Tag Archives: communication issues

Q&A – Family Tension

A question from a fan: “Hi MistressPrime, I hope u can help me. I’m Wiccan my family knows and some of them don’t approve because they’re conservative Christian. They’ll leave bible verses or comments that push their beliefs on my Facebook page. They say things on my posts that hurt my feelings. It upsets me. I don’t get why they can’t see my point of view. How can I deal with them but also not create more problems in the family? Thanks for ur help! Caitlin”

Hi Caitlin,

I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I responded to a similar question on a FB group post recently. It’s the holiday season so family and drama, especially around differing religions, has a tendency to ramp up this time of the year. I’m going to share similar advice that I gave to the person in that group.

Let me start by saying navigating differing religious perspectives and family on social media is a tricky pain in the ass. Understanding that your pushy Christian family members may feel it is their duty to save you from “the devil” means that nothing you say about what you believe, especially if it’s anything other than Christian, will ever soothe their discomfort or even shut them up. So, you have options…

The most passive option is that you can ignore their posts and comments on your page, but leaving it there will be a reminder and a continued form of oppression that will build resentment between you and those family members. In my opinion it’s not the best course of action, but it could be the lowest risk of family drama. Also, If they are comments on a post, you can Hide them. Go to the three dots (…) when you hover over their comment. Select Hide.

Another option is you can screen capture the thread, this way you can ensure you have their whole comment and it’s context, and then delete the comment. This allows you to cover your backside in case anyone in the family disputes what was actually said on your page. I learned this the hard way in a similar issue with my family. Unless they’re looking regularly at your page there’s a chance they won’t even notice it’s gone. Now you can drop it from there and move on or you can choose to talk privately with that family member and explain how their comment was hurtful to you.

If your family regularly leave these kinds of hurtful comments on your page, but you’re afraid to unfriend them because it may cause further family drama I would recommend the privacy settings option. Keep them on your friends list, but add them to a custom list. If you put them on the Restricted Friend List that option gives them access to only your Public posts and information. Putting them on the Acquaintances Friends List means you would need to set your post’s privacy settings to Friends minus Acquaintances to prevent them from seeing any particular posts, but they would still be able to see anything that’s listed as Friends Only or Public. You can further protect yourself if they posts a lot of things you find objectionable on their own page by Unfollowing their pages entirely. This maintains you’re still on each other’s friends list but you no longer see their page updates in your Home Feed. You can still go to their page to read their posts when you want.

Now you also have the option to Unfriend. This has a greater potential for blowback, so choose this option with that knowledge. People get seriously butthurt over being unfriended on social media. But I will add, in some cases this can be the best option, especially if you’re being harassed by family who don’t seem to respect you or your decisions.

The most extreme option is Unfriend and Block. This option is burning the bridge. Also, your family may possibly report back to them what they see on your page. And again, in some cases this may be the best option to help maintain one’s personal well being and limit the toxic interactions.

If possible, I would recommend against arguing in the comments with them because, in the end, it’s just not worth your emotional energy to try to change their mind on FB. A discussion in person, or at the very least by phone, rather than through text where your intention might be misunderstood and could cause greater misunderstanding and additional unnecessary pain is a prefered choice. You have a greater chance of being understood. Granted, they still may not hear you, but there’s a better chance than by text.

In the end, know that YOU aren’t creating this tension in the family. They are. You aren’t the one trying to impose your perspective upon them. You should not feel bad or at fault about what they’re doing to you.

Whichever choice you make, I wish you the best of luck!

Spell for Honest and Wise Communication

Use the spell when communication patterns have become stale, negative, limited, or dishonest.

Materials:

  • Two pieces of paper
  • Writing utensil
  • Clear jar
  • Salt
  • Dried or fresh Sage

Spell:

  1. Write your name and the name of the person with whom you wish to communicate on two separate pieces of paper.
  2. Fill a clean, clear jar with salt and a handful of dried or fresh Sage leaves.
  3. Place the two papers inside the jar. Don’t put the lid on it. Leave it open.
  4. Gently swirl the contents of the jar until the papers are completely submerged in the salt and Sage as you envision yourself having a productive, wise, and honest conversation with the person in question.
  5. Leave the jar in the area where you’re most likely to come in contact with the person, or alternatively, take out the two slips of paper, fold them together, and keep them tucked inside your pocket during conversations.

*************************************************

Found in Llewellyn’s Witches Spell-a-Day Almanac

Special Effing Snowflake

I’ve been running Meetup events for 7-13 different groups for nearly 13 years now. Over the years I’ve learned what does and what does not work for each group. At some point we realized that membership rules were necessary as it seemed some things that we assumed most people would know wasn’t always the case. Thus I created a list of rules. They are very simple, but ultimately necessary reminders to ensure the group works harmoniously.

Lately more members are joining using the Meetup app on their phone. This is convenient for members, however, the app lacks a lot of the information available to members using the desktop version, such as our membership rules, message board, photos, etc. As such I’ve had to message members wishing to join our groups and include the rules so they can be aware.

How is it I know they didn’t read the rules? Based on their response to the question regarding the rules. Within the rules is a very specific reponse requested. It started because people would lie, automatically respond with a yes, and when they break a rule they’d claim they didn’t know. It became a big hassle that required more management on my part. The hope was to prevent drama after the fact. If they give the correct response I’ll know they read all the rules.

Unfortunately… there are the occasional individuals who insist on creating the drama before they even join the group. Below is the profile submitted by the most recent special snowflake. I changed their name and a few identifying things because it’s unnecessary to out this individual. For me it’s more about the interaction and how they didn’t seem to recognize I wasn’t really asking much at all of them, but they made it to be about something it wasn’t and then into a bigger issue than it need be, especially on their final reply in our IMs back and forth.

