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Forums / Relationship and family issues / Apologies- within reason

Topic: Apologies- within reason

  1. white knight
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    27 September 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Grandy,

    Neighbours are a particularly difficult thing to advise on because , well they are all different.

    I had a young family buy a block of land next to us. We both had one acre within a small town. We had our entertainment area 5 metres from their boundary. They purchased motorbikes for both of their 4 and 5yo daughters ! and ran them all day on weekends. They stayed in a caravan on the property.

    One day he jumped our fence and said "you dont mind us operating the motorbikes do you" to which I replied "yes I do, we cant enjoy the birds and the serenity here anymore, however I think its good to have recreation so can we come to a compromise, I suggest you operate them 2 hours a day not in times of meals",. He said he had council permission and left disgruntled.

    I rang the council, it seemed he had council permission but beyond town boundaries only. So council contacted him and told him motorbikes are not permitted. They also told him that living in a caravan on weekends without proper facilities is breaking local laws. He sold the land 3 weeks later.

    So I agree, it isnt that easy, you can compromise, you can be kind but IMO I've had a lifetime of being walked over and found the only way I've found peace of mind is the equal the onslaught.

    Having said that I accept Elizabeths post as an option because we are all made up differently. Our nature differs. I'm a 130kg ex prison warder among other similar fields, I only have to stare at a nasty person and they often melt.

    Yes, do what suits you best. Sometimes the benefit of the doubt does work. That person might approach you one day and apologise for being a bad neighbour. But I've seen people be appeasing and one day snap back with a quick comment. Only then does the nasty one feel that they might be careful next time.

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Sleepy21
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    27 September 2021 in reply to white knight

    Love it Tony

    I have never been able to scare anyone but have been walked over many a time

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  3. Ggrand
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    28 September 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hello Tony, Elizabeth, Sleepy and everyone..

    I am really sorry my last post sounded so ungrateful..I am grateful for any advice...

    Oh how I wish I looked threatening....

    I tried before to be assertive, and stand up for me...Unfortunately it didn’t work, I only have to start being assertive then after a few words..my bottom lip starts quivering, tears start falling...then I excuse myself and I walk away before I become a blubbering mess...

    I understand no one can help me to be assertive or stand up for me...except myself....A work in progress..

    I have been doing what you talked about Elizabeth since the last flare up of hers...and I suppose continue on that way....so as to keep the peace between us...

    Thank you all again for your kindness..and patience with me..

    My kind thoughts...

    Grandy..

    2 people found this helpful
  4. white knight
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    29 September 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Thats fine Grandy.

    Ok, so it appears I'm at the other end of the spectrum from you Grandy. I'm 130kg, done weight lifting when young and trained in a jail environment and RAAF. However, in the same aspect when I was in a jail exercise yard along or even with another guard and 20 prisoners get disgruntled I too start shaking. Then you have to use all your available tact to defuse the situation. A confronting warder would be so dangerous.

    Just pointing out there is a limit to being able to stand your ground no matter who you are.

    My main point was that people will find communicating with difficult people cannot be done just with a plan to love them to infinity. It does work overall due to most people being kind and thoughtful. But in the case of a nasty neighbour all the love and help in the world wont do you any good. Hence the "hello, goodbye and nice day" routine.

    We also might better serve ourselves by realising the fact, that others people might well find your neighbour toxic like you do. Feel good that you are not alone in that likelihood.

    TonyWK

    3 people found this helpful
  5. ecomama
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    29 September 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hey everyone, you're all such wonderful people, hugs.

    Dear TonyWK, I'm sorry for not responding earlier to another one of your AMAZING poems!! Man you need to PUBLISH lol.

    Hey Grandy and others, you sweet SWEET lady. How anyone could be like this neighbour could be to you is beyond my comprehension and NOT your fault.

    She's a controlling nuisance.
    Someone mentioned "toxic" yes indeed I agree and add ABUSIVE.

    A good "litmus test" is to ask yourself how you FEEL after being with that person.
    Another is feeling the need to apologise ALL the time (just to keep the peace - which kinda only works for a minute or 2 hey?).

    Long time survivors of abuse DO apologise and often do so relentlessly and really when it boils down to it - unnecessarily because it's not our fault but necessarily for survival.
    We learnt how to survive.

    Grandy don't beat yourself up about what you could or should have done. You're AMAZING, I wish you were MY neighbour!!

    As Elizabeth CP said, behave in a manner that aligns with your values. You do do this and I'm really proud of you.

