Friday, April 10, 2009

Don’t even go there!

Drama Free Zone I don't know if you remember my recent family drama, in which someone told someone else something my Mom had said, blah blah blah. It's not even worth linking to that entry, because it's ultimately unimportant, and seems to have blown over.

However, I talked to my folks today (Mom has a nasty cold--please send her good thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery!) to wish them a happy Easter and just get caught up, and it seems that the "someone" in question is still trying to stir things up a bit. When I had talked to Mom last week, she said that no one was really planning anything for Easter. They have church stuff going on all day on Sunday, and they have a memorial service to go to on Saturday. She said it's probably for the best, since a couple of extended family members have some health issues, and I said that was cool with me, because Ken has to work both days, anyway. It was really no big deal--we don't feel we have to do an Easter thing, and we'll all get together before too long, when things seem to settle down for everyone. Everything was cool.

Well, when Mom was talking to this someone the other day, it was mentioned that we weren't doing anything for Easter, we'd wait to get together when things settled down, and Mom said, "Besides, Beth Anne and Ken can't come anyway." (Although if we'd had a get-together, I would have gone without Ken and brought him a plate home.) This someone said to my Mom, "Are you telling me that you aren't planning something because Beth and Ken can't come?!" Not exactly angry or mean, but just sort of getting after Mom because the someone thought that Mom and Dad weren't planning something just because we couldn't attend.

I told Mom today, no no no. It was kind of a combination of several things, and Ken not being able to come was just an extra thing. We both referenced our previous conversation, and agreed that it was just sort of how everything worked out, and it wasn't just because of me and Ken.

I've said before that I'm very protective of my Mom and Dad. They're adults, and can take care of themselves, obviously, but if I think someone is being hurtful to them, I won't hesitate to say, "It's go-time, Skippy!" That won't be necessary here, because it's not a big deal, and no one is going to try to make it a big deal. However, as protective as I am of my folks, I guarantee that they are ten times more protective of their three girls. What this person probably doesn't realize is that they have crossed a line. Today my Mom told me, "So-and-so [AKA Someone] is working people, don't think I don't know it." When I asked what she meant, she said, "Trying to get whatever they can out of people. Your Dad and I are done."

Manipulation I have thought in the past that this person was being a tad too ingratiating with my folks, but it was never bad enough for me to say anything. My folks are smart cookies, though, and I believe they have seen that now for themselves. I don't doubt that this person loves them and values them, but something always seemed a little "off" to me in their dealings with my folks, and things that they said to them just seemed a little too close to toadying. I couldn't put my finger on anything if I had to, but I sensed it, and it seems that my folks have now, too. In trying to stir up a little trouble between my folks and the family member in the last "drama" and now saying something a little against me--no matter how slight--they have gone a step too far with Mom and Dad.

Manipulative behavior is never attractive. Beyond our own little family saga I've written about here, I've seen it in others, and I always find it a somewhat pathetic. It's as if the person doesn't know how to get what they want through work, or education, or effort, so they resort to using manipulation of others in order to get what they want. We all use our natural talents to deal with people, and learn how to charm and disarm. If our actions garner a positive response, that reinforces our good behavior and we also learn what doesn't work. (That's the plan, anyway. Some never learn that certain behaviors don't work, and can even turn people off. Those are the people who, when they leave, usually result in you asking the person next to you, "Jeez, what's their problem?") Manipulation is different, though. It can involve looks, money, power, threats and ultimatums, or influence, but it almost always involves exaggerations and falsehoods. A person who is on the ball will recognize it and not fall for it.

The lesson to be learned here is: Don't suck up. It's always obvious. And don't try to stir up family drama, because it will only hurt you in the end.



  1. Beth, Love the "Drama-Free Zone" sign and "It's go-time, Skippy!" I'm going to I'll start saying that whenever my kids act up. Of course, they're 17 and 19-year-old boys, tower over me, and could very easily kick my ass, but still, it would be funny. I'm the same way with my parents, btw. Go near them or say a bad word about them and, well, it's go-time, Skippy!

  2. FYI: If you take out that extra "I'll" in my comment above, I promise it will make more sense.;-)

  3. It's as if the person doesn't know how to get what they want through work, or education, or effort, so they resort to using manipulation of others in order to get what they want.

