone herself. I think someone struck a nerve with their comment. Which comment and what nerve I’ve no idea.

Coloma's avatar

Truth often stings, a good barometer of how close another is getting to the root of an issue.
I don’t see truth as incompatible with “nice.” Infact, the nicest thing we can do for others and ourselves is tell the truth.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I think it has to do more with the pile-on nature of things. Most comments were a little harsh, and a little judgmental, but they weren’t The Most Judgmental. But then there were about 30 of those somewhat harsh, somewhat judgmental comments in a row (which, incidentally, is sort of how bullying tends to work). Then it seems like the whole community is harsh, hostile, and at the very least, unwelcoming to new members.

Ela's avatar

@Aethelflaed If my count is correct, there are only 31 comments made before @marinelife said she had left.

[edited in] I don’t see where anyone was plain mean to her on this thread, sorry. If there are other questions/threads where peeps were mean to her, I haven’t read any of them

Supacase's avatar

@Aethelflaed hit the nail on the head. Some answers were really rude, but not most. When you get a bit of name-calling followed by several people who seem to agree, even somewhat more respectfully, it is easy to feel ganged up on.

Coloma's avatar

Well…one of my favorite sayings is…

” If one person says you’re a donkey, ignore it. If 10 people say you’re a donkey, buy a saddle.”

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Coloma But the question right here isn’t ‘were people right?’. It’s ‘why would this new user stick around?’. Fine, she goes and buys a saddle. Us jellies will never get to see her use it, and when we keep having problems getting and maintaining new users, that’s a problem.

Ela's avatar

I completely agree @Aethelflaed but what do you do? If someone comes right out and says “Hey guys, I think there’s a bit of chumminess going on here”, they become the target. I don’t mind tagging the target. I’ve done it many times on a different forum. But more people have to want it. It’s about empathy, imo. It’s not about pointing fingers or calling someone out, it’s about taking responsibility for your own words and taking a minute to think how someone else feels.

Coloma's avatar

@Aethelflaed Well, IMO, if we keep new users by deceptive means, by not speaking sound and truthful advice, then what’s the point of participating for anyone?
I agree that the Q. is not about being “right.” Right matters not, but what does matter is if someone asks for advice or opinions is it “right” to sugar coat truths in order to deceptively encourage new membership?
I think not.

When somebody says they know their feelings are irrational but then takes offense at others agreeing with them, well…..obviously they only want others to collude with them in their own delusions.
I say keep it real, and if someone is so thin skinned they can’t handle honest feedback, well, they’re going to need to be handled with kid gloves and that will make them high maintenance members that everyone has to tip toe around so as not to crush their fragile eggshell even more.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Coloma I agree that we shouldn’t lure new users in with some veneer of niceness that covers naturally jerky behavior. But we could just be nicer, regularly. Or, alternatively, admit that we aren’t better than all those other communities on the internet, and not be surprised when people don’t want to hang out with us. New users are coming from a perspective of “why should I hang out here” and not “why shouldn’t I hang out here”.

Yeah, she did admit that she was being irrational. And instead of responding with “hey, we all are irrational sometimes, here’s what you do about it” people responded with “omg, do you get how irrational you’re being? How dare you!”

tranquilsea's avatar

When I first read the question all I could think about was her sister. There has to be something else going on here for the OP to react the way she did.

BUT what I wish people would understand is that this is the INTERNET. You run the risk of harsh judgment when you post anything. Fluther, imo, is miles better than your average website for civility.

It is pretty clear to me that OP is very insecure. It is not surprising that she left due to the comments in this thread as they were asking her to confront her insecurity which is not an easy thing to do.

Coloma's avatar

@Aethelflaed Agreed, however…who is this ” we”?
I was honest and diplomatic while not glazing the users Q. like a freakin’ donut. haha
Bottom line, if you’re gong to ask a Q. of an emotional or personal nature one needs to be prepared for all manner of responses. I’m a big advocate of being diplomatic while not sugar coating irrationality. I don’t see anything so out of line in this thread that it should cause another to slink off like a whipped dog.

Could this not tie into “dumbing down” one’s responses so as to protect the fragile flowers in this garden? Hey, if you can’t grow with the big Daisies then move on, we are not responsible for wilting this womans blossom, we fed and watered her Q. with honest fertilizer not Roundup.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tranquilsea I’m not so sure. I think Fluther likes to consider itself better than other websites, and I would agree that it’s better than sites that are known for their bite (like Reddit and 4chan), but the idea that Fluther is better also keeps people from examining their behavior, because why see if you could do better if you already know that you’re better than all those other people? I know I’ve stopped asking Fluther for help on my personal issues. I might ask a specific user or two in PMs, but I usually just go to other sites where people are actually significantly more understanding and interesting in offering constructive criticism, not just criticism.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Aethelflaed I understand what you are saying, really I do. But I still think I have a valid point about being cautious about what you post on the Internet especially if you know you have a hard time handling criticism.