    I have ONE suggestions besides all the praise lol... (it's what I learnt to do with my toxic neighbour)... instead of jumping quickly to apologise, catch yourself and leave a "pregnant pause"..... that is SILENCE where you normally would've jumped in quickly to apologise.
    It takes practice! hahaha, lots of it sometimes.

    Not sure if you know but I'm really involved in "Behaviour management" in my career, not my own lol, OTHERS.
    It's part of my role.
    I've absolutely learnt that with some pretty disordered individuals there's NOTHING you can do to support change in their behaviours - hey divorcing a demon showed that as evidence.
    LOVING them till the cows come home does nothing but destroy you in the process, agreed TonyWK.
    HUGS.

    Give it a goooo Grandy.
    Love you
    EMxxxx

    2 people found this helpful
  6. white knight
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    29 September 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Thankyou Ecomama,

    I've thought a lot about Grandys technique, one she has no alternative choices in- to be apologetic even when it isn't justified.

    I think most of us have done this but most of us have had the strength and therefore the ability to feel confident enough to determine when an apology isn't justified, so we stand our ground.

    One of those occasions when I (sort of) swallowed my pride to offer an olive branch when I knew I'd done no wrong, was a lady that has been a mother figure to me for 48 years. A few years ago we had a disagreement and I was shattered. Even though I still don't think I did wrong my fear of us falling out caused me to write this poem for her.

    THE SEAT

    Over the years its become obvious to me
    as far as any mind can see
    your love and care has made its mark
    and its made its mark on me

    And just as red wine can
    you have grown on me
    and I'll be there when in need
    that I guarantee

    So enjoy the time you have left
    rest on a special seat and feel free
    you're too young to be my mother
    - but you are a mum to me.....

    Tony

    So, it wasn't an apology I sent after all...it was an expression of love. That olive branch United us to another level. She laminated that poem and framed it.

    I was thinking that in some situations acts of kindness to loved ones can work. It doesn't always need an apology. But it has less chance of working with a toxic neighbour.

    Two weeks after I sent that poem, my mother figure sent me a matchbox. Inside it was a small red heart drawn with a colour pencil.

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  7. ecomama
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    29 September 2021 in reply to white knight

    Dear TonyWK

    Awww that poem said everything. Beautiful and what a huge compliment to her and how you valued her in your life. What a gift!

    Yes I agree.
    When relationships are IMPORTANT to us, meaning that we love them and pretty much know they love us, there are other options than to quickly apologise (esp if it wasn't us that made the mistakes).

    I cry at Ads so when my daughters (most esp) have been upset with me and I've cried etc, I usually withdraw in fear.
    I've found 2 good methods that work for us (took me decades to find them!).

    1. Saying I love you and I don't want to get upset and fight with you because I love you more than anything in the whole world.
    2. Saying "When you do ____, the story I'm telling myself is ______" and "I don't know if that's really how you feel, is it how you feel?"
    eg When you get angry with me, the story I'm telling myself is that you think I don't care about you or that I crossed a boundary I didn't know about, is this right?
    and they can explain.
    This works brilliantly with my Fiance too.

    I won't do NADA of that in other relationships, but I would if I had issues in close friendships.

    The neighbour?
    Yah the pregnant pause could work a treat. Grandy may want to practice it and let us know?

    What usually happens IME is that the other person is taken aback!
    Sometimes they're stunned in silence (waiting for us to jump in and fill that vacant space with our usual apologies).
    THEN if you wait long enough (and it's a tad uncomfortable I can tell you now lol).... they've usually had a moment to reflect on their own words they just mentioned and say something like "oh that sounded gruff" or "so you don't agree?" or even could apologise as they hear their words reverberate in their mind.

    It's a POWERFUL moment.
    A WINDOW of opportunity.

    My kids know when I'm doing it.
    They do it to each other and me too lol.
    We all do it with our work Colleagues and it's powerful.

    Human interactions hey?

    Love EMxxxx
    PS: LOVE that poem TonyWK!

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Ggrand
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    30 September 2021 in reply to white knight

    Dear Tony, EM...

    Thank you so much for your understanding...and helpful posts...

    I will give the pause a try...and let you know next time I find myself talking to her...right now though I am staying away from her the most I can..

    This neighbour, will do anything for her friends and me...it’s just that disagreeing with her is a no go...regardless of if she is right or wrong...

    Tony..I also love your poem...It really shows how much you love and care for your mother figure...it’s beautiful..

    I think I just have to try to accept, that I’ll always be afraid to speak up for myself...Learned behaviour is one hell of a thing to conquer.

    Kind thoughts lovely Tony, EM and everyone...

    👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩Grandy...

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