    Not that they don't have the talent to do it, but the idea of working for something never seems to strike them as being relevant. How they figure that it is better trying to sponge off someone else's effort is beyond me.

    You know, I remember seeing Cpt. Kirk when I was at that show!! I wasn' on the fight card, but I was working a corner with a friend. Had I known you and Ken were suck Trekkies, I would have got an autograph or two!!

  4. Oh ... 'it's go time' made me what to channel my inner Hanson brother and drop my gloves!!

  5. this kind of drama is what pretty much split part of my family apart, my uncle/brother's wife just won't stop her smack talking machinations....i finally got sick of it when she slagged on me teaching in an urban area and we really havent talked since, which is sad, but sometimes the only way to win with someone who is trying to work you like that.

    loved the manipulation sign!


  6. We all have faults & this post reminds me of one of mine. I have a feeling I am not the only person like this, but I do recognize it and try to fight the behavior. I agree with your feelings on manipulation, mostly. When it comes to it always being obvious, there is a proviso. Correctly recognizing manipulation vs someone being very complimentary & concerned has a lot to do with your feelings for the person prior to what you perceive as the suck up. For instance, I think Clinton can be(not always, but often) a suave butt-kisser, but I think Obama is geniune. Now, as much as I hate to admit it, if I heard both Clinton and Obama say the EXACT same thing to a voter- and it seemed a little TOO much, I'd probably tend to think Obama was sincere but Clinton was piling on the crap.
    I can't believe I am the only person who has to try to balance that out in their mind, & I am certain I sometimes fail. ~Mary

  7. Some people just cannot live without drama in their lives. I know a few like that for sure. If they don't have their own, they try to find other peoples...I ignor a lot of that in my life. I don't like 'drama' in my life or others.

  8. woah!.... ummmm
    Happy Easter Beth!
    A very powerful entry! Your best yet I think!
    so..... if you don't mind.... could I interest you in some body guarding?
    you know, second job :) maybe? yes?
    have fun! Oh and are you guys going to your Mothers' then at some point?

  9. A shame that genuiness morphs into manipulation. Have never been a fan of drama, as you well know :o)

  10. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE drama and will avoid it with everything I have in me? Well, I do, and I will. Some people need to get a life. Enjoy your weekend.
    Hugs, Joyce

  11. Tell your momma I'm sorry. I must be spreading this cold via the interwebs. (seriously I haven't seen half the people I've infected in over a week and yet, they've got the same damn cold... it's a conspiracy I tell ya... *snicker*) You know all about my family drama and the manipulator herself so I feel ya. My feelings, if they're not an important part of the family, drop 'em or only have contact when necessary. Those of us that don't enjoy drama, prefer to distance ourselves from those who cause it.

  12. I am sory that your Mum has had to put up with this sort of thing it it really is just nasty,,,But as you say they seem well and truly in charge of things !! good on them...
    Mary and I are just back from a few days away hence the silence from me this week. However I am gla dto see all is well at your end.
    with love Sybil xxx

  13. Beth,
    I don't like drama either. I hope you & your family have a Happy Easter & Drama Free!

  14. Good post.
    I, too, like almost everyone I'm sure, have a fmaily member or two who think they are "owed" something, and don't realize it's nicer to get things and enjoy things if you work for them.
    My own dear sister, for example is in her 50s, and has never purchased her own car. She has either bought one with funds "borrowed" from the folks, or my parents have gifted her with one of theirs when they were through with it.
    So, because she's never paid for a car, she doesn't take care of them. They fall apart, and suddenly another one appears.
    I think if she paid for it, she'd take better care of it.
    I dunno, we're from the same gene pool, but I think she may have stayed too long in the "shallow" end.
    That said: I love my sister dearly, warts and all.....which isn't to say she has warts, but that, well, get it.

  15. Funny that it is usually family who try to use the manipulation card time and time again! I have just learned to limit my contact with certain people...not that I don't love my family, but they thrive on drama. I do not.

  16. I hate drama of any sort family or otherwise ughhh. Hugs, Teresa

  17. I'm glad your mom and dad are shrewd enough to see it.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?