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Losing my tolerance for complainers rant.

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Charity411 posted 4/23/2014 09:49 AM

I have found that I have far less tolerance for people who seem to have everything, including a spouse, but are still not happy.

I sort of lost it with my BIL yesterday and it's bugging me, because I wonder if I over reacted. I wonder if being left and being alone for as long as I have has tainted my view of things.

By way of background my BIL is wonderful, and came from a very difficult life growing up. But he has made up for that in spades. He has a fantastic job that requires him to travel the world and my sister often accompanies him. Every three years he is provided with a new leased car with a gas allowance and free maintenance. They have no children but my sister hasn't worked for 30 years. She has someone clean her house every two weeks.

They have a huge historic home which they saved from ruin. They had a setback this winter when the boiler died. And then a week ago they had another setback. A very large stone retaining wall collapsed for the second time in 10 years. They will likely sue the mason who put it up.

I did my level best all week to be supportive while they were going through this. I actually left work when this happened because my sister was hysterical and couldn't reach her husband so I went to her house to calm her down until he got a hold of him. I gathered information about their wall and it's construction for them because I work for City Hall and have access to the building files. I'm very sympathetic to their plight.

Yesterday my sister and BIL were still lamenting about how horrible everything is. I kept trying to encourage them pointing out that at least no one got hurt or anything. Then my BIL said "You don't understand how unfair my life is. I've never even bought a new car. You don't know what it's like to have only driven heaps."

I lost it. Every three years he gets a new car. He hasn't bought it because his company leases it for him. But it's new and he drives it everywhere. This week they are buying the current car he's driving and my sister will drive that one. He'll get a brand new hybrid. Free. I on the other hand have a 15 year old car with a hole in the floor through which I can watch the pavement go by.

The other great tragedy is that now they might have to put off the trip to Ireland they were planning. The only vacation I've had in 5 years was a two day getaway to Minneapolis that I took with them because BIL has so many Marriott points to use up I got to stay in my own room for free. It's was why I could afford to go.

I'm not a jealous person. Really I'm not. I just think that maybe when you're complaining bitterly, you might want to consider the life of the person you're complaining to. I just needed to get this off my chest.

cmego posted 4/23/2014 09:56 AM

Totally hear ya. In fact, I could have posted this too.

My SIL was venting because her H is traveling for a week. ONE week. So, yes, she has to take care of the kids for a week by herself. She also has a sitter and a Mom who lives close and is driving to help her tonight so she can go to a concert.

I didn't say a word. But, in my mind I'm thinking, "I've been doing this for three YEARS and I don't complain."

I think people are very self centered and shallow. They just can't see beyond the end of their own nose. It gets old. I just distance myself for a while until I feel better, then I'll be back to my old supportive self.

Weatherly posted 4/23/2014 10:16 AM

It sounds more like you're frustrated with insensitivity.

My best friend's boyfriend left her and their baby to move to TX a yr ago. She had been a stay at home mom. She has another son with a different person. Neither father is involved AT ALL. I don't complain to her about lack of money, or about being frustrated when my husband is a day late getting home from work. But I totally complain about my son being a picky eater to her.

It must be jerky BIL week. Mine just explained to me, he needed alone time with his wife, because they never see each other, and I don't understand, I'm so lucky to see my husband so much. He and my sis have driven semi, the same truck, together, for the last 18 months. My H? Works out of town M-F, every week. We've actually seen each other in person like, 300 days out of the last 4 years. I just

How did they respond to you losing it? If they understood it was insensitive after you said something, then great. But, if they still lamented how bad their life was, then you most definitely did not overreact.

cayc posted 4/23/2014 10:24 AM

Oh my, I've got a lot of these:

Women who complain about being single moms. Well fuck you, I'll never have children, was robbed of the chance, and I'm so jealous of you that you do that I'm pea green with envy. And you're complaining about having such a blessing in your life!

People who complain that they can't afford to do anything. Well fuck you, I live in a place where it's not safe for me to walk down the street and you live in a comfortable American city that has free parks, jogging trails and all sorts of other free activities. You can even window shop at the mall! At the mall near my office, two people were shot and killed a few months ago and I was required to cancel my gym membership at that mall's gym because I'm not allowed to go there anymore.

