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Is there a specific word or phrase for the following behavior?
January 15, 2013 6:19 PM   Subscribe

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out if there is a specific word or term that defines the following behavior: when someone says "I know you don't/said (x) but ..." For example: "I know you said you don't drink coffee, but this one is really good and you should drink it" or "I know you said you're really busy with your job and new baby but I would really like you to take the time to email me and tell me what's new with you." I'm not looking for words or phrases that ambiguously describe how this behavior makes an individual feel (e.g. "annoying") but rather something that would be used as a clinical definition to refer to this particular behavior (e.g. "passive-aggressive," "gaslighting," etc.)
posted by matrushka to Human Relations (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
"dismissive?"

I'll watch this thread... I feel like there should be a better term.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:23 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this would vary with the circumstances and how it's meant.

I'd go with pushy... disingenuous... disbelief...
posted by DoubleLune at 6:24 PM on January 15, 2013


It might be boundary-testing or boundary pushing, even if it's unconsciously done.
posted by muddgirl at 6:27 PM on January 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Railroading ?
posted by honey-barbara at 6:28 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


"willful disregard"
posted by nacho fries at 6:28 PM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Narcissistic.
posted by xenophile at 6:29 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there's a passive-aggressive context of "I know what's better for you than you do for yourself so I'm going to disregard your boundaries." Surely there's a more clinical term for that ...
posted by matrushka at 6:31 PM on January 15, 2013


I might vote for paternalistic - both examples strike me as someone inappropriately trying to act like they know what's better for you than you do, or expecting obedience.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:32 PM on January 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


relational transgression?
posted by nacho fries at 6:34 PM on January 15, 2013


social manipulation
posted by mannequito at 6:35 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somewhere between "overbearing," "indifferent," "pushy" and "oblivious" -- Supercilious, perhaps?

Supercilious = "coolly and patronizingly haughty" according to Merriam-Webster.

I'm interested to see where this thread goes, too.
posted by shiggins at 6:40 PM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Steamrolling.
posted by maudlin at 6:41 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


+1 paternalistic
posted by Rad_Boy at 6:41 PM on January 15, 2013


Weird you asked this now, I was just reading an old AskMe that referred to this type of behavior as "testing."
posted by Autumn at 6:42 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your two examples seem really different to me... the coffee one is just knowing better than "you" do what "you" would like, and the second one, to me, recognizes that there are barriers to "you" performing an action and requesting that "you" to do it anyway. If it's done in good faith, the second example wouldn't bother me at all (though I might not email anyway).
posted by mskyle at 6:48 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pushy behavior is usually impulsive behavior.
posted by Brian B. at 6:48 PM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd call it pushy; I'd also call it self-centered. You've expressed your opinion/need, but I'm going to disregard it because my experience is different.
posted by epj at 6:53 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems like a kind of actor-observer-asymmetry - the questioner sees themselves and their wants/needs/tastes as being a special circumstance while seeing their freind's stated boundaries/likes/dislikes as being general and not as important.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:18 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


See possibly "discounting," in the Transactional Analysis sense.
posted by thisclickableme at 7:25 PM on January 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


I know you're not looking for words or phrases that ambiguously describe how this behavior makes an individual feel, but I would call it bothersome.

I would actually call it self-centered or narcissistic.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:25 PM on January 15, 2013


paternalistic and patronizing. controlling. lack of regard for another's boundaries.
posted by wildflower at 7:26 PM on January 15, 2013


Your two examples seem really different to me... the coffee one is just knowing better than "you" do what "you" would like, and the second one, to me, recognizes that there are barriers to "you" performing an action and requesting that "you" to do it anyway. If it's done in good faith, the second example wouldn't bother me at all (though I might not email anyway).

The first one doesn't bother me, either. Some of my favorite things were introduced to me that way by friends (though perhaps phrased better). I really think it depends on how much you respect the person who says that kind of thing to you. There are some friends of mine that would annoy me if they said that, but if someone whose opinion on food I trusted said that, I'd probably end up trying it and liking it. I really don't think the two things are related at all.
posted by empath at 8:00 PM on January 15, 2013


+1 boundary-testing or disregarding boundaries ("I know you said X but if I suggest not-X will you push back in defense of X?")
posted by salvia at 8:50 PM on January 15, 2013


Apologetic.

Most of the time I hear something like this, it's just a reassurance you're not expected to be able to, and no explanation is needed if you can't, but there is X if you change your mind.
posted by anonymisc at 9:38 PM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


A word that means not listening?
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:26 PM on January 15, 2013


I second patronizing.
posted by Dansaman at 11:11 PM on January 15, 2013


rather something that would be used as a clinical definition

Basically it's "not respecting [your] boundaries" -- but then the other people are not under the therapist's care, so this is not about how to diagnose and label them, but about the response of the patient on the receiving end of this behavior.
posted by dhartung at 11:52 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would say it's simply perverse; the person doing this knows and recognizes that there's a good reason not to, but they do it anyway.
posted by clockzero at 9:58 AM on January 16, 2013


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