What to say when people ask about your parents

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Malini

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What to say when people ask about your parents
« on: September 13, 2017, 10:40:40 AM »
I've been on these boards for a while now and regularly come across this question.

NC for 4 good years now and although most people know, either from me, or from NM's smearing that things are not good  :roll:  between us, I still get the questions from acquaintances or people in shops she visits.

I've tried out many of the suggestions here and they work well enough. Recently I was in a butchers shop, recognising my very unusual and rare name, they asked if I was Mrs X's daughter. I said I was, and they were all excited to tell Mrs X, on her next visit, that I too am a client of the shop. Ugh. My life has been so hermetically sealed to Narents, and I am loathe for her to have ANY info on me at all.

I said, 'My mother doesn't speak with me anymore'. That shut them down immediately and then the butcher shared that they knew only too well how this feels as they have the same thing going on in their own family. End of story.

I've decided this will be my new response, it's true, NM isn't speaking to me and hasnt for a while, she's stalked, harassed, abused, shamed and smeared me - but speaking - not so much.

I like this response because it puts things in their right place and elicits a much more positive response than, 'I'm not in contact with my mother' or 'last I heard they were doing fine' , which always made me feel as if I was at fault and needed to remedy that fact.

Just an idea I wanted to share.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

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Seven

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 02:19:55 PM »
Ran into DH cousin (MIL's brother's daughter) and family at a restaurant a while back.  She asked how are the parents?  He said "oh, the same".  If i had been quick on my feet (which I am not and i really need to work on that) I would've said "if i tell you, it would make you uncomfortable". 

A line like that will for sure have them stop asking.

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blues_cruise

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 02:58:22 PM »

I like this response because it puts things in their right place and elicits a much more positive response than, 'I'm not in contact with my mother' or 'last I heard they were doing fine' , which always made me feel as if I was at fault and needed to remedy that fact.


I think that's a really good response as it also means they're less likely to tell her that you go in there. Plus it doesn't lend to any further discussion about it. I'm actually not sure how else you could diffuse it without prompting further conversation, it will be interesting to see if there are other suggestions.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

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TalenCrowhaven

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 04:11:57 PM »
When asked about my PDFather, I usually respond that "He's as charming as ever", with a smile.  :D

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Afterthefox

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 10:22:21 PM »
'He's fine.' usually stops the conversation dead, which is how I prefer it except with those who know me well, who would never ask how he is anyway.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 10:24:33 PM by Afterthefox »
"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone." - Alan Watts

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Nominuke

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 02:33:16 AM »
If I'm ever asked how my Ndad is, I just tell the truth - "I don't know, I don't have anything to do with him anymore."

A couple of people have replied that they were sorry to hear that or that they didn't know. Then the topic of conversation usually changes to something else.

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Blackduckdiva

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 08:30:56 AM »
Hi dear Malini  :wave:
I'm six months into NC and (I now realise) a lifetime into LC and VLC.
Smile, take your purchases, and leave. We have the power.

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AmericanWoman

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 12:16:28 PM »
I'm not having as good of luck, esp w close friends, only one realized and saw how my mother was.

When I say - we really don't talk much as we don't get along or say she's crazy or controlling...none of that works and most of my friends say something to make me feel bad like "my mom is dead several years I sure wish I had her back in my life" an then I get a scolding look.  A few what were close friends that NM never liked even give me that scolding distaste look.  I can honestly say I've lost friendships because they think I'm a hateful witch to my NPDm because I won't allow her to manipulate - I get the "honor thy mother" and all kinds of mess.

Folks that have never lived it just don't have a clue.  I do appreciate your post, thank you so much it did help!   

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Malini

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 02:14:49 AM »
Thanks for the great responses.

There are a lot of good ideas to use in different situations and depending on who we're dealing with (one offs or people we will regularly be in contact with) and what we need to communicate.

My need for utter privacy on my movements and activities because NM is a champion stalker has led me to choose this phrase, given with a smile and a shrug and it is working well and far better than 'please don't mention to NM you saw me here' which resulted in NM turning up at my gym, reading group, hairdresser and  laying in wait in stores, etc.


"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

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Danden

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 08:38:16 PM »
I like your response Malini.  You are right, it is subtly different when it is phrased that she doesn't speak with you, rather than saying "I don't speak with her".  I too often feel like I am fault when I frame it as coming from me. 

I also agree with others that different responses may also be used for different situations.  Sometimes I would say "She is fine" but then I think, what if the person knows she is not fine?  Or hears that she is not fine from someone else?  Maybe they would think I too know she is  not fine and I don't want to talk about it.  So that response may often be used.  If I am talking to a close family member, I just say the truth, that we don't speak because she has disowned me, then I explain more.  Or, in those situations I often say to people "she is a very angry and unhappy person"  in order to convey things without going into details.  To some people I also say "I don't know" .  I think "Oh the same" is also a good response, followed by changing the topic of conversation.

I still get the attitude from many people that I should reconcile with her, but they just don't know. It makes me feel bad too, like I am at fault.  That it  It is an unfortunate dilemma but I am dealing with it better as it becomes more and more a part of my reality.

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Salsera

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 04:22:24 PM »
I have found that when I simply respond "I have no family," people do not ask any further questions. The conversation just continues. I have been doing this for years. It seems to be a general yet simple phrase that "says it all," whatever "all" may be.

And, I think, most people understand that having no family is just that, whatever the circumstances.
Never give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them with their feet and then turn around and attack you. - Matthew 7:6

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MIB

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2017, 08:43:51 PM »
Someone on another thread made the suggestion, "when I talked to them last, they were fine". I loved this answer and plan to use it!

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bopper

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 05:06:52 PM »
For people you are not close to "Same ol' Same ol'" is true and will tell them enough.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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overitall

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2017, 08:02:33 AM »
I say, "I don't have any relationship with them because it's not safe for me"   That usually shuts people down really quickly

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nwbc

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Re: What to say when people ask about your parents
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2017, 03:43:55 PM »
There are 2 kinds of questions and 2 kinds of answers for me:
(1) MOST just ask to be polite and they don't care - "hey how's your mom?" - I answer "she's fine" or something like that and they smile and conversation moves on.
(2) FEW actually want details or care, and to those I shift my tone and just say "actually I'm estranged from my M, we haven't talked in X years" and then they usually just say "oh sorry" or something and that's that. To the very very few who want to know why, I just say "I'm breaking some patterns that need to be broken" or something like that. Depends who it is. I've only explained to friends that I care about, and who ask.


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