How do I deal, politely, with this?

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
edited 18. Sep 2014, 03:52 in Community Chit-chat archive
This evening we are going for a meal at some friends' house with three or four others. I say 'friends'. They are really more Mr SW's friends than mine. I like her but he irritates me. He'll probably talk us, in great detail, through each course he's prepared although no-one will have asked. He's an OK cook but not as good as he thinks he is. So far, bearable.

It's the 'afters' I dread. Almost invariably we are then force-fed all the photos from his latest holiday. He takes many, many holidays and many, many photos. A slideshow would be OK but, no. We get a little travelogue of each individual pic Alas, they have a dishwasher so there's no escape via the kitchen sink.

I well recall one occasion when another friend, J, and her partner P were there with us. Mr SW and P were soon snoring away while J and I tried hard to stifle the yawns and prop our eyelids up..

Suggestions please?
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
Steven Wright
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Comments

  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Perhaps follow the chaps' lead and fall asleep? If the person concerned is as unaware as he sounds he's unlikely to consider group somnolence his fault.
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ohh I feel your pain. My dad does this and he often goes on holidays and mini breaks with his wife, so there is no end to the slideshows!

    I agree with daffy, either follow the manly lead and have a snooze or could you make up an excuse such as; got to get back and let the cat/dog out? If you don't have a cat/dog, say you're pet sitting. :wink:
  • mamasmurf
    mamasmurf Member Posts: 89
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    An excuse I used once was , " bother , what a shame , silly me . Have to take my meds and forgot to bring them with me . "
    mamasmurf
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh dear, silly me, I have forgotten my glasses as blind as a bat without them :D xx
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Laugh at them. Mig
  • ichabod6
    ichabod6 Member Posts: 963
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Take advantage of your position as a guest and bore him to death
    by talking about the Yorkshire cricket team.
    Here in Lancashire it's considered good manners to let your guest
    have the floor after dinner.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, difficult one without appearing rude. But I do think if everyone falls asleep at least you can blame it on his delicious food!


    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ask lots of pointless questions and then embark on little related stories of your holidays getting everybody else to join in so that he is no longer the focus of it all. It will drive him up the wall because he will have to interact rather than just witter on whilst making it look like you are an interested guest (and keep Mr SW awake because you can do lots of rib digging kind of 'do you remember...?' questions).
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You are a very resourceful lot :lol: Thank you.

    I can't really nod off – real or otherwise – as I shall be on a dining chair (the only ones I can get off unaided) and might literally drop off :o

    We don't have pets and I've never made my arthritis or meds an excuse for anything except something genuine. I need to feel I don't do that. Besides, my spouse will be happily snoring and I rather value our marriage :wink:

    I don't wear glasses and he knows it :(

    I'll get jaw ache if I laugh so much :lol:

    Talking about Yorkshire cricket (as I'll be the only one interested in it) would only result in a monologue fight – mine v his. An interesting concept though :? One to keep in reserve.

    Blame my somnolence on his delicious food? I like it but would still find it dangerous to nod off :|

    LV – you're talking my language. You've reminded me that a ploy of another friend, when confronted by utter bores, is to amuse himself by going for more detail, not less ie What shade would you say that sea was? Is it similar to the last photo or deeper? Was it that shade all day or did it vary from hour to hour? When is it at its prettiest? Didn't you once have a mug in that colour? etc. I could try to see how few pics I could reduce him to 8)
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Can't come up with anything to add to those suggestions. I like LV's one. Reminds me of a friend who once said she'd noticed how good I was in similar situations at making subtly rude or sarcastic comments but did it in such a way that the person they were addressed to didn't realise what I was doing. Might be worth a try.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Phew! That could have been a lot worse. Actually, it could have been a LOT worse as I forgot to ensure I visited the loo immediately prior to leaving :oops: – always a good strategy when you can't access theirs.

    There were 9 of us in all and the meal took longer to eat than with the usual six - more conversation and longer clearing away. Coffees in hand, we returned to the living section of the room and the conversations continued, albeit with a couple of the blokes nodding off periodically. (No, not my beloved. Well done, Mr SW :D )

    I could see our host getting twitchy and then fiddling with the TV control and, soon after, the slide-show began but it was, after all, just a slide-show and easily ignored by those of us eager to chat. That's when he began talking over us loudly, describing the pics which were no longer a continuous slide-show but now being delivered one by one, with sections enlarged for us to ponder over. I was far more interested to learn why P's journey from Leeds to London by train had managed to take 12 hours :o (“And, after all that, some silly s*d decided to commit suicide by jumping on the line.” I guess compassion doesn't instantly spring to the fore when ones own life is being severely disrupted by another's despair :roll: )

    But, we never got to London. Instead we got a lecture on the murals of some village church in Germany and as, by now, it was a reasonable time to depart, and also as Mr SW was dying to know the Wigan v Leeds Superleague result, he nudged me, I nodded and we made our grateful exits.

