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Susan

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Single Adult fiasco
« on: March 07, 2016, 11:53:01 am »
Starting in January my stake has started to have a monthly singles fireside/potluck.  In January everything was perfect.  In February it wasn't.  My bishop spoke on "Your Spiritual Journey" and it was mainly "you singles need to get married, to members or nonmembers it doesn't matter".  That was not received well because everyone there wanted to get married to a devout member.
                                                                     
  That was bad enough but then one of the single women said a couple of really rude comments to another single sister during out discussion.  I was in charge and really didn't know how to handle it.  I have never experienced anything like that.  I tried to smooth things out but I felt very inadequate.  How should that kind of thing  be handled?
 
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N3uroTypical

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2016, 12:01:06 pm »
You tried to smooth things, but felt inadequate?  I think that's about the best a human can do in those situations.  Realizing that people's behavior is out of your control, you don't have the power to change them, is a good thing. 
What power do you have as leader?  Can you kick someone out?
"Somebody should have set a match to this place long ago."
 

Susan

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 12:10:03 pm »
 No power.  But, even if I did I couldn't kick anyone out.  I really don't like confrontations.  Luckily the sister who was offended likes and respects me so she will continue to come to the firesides and activities.  The one who was rude has a history  of that type of  behavior, although usually not in front of a group.  I just want people to be happy and feel safe. 
 

Jean Valjean

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 04:39:09 pm »
If it's any comfort, I likely would have felt very inadequate in that situation, too.
 
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Iggy

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 10:10:25 pm »
I am NOT in a SA ward, nor am I single - but I have encountered two extremely rude members who have not only made my life in my calling miserable but also they take great pleasure in being toxic towards those senior adults who are not computer savvy/wise.

I am the librarian in the Branch. I love all of the computer/internet things that are available for us via lds dot org. When given plenty of time, I will download video's and have been known to print out pictures on plain copy paper on my own dime if no other picture exists.

The two toxic members are men. They are young/middle aged married PH holders. They are demanding, rude and in my opinion as obnoxious as they come. When the Come Follow Me program was first presented here in the Pacific North West, we were given a printed manual to help with the transition - BUT it had to be requested. At the time most of the adults teaching/leading the youth were NOT computer savvy, most didn't have computers/laptops and were experimenting with iPods.

The older of the two came to the library door, reached inside to open it (half door) and pushed his way inside to get the 'supplies' he wanted. I keep an 18" long wooden ruler handy to whack hands who do that. He got whacked and I pulled the door closed. He SCREAMED at me to get out of his way, plus he also used rather derogatory words to describe my appearance (I am over 100 pounds overweight), my age (snow white hair, wrinkles and a slower gait than most - was 61 yr old at the time), and my mental state. (little does he know that I can probably out do him in a battery of written/etc. tests even though I have only a 12th grade education. My 12th grade education is equivalent to his only going through 2 yrs of college.)

The bar owner in my previous life and what my husband calls my Mother Spirit took over. I lowered my voice and stepped back just out of his reach, but still within reach of my ruler and told him he was being a boor, and honey I spell that B O A R.

The whole thing was witnessed by the Branch Missionary Leaders, the 2 nd Councilor in the SS Presidency, and the RS Presidency. When the B O A R stormed off, I closed the library, and was escorted to the Branch Presidents office by the cooler heads of the PH that witnessed the out burst. There I filed a complaint. There was absolutely no call for that man to scream at me. I went back to the chapel where we have Gospel Doctrine, sat at the back and wrote down what had happened.

At home after church, I put everything in an email to the Branch Presidency, Branch Sunday School President. The Branch SS President forwarded my email on to the Stake Presidency, Stake YM Presidency.

Once all that was done I left it in the hands of the men. A year later the B O A R's second councilor - the second young married shoved me into the library door as he tried to bully me into giving him the dry erase markers that he thought his wife had purchased for the Branch. This was witnessed by the SS President AND the Branch President.

Not a month later he was released from the YM's calling, and I received a written apology.

Long, long story now ending: Go to the auxiliary leader that has stewardship over your calling. I have worked as a secretary and CSR long enough to utilize the "food chain" effect. Write down what happened, and be as factual as you can. Do not get all emotional, personal - Just The Facts Ma'am. Relate to the person on the first rung of the stewardship ladder, the situation.  As Librarian, my first person was the SS 2nd Councilor. He, along with the other witness's escorted me to the Branch President.

