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Is it normal for close family and friends to withhold information as a means of control.
Etiquette Q: This is something that has bothered me since childhood with my mother and now with my girlfriend. I believe they purposely withhold information as a means of controlling a situation which I think is unfair if it affects everyone. For instance when they invite people over,they will never remotely tell you the exact number of people who are coming. Every time I ask, I get a number like 4 and it turns out it is 20. Is this normal behavior. Also, is it normal for them to ask me to accompany them on 2 errands and we end up doing 10, like my time doesn't matter? Is this normal.
I don't know if it's "normal" but I know it's done. When I first met my husband he did that sort of thing. This was one of the areas we had to clear up before the relationship could go anywhere. By leaving out information I think it's as good as a lie. He didn't believe it was a lie because he had never put it into words. My argument was that a lie is a lie no matter how you try to justify it. My other argument was that if he wanted to continue to play games with what was going on in our lives he could go back to his first wife. He changed.
When you're a child and parents don't tell you everything they're usually trying to protect you or trying to let you keep a good opinion of someone important to you. It could be that they've gotten into a habit they can't break and you're not giving them any reason to. Make sure they know you don't like being lied to, being kept in the dark, or treated like your time isn't valuable. Start saying "no" to the errands even if you want to go. Or, when they ask you to do something with them tell them you'll drive yourself and meet them instead of riding with them. Then you can leave whenever you want, whether you have other plans or not. Eventually they'll either stop inviting you or they'll be more honest about the amount of time they want you to commit to. If you don't have a car and are at the mercy of your friends and/or family, don't go at all.
No it isn't normal but quite commonplace for family members &/or friends to do so. Families & friends have their respective agendas & paradigms established w/the purpose of having control &/or to institute their particular hegemony over the situation. Certain family members & friends not only survive but thrive on control. They feel that in order to be authoritative, they must be in control of the situations or situation at hand. Since this control is paramount in their lives, they will exert any means necessary to have &/or retain such control. They refuse to believe in equal parity regarding relationships; for if the relationships are equal, where would THEY be. They want to be the superior one while you are the inferior one- this type of relationship serves THEIR purpose.
Do you ever ask them clearly if they're doing it on purpose? Have you asked them why they lied to you? I would say confronting them is the best way and telling them that you don't like that they do it and it feels disrespectful to you. There's nothing wrong with feeling that way if you express it clearly. If they continue to lie to you after it being explained to them, then that's when you start telling them that you don't trust them and you no longer wish to go on errands with them or your girlfriend is not allowed to have friends over, etc.
As Cissy and Grace commented...I do not know if lying is typical/normal per se but it is rampant. And definetely being "economical" with the truth is lying. I don't care how anyone "couches" it.
Being deceived/lied to is definetely a form of authouratative control. Its done by family members and et al to have their agendas meet without considering your needs at all. To me this shows disrespect. This shows they have little value of you. This shows either they do not love you or that their concept of love differs to your defintion of love.
Now in saying that as little children lies may have been told by your parents to protect you from some harsh reality.
And as we get older we can tell white lies if we also dont want to hurt someone's feelings. Eg: to tell you that you look great in that black dress (because you have your heart set on it) even though you personally may feel she looks great in that red dress.
Personally some people find people who deceive/mislead/ to be more socially sophisticated. They may even call them diplomatic or charismatic.
But the bottom line is do you want a "crazy maker" in your life where you cannot relax and trust what comes out of their mouths? Remember if you take their lies as truths this could lead you to make some bad decisions in your life. And no one needs that in their life.
However in saying all of that? Family is family. Is there any good there? If so focus on the good parts and distance yourself from the not so good parts. No one is perfect.
I think people need to be VERY careful about automatically assuming SOME things are a matter of someone trying to control someone else. The examples given here are different situations. Anyone who has ever put some party/get-together/event together knows how things can change and/or all the things involved with, say, "..can't buy this until I pick up that" or "don't know if we'll need six or twenty because so-and-so- hasn't let me know if x, x, and/or x are coming". Anyone who hasn't put together enough of these things, or a mix of types of them (four-year-old's birthday or engagement party?) will also run into complications unless/until he does.
So in fairness, someone may not even anticipate what may go on unless it does. Planning ahead and preventing issues comes with experience. So the problem can be that the person really didn't even know how complicated things might turn, herself.
A similar kind of thing can happen with errands. The biggest problem could be that the person assumes you don't mind "being a little flexible" and/or that you don't think to make it clear that two errands is fine with you, but if it may turn into more then it isn't.
Wanting to have control over how a party goes and knowing how to head off problems is a different thing than wanting to control people in relationships.
Young people (and often older men) often don't get at all involved in some things so they don't even know how "complications" can happen. Kids often think their mother is a "control freak" because, for example, she doesn't want five-year-olds bringing their drink or snack into a living room. She knows the work/cost involved in a damaged/stained rug and doesn't think eating/drinking in other rooms is a big deal. Kids may see something like as her being "a control freak", just because they can't do whatever they feel like doing. Teens who don't realize their mother won't try to stop them from doing SOME things when they're a little older see it as "control freak".
Genuine "control freaks" can get into struggles if someone else is not willing to be controlled. Or they can think that everyone else is the same kind of control freak that they are (when everyone else is not).
So, people need to be careful about "assuming control-motivations". Having said all that, playing "control games" or "manipulation games" may be common but are not normal/healthy.
I don't know about controlling but in one instance when this happened to me, I assumed the guy was a selfish jackass. I helped him get a PDF file for his motor trike to fix. Next time it was something else, then (he didn't even ask - just assumed) to go to friend's house to pick up a motor, after that wanted to go somewhere else. None was asked just assume I have nothing to do but cart his butt all over town on BS errands.
I just took off, and wrote him off. Get a text messages that I 'abandoned' him. I texted back "How could you be 'abandoned' when you were at your own house??"
So with GF - would just talk things over and say, when go to one place, and it turns out like ten, I feel that I'm being used as a free taxi service.
Does she have her own car? If not - then you are being used as a free taxi service. Just because you like her an all - you shouldn't sell yourself short.
Most people wish this was the only problem they had!
Whether it 4 or 10 people coming over it's just a gathering.
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