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Nosey dil

(117 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:50:00

My son has married a nice girl from another culture and they seem to suit each other well.However she has some annoying traits which I put down to differences in upbringing and I dont get annoyed by them.She asks intrusive personal questions and rifles through personal belongings without asking. My ex phoned yesterday very annoyed because she had lifted greeting cards from his desk and asked who they were from, moved items in his kitchen when he was trying to cook and told him he shouldn't be using unhealthy ingredients.
Apart from this she seems kind but we are not sure how to confront this behaviour specially as we are soon to stay with my daughter and she will crack up if she does this in her house.

tanith Fri 22-Nov-19 10:04:29

Can you not ask your son to point out that rifling through personal belongings isn’t really acceptable but as for asking questions about family I don’t see a problem as you only need to give as much info as you want and at least she is interested enough to ask. Let your daughter deal with it in her own way you never know they might actually get on.

Hetty58 Fri 22-Nov-19 10:04:59

I don't think that you should 'confront this behaviour' at all! Who are you, the behaviour police? You should be much more accepting of other people's ways, that's all. Different cultures have different behaviour norms.

I have a cousin who used to annoy me (greatly) at family gatherings. She'd just snatch my handbag and hang it in the hall when I really wanted to keep it with me. My epi-pen, antihistamines and asthma inhaler were in it. It was just her way of 'tidying up'. I never said a word but started wearing a cross-body bag instead! Least said, soonest mended, I always think.

luluaugust Fri 22-Nov-19 10:26:11

I am just wondering if in asking personal questions this lady is trying to fit in with her new family. How can she find out about you all otherwise. Obviously I don't know which culture she is from but a member of our family from overseas took a great interest in all our health problems and told us all about caring for her mother. Similarly with the greetings cards I guess she wanted to know about your ex's friends etc. It doesn't surprise me at all. Get your daughter to cross question her about her family you might learn a lot.

Buffybee Fri 22-Nov-19 10:34:27

If I was you kircubbin, I would let each of your family members deal with this in their own way as each incident arises.
I can't understand your ex phoning you to moan about her behaviour in his house, he should have gently told her that it was considered a bit rude to touch others personal items and when she mentioned him using unhealthy ingredients in his cooking, just shrugged and told her that's how he always does it.
As far as visiting your daughter, I would just leave it to her to deal with anything she feels is inappropriate.
How is the girl going to learn the acceptable behaviour of your households if no-one ever says anything to her.
It can be said in a nice way.

EllanVannin Fri 22-Nov-19 10:39:45

It doesn't sound like normal behaviour to me regardless of culture ( excuse ? )

eazybee Fri 22-Nov-19 10:43:55

It sounds like nosiness and rudeness; nothing to do with cultural difference.

March Fri 22-Nov-19 10:47:32

My nan would do that with cards, she would go around and pick them all up, read them and ask questions! She was very nosey and enjoyed sticking her nose in other peoples business...as lovely as she was!

I wouldn't talk to your son about her behaviour, shes not a child, just rude. I'd probably just deal with situations as the come up? Just say a response, close it down and move on.

kircubbin2000 Fri 22-Nov-19 11:00:28

I'll probably tidy up before she comes next time. I had a book about anxiety that I was reading before my surgery so I turned the title round and put it at the back of my things but of course it was the first thing she made a beeline for.She is very obsessed with health matters too.

SueDonim Fri 22-Nov-19 12:14:30

It isn't rudeness for some cultures. When we lived in Jakarta the Indonesians asked personal questions of us all the time. How much do you earn? How old are you? How many children do you have? Are you going to have more children? How much do your adult children earn? Are your parents alive? If so, how old are they? How much money do they have?

I do think you have a right to ask people to respect your own home, though of course that has to be done in the nicest of ways.

Hithere Fri 22-Nov-19 12:32:08

How long has she been in the UK?

Has your son told her it is rude? If not, he should

BlueBelle Fri 22-Nov-19 12:33:48

Goodness me the other month we had a long thread about a daughter in law from another culture who was too quiet and didn’t join in enough then we had another very long one about a ‘foreign’ carer who wouldn’t engage in answering personal questions now we have one who is nosy
Can’t anyone accept others for what they are if you have private papers don’t leave them out she was looking at cards so I would think she thought she was integrating and ‘getting to know you’ perhaps she thought she was helping in the kitchen clearing things away
Stop looking for problems if she’s a nice girl and makes your son happy She obviously only visits doesn’t live with you so accept her difference it could be so, so, so much worse

kircubbin2000 Fri 22-Nov-19 12:45:12

I dont mind her at all but the rest of the family find her a bit strange.