    I shall remember your suggestions though, for next time, with thanks :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I bet next time it is a smaller group again so that you can't lose your focus on the photos. Enlarging sections of the images seems quite extreme :o how on earth is anybody expected to be interested in that?! I'm rubbish though, I love taking pictures, I enjoy looking at my own images but I get very bored very quickly with other people's holiday photos. I think you might have to forget to go to the loo again before you go next time - that seems like a very good get out of jail free card to me!
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'd say that went very well. But I'm thinking he won't be inviting such a large group over for dinner at his house next time if you all talked over him. In fact it might just be the 3 of you!


    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,128
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh scarey stuff this when they can talk over you..I like the one about taking your own pics... :lol: may be you could suggest a game of charades :) ...
    Love
    Barbara
  • ichabod6
    ichabod6 Member Posts: 963
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If your man is still searching for the rugby result Wigan thumped Leeds.
    Do I remember he is a Wigan whom you seduced across the Peninnes? So would the result please him?
    To return to the original problem.
    If the invitation is offered again -don't go. You will not have to suffer the boring person and there might be a rugby league game on Sky Sports for
    your everloving to watch
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes. He, I and the landlord (a Leeds Rhinos supporter) are now fully aware of this :roll:

    He came over the Peninnes voluntarily but my meagre-even-then seductive powers kept him here.

    We are having a return match on Thursday. My computer and Mr SW's laptop will remain switched off. His punishment will be to talk to us – and listen.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • ichabod6
    ichabod6 Member Posts: 963
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Aint love grand?
  • pot80
    pot80 Member Posts: 109
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I tend to ask, politely, critical questions with added improvements as to how the photos would be improved for me. ie "for me the photo would be improved if the cat was looking the other way" If you persist time usually runs out or they cannot take any more of your perfectly reasonable comments and stop early. It also keeps you awake and reduces the boredom.
    The same approach can be used for any subject. Practice makes perfect give it a go.
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :lol::lol: I'm going to try that one.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Me, too, pot80. I shall try it.

    Well, we had the return match last night and I took the precaution of switching off my computer and hiding Mr SW's laptop and both tablets. We talked, all evening, and it was far more interesting than sleeping to photos.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There`s nothing worse than photo bores - we had friends who literally travelled the world, taking millions of photos. They weren`t interested in anywhere anyone else had been, or in other people full-stop.
    After their visit to India, and after being shown views of Buddha from every possible angle, every temple in India, and every sacred cow, I got out photos of our grandsons at various stages in their development, and began to show one after the other, saying," of course, you`ve never seen any photos of J & E, have you, so let`s make up for lost time." Their eyes began to glaze over I`m pleased to say.
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 981
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My problem is that from my side, I'd hate it if I thought someone sat through my photos while privately thinking it was an ordeal - the same as if someone thanks you for a present they don't like, or you tell someone something suits them when it doesn't. I think it's worse to not say something and to think differently to yourself. These days I'd have to make an excuse or just sit it out with as much genuine interest as I could muster. (The exception is if your chap isn't thin-skinned and really isn't bothered what you think as long as he gets his audience - then it's an unspoken mutual understanding!)

    I'd love it if we could do away with a lot of politeness and niceties. It's hard and no-one wants to be tactless, but say e.g. people show me baby photos, and I don't say 'I can't stand children at any price'. I don't want to be insulting but if I don't say anything, they then go away thinking I like babies. Extend that across all sorts of topics, people end up with an idea of me that is all wrong, and what's the point? Like the cliche where someone cooks you a meal you hate for years thinking it's your favourite because early on you didn't like to say otherwise. With closer friends, you can hopefully just say something isn't your cup of tea and so on. (Even then, could you tell a friend their new carpet is horrendous in your opinion? but nor can you admire it in honesty either?) How to say to a kindly elderly lady that has insisted on playing you a song of a syrupiness that makes you want to plead 'make it stop'? Do you just say 'Lovely!' through gritted teeth? Then they will think you are someone you're not, and I'll feel a hypocrite. Honesty vs. feeling a fake - it's a minefield.. Children would just say 'ugh, it's horrible!' and there's a lot to be said for that!