I’ve felt stung here once or twice but I also knew I opened myself up for feeling that. In amidst those hurt feelings I also got a lot of support and help. These experiences mirror what can happen IRL. You’re not always going to like what people have to say. You have to weigh the risks with the benefits and head to places where you feel you’ll get the support you need.

That being said, I agree with both you and @Coloma: you can make your point in a kind way.

Coloma's avatar

@tranquilsea Right. Isn’t the whole point of a site like this to encourage knowledge and growth and to lend new perspectives to others?
If one goes in search of answers they cannot expect censorship, or special treatment.
This site attracts, for the most part, bright, savvy, intellectual types that are open minded, liberal and independent thinkers. If neurotic feelers can’t handle that, then they need to seek out a demographic that caters to their feeeeelings over the hardcore facts.

Again, tact, grace and diplomacy is the “right” way to address any touchy situation, but, being relatively sensitive does not mean lip service.
I, for one, certainly wouldn’t want my feeeelings to be catered too, I want honest feedback, let the chips fall where they may. Of course as a “mature” and secure female I do try to be aware that not everyone has the self esteem and confidence to handle no nonsense feedback. Regardless of delivery everyone here was advocating the reality of this situation, which is, ” Think before you leap on your feeeeelings!” ;-)

marinelife's avatar

First of all, I wasn’t kidding. I absolutely hate the negative piling on that people do to new users. it is possible to say whatever one’s point is without characterizing the asker negatively.

I hate that about Fluther. New users should be issued flak jackets. I consider any user who has less than 1,000 points a newbie.

Second, all of you “I didn’t say anything that bad.” types. yes, you did,

One user said this during their diatribe. “Wow, I really think you’re out of line. So I suppose you handle it by remembering that if you’re getting married, others think you’re an adult – it’s time to act like one.”” totally unnecessary for making their point.

Another user gratuitously threw in, “You’re big kids now, time to let go of your childish sibling rivalries.” There was no need to call the OP childish.

One user used the OP’s own words to call her a jerk. How is that not a personal attack>

I hope all you negative pilers on feel real righteous and proud of yourselves. Fluther defended from another newbie who just wasn’t expecting to be hit by a ton of bricks. I am ashamed of this community.

Coloma's avatar


With all due respect, but…don’t you think you’re over reacting a bit?
My sentiments about putting childish sibling rivalries aside was simply me calling it as I see it. I’m an advocate of doing our inner work, and clearly, my thoughts, most likely, have a factual basis along with the OP also expressing she has had other emotionally stressful things occurring in her life recently which also merited a caution to be aware that she might be looking for a scapegoat for these other emotional stressors and it might be easy to pin it all on her “feelings” about the sisters engagement.

I’m sorry, but I think your declaration of being “ashamed” of this community is rather dramatic. I agree that a few comments could be considered rather harsh, however, they certainly don’t merit anything to be ashamed of IMO.
I KNOW that I uphold a reputation for being honest yet most always diplomatic.
Don’t toss the contents of the shame bucket across the entire room.

jca's avatar

Before everyone starts pointing fingers at each other, please remember that the OP left without explanation. It would have been nice if she at least stuck around to explain her reason for exiting, and to give those who she may be insulted by a chance to clarify. I realize that most people just leave without explanation, but in this case, let’s not get all pissy on each other and making assumptions about what happened.

Coloma's avatar

@jca Well said. ;-)

marinelife's avatar

@Coloma No, I don’t think I’m overreacting. I have seen this exact scenario play out time and again on Fluther.

The negative piling on to a new user who, then, freaked out and overwhelmed, leaves.

It is so not necessary. If one just takes a deep breath after reacting strongly to something an OP says and takes a moment to look and see that the person is fairly new, one can then formulate one’s response, whatever it is, to not contain any negative characterizations of the asker. One can also take care not to pile on to a group of other negative responses.

It is so unwelcoming.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m not really sure we need a user who self-identifies as a jerk.

Coloma's avatar

Well it’s a wrap, no harm, no foul, a matter of agreeing to disagree.
I must say however, that if “welcoming” a new member means “we” are obligated to downplay our true sentiments lest “we” be considered too bold in our honest sharings, well….if that is all it takes to run off a newbie they most likely aren’t ready for adult swim time anyway.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Coloma If you want honest feedback so much, why are you so resistant to the idea that you might have been mean, and that your reputation for being “diplomatic” might be undeserved?