BBbevan Fri 22-Nov-19 12:48:49

My DiL is from another culture and we love her to bits. She is a superb mother and wife. .However we were rather taken aback when we first met her family. Everyone, mother, father , aunts , uncles etc ask us,
1) what sort of car we had and how old it was
2) was our house detached, semi etc and how much did it cost
3) how much were we worth
4) what jobs did we do.
We thought they were being rude , but it is just their culture. To get on in life and show how much you are worth is important to them. No rudeness was intended

Missfoodlove Fri 22-Nov-19 13:05:26

I am all for tolerance however to root through somebody’s personal possessions is dreadful behaviour.
As a child I had no privacy,my parents went through all of my belongings cupboards,bags et cetera.
Once I left home my privacy became very very important to me.
It is the height of bad manners to go to somebody’s personal belongings I would not do it in my own children’s homes nor do I even read my husband’s personal mail.
She needs to be told firmly but politely this is not acceptable.

Hithere Fri 22-Nov-19 13:19:19

It is kind to tell her that while it is understood it is normal in her culture, it is not in yours and she might encounter issues with strangers when she asks intrusive questions.
Family tolerates it but not everybody will.

Sara65 Fri 22-Nov-19 13:25:03

I might be able to deal with her nosy questions, but absolutely not looking through personal possessions.

That is not acceptable, but I would let others deal with it as they see fit, I don’t understand why your son hasn’t told her this is not a good way to behave in someone’s home.

lemongrove Fri 22-Nov-19 15:37:06

I wouldn't say anything at all, unless you find her in your bedroom/study rifling through drawers.
Lots of people pick up greeting cards to look at them ( even those in our own culture!)
In the US it’s acceptable to ask how much ( money) you make
And they generally ask lots of questions.We are more buttoned up here, but unless the question is really personal,
I don’t think you should worry, especially since you like her anyway.

grannyactivist Fri 22-Nov-19 15:52:14

We recently had a very long thread about whether it is acceptable to look at other people’s greeting cards - and I’d hazard a guess that it was a 50/50 split. So, it’s not such unusual behaviour after all.

As for the kitchen scenario you mention, I can only say you’re describing what goes on in my kitchen most of the times I’m catering for family or close friends and it has never once occurred to me that they might need to be ‘confronted’ about their behaviours.

The lass is described as being kind, which matters more to me than anything else that’s been said. I’m actually very surprised at some of the responses to the OP if I’m honest. Is it just me?

Calendargirl Fri 22-Nov-19 15:59:27

I hadn’t seen the thread about greetings cards. I’m not saying I would pick up and look at them, but if they are on open display...? Also depends on whose house you are at I would imagine. If I were visiting DS and he’d just had a birthday, I would probably look at his cards, but not if I were at a friend’s home.

MovingOn2018 Fri 22-Nov-19 23:06:11

Do you all live together? And whose "we" with regards to moving into yout daughters home?

leyla Fri 22-Nov-19 23:12:06

Why put cards on display if you don’t want people to read them?

M0nica Sat 23-Nov-19 00:13:07

When an AC marries, the spouse will come from a different 'culture'. Every family, regardless of origin has its own culture and it will be different from yours.

Do not confront the behaviour that would be very rude. just quietly discourage her, lock away papers that are personal, I cannot see the problem with birthday cards and just ask her politely not to move tools when you are cooking.

As for food, well that is just an opportunity for a general conversation about eating habits, whether we eat healthily or not etc. Not an uncommon conversation in our household.

Starblaze Sat 23-Nov-19 00:22:44

That's the problem with a lot of us Brits, being so polite and reserved and quietly simmering away on the inside. Just set some boundaries and say if she makes you uncomfy... Just do it with a smile and a laugh at our stuffy selves.

OK that's much easier said than done, someone trod on my foot once while I was standing still against a wall out of the way and I apologised to them!

kircubbin2000 Sat 23-Nov-19 08:33:44

The ex was annoyed because he has OCD and his plates and things will have been arranged in a certain way. She must have moved things which would not have annoyed a normal person.Also with the greeting cards, he would not have wanted to explain who they were from for similar reason.