I look at things this way… if a person feels they’re far too special to follow very basic rules and directions they likely have no respect for the rules or our group and therefore it may be best for all involved if they don’t join our group.

I’m told I have a lot of patience with difficult people, some days it really takes all that I have.

PROFILE

Special Snowflake C.Ht

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Los Angeles

What, within our group, do you hope to find?
learning

Let’s see how well you can follow directions. Have you read the Rules for Membership listed on the About Us section and agree to abide by them?
Yes (It was later changed to – Yes I AGREE! after my initial IM)

What, if any, tradition of witchcraft do you practice?
Goddess, Meditation, Kabbalah.

How did you hear about us?
google


CONVERSATION

Wednesday
MistressPrime 6:18 PM

Sent from Orange County Witches Meetup

Hello Special Snowflake C.Ht,

Thank you for your interest in the OC Witches Meetup. It appears that you have not yet read our membership rules. I have provided them for you here. Please take a moment to thoroughly read them and change your profile answer regarding the rules accordingly. Once you’ve made that change to your membership request message me here to let me know and then I can add you to our group membership.

Thank you,
MistressPrime
OC Witches Meetup Organizer

RULES FOR MEMBERSHIP:

  1. All members are required to RSVP with a Yes or No to each of the monthly Meetup events. These are the events held on the 2nd Wednesday or the 4th Thursday of the month at 7pm. Locations can vary.
  2. Participation is required. All members are required to attend a monthly Meetup at least once every 6 months.
  3. If a member is unable to comply to monthly Meetup attendance requirements due to school or work, they will need to contact MistressPrime privately to discuss their options.
  4. Members will ensure that their RSVP is current by checking the event listing. If you are currently a No, but are able to attend, please change your RSVP to Yes. If you are a Yes, but are not able to attend, please change your RSVP to a No. These changes should occur by 1 hour before the Meetup if possible.
  5. If you are listed as a YES, but discover you are unable to attend at the last minute (less than 1 hour prior to Meetup), please drop me a private email (up to 24 hours after the Meetup) to ensure you are not listed as a No Show. Members are allowed a maximum of 3 No Shows before being removed for attendance issues. However, if you are listed as a No or have not RSVPed at all and show up, we may have you sing a song, or do a dance, or a card trick, or quiz you on your geek knowledge, or have a staring contest or… I think you get the point. Please remember to RSVP.
  6. All suggestions for events should be sent to MistressPrime directly.
  7. All members must read the Message Board Rules post prior to making any message board posts.
  8. Members are prohibited from posting personal contact info in their profiles, message board, or in RSVP/comments for event listings. For direct contact with specific members please use the email option provided by Meetup.com.
  9. For the safety of all, members will not post or promote the location of the Meetup event on any comment, RSVP comment, or any other website.
  10. All members will be respectful to this group, the members, and it’s rules of conduct.
  11. If indeed you have read all these rules and agree to abide by them, please reply with a “Yes I have. Yes I will.” with the current date (eg: Yes I have. Yes I will. May 13, 2012) on your profile where it asks if you have read and agree to abide by our rules.

Should a member fail to meet these requirements they will be removed from this group.


Thursday

Special Snowflake C.Ht 6:38 PM

I thought I did, what did I do wrong, what is it in my profile that is like an advertising?

MistressPrime 6:49 PM

Special Snowflake, please thoroughly read the rules provided. Once you have I’m certain you’ll recognize that writing Yes I AGREE isn’t what was requested. I assure you, your profile does not look like advertising.

Special Snowflake C.Ht 7:30 PM

If your talking about my title, I can’t remove it, since this is how I signed up to meetup and I Owen 3 meetup which in no way is a competition or do I want to go to OC after your clients. I am in Los Angeles and if the C.HT is the killer, I wish you all the best. I will not let someone’s fear to force me stop presenting who I am. Hopefully it’s not the Cht and if it’s something else, I don’t get it!

MistressPrime 7:54 PM

Again… no. I don’t care about your title or how many Meetups you organize. Why are you making this about things that it is not? Please thoroughly read the rules and follow the listed directions.

Special Snowflake C.Ht 7:55 PM

I did several time and like I said I don’t get it, and if you can’t be specific, I can’t help it but say, thank you!


FRIDAY

Special Snowflake C.Ht 1:19 AM

Because I am not clear on what you are asking, and I did, so I guess i don’t understand what you have posted. Sorry my English is not my first language and I don’t underhand your request. Any ways thanks any ways.

MistressPrime 1:21 AM

Special Snowflake, read #11.

Special Snowflake C.Ht 1:28 AM

OK I get it, you want me to be specific with Yes I have. Yes I will and the date, wow is this really necessarily? Isn’t Yes I Agree i the same as Yes I have or Yes I will? You really need to learn about the learning styles, because kinesthetic learning people like me will have hard time excepting these commends. MistressPrime kinesthetic learners are not visual or auditory, or gustatory, they need to feel the emotion behind your command, and I agree is how I feel comfortable, and I am sorry, I cannot say the words that mean nothing to my brain, because my brain rejects Yes I will and Yes I have! Too bad, but if this is what it is, I don’t belong in your group. Thank you for trying to help. Best of the luck!


I suspect the fact that Special Snowflake kept bringing the “advertising” issue up was likely because they were planning to use my Meetup group to hunt for new clients. If so, they were being deceptive with their motives for joining our group and this is part of the reason why members need to be approved prior to joining.