Coloma's avatar


I am always open to honest feedback, however…this all is a matter of opinion and speculation. My words were moderate, and I am confident my overall presentation is more diplomatic than not. Nuff said…time to move on, we’ve beat this horse beyond dead, it’s practically glue now. ;-)

tom_g's avatar

Hmmm…pretty mild comments here. So we lost someone who packs up and leaves when she doesn’t get confirmation. Not sure what we’re upset about here.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@tom_g We don’t know why she left, or that if it was because of the responses it was due to a lack of confirmation and not because of a lack of helpful comments.

tom_g's avatar

@Aethelflaed – Ok, so we lost someone who packs up and leaves when she doesn’t get confirmation or she doesn’t get helpful comments for one question she asked. Not sure what we’re upset about here.

Coloma's avatar


I agree…are we mice or men/women here? I’m here for honest, productive discussion and fun social interaction not to molly coddle others neurotic upsets nor validate what I consider invalid accusations. I want to play with adults not preschoolers that still need a box of band aids on hand for every little trifling wound.

marinelife's avatar

@Coloma Your caring and nurturing spirit is breathtaking in its absence. Perhaps you reserve it for geese not people.

Coloma's avatar

@marinelife Excuse me? I am a very caring person but I do feel strongly about not pampering adults that ask for honest opinions and feedback. I sincerely apologize for any offenses real or imagined. Mostly the latter IMO.

What’s breath taking is how easily offended some are. I can be a bit sharp on occasion, but I have nothing to be ashamed of and I certainly have no axe to grind with you, we have always gotten along well as far as I am concerned. If you notice my original reply has garnered multiple supportive GA’s, sooo, I think that speaks for itself. The majority of us do not feel as you do, and that’s just the way it is. Peace.

mrrich724's avatar

IMO, Everyone has one life to live, and no person should have to schedule their engagement/wedding/ anything else, around someone else’s!!!

Just be happy for your MOH, as I’m sure she’s been for you.

This day is as important for her as yours is for you.

livelaughlove21's avatar

If her boyfriend proposed to her on your wedding day during your vows, THEN you should be mad. However, I seriously doubt that people are going to be all excited about the engagement three weeks from now. It’s just petty sibling rivalry. You’re getting married, people are going to be paying attention to you.

I recently got married. The week before my bridal shower, my sister (MOH) admitted herself into an inpatient drug detox. She got out about an hour before the party. She’s been on pills for six years, and this was completely unexpected – that peeved me a little bit. The timing was a little too convenient. But hey, it happens. I got over it. A month later, on the night of my bachelorette party (that she planned), we found her slumped over in her car, passed out from taking too many pills that she STOLE from my house. We couldn’t wake her up and spent half the night in the emergency room. And, ok, it might make me a bad person, but it pissed me off. Like I said, she’s been on pills for six years. She’s NEVER been to a detox before and she knows damn well how many pills she has to take to pass out. I felt like she did it all on purpose for attention, and I still sort of do. But you know what? The wedding came and went and it was great. No drug disasters, and the focus was on me and my husband, as it should have been.

You have to realize that the world doesn’t stop because you’re getting married. Sure, he could have waited 3 weeks, but why? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that if he did it the day after your wedding, you’d still be upset that no one was talking about the wedding anymore because now they had their own to plan. Not everything revolves around your wedding.

If this is the biggest problem you’re having three weeks before the big day, consider yourself lucky.

janbb's avatar

Well, that was a lot to read!

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This thread makes me incredibly sad, for a few reasons. I’m sad that some people were, in my opinion, unnecessarily harsh. The OP said she didn’t want to feel this way. It seems she knew it might be irrational, and just wanted help sorting out her feelings. New member or not, it just seems unnecessary to kick a person when they’re down. Be truthful, yes, but be kind. They’re not mutually exclusive!

I’m sad that she quit, whatever her reason. I’m further saddened by the fact that the thread has turned into an argument among us about the whole situation. We don’t need to turn on each other on top of it all. Let’s all take a deep breath, and reflect on our own actions.

jca's avatar

Maybe the OP is reading this and will consider returning and weighing in on the discussion.

Coloma's avatar

@jca Maybe, in the meanwhile you’re a great mediator! :-)

wundayatta's avatar

Actually, @augustlan, I think that we, as a community, should heed what @marinelife has been talking about. I think it is a very serious issue and it is, in my opinion, why we have had such trouble growing. I don’t know if this is an issue that moderation can deal with, and since I don’t approve of moderation, anyway, I wouldn’t want to go that route. However, I do think that there are some questions where people seem to get into a feeding frenzy to see who can be the most judgmental in criticizing someone’s behavior.

