I recently had my weekly phone call with my parents, and we talked a little about my girlfriend. I could feel myself cringing a bit through the conversation, eager to change the topic. It wasn’t anything about Megan; rather, this is how I’ve always been with my parents and romantic relationships.
Afterwards, I thought about why that is, and I think I know at least part of the answer: When my parents ask questions about a significant other, they’re not really questions. They’re more like statements that I can either confirm or correct.
For example, instead of asking, “How did you two meet?”, they might say, “Did you meet through your gaming group?”
That’s a pretty mild example; in other cases, they ask a question and immediately answer it, then I give them the actual answer.
Anyway, I really don’t like this form of conversation. I’m happy to answer questions, but I don’t like feeling like I’m constant fixing incorrect assumptions.
So this was going to be my pet peeve. But then I realized….you guessed it….that I do this exact same thing. Which makes it an exponentially higher pet peeve.
My version of it is that I’ll ask a question and offer options for the answer before trailing off. For example, “Are there any elements of climbing etiquette I should know about? Like, coaching when someone’s on the wall, complimenting strangers, etc…?”
In my head I’m explaining the question by providing examples (and maybe stalling to give them time to think of an answer). But in reality, the question is usually clear, and if it isn’t, the other person will always ask for a clarification. Also, if they’re stumbling over the answer, that would be a better time to provide examples.
So yeah, I do the exact same thing all the time that bugs me about how my parents talk about relationships. It’s a boomerang of a pet peeve. I almost wonder how many more of my pet peeves are things that bother me because I do them too!
Have you ever realized that you embody your own pet peeve?