How to set boundaries with patronizing people

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Summer_Twilight
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30 Aug 2017, 7:23 am

Hi:
Though I am 35 and a functioning adult who lives on her own, holds down a career, is going to school to get her undergrad and depending almost completely on herself, I find that people still treat me like I am an 8-year-old kid. There are times where people coming up and seem to give me a high five or a fist bump with a "Hi, girl how are you doing?" When it comes to talking to me though, they tend to avoid me. What are some tactics?



BirdInFlight
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30 Aug 2017, 7:41 am

I can relate to being a functioning adult (well only just barely functioning at times), who feels like I'm treated like a kid by many people.

For me it's not so much a greeting like the one you describe, as it is the way people tend to try to give me advice about things, even when I never even asked. People are patronizing to me in the form of talking to me as if I don't have a clue about anything.

I consider myself to have quite a bit of a clue about a lot of stuff; in some ways I've done quite a lot in my life, and I've had quite a bit of loss, tragedy, abusive situations.

I've had to survive a lot of hard things and had to do it all alone too, without support, finding my own way through things, knowing how to do stuff myself, having to be resilient and resourceful even while at the same time being a sensitive and easily stressed person.

I've had to be far stronger in my life than I seem to people.

It doesn't apparently show. . . .so people treat me like I must be weak and clueless.

It's the story of my life and I haven't yet found a way to stop it. I'm also physically short, look younger than my years, have a high voice and I think this impression also makes people talk down to me. I've had someone YOUNGER than me patronizingly tell me I couldn't possibly remember a certain old-timey singer who was only on TV in the 60's/70s. Serously. The guy was 40-ish and took me for younger than him, and was incredibly condescending and "you wouldn't know."

More seriously, someone also did this to me about a period in political history. It turned into a terrible argument, I began to feel so angry.

I can't give any advice but I just wanted to say I relate to how you feel and it's incredibly annoying for people to still do this to a grownup person.



Summer_Twilight
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30 Aug 2017, 9:02 am

I have had people remind me on things like:

"Don't forget your purse, cell phone." Etc.

Now I had been listening to a life coach talks about standing up to condescending people and by saying. "I get it. I am not dumb."

I used to have a friend who's mother was a bit of a riot to begin with because she was brain washed into looking at people's deficits being that she my ex-friend had disabilities along with being a sign language interpreter in special ed. She constantly kept reminding me when it wasn't about me because of the who "Autism means self" thing.

This one time we were at a bridal shop as my friend and I were going to be bride's maids in another wedding of an ex-friend of mine. Just about every time I said that I liked something else, she kept talking down to me. "This is for your friend."

Though I have got the "I'm not dumb" down are there other things that I could say?



BirdInFlight
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30 Aug 2017, 9:16 am

I think the standard advice is something like, "Thank you [insert person's name] -- I am aware already, actually. . . .but thank you for your interest."

Or something super-polite like that.

The trouble is, super-polite never feels like it really cuts it in these situations! :(



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30 Aug 2017, 9:38 am

Stare at them until they're uncomfortable - if you're able to do it.


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Summer_Twilight
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30 Aug 2017, 9:50 am

Yes, I have given people the stare many times and that usually causes them to back off. Believe me, that does work too.



shortfatbalduglyman
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30 Aug 2017, 2:21 pm

If they avoid you, that sounds to me like they care within their moral rights to do so

Based on your description, that doesn't appear "patronizing"

There could be more that you did not write about

If you find them patronizing, find someone else

Unless there is a functional reason why you have to interact with them

Try not to take it personally

You can't control someone else''s attitude



ladyelaine
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30 Aug 2017, 8:08 pm

People have been patronizing to me too. I can't stand when people talk to me like I'm a child. I avoid people who do that stuff to me. I may be short and look young for my age, but that is no excuse for patronizing behavior. I hate when people start the "well, you know...", or "you gotta understand... " stuff with me.



HistoryGal
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30 Aug 2017, 9:46 pm

I say, "you need to stop talking like that to me. I'm not a child."

It works for awhile but dirtbags like this need periodic reminders.



the_phoenix
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05 Sep 2017, 12:38 am

Summer_Twilight wrote:
I have had people remind me on things like:

"Don't forget your purse, cell phone." Etc.


"What did you just say? I forgot." :P :lol:

Summer_Twilight wrote:
This one time we were at a bridal shop as my friend and I were going to be bride's maids in another wedding of an ex-friend of mine. Just about every time I said that I liked something else, she kept talking down to me. "This is for your friend."

Though I have got the "I'm not dumb" down are there other things that I could say?


"Yay! ... then I'm sure my friend will let me borrow it." :P :lol:

The above would be my mischievous, practical joking, irreverent responses.
Be warned, however ...
the person you're talking to might get mad at you. :roll:

You can only get away with it if you use the right comical tone of voice,
and even then, it also depends on the other person ...
so I'm posting my comebacks here mostly to lighten the mood ...
as real suggestions? Beware, it's not for everyone.

I guess it's my round-about way of saying
you deserve to be treated with as much respect as other people.