    Well that's my thought for the day.. not an especially original one.. and if it's too long & boring a post don't hesitate to tell me will you! :lol:

    Anyway, glad you got through the evening :) ..could the friend be channeled into giving talks to willing audiences, local groups etc, sounds like it would suit everyone?
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Some interesting points there, toady, and not at all boring (and I'm not just being polite :lol: ).

    I think there's a big difference between (a) handing round hard copies of photos (b) showing a slideshow and (c) showing loads of slides with a commentary and talking over guests until they listen. (a) requires others only to look at them as quickly or slowly as they wish (b) allows them to treat the photos as background or to watch but, again, leaving the choice to them but (c) demands attention. If I'd done the latter and had several people fall asleep, I certainly wouldn't do it again at least to those same people.

    Telling the truth re presents or meals? It's a difficult one. I wouldn't ever upset someone by saying I didn't like something. I prefer to say how much I do like the things I genuinely do in the hope of getting something of that ilk again next time. Unless people are spending what represents a large amount of money for them, I'd just be polite and then take the gift to a charity shop though that wouldn't work with frequent visitors expecting to see their gift being used or on display. I'm not a good selector of gifts either. If I'm certain they'd love it, I fear they might already have it. I tend to ask for ideas.

    Baby photos? Why not “I'm not into babies but even I can see (s)he's cute.” If they give you another 99 just flick through them quickly :wink:

    To be honest (And I know you want that) I don't really think most people want to know others in the depths you're talking about so it doesn't really matter if we feel we've given a wrong impression. I'm all for honesty but one can usually be politely honest, often by diverging slightly eg to the old lady with the syrupy song (aaargh!) one could ask which other artists she likes and, if they, too, turn out to be nauseating, ask what she thinks of Bryn Terfel or Eminem or if she ever sang or played herself. People would much rather talk about themselves than hear about others' tastes.

    I don't see why a close friend need be told you loathe their new carpet. You could just say something like “You know I'm not into patterned carpets but this does goes well with the furniture and is a pretty shade of puce :wink: ” etc. though I accept that close friendships do require honesty and, if pushed (which close friends tend not to do) I'd tell the truth (and expect it back). I do recall, though, an elderly friend once extolling the virtues of siblings as they were the only people who, when asked what they thought you looked like in your new dress, would happily say “You look hideous in it.” I think non-siblings have to be a bit more tactful.

    I might genuinely consider asking our photo-fiend about giving shows to local groups when he returns from his latest trip. Or, would he then assume we actually valued them? Or, worse, need to try them out first on others ie us? :shock: :lol:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 981
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your reply. :)
    To be honest (And I know you want that) I don't really think most people want to know others in the depths you're talking about so it doesn't really matter if we feel we've given a wrong impression.

    You're entirely right there I imagine.

    It isn't so much that I want people to know me in depth - in fact I'm quite un-outspoken/private which is probably why I have had being too polite come back on me in the past :roll: - but I do mind giving the wrong impression, of late. I accept that is probably fairly self-obsessed though.

    I don't think people like my elderly lady friend would want to know what I like to listen to, which is fine, and I am happier to let people talk more about themselves. (And I wouldn't have the heart to say I don't like her taste.) But I have started to think what version of 'me' people would describe, if asked; & I could see it would probably be nothing like me.. which seems like a lot of little imaginary 'non-me's' that I don't want on the loose. :lol: Bit too control-y? To be fair part of it is that I don't think it helps them to have a wrong picture either - but I do believe you're right, they probably aren't concerned, & it's mostly my problem.
    I might genuinely consider asking our photo-fiend about giving shows to local groups when he returns from his latest trip. Or, would he then assume we actually valued them? Or, worse, need to try them out first on others ie us? :shock: :lol:
    That sounds like a very real danger :lol:
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We seem to have strayed into the fascinating realms of identity – am I who I think I am, or who others think I am, or a combination of the two?

    I think truth, informed by tact and kindness are the best ways to deal with people but, even so, there is the sociological concept of 'noise' which inhabits the gap between what one person says and another understands by it. We can't control that.

    My own gut feeling is that as long as I have one or two people who both know me and love me, it really doesn't matter much to me if others 'get me wrong'.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright