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RoseRed135

The "Gossip" Line - Where is it drawn?

72 posts in this topic

Just now, AndreaMSW said:

FYI - your friend's DIL threatening to keep the grandkids away was a low blow though.

I basically agree b/c it seems as if it was just another hurtful thing to say or a way to win the argument/have the last word. However, IDK what hurtful comments might have been made to DIL in the heat of the moment. I don't like to think my friend would say anything cruel or nasty. Nor can I imagine what it would be. But it's possible.

That being said, i think you should continue to be a listening ear for your friend.  

I've been thinking about this^^^. She hasn't said anymore about it in the last few days, so maybe she's done talking about it for now. (If they made up, she would tell me.) But if she does sound off some more, and I listen, am I encouraging the drama? OTOH, if I bean dip right away, I'm afraid she might be hurt. I know her well enough to know she expects to be able to confide in a friend.

 

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Hmmm...i guess it depends on how you respond.  it's a totally different situation, but i have a co-worker who is basically having an affair..or was having one and this guy ended this fling back in september.  i receive multiple posts from her a day about how heart broken she is.  as a friend i will alway listen to her, but at some point i got to the point of telling her when we spoke that she has 10 minutes to vent or talk about it, then we are moving on to another topic.  I don't mind listening but her endless talking about it was really just her perseverating on the topic and by me allowing it to continue i felt was a disservice to her.  She wasn't moving on...but staying stuck.

 

So i guess if your friend has cooled off for now great...if she brings it up again, is she just rehashing what happened?  You're unlikely to respond any differently than you already have (I'm guessing) so what does she want to get out of it, how is her continuing to talk about it helpful for her?  I guess i'd ask some of those questions.

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 0:21 AM, RoseRed135 said:

I'm sure that's true. One problem, though, IMO, is that it pits them against their sibling/puts them in the position of siding w/ a parent over a sib. There are almost bound to be consequences for that, and I think AC need to be aware of that (maybe these AC were, IDK).

Another problem is that it often escalates the drama, as it did in this case. IDK if the other sibs realize that would happen or not. They might have thought that one of them could persuade ODS/ODIL to change their stance and come for Xmas, etc. Or they might have realize there could be more arguing and hurt feelings, but just felt the need to defend their mom/parents, anyhow. Of course, IDK.

It's one thing to confide in another person including a family member about an issue you are having with another family member.  I don't think that is necessarily gossip.  It is just one person looking for support from another person although personally I would probably turn to a non family member for that support.  However, this is not what happened with your friend.  Your friend complained to all her other kids/IL's, and they did not merely provide her with support, rather they took it further and involved themselves with the conflict by texting their ODB/ODIL to put aside the conflict and come over for Christmas, etc.  They became virtual flying monkeys.  And by your friend involving all of her other kids, not only does she damage her own relationship with her ODS/ODIL by her immature, victimhood response to this conflict, but she is now contributing to the damage in the relationships between the sibs and this ODB/ODIL. 

 

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The friend probably didn't help by ringing up and telling the other siblings what had happened, however we don't know the full circumstances.  If this doesn't happen often in this family, then the friend is only human, we don't handle things 100% perfectly all the time.  It doesn't sound like a small argument considering the DIL ended up saying you will never see the GC again - that's a huge threat to throw out there.  I can imagine the friend was quite upset and Christmas is a little stressful in the lead up at the best of times.

I sometimes think there's a difference with someone who is quite upset and talking to their family as opposed to someone who is manipulative that uses other family members to enlist them as flying monkeys to pressure other people into doing what the manipulative person wants.  I'm not sure the friend is manipulative, maybe just extremely upset by the whole thing.

I would still give a listening ear, that's a what a friend does.  Obviously venting to family has gotten your friend into trouble so at least your friend can have a safe place to vent with you.

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Oh my, I'm sorry your friend involved you in her dust-up. 

 

MIL gossiping (by my standards) about one AC to another is a huge mistake. FIL stupidly calling made it worse. And then seemingly attempt to manipulate her other kids and stir the pot - over who will be at the table on Christmas? IF any of their kids came to Christmas after that display of horrid behavior - it's really a miracle. Nobody wants to wonder who mom/dad will gossip about next, do they?

 

My opinion, she should apologize profusely, promise to keep private family matters private in the future, and wait silently. BUT if she has shut up on this topic I think, Rose, making no suggestions is best. IF she brings it back up, maybe listen then beandip?

 

I have a friend who went all in - crazy - about a FB announcement (akin to this level of fuss) and the result was some sort of a civil protection order. Not everyone is patient/forgiving with with full on escalation of crazy.