The email of the Just The Facts Ma'am account went to the SS President, cc'd to the 2nd Councilor, Branch President and 2nd Councilor in the Branch Presidency. The SS Presidency, after a phone consult with the Branch 2nd Councilor felt it was necessary to forward on to the Stake. The SS Pres also requested that the PH be counciled to correct this very bad behavior.

For clarification, the SS President is my husband. As rattled, upset and teary as I was, he was the cool, collected head. He let me cry, rant, even scream in the privacy of our home. Then his cooler head prevailed, and he edited my 10 page, single lined, on both sides of the paper written assault against the PH. When it was all done, it was 3/4 of a page, single spaced. Just The Facts Ma'am

I never received an apology. From either man. Neither one has ever come to get anything from the library. They send one of the other councilors.

These women need to be talked to, told that what they are doing is rude, inappropriate and not becoming of Sisters In Zion, and  counciled to correct their very bad behavior.
 

beefche

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 10:49:24 pm »

                                                                     
  That was bad enough but then one of the single women said a couple of really rude comments to another single sister during out discussion.  I was in charge and really didn't know how to handle it.  I have never experienced anything like that.  I tried to smooth things out but I felt very inadequate.  How should that kind of thing  be handled?

I don't mean to sound rude or anything, but why do you need to handle this? We are talking about adult women. I understand that because you are in charge of the meeting that you feel like you should do something, but I don't think you have any responsibility to do so. It sounds like an issue between these 2 women and they should handle this.
 

dyany

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 12:21:57 am »
<hobbyhorse/>
Sometimes people who are exceedingly rude on a regular basis are stupid.  Sometimes, though, it's a sign of mental illness or brain dysfunction (e.g., Asperger's) and they need to get help.  Not excusing it, but sometimes that's WHY.
</hobbyhorse>
 

LMAshton

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 02:40:40 am »
And sometimes, it's because they're selfish idiots/jerks.

In my calling as a RS president, I came across some pretty... Interesting people. One woman demanded that I call another woman in the branch to repentance for various perceived failings. I not only refused, but also told her quite plainly that, as I'm not a judge in Israel, I am in no position to do so and if she feels that strongly that something needs to be done, then she needs to talk to the branch president, and barring that, the district president. Never heard anything about it again after that. This particular woman had had a habit of wanting other women in the branch called to repentance. I was never willing to play that game. Or any game, really.

Sometimes, there is nothing that you can do. Sometimes, there is, but it usually needs to be subtle. It's a tough position to be in.
Nauvoo Member #701 aka quidscribis, joined April 2003
 
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dyany

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 03:18:31 am »
I guess it's a good thing I wasn't there.  Because I am the opposite--not that I LIKE confrontation, but if I feel someone or something (though 'somethings' are rare) needs defending, by gum, I'm gonna stand up and defend it.  To the point of calling people out in public and giving them a verbal smackdown if I feel it's necessary.  (I think it comes from being an oldest child and feeling responsible for seven younger siblings.)  If that rude person didn't go down quietly, it might have been a battle of such epic proportions that Deseret News would be posting articles about it for years to come. :P

That being said, this is one of my many qualities that some people cannot stand about me.  I study things.  Lots of things.  I have a brain that is a virtual cornucopia of Things That Normal People Would Never Bother to Remember.  I usually only try to use this power for good (as in, finding common ground with just about everyone by finding common interests to talk about or ask educated questions about), but if someone is hurting someone else with incorrect ideas or fallacious arguments, GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEIR SOUL.
 
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Hobbes

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 09:44:28 am »
Quote
My bishop spoke on "Your Spiritual Journey" and it was mainly "you singles need to get married, to members or nonmembers it doesn't matter".  That was not received well because everyone there wanted to get married to a devout member.