People who complain about not having any money when they are 30. Well fuck you, my xWH robbed me blind and left me so financially bad off that retirement will not be an option for me.

Blech. I could go on and on and on about this kind of thing.

But then I remember my xWH, when he was out and about in the Middle East with the military and Blackwater doing what those meatheads did. And he'd call, and I'd be stressed about my dissertation, stressed about fumigating the house for ants or whatever and he would become *enraged* with me. Because really, my first world problems meant nothing when he was dealing with shooting/being shot at. It got to the point where I could never say anything except happy unicorn positive stuff because of course no matter what I was dealing with, no, it wasn't as bad as someone trying to kill you.

There's a happy medium in there. Problems are problems, stressors are stressors. Everyone has different tolerances and hot buttons. I know it's hard to be sympathetic when it doesn't seem like a problem to you. Or is so eye rolling not a problem in comparison to your situation. When that happens, I gently chide and remind the complainer how lucky they are. And that's really nice support to offer when someone is having a meltdown about something that technically is just a thing, not really the end of the world. Because often, the support they need is helping put the whole thing in perspective.

Sad in AZ posted 4/23/2014 10:58 AM

It does no good to blast insensitive people because they will never 'get it'. It's better to just back off from them, even if they're family. Otherwise, you'll just make yourself miserable. If they're insensitive and miserable, I feel sorry for them. Enjoying what you have and enjoying life is the best gift of all.

No matter how hard your life is, someone else always has it more difficult. Never forget that.

Charity411 posted 4/23/2014 11:13 AM

Thanks everyone for being a sounding board for me. I usually just let this stuff go in one ear and out the other. They had been very upset all week and understandably so. But this just devolved into pity fest last night. When he said he'd never owned a new car I was just baffled for starters. So when I questioned why that upset him when he gets a new leased car every three years that cost him nothing his response was that I have no idea what it's like to drive a heap of junk that won't start half the time unless you stick something in the carburetor. There was a time in their lives when they did have a horrible car. But it was over 30 years ago. An as for not knowing what it's like, just this winter I had to take my car to three different mechanics over a period of 2 months before anyone could figure out why it wasn't starting randomly, stranding me where ever I happened to be. Fifteen hundred bucks later the problem was solved.

So I pointed out to him that I can see pavement go by under me while I'm driving and reminded him about my earlier car problems and he started to argue with me saying I just didn't get it and I don't know what it's like. I got angry, which I virtually never do with him, and told him he was being ridiculous. He was shocked and tried to deflect the whole issue by saying I misunderstood what he said. Baloney. "You don't know what it's like" is pretty damn clear.

He kept trying to deflect and I stood my ground repeating exactly what he said and asking him how else to interpret that. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a terrible thing that he said but it was how he said it which was accusatory and dismissive of me. It's one thing to be upset. But to keep insisting that someone that has so much less than you can't relate to your difficulties is insulting.

What got to me as well was when I wouldn't pretend he didn't say what he said, my sister told me I was wrong and that he didn't say that, she said it. There is no way she did. She doesn't know what a carburetor is. I'm really not exaggerating when I tell you that for three years she didn't know where the gas tank in her car was because she made him fill it up all the time. She never stuck anything in a carburetor in her life.

I basically just set him straight about not understanding and left. I didn't appear to be mad anymore, but it bugged me the rest of the night. As a result I got a hell of a lot of yard work done because I was pissed off.

norabird posted 4/23/2014 11:18 AM

I'm glad you stood up for yourself.

Charity411 posted 4/23/2014 11:22 AM

Sad In Arizona, you're right. I have a lousy car but I'm not miserable at all. In fact if anything it's a running joke. I'm the finance director for my city and when there was a recent news story about a city finance director who stole millions from her city and spent it on horses, the police chief here said that the police department decided there was no way I was stealing because if I was I sure as hell wouldn't be driving that car.

I love my life most of the time. I can walk to work if I want to or need to. And I'm fortunate enough to live in a place that I miss if I do travel for any reason. It's beautiful and historic and a destination in it's own right.

