Amy 4-24

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Since: Mar 09

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#1
Apr 24, 2013
 
Dear Amy: My sister is a lovely, kind and generous woman who adores me. She is also triple-A alpha and has a job that requires her to have all of the answers for everyone else. My problem may seem silly, but I am upset and confused, so please lend an ear.

Every time my sister wants to give me a gift (and her gifts are always way too generous, and much more than I could ever reciprocate), she asks me what I want and then gets me something she decides is better.

I have started to fear her gifts! If I get up my squeaky little nerve to ask if I can exchange the gift for what I really want, she argues with me about why what she chose is better.

In the end, I keep the gift, tell her how fabulous she is and feel like a jerk. Since it's not something I wanted, and since it is now loaded with negative emotions, the gift is not enjoyed.

This year I told her I was buying myself something, and suddenly something in the same category (but much bigger and not really what I had in mind) was delivered to my door.

Help. The gifts make me feel powerless and disrespected. I know the answer lies in how I talk to her, so please, some tips.

By the way, whenever I try to give her a gift, she tells me cursorily that if she wants something, she'll buy it herself. The Lesser Sister

Dear Sister: Your sister is a generous and manipulative saboteur. Imagine what it must be like to be her. She is so
competitive she cannot relax into a moment of genuine exchange. She is trapped inside a triple-A alpha persona. It sounds exhausting.

Once you reach a point that you can understand what it might be like to be her, you should do exactly what you want to do. You do not work for her. She does not run you.

She won't allow you to give her gifts; respond in this spirit, and don't allow her to trap you into a schoolyard game of "Sister Knows Best." Don't take the bait. Tell her, honestly, "Let's just stop giving material things and do things together, instead. Opera, ballgame or spa day? You decide."

If items arrive on your doorstep that you have not asked for and do not want, either accept them gracefully (and enjoy) or if you choose to exchange or return them thank your sister and make sure her money is refunded to her.

Dear Amy: I am a 14-year-old girl. Recently, I attended a friend's dance recital. During intermission, I stepped into the bathroom, which was mostly populated by grandmothers and mothers, all at least 30 years my senior. The bathroom was mostly full, with only a few stalls open. I ducked into the nearest stall, which happened to be handicapped accessible. This elicited a few glares upon emerging. Was I in the wrong? Frowned-Upon in Florida

Dear Frowned-upon: The handicapped-accessible stalls are not meant to stand empty during busy times; these stalls are there to accommodate disabled citizens, as well as anyone else who wishes to use them.

If you are in a line waiting for stalls (as we females so frequently are) and see a wheelchair-bound, elderly, disabled woman or a mom with younger kids in tow it is kindest to let that person "go" before you.

Since: Jan 10

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#2
Apr 24, 2013
 

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L1: It's not that her job requires her to have all the answers. It's that she has all the answers and has found a job that validates that in her. You have done nothing wrong. Your sister is something of a bully. You need to seriously stop giving her so much power. LEt her send you the wrong gifts like the fool she is. THen just donate them. Laugh off (on the inside) at her ridiculous insecurities and just regift all the lame stuff she gives you.

L2: I'm not letting someone use the restroom before me simply because she has kids, unless she asks b/c a kid REALLY HAS TO GO. Your busy uterus does not give you first dibs on the next available stall.

L3: I disagreed that it was a safe assumption that the teen was troubled. It sounded more like she had been given some perspective in the world.
pde

Schaumburg, IL

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#3
Apr 24, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: I disagreed that it was a safe assumption that the teen was troubled. It sounded more like she had been given some perspective in the world.
The only one that sounds interesting, is the one I can't see.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#4
Apr 24, 2013
 
Third rehash

DEAR AMY: I was so worried when I read the letter from "Concerned Sister." She said her teenage brother had died tragically and her younger sister had suddenly stopped expressing any emotions about it.

It has been 50 years since my little sister died in a tragic accident at age 6. I was 12, and our family still grieves. I think this teenager needs immediate help to cope with this huge loss.-- Kaye

DEAR KAYE: I agree. I was alarmed by this teenager's sudden change in attitude; I hope the whole family can get help.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#5
Apr 24, 2013
 
1- Wish I had a sister that bought me extravagant gifts. But I guess I can understand your concern. Find a back-bone.

2- As you get older you'll learn not to care about people giving you dirty looks. But I'm a little confused, there were a couple of stalls open, were people waiting in line? So what if you used the handicap stall? Was a woman in a wheelchair waiting? I think you're too focused on a non-problem.

3- I still say leave the girl alone. People grieve in their own ways.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#6
Apr 24, 2013
 

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Thank Mutt, you slacker!

1 You will never change her, even if you have a blow up argument over it. All's you can do is tell yourself that once it's given to you, it is yours to do with as you like. Then do it.

2 Great, while your in the handicapped stall enjoying all that room, some poor little crippled girl is looking at that door, silently crying with pizz running down her leg. Feel good about yourself now?