 
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6 hours ago, JanelleK said:

Oh my, I'm sorry your friend involved you in her dust-up. 

 

Thanks Janelle!


BUT if she has shut up on this topic I think, Rose, making no suggestions is best. IF she brings it back up, maybe listen then beandip?

 

Yes, after everything I've read here, this^^^ is what I'm thinking - say nothing unless she brings it up again. Then, if she does, give her that "listening ear" for a while and then bean dip. Thanks again, Janelle!

 

I have a friend who went all in - crazy - about a FB announcement (akin to this level of fuss) and the result was some sort of a civil protection order. Whoa! Not everyone is patient/forgiving with with full on escalation of crazy.

 

 

 

Edited by RoseRed135

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If I vent to someone and that someone repeats it to the person you where venting about  are not only are you  gossip but a drama queen. Those that stir the poop pot eventually get to lick the spoon...........dealing with family drama right now because of this very same thing. No I was not the pot stirrer. But seriously thinking of changing my name and moving to my own island and leaving no forwarding address. 

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"I had an old boss to share what her lovely stepmother told her when she first got married.  "Please don't come to me and share your private spat.  You will kiss and make up, forgive and move on with your honeymoon.  Nobody will be kissing me and I won't forget."

This so true!  I love that my DD's share things with me but I wish they'd share their problems with their SO's with someone other than me.  I can't forget!  You harm, upset, etc. one of my own well I'll remember it forever.

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8 hours ago, Mdgrandma said:

"I had an old boss to share what her lovely stepmother told her when she first got married.  "Please don't come to me and share your private spat.  You will kiss and make up, forgive and move on with your honeymoon.  Nobody will be kissing me and I won't forget."

This so true!  I love that my DD's share things with me but I wish they'd share their problems with their SO's with someone other than me.  I can't forget!  You harm, upset, etc. one of my own well I'll remember it forever.

I told mine right off when they came to me over an issue when their marriage was very new, is she's your dw you need to work things out with her not you me and her. I never believed running home to momma was a good idea I never wanted to be the third wheel and anyone's marriage. 

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10 hours ago, JustaGrandma said:

If I vent to someone and that someone repeats it to the person you where venting about  are not only are you  gossip but a drama queen. Those that stir the poop pot eventually get to lick the spoon...........dealing with family drama right now because of this very same thing. No I was not the pot stirrer. But seriously thinking of changing my name and moving to my own island and leaving no forwarding address. 

Maybe I'm having a duh-moment, but I'm a little confused here. Are you saying that if Person X vents to Person Y about Person Z and then Person Y repeats it to Person Z, Person Y is a "gossip" and a "drama queen?" Or are you saying that Person Z would end up accusing Person X of being those things?

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Person Y would be the gossip and drama queen; 

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21 hours ago, JustaGrandma said:

If I vent to someone and that someone repeats it to the person you where venting about  are not only are you  gossip but a drama queen. Those that stir the poop pot eventually get to lick the spoon...........dealing with family drama right now because of this very same thing. No I was not the pot stirrer. But seriously thinking of changing my name and moving to my own island and leaving no forwarding address. 

I think Layla's comment above applies to this too?  What are Ys intentions?  A lot of times I really do think they are pot stirrers. But not all the time. 

That's why I said why aren't the brothers and sisters in this situation held accountable at all?  They have free will in all of this.  They don't have to be flying monkies.  But I don't think they intentionally wanted to be pot stirrers.

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51 minutes ago, JustaGrandma said:

Person Y would be the gossip and drama queen; 

Ok, thanks, Justa!

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12 minutes ago, skipped said:

 

That's why I said why aren't the brothers and sisters in this situation held accountable at all?  They have free will in all of this.  They don't have to be flying monkies.  But I don't think they intentionally wanted to be pot stirrers.

I don't think they did either - just got caught up in the drama. But I agree they bear some responsibility, too. They're adults, after all, and as you say, "have free will."  IMO, it isn't all on the mom/my friend.

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I wonder if DIL said one word about this issue to her own mother or siblings and they are just keeping their mouths shut about it or friend just doesn't know about it.  It could be a pot/ kettle thing.   How much of a problem would this be if friend told the other children as a way of an explanation and them trying to get brother on board brought it to another level.

It sounds like this was a major problem to start with (they were going to cut off visitation with grandchildren) so IMO it is hard to ascertain how much the telling the other children added to the problem.

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2 hours ago, skipped said:

I wonder if DIL said one word about this issue to her own mother or siblings and they are just keeping their mouths shut about it or friend just doesn't know about it.  