It’s a herd thing and I know people enjoy cutting up people who are down and out. I, too, love to get in a good dig at someone every once in a while. But most of the time, I think we would be far better served if people tried to be sympathetic to others’ questions. I think we should try to understand far more about the situations we are asked about and the reasons why people do the things they do before we condemn them.

I could go through the thread and point out the posts that I think were too mean, and if it comes to that, I will do it. But we shouldn’t be talking about what is mean and what isn’t. I think we should be listening to @marinelife, myself and the others about this perception of meanness, and just try to pay attention to your tone and ask yourself if you are saying this as kindly as you can—especially if you are making a judgment.

There are times that I will stop myself when I discover I am in attack mode. I’ll try to talk about my life instead of telling the questioner what they should do. If you really want people to hear you, that’s the most effective way. When I go into attack mode, it’s just blood lust, really. I don’t care about the questioner any more. I just want to get my hits in. I’m not proud of it. It’s not nice. I do it for entertainment, and it is irresponsible to the community. But I figure I don’t have to be responsible all the time.

But at certain times, we do this. @marinelife and I don’t often see eye to eye on things, but here we have an instance where we do, and I would like to think that we have earned the right to be heeded when we see something the same way.

I can’t make anyone change and I don’t want to make anyone change. I just want to ask you to try to find a kinder way to make your points. I want you to tell stories from your lives instead of telling people what they should do—even if they ask you to. I want us to try to be honest in a way that doesn’t hurt people. We can say unfortunate truths without being mean or unkind. This website will be a lot better off if we all attempt to do that.

augustlan's avatar

@wundayatta I do agree that we should all take the time to phrase our advice in a kind way. I can’t make people be nice, but I sure would appreciate it.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta @augustlan I agree, but I also don’t think that moderately firm replies are cause to lay guilt trips on others. Perception being the key word, along with the potential age of a poster. An adult should be able to handle constructive criticism without going to pieces or running away.
A 13 year old is a completely different story.

I caught a bit of that obscene gang bang on one of our young members the other night asking a Q. about an anime type game. Now THAT was blatantly over the top unkind, just plain unacceptable behavior for some members. Makes this discussion look like a Goldfish compared to the Sharks circling that poor kid.

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma Sounds like there’s room for more kindness all over.

tom_g's avatar

@wundayatta – Kindness is inseparable from honesty, in my opinion. I don’t think we were in danger of any unkind honesty in this thread, to be honest. There are a few people who feel they must turn every conversation into a lecture on what each of us should have said (or declare our intentions for us), but I really don’t find that helpful.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g My sentiments exactly.

jca's avatar

waiting for @broncosgirl to return for discussion.

crickets chirping

SavoirFaire's avatar

“People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.”
—Richard J. Needham

Truth never has to be cruel, even if it is sometimes unpleasant. Telling the truth doesn’t have to mean being blunt or coarse. Nor is being honest an excuse to forgo the other virtues of speech. Honesty is as much an art as lying—and a more difficult one, if truth be told.

tranquilsea's avatar

One point I think is missing from this discussion is how the written word can come across without body language to convey more of the message. In the best of times the written word can come across as harsh even when you don’t mean to be.

Supacase's avatar

Perhaps, just as an example, “You’re big kids now, time to let go of you childish sibling rivalries” could have been expressed more kindly, yet just as candidly, without the use of ” big kids” and “childish.” It is possible to be honest without belittling. It isn’t always what you say; it’s how you say it.

Coloma's avatar

@Supacase Well, had my inflection been experienced via the spoken word the humor yet firm, no nonsense, inflection would have been evident. The written word leaves much to ones imagination, and well…for those prone to being extra fragile and on the defensive it is easy to misconstrue the authors intent. Had I said F——ing grow up! ..well…then fine, feel free to rage about unkindness.

Supacase's avatar

@Coloma (First, i would like to say that I did not intend to single you out. I was going by the quote in @marinelife‘s post and didnt pay attention to who originally wrote it. Also, as I said, it is only one example.)

I completely understand and agree with you regarding the difficulty to interpret humor and such in this format – especially when communicating with people who don’t know you well. What I don’t quite understand is why wouldn’t you have kept that in mind while responding.

“F——ing grow up” goes far beyond condescension. Then again, if you thought my post was a “rage,” i can see how our opinions on this can differ greatly.

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