3 dont care
pde

Schaumburg, IL

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#7
Apr 24, 2013
 
Lw1: Ok, stop telling her about things you're planning to buy for yourself. Find some things you'd like to have but wouldn't necessarily buy for yourself and when your sister asks for ideas, tell her about those things.

My only experience with this was that I asked for cheap, basic cookie pans for Christmas this past year and my sister bought me these professional grade, heavy duty, gigantic cookie pans that kind of had me going WTF? But, those cookie pans ARE FABULOUS. Good choice, my sister.

Lw2: If there were several stalls open, I have no idea why anyone would glare at you. If somehow the room had gotten into one of those lame-brained states were women weren't going into some of the stalls for stupid reasons (OMG someone didn't flush! The stall is now EVIL!) then that's their problem, not ours.

Lw3: this was far more interesting before I knew what it was.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

United States

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#8
Apr 24, 2013
 
1. She's alpha, so you are goingto have to buck upand come at her alpha-style or it's not going to stick. Just tell her plainly that you appreciate her enthusiasm and generosity, but the gift-giving has become excessive and feels like it has an element of control attached. Agree on dollar limits, draw boundaries and stick to them. Don't let her run you over. And she is going to get upset, and you have to be o.k. with that and embrace that you are allowed to have a say in things.

2. Heck no. It's not a parking spot. If no one in there was using it, if someone came in after you went in there they'd only have to wait for a minute.

3. 50 years later and you still grieve?

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#9
Apr 24, 2013
 

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LW1: You both have issues. Sheesh what the f did your parents do to you girls?

If it bothers you so much why don't you say something? You are sisters. If my brother or sister pi$ses me off, believe me, I'll tell them, and they would do the same.

LW2: No, nothing wrong, unless you see someone who is handicapped in there.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Apr 24, 2013
 

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L1: Next time she buys you a gift, say thank you and then return it. But unlike Amy said, keep the money and buy yourself the item you really wanted.

L2: I think this bathroom stall thing is covered well by everyone.

L3: Counselling. I'm thinking the woman who says 50 years and still grieves -- she might but not to the extent where it affects her life. She still misses her little sister and what it could have been.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#11
Apr 24, 2013
 

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Knowing several alpha types I can say that my empirical knowledge in these matters proves you to be completely wrong.
Excessive? Alpha replies whats the big deal? I can afford it and I want you to have it.

Control? Alpha replies How is it controlling to buy you a gift? Oh, not the one you wanted? Well I thought you would like this one better (then 30 minutes of why their choice is a better product than the one you wanted)

Dollars? Alpha replies, what are you so wrapped up in how much it costs? I dont ask you how much you spent, so why are you trying to tell me how much I can spend on you. Its my money.

Boundaries? HAHAHAHAHA! lots of luck with that one, Alpha's understand concrete walls, not implied boundaries. They will push, needle,nudge,coax, and whine at your boundaries and the second you yield even long enough to draw a breath, they push forward full steam.
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
1. She's alpha, so you are goingto have to buck upand come at her alpha-style or it's not going to stick. Just tell her plainly that you appreciate her enthusiasm and generosity, but the gift-giving has become excessive and feels like it has an element of control attached. Agree on dollar limits, draw boundaries and stick to them. Don't let her run you over. And she is going to get upset, and you have to be o.k. with that and embrace that you are allowed to have a say in things.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#12
Apr 24, 2013
 
LW1- the answer does not lie in how you talk to her, but in your own self-confidence. Who cares how much she spends or what she gives you? It's a gift, which means that it is something extra, but not an obligation. Why are you asking if you can exchange things? Once they are given, they belong to you, so return, exchange or donate as you'd like.

This is not a competition, so don't feel that you need to spend lots of money on your sister. If you want to spend time with her, give her the gift of an afternoon or evening out with you. Put thought into your gifts, instead of just buying stuff to spend money.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

United States

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#13
Apr 24, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
Knowing several alpha types I can say that my empirical knowledge in these matters proves you to be completely wrong.
Excessive? Alpha replies whats the big deal? I can afford it and I want you to have it.
Control? Alpha replies How is it controlling to buy you a gift? Oh, not the one you wanted? Well I thought you would like this one better (then 30 minutes of why their choice is a better product than the one you wanted)
Dollars? Alpha replies, what are you so wrapped up in how much it costs? I dont ask you how much you spent, so why are you trying to tell me how much I can spend on you. Its my money.
Boundaries? HAHAHAHAHA! lots of luck with that one, Alpha's understand concrete walls, not implied boundaries. They will push, needle,nudge,coax, and whine at your boundaries and the second you yield even long enough to draw a breath, they push forward full steam.
<quoted text>
Boy, you'll go to some lengths to be contrary, won't you?

