There’s only one right answer to this question
I’m not! However, it’s important to me to be recognized as an adult. I’m afraid they might find this off-putting, but I know I will be annoyed and hurt if my wishes are ignored, even if they mean well.
I am not particularly well-acquainted with his family. I want to make a good impression, while still being true to what I think is right. Am I being overzealous and insecure, or does my plan of action sound reasonable?
Your concern sounds reasonable, but your plan needs some work.
A large part of being an adult is considering the feelings of others, even if that sometimes means putting aside your own.
Squabbling over every movie ticket is not likely to leave the impression you want. When a payment comes due, offer to contribute, but accept a refusal graciously. You may even lessen the obligation by asking if you may host specific events — taking the family out for dinner toward the end of the visit, for example.
And Miss Manners assumes that you will pen an extremely charming letter, perhaps accompanied by flowers, immediately upon returning home.
I am connected on social media with several out-of-state relatives. During the last election, my uncle posted an article and his opinion about a controversial topic. I wrongfully assumed he brought up the subject with the intent of public discussion.
When I offered a very polite but opposing viewpoint (that much of our family shares), he became so offended that he deactivated his account for several days. He finally returned to social media, saying that he wanted to remain in touch with family and friends.
Wanting to avoid further trouble, I refrained from commenting on any new posts that did not concern a family milestone or event. For several months, we were on civil terms. He has since, without warning or explanation, completely blocked me. I can’t even find him on the site, but I know from other relatives’ activity that he still has a profile he regularly uses to interact with them.
I’d like to resolve the situation and at least have some communication with him again — we’re family, after all — but I’m also afraid of making things worse. Would it be a good idea to contact my aunt or cousins and ask what I’ve done to offend him so, or should I just let things be?
Many people these days are making loud, controversial statements with the avowed purpose of provoking a response — and are then unhappy when they receive one.
Miss Manners cannot explain (or defend) such behavior, but she sees it all around. If you wish to repair the relationship, you must first suspend close inquiry into the rights and wrongs. Write a charming, handwritten apology, hoping that you can avoid political discussions and concentrate on family. This approach is more likely to achieve your goal than attempting to convince your uncle he was wrong, either to be offended or in his political views.
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