Being asked to make decisions for them

  • 10 Replies
  • 1155 Views
*

Orangeblossom77

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 942
Being asked to make decisions for them
« on: March 29, 2016, 01:46:27 PM »
Has anyone else faced this kind of scenario? PD parent asks you to decide their future for them, where they should live etc. Asking if they ca move right next to you into sheltered housing as you will be seen as a relative and they can get priority? I even had to call the local council to see if could be prevented and had a lady get cross as if I was heartless. Very difficult. I get this kind of thing all the time, usually just when meeting them after a break. As if it's been saved up for me. i try and deal with it by saying well, that's nothing to do with me, you need to make those sorts of decisions. Then they get upset as if they're being rejected. Sigh.

*

freedfromchaos

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 371
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 04:21:51 PM »
I once was asked (um, demanded!) to find them a house to buy in my area where they had moved away from a month earlier. They had moved to a house they bought a few years before and one of my siblings had moved in when they bought it. They were battling with that sibling.  I replied "I can't choose a house for you. You have to do that yourself."

More recently I did find an apartment for my mother as she asked when their marriage messily broke up. BIG mistake. She has nothing but complaints and has even  accused me for forcing her to move there away from the hell hole she was begging me to get her out of.   :wacko:

My advice to anyone being asked to make such decisions- run, hang up, fake a coughing fit, do not attempt to help them. Any decision must be entirely their own.

*

betta fish

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 914
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 05:26:53 PM »
One of the best phrases I learned is "It is your choice and I will respect it.".  (or any derivative making the choice their own.)

My mom loves to give ultimatums.  for example, "If you invite this person I will not come, so you will be responsible for making a grandmother miss her grandchild's B-day."  I answer "Mom you are invited to the B-day, if you choose not to come it is your choice and I will respect it."  The first time she was shocked, she tried blaming me, so I just repeated the same statement over and over.  Guess what she came to the party.

Put the responsibility back where it belongs.
"I think you should live where you want to."
"That's a tough choice to make, but you will be able to find a solution I know it."
"That choice will require lots of thought."
"I don't know what I would do either."

Of course they will be mad if you don't make the decision, who will they blame if it goes bad?  They can't blame themselves of course. You won't win, do what you must to keep yourself safe.
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
― Maya Angelou

*

daughter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 4550
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 09:35:11 PM »
Being asked to make decisions for them often involves setting us up to "take blame" if results are less than optimum.  If they make the choices themselves, then it's not as easy to assign blame elsewhere when dissatisfaction inevitably occurs, when "buyers' remorse" kicks in, when subsequent problems arise, etc.  Being asked "but where should we live?", however, can also be construed as manipulation designed to result in a "come leave with us," or some other close-by accommodations, which in the circumstances of npd-parents, a proximity issue that should be avoided if at all possible, because many npd-parents relish thought of "living with" their dutiful adult-daughters some day.

*

Iguanagos

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 517
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 09:54:54 PM »
You’re exactly right, OrangeBlossom.  If you make this decision, she then has a convenient built in scapegoat for anything that goes wrong.  Betta fish has some great advice and sample dialog to try.

A few years ago, right before the housing crash, N/B M was searching for a vacation property, and found one she liked.  She asked me repeatedly for advice.  In years past I would have jumped right in the middle with my opinion, in an effort to help her.  I felt uneasy about the real estate market, but of course at the time had no proof of the precipitous drop that was about to occur.  I just felt it was a more precarious time to be investing in real estate in general. 

BUT - If I had told her to hold off on the purchase, she would have said that I was only concerned about any inheritance.  If I had told her to go ahead and buy, I would be now paying hell for ‘causing’ her to make this bad investment.  As digitalengel said, it’s damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

At the time I was emerging from the FOG, and I somehow I knew to stay outside of the decision entirely.  My only comments were neutral ones, and I made sure to leave the ball in her court every time.  Strangely, EF also stayed outside the decision even though he was going to be an owner along with N/B M.   Apparently he’s learned a thing or two over the years.  She was frustrated with me, but in the end went ahead and purchased the property.  And lo, within months, it had dropped in value by nearly half.

I’m not happy she had to suffer the anxiety of watching a major investment tank like that, but I am thankful that I protected myself and stayed far outside the danger zone.  There was no way she could blame me, EF, or anyone else for this bad decision.  In time the value has partially recovered, but this whole experience taught me a valuable lesson – to stay out of their major life decisions, be merely a supportive neutral party, and always ‘watch your back’.

*

Orangeblossom77

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 942
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 05:50:30 AM »
Thanks for your replies. Yes i see what you mean about them putting the responsibility and blame onto you. Far easier for them in a way. I even used to get it as a child. Asking where we should move to etc.

*

Silent

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 38
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2016, 04:08:02 AM »
My DPD mother is the same. She does that because if something goes wrong she feels she has no responsibilities and is shielded from any consequences. When she asks, I simply tell her Idk and she needs to make the decision that is best for her. Doesn't always work because she becomes like a child who will continue to ask the same question hoping you will give them an answer. Just have to stay strong and let them make a decision for themselves.

*

Marisa

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 28
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 02:29:17 PM »
Thank you so much for starting this thread! My bpd mom is always saying that I am heartless for not deciding where she and my ndad should move. It's exasperating. She is angry at my husband for not finding a real estate agent who will list their current house, "I guess he just doesn't care about helping us." Yeah, nice try. Then she will get to complain that we pressured her to list the house and sold it out from underneath her. I don't understand at all how they both will just refuse to make any decisions about their future, instead preferring to blame me for not making these decisions for them. It's truly bizarre.

*

Orangeblossom77

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 942
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 07:18:19 PM »
It is interesting and perhaps reassuring to hear this is a common issue! I thought it was just me. I like some of the ways of responding mentioned and might try them out.

*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17143
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2016, 10:27:51 AM »
Haven't read the follow up posts but yes uPDm is exactly this way, will not make one simple decision and the reason is plain - if things go wrong others are to blame. She has said that outright may times. Here's what it comes down to: She can't be wrong and she also can't be responsible for her own unhappiness if things go wrong. She never does admit she's wrong ever. And when things go wrong since she hasn't made the decision she rages at the other person for her unhappiness. That's why I checked out some years ago and left enF with ever tiny decision even such as where we have lunch with when we were still meeting for lunches. He is not one bit happy with my resignation of the position and job but it was honestly too much responsibility and the pay stunk.
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

*

Orangeblossom77

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 942
Re: Being asked to make decisions for them
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2016, 06:14:00 PM »
I'm not sure with mine it's the blame thing. I think it might be reassurance or possibly that they have made up their mind and want me to validate it. I'm not sure though.

I was thinking about this today and realising that I too, struggle a bit with decisions. I don't want to do the blame thing, however I do tend to discuss even quite small things first and find it difficult to have confidence in myself to just go ahead without speaking to someone else first. I think I might practice this with small things to start with that don't rally matter too much if it 'goes wrong'.