How is the sister's behvior controlling? I know you aren't god at the big picture, but try. Sister asks what LW wants then sister buys what she thinks LW should have PLUS LW says she wants to exchange and sister "argues" about why her gift is better PLUS sister's gifts make LW feel "powerless and disrespected" PLUS sister tells LW "cursorily" that the sister can buyher own gifts EQUALS controlling behavior.

Are gifts supposed to be about the giver or the recipient? The recipient, of course. The sister is putting her wants and needs ahead of the LW's. And where did I say "implied" boundaries? I said the LW should make boundaries and stick to them. I said nothing about dropping hints or alluding.

Are you really this bored?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#14
Apr 24, 2013
 

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Go drink some coffee and re-read my post. If you still cant figure out what Iam saying, please ask very specific questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
<quoted text>
Boy, you'll go to some lengths to be contrary, won't you?
How is the sister's behvior controlling? I know you aren't god at the big picture, but try. Sister asks what LW wants then sister buys what she thinks LW should have PLUS LW says she wants to exchange and sister "argues" about why her gift is better PLUS sister's gifts make LW feel "powerless and disrespected" PLUS sister tells LW "cursorily" that the sister can buyher own gifts EQUALS controlling behavior.
Are gifts supposed to be about the giver or the recipient? The recipient, of course. The sister is putting her wants and needs ahead of the LW's. And where did I say "implied" boundaries? I said the LW should make boundaries and stick to them. I said nothing about dropping hints or alluding.
Are you really this bored?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#15
Apr 24, 2013
 

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As a hint sam, my post was all about what a alpha would say to what you suggested the LW tell her sister.

Actually, thats quite a bit more than a hint.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#16
Apr 24, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
<quoted text>Knowing several alpha types I can say that my empirical knowledge in these matters proves you to be completely wrong.
Excessive? Alpha replies whats the big deal? I can afford it and I want you to have it.

Control? Alpha replies How is it controlling to buy you a gift? Oh, not the one you wanted? Well I thought you would like this one better (then 30 minutes of why their choice is a better product than the one you wanted)

Dollars? Alpha replies, what are you so wrapped up in how much it costs? I dont ask you how much you spent, so why are you trying to tell me how much I can spend on you. Its my money.

Boundaries? HAHAHAHAHA! lots of luck with that one, Alpha's understand concrete walls, not implied boundaries. They will push, needle,nudge,coax, and whine at your boundaries and the second you yield even long enough to draw a breath, they push forward full steam.
Hmmm, these were the answers that I would have given to the LW and have given to various family members over the year. Maybe I'm an Alpha type?

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

United States

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#17
Apr 24, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
As a hint sam, my post was all about what a alpha would say to what you suggested the LW tell her sister.
Actually, thats quite a bit more than a hint.
No shit, Sherlock, and maybe if you had some coffee you would have absorbed my point about the sister's responses being self-serving. Did you see the little question in there about who is supposed to benefit from the gift-giving?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#18
Apr 24, 2013
 

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Yeah, whatever you say sammy. I know your never wrong even when others besides me point it out to you so I will just leave you here...looking stupid as usual.
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
<quoted text>
No shit, Sherlock, and maybe if you had some coffee you would have absorbed my point about the sister's responses being self-serving. Did you see the little question in there about who is supposed to benefit from the gift-giving?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#19
Apr 24, 2013
 
Probably. These are the answers I have heard, not to just myself, but in conversations with these peeps about other people.

It is very trying for an intovert to try and have a discussion about this stuff with an alpha. Far, far easier to just smile, thank them for their kindness and then do what you want. When they ask about it later, I just say I decided to get what I wanted instead. Never had anyone try to berate me about that.

Alpha's cant understand that it was your choice to begin with, but they can understand that after they gave you this great gift, you decided to get something else. <mimi shrug>
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
Hmmm, these were the answers that I would have given to the LW and have given to various family members over the year. Maybe I'm an Alpha type?

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#20
Apr 24, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
<quoted text>Probably. These are the answers I have heard, not to just myself, but in conversations with these peeps about other people.

It is very trying for an intovert to try and have a discussion about this stuff with an alpha. Far, far easier to just smile, thank them for their kindness and then do what you want. When they ask about it later, I just say I decided to get what I wanted instead. Never had anyone try to berate me about that.

Alpha's cant understand that it was your choice to begin with, but they can understand that after they gave you this great gift, you decided to get something else. <mimi shrug>
I have started just giving gift cards to my siblings because I would spend a lot of thought and time picking out gifts for them and they would just return them. My SIL especially doesn't know what to do with things if she didn't pick them out and instead of thinking ahead that maybe it would be handy in the future, she just returns it. Often, a year or so later she buys whatever it is that my mom or I had given her because it fits her lifestyle at that point.

I have also learned never to ask anyone about their gift at a later date. If someone uses the stuff I got them, they will tell me. I'm big on practical gifts.

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