I think I reacted the way I did because it was time to hit the reset button on the pity party. Or just avoid it altogether. I've been supportive enough for a week, giving them food because she's to stressed to cook and contacting people for her because she too stressed to do it. What I don't want to become is someone who won't be sympathetic to anyone who has things I wish I had. I don't want what my ex did to me to make me into that kind of person.

She11ybeanz posted 4/23/2014 12:55 PM

I'm not a jealous person. Really I'm not. I just think that maybe when you're complaining bitterly, you might want to consider the life of the person you're complaining to. I just needed to get this off my chest.

I get this....I totally TOTALLY BFF of forever always complains to me about how its "her night" to put her kids to bed.....or how she might not be able to afford to do Disneyland AND go to Las Vegas this year if she doesn't get enough back on her bonus....or how her heated floor in her kitchen went out....yes....HEATED floor..... or how they might have to cut their twice a week Mexican margarita nights down to once a week...I had to console her earlier this week because she didn't get a 6 figure salary position that she interviewed for.....she has NO degree....and I have a masters degree making half what she makes now, etc etc etc....

I am a single mom...EVERY night is my night to put my daughter to bed....I don't have a spouse to help out. I don't have a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom house with heated floors....I had to move back in with my dad with my daughter. Vacation....what the hell is that? I am up to my ears in student loan debt but can't find a better paying job unless I get cozy with a pole in my town....(not gonna happen) hate hearing other people bitch that have near perfect lives. I used to be one of those people....and I wish I could smack the shit out of my Pre D-day self..... Seriously.

Afraid2LoveAgain posted 4/23/2014 13:28 PM

Well, damn. I guess I'll just keep my vent about the gold name plate falling off my new Jag to myself.

And I'm sure you don't want to hear about how the rain ruined my hair while I was at my estate in Tuscany.

9.10.11 posted 4/23/2014 14:28 PM

It doesn't matter who you are, someone has more...and someone has less. The people who have more got it easy, the people who have less need to work harder.

Charity, I know(believe me I know) that it sucks to hear some people complain. As they do that I just think of the people who have no home, don't know when they will eat next(not what, but when).

BTW, I've had 257,385 tongue replacements from...biting my tongue.

Vent here, not at family. Makes them mad, just like when your BIL had his vent.

Charity411 posted 4/23/2014 14:41 PM

Thanks for all the good perspectives everyone. I saw my BIL at lunchtime (they live across the alley from me) and he went out of his way to be cheerful.

And Damn. A gold name plate. I want one on my car. But it would be worth more than my car.

Gemini71 posted 4/23/2014 20:39 PM

One thing about going through the hell of infidelity, divorce, and losing just about everything financially, it really points out the important things in life.

A retaining wall? A new car? Sucks, but it isn't the end of the world. That would be losing a loved one to a natural disaster and another to their own grief. (Praying for Phoenix1)

We are in New Beginnings. We are the experts at picking ourselves up and moving forward!

Schadenfreude posted 4/23/2014 22:28 PM

Hole in the floor so you can see pavement as you drive? Why am I seeing Wilma Flintstone in my mind right now?

Possible answer to the inquiry you posted: some people aren't happy unless they can pretend to be unhappy.

Charity411 posted 4/24/2014 08:40 AM

Gemini, I actually told them all about Phoenix1 in an effort to put things in perspective. I cannot fathom what she is going through. What she has lost will never be replaced. A wall can be. I pray for Phoenix1 every day.

And Shad....I am looking for a big white bead choker as we speak. I might as well look the part. My car actually isn't as bad as it sounds. It still has less than 90,000 miles on it so once I got past the not starting issue it runs great. It's just not so beautiful anymore. But then neither am I.

lynnm1947 posted 4/24/2014 08:52 AM

Well, I got two pieces of bad news yesterday. 1) my country house will need a new furnace (probably $6,000) by this fall. 2) I am replacing part of the roof and a skylight ($4,000) on my 120-year-old city house. The roofer just informed me that there's been a leak in one corner of the skylight that has caused some rotting underneath. $$$ to fix as yet unknown. Eeeek.

I have kept these bombshells to myself because hey, I have a city house and a country house and there ain't nobody gonna be sorry for me! I have a hard time feeling sorry for myself. Scared shitless? Oh yeah, that I can feel! I stretched the finances to buy the country place and I can almost hear my line of credit breaking!

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