I feel like this brings up a good point - if some type of drama is happening, for example, if i'm upset with DH or his parents or whoever, but i choose to tell my parents and siblings, is that gossip? Or just needing an outlet to vent?  though i think that's a bit of a loaded question because i think it depends on the content of what is being disclosed and i suppose it depends on what i'm asking of my FOO...do i want their opinion on something or just to listen to me.

 

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I think we would all be better off if we stopped and thought before we start talking, just walk away and be quiet for a while and calm down before we make a bigger mess. I have a recent situation with my sisters in which one sister feels wronged by the other and I agree with her. My first thought was to call the offending sister and ask why are you doing this? Then I realized it isn't any more right for me to call her about it than it was for this sister to interfere in the first place. If this sister brings something up about the situation, then I will say my piece but until then I am keeping out of it.

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This came across my FB Newsfeed. It seems as if it would fit what's being said here...

Practice-the-pause.-640x640.jpg

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45 minutes ago, missmm said:

I think we would all be better off if we stopped and thought before we start talking, just walk away and be quiet for a while and calm down before we make a bigger mess. I have a recent situation with my sisters in which one sister feels wronged by the other and I agree with her. My first thought was to call the offending sister and ask why are you doing this? Then I realized it isn't any more right for me to call her about it than it was for this sister to interfere in the first place. If this sister brings something up about the situation, then I will say my piece but until then I am keeping out of it.

Exactly if the sister that was in the wrong brings it to you then tell her how you feel, but it would probably cause more drama if you took it upon yourself to defend the sister that was wronged, because I'm sure the offender sees no wrong with her actions. So it wouldn't get any body any place.

 

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In part, I think it depends on individual families.  Mother taught us to not tell others news unless asked to share by the teller.

We know that that is how she is.  We have followed her lead.  When my older sister without an internet connection calls to ask what is happening in one of our siblings family, I offer to read what has been posted.  I don't add to that even if I know.  Information that has been shared online, is no longer "news" and has been put out there as general info.

When someone just runs with everything they know (even when true) I don't need to know that or the teller would have shared with me, or asked another sibling to share.

Am I trying to say everybody needs to do the same, NOPE...do what has always worked for your family, but if it quits working when SOs join in the family and a fuss is kicked up, maybe it is time to rethink "how we've always done it".

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I'm a fan of pausing- But also a fan of a time for all things- Sometimes remain quiet, sometimes stirring to pot to get people to communicate- No sides need to be taken, doing so could be a mistake- I often take all sides into consideration which people dont often like when wanting to be right more than wanting to finding a working solution-

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20 hours ago, SueSTx said:

Mother taught us to not tell others news unless asked to share by the teller.

On 1/13/2018 at 9:29 AM, AndreaMSW said:

--- for example, if i'm upset with DH or his parents or whoever, but i choose to tell my parents and siblings, is that gossip? 

Falls into my definition of gossip. 
 
For myself, I have very strict rules - set by my folks, regarding what I discuss with others.
 
For example - my brother, very occasionally, has a hard time with his ILs need for excessive contact with brothers wife (ILs only child) and 2 kids. I know my brother, I see it in his face. IF he starts to say something about his ILs I refuse to listen, I love that goober to pieces and would always take his side, not fair to his ILs. 
 
My brother and husband are best friends and they do talk about brothers ILs. Thus my husband has some skewed opinions of brothers FIL, SisIL's upbringing, the overall nuttiness of brother's ILs. They're nice folks, we like them, we see them incredibly often. I prefer to get along and not know the details about why they grate on my brother's nerves -- beings knowing serves no purpose but would stay in my mind. Anyways, we have to cooperate with brothers ILs as the 2 kids co-grandparents. 
 
I won't disrespect my husband talking about him either, we'll make up, my foo wouldn't forget. 
 
I'm slightly put out with my husband over a stupid purchase he made - supposedly for me - that I don't like and have to find workarounds. IF I told my siblings or our kids - they'd only see my side and totally agree with me. No thanks, all that would do is spread my unhappiness over something small and ridiculous. 
 
My brother plays close to the vest quite well (usually or if his ILs are not topic). He was recently silent party - outside the negotiations (conflict of interest) in a mediation that involved my husband, me, one son and another person. He called, said mediation would happen, that we didn't hear it from him, the first offer would be the best - stay silent, ask and tell nothing, pay and sign. Easypeasy settlement.
 
My opinion, the "stay silent, ask and tell nothing" model is good to follow.
 
 
 

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