This bugs me a ton.  I may not be an expert on single adults (young or otherwise) but spending a decade in the singles programs of the Church has certainly made at least sensitive to this stuff.  My experience was that:

A) No one was unaware of the Church's position on the importance of marriage and family
B) The vast majority of those singles who attend Church, and essentially all who attend extracurricular events (in particular, spiritual or service events rather than just activities) desperately wish they were married.
C) Telling someone to get married because it's their duty, or some similar tract, is incredibly ineffective anyway
D) Telling people they should just have something when they all ready so dearly want it is not helpful

This is what people mean when they talk about "privilege" causing people to treat those who aren't in the same position poorly.  To many married people: it came easily.  Early twenties, perhaps, or within a year or two of when they started to really get interested in being married.  Or maybe it came later but they have forgotten the struggle and the heartache and the feelings of unworthiness or shame.  And they think "I did it, we're supposed to do it, you should do it."  It lacks empathy, it lacks compassion.  Instead of trying to understand it dictates.  You wanted to be married to a temple-worthy individual?  Too bad, just get married.  Sure, I'm married to someone in the Temple, but I don't have to live your life.  Forgo your dreams, your passion and your commitment.  Your singleness is uncomfortable for the rest of us: can't you just get married?
 
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Roper

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 10:42:09 am »
Thank you, Hobbes.  You articulated it with better authenticity than I could have.
 
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cook

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 02:59:44 pm »
Since we don't know the exact situation we can't tell "how it should have been handled". But in a discussion situation usually a good thing is to stop it early on, by saying something like "This is probably a matter that should be discussed privately, so let's focus on (what ever the subject was)"

If is something that is perhaps said a bit too straight, not clearly aimed at someone for example by saying a name or that "well you always...", yet somehow true, I would continue the thought and soften it as much as I can with a different perspective. Like someone would say "if singles want to get married they should try not to be fat" one could say something like luckily different people care about looks in different degrees and to many weight or size doesn't matter but what our characters are like matters more. If we want to find a spouse that is kind, we are better off if we also try to be kind..."

But I wouldn't worry about it too much either. It is their responsibility more than yours.

I have to comment on this though:
Quote
I just want people to be happy and feel safe.

I'd suggest you try to learn to survive confrontation. If we can't face it in any forms, if things can't be really talked about, even the negative feelings people have, if we can't face people who have negative feelings and show them, it will create kind of a classroof over people in that group. It will prevent proper connection and caring. I've seen it happen too many times, especially in church settings.
 
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Curelom

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 03:48:03 pm »
To get back to the topic of “single-shaming,” thanks to Susan for mentioning that it happens (not routinely, but enough that some of us single folks occasionally sense it). And thanks to Hobbes for his good summary of how some single folks respond, even if they don’t say it.
 
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nitasmile

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Re: Single Adult fiasco
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2016, 11:17:45 pm »
Susan, you did fine. Your Bishop was there so he could correct whatever needed to be handled etc. I can understand your fellow singles' frustration w/that type of statement. We've also been encouraged to marry out of the faith which is ok, I get that to some extent. My own dad is of another faith. But for me I am only wanting out of the faith if they are on a "journey" to join the church and follow it etc. Interestingly awhile ago we had a speaker at a singles event (high Church leadership) who tried to encourage people by sharing his story.  His intents were good in that he showed love for singles, gratitude to be there etc but the frustration for some was that he shared how he and his wife met/prayed to find their eternal companion. While the story was nice, their prayers were somewhat superficial to those of us in 30s-40s and beyond who were at the talk. (ie he prayed for his wife to have a specific homemaking talent and a specific professional ability & she prayed for her future husband to have served a mission in a specific country of the world). Each of their prayers was answered perfectly. Anyway..won't take time to go into why those type of prayers seemed superficial. Folks will either get it or not get it!

 Not sure if you were on the Nauvoo fb page. But awhile ago I had shared about a situation at a singles conference where a guy in a group discussion was extremely rude. We were in groups of about 20 and brainstorming "ideas" to help improve the singles situation in the church. This guy said "have prettier women" or something similar and then became upset when the group moderator didn't write his idea down on the posterboard. (we were going to have presentations of posters showing the ideas from all the groups approx. 20 or so groups). So the rude guy asked about three times for his idea to be written down, moderator wouldn't. Then I turned to the guy and said "it was funny the first time but that type of comment hurts". And rude guy said something like "oh stop it" to me. Meanwhile another guy in the group tried to help the rude guy/offered to talk to him later and rude guy was rude to the guy offering the help. If I haven't lost you by now, I did thank both the moderator and the other guy later, the response was the rude guy probably had some sort of mental illness..and I would guess they were right. Just sad as by this age and situation so many are dealing w/pain, it is hard to go to those type of things and be further crushed!

Hobbes!! Thank you..very well said. You are a true graduate of the singles program in understanding things and in having developed empathy for those in this boat!

 
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