General Question

GoPhillies's avatar

How do you calmly deal with someone that annoys you, without being too harsh or start a fight.

Asked by GoPhillies (162points) May 11th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

25 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

Different situations call for different measures.

Would it be possible for you to tell us what circumstances are causing the current hubbub?

Response moderated
GoPhillies's avatar

Im sorry, I Am not getting along with my moms boyfriend. He treats her nice and he is general friendly. But he is very annoying. I dont want to upset my mom, by starting a fight. But I want him to know that he is annoying me.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Discern why it is that this person’s behavior is so annoying to you.

If he’s nice and treats your mom well then I don’t see much of a problem.

Facade's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic People can be nice and annoying at the same time.

GoPhillies's avatar

He is nice to my mom but, makes jokes at my sister is is slightly overweight. Also, whenever someone is doing something he acts as if he can do it better. I know he just wants to help, but if I am going to have to live with him I want him to know stop trying to help me press my shirt or mow the lawn I can do these things my self your really annoying me.

KatawaGrey's avatar

When he makes cracks about your sister’s weight, tell him as politely as you can, “please don’t say those kinds of things about my sister. Even if they don’t bother her, they bother me and they are unnecessary.” Keep repeating this. If nothing else, he will get sick of hearing you say this and stop. If he persists, then you may have to get a little mean. Be firm. Say how it’s not up to him to worry about her weight. As for when he tries to do something better, again, be polite but firm. Say, “thanks, but I’d prefer to do this myself,” or “I need to do this a specific way and it’s easier for me to do it myself than to explain how to do it.”

Just out of curiosity, how old are you? Unfortunately, the younger you are, the less power you have in situations like this. I would also suggest talking to your mom if you haven’t already.

dynamicduo's avatar

You are free to use your words to express your thoughts. However before you speak, you should think about what you want to gain from the interaction. Collect your thoughts before you go and talk with him. I highly recommend everything @KatawaGrey has said here.

nebule's avatar

I would say to him something liek: “Why do you feel it necessary to belittle people?” and then just walk away…

anyone that makes jokes about people that are overweight… especially kids; needs there head read and shouldn’t be within 50 feet of a child

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m thirding @KatawaGrey. No matter your age, be as polite as possible, because you aren’t trying to show disrespect to him as a person, you just want to assert your feelings. It’s OK to tell people what you like and don’t like and what bothers you, as long as you do it in a way that’s respectful. If he gets upset after your polite requests, it’s no longer your problem, and then I’d talk to Mother about it.

Jeruba's avatar

@GoPhillies, does he say and do these things in front of your mother? And what have you done so far?—take it silently, make a comment, argue? Does your sister say anything back to him? Also, just to be clear: are you male?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Jeruba: Oh, yeah, that’s a good point. Unfortunately, gender can make a difference in this situation.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

This is something I always struggle with. When somebody pisses me off, I tend to be impatient and often respond aggressively. The key word is assertiveness… letting the other person know that you’re annoyed, but also in control of your emotions. Here’s a websites that I think will help you out:

This especially goes for when he talks about your sister… but don’t mistake a strong stance for unnecessary aggressiveness, even though it may come off as such. For example, when the arse tries to let you know he can do it better, ask him… “Do you think you can do it better?” It’s unlikely he’ll respond yes.

GoPhillies's avatar

I am an 19 year old male. And I am much bigger then he is. haha Thanks for all the help.

GoPhillies's avatar

My biggest thing is that this is the first person my mother has met since my father past (which was 10 years ago) So i really don’t want to upset her.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

Assertiveness should be all you need. In all interactions between males there is the implied threat of violence. You are bigger. Just keep that shit in mind.

EDIT: I should probably make it clear that I don’t think you should be violent, under any circumstances (unless he hits you). But like I said, if you think about all your everyday interactions with other dudes, size and strength enter into every social power relationship. He thinks he can treat you and your sister badly because he is in a position of power… he has influence in the household because he is dating your mom. You need to display that you are in a similar position of power. Your size is an indication of this, and your attitude of him, one of assertiveness, is the most important indication.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@GoPhillies: Intimidation may not be the best angle here. I don’t know about the relationship you have with your mother or her relationship with the boyfriend, but if you use your size (and I’m assuming you’re much stronger than he is as well) and strength against him, things could get very nasty very fast. Stick with diplomacy. If he’s not treating your mother badly and if she’s happy with him then there is no need to get physical with him. He already feels threatened by you because you are his girlfriend’s son and therefore more important to her than he is.

Also, I think it’s really nice that you’re trying to resolve this as nicely as possible for your mother’s sake. She’s a lucky mom. :)

GoPhillies's avatar

Thanks, I am very open towards peoples feelings, and I am very lucky to have my mother. I just want it to work for her. Because she has not had a person to love in so long.

Supacase's avatar

In this situation, I would think of a phrase that says you find his behavior inappropriate but sounds polite on the surface. Such as, “She is a very pretty girl” or “she looks fine to me” when he teases your sister about her weight. Repeat in the same voice as often as as necessary. That is just an example that off the top of my head – I realize you may not be comfortable saying your sister is beautiful over and over, but you get the idea.

DarkScribe's avatar

Ignoring a young person’s weight problem is NOT helping them. Political correctness can be taken too far. If his comments are joking then perhaps he really is trying to help. No one likes criticism, but sometimes it is essential. I will not ignore such a thing in my own domestic situation. I am never cruel, but I will not have an overweight child. I have five children, and if allowed to continue without intervention, at least two of them would be overweight adults now. They might have resented the intervention at the time, but it didn’t affect the affection between us and they have commented numerous times they they were glad that I did not allow them to grow into the sort of adults that some of their friends have become.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Your best bet is to have a talk with him man to man and let him know where you stand.
If you let this fester, he’s going to keep doing these things that annoy you because he’ll never know any better and it’s just going to continue getting worse until it reaches a huge cathartic explosion of nastiness.

Chances are he knows you’re irritated about something but probably doesn’t know what.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@DarkScribe: He said that his sister was a little overweight and the impression I got was that the boyfriend’s comments were not helpful, but teasing and a little mean. The point of the question was not to figure out how to help the sister lose weight but to keep the boyfriend from pointing out that she is a little overweight. If there are mirrors in her house, she knows that her body is not the same as those in magazines. I’d be willing to bet that she is a perfectly normal size and is shaped like a real person.

gimmedat's avatar

@GoPhillies, I don’t have anything to add, but I had to say what a wonderful sentiment that you want for your mom to have someone to love – you put that in such a sweet way – very nice.

DarkScribe's avatar

@KatawaGrey If she is normal, then he is definitely being a fool. But, GoPhillie’s mother likes the guy – that isn’t likely if he is deliberately mean to her daughter. Dealing with excessive weight is a difficult issue and there is no “everyone feels happy” solution. Unpleasant as it might seem, to tell someone who is overweight that they are normal and ideal as far weight goes does not help them. It is much easier to teach a child or adolescent to eat well and manage weight than it is to re-train an overweight adult. There is really too little information to make a genuine assessment of the situation – the guy might be well intentioned, or an ass, but it is not uncommon for a child to feel resentment toward a parent’s new partner and only see the negative. I just like to be openminded at look at all possibilities.

nebule's avatar

um… I would quietly surreptitiously, humbly, wink at them

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