Interview with Michael/Mrs. Phelps...Question

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I was watching this today, and I was suprised by the fact that they chose to talk about how Michael was supposedly teased growing up. Mrs. Phelps referenced an incident that occurred when Mike was 15 where Mike pretended he didn't remember a kid that came to talk to him or something (I'm not sure of the exact details here...correct me if you can) because the kid had "tormented" him as a youth at swim meets.

In any case, Mrs. Phelps remarked at how "mature" that was at the age of 15. I am confused by this, because this is the opposite of how I was raised. I always thought that no matter how shi... someone treated you, you still had to say hello to them and give them basic respect. I am now wondering if this is perhaps a cultural thing. I have noticed that some solid Italians that I know (my parents' age) will ignore or snub people completely at work or in other situations. Like if they pass someone at work that they dislike and the person says hello, they won't say it back. Or, if someone they think has slighted them (say, by not attending their child's wedding due to a prior commitment) approaches them in a public place, they will ignore them as much as possible, even if the other person is being kind (and they will publicly plan on doing this ahead of time).

I'd like to know what people's opinions are on this, because this is something I struggle with every day. There are people at work who treat me like TRASH and when they see me walking down the hallway at work, they'll say hello in such a sweet and friendly way...When this happens, or when I see them first, I just don't want to acknowledge them. Sometimes, I really don't...because I don't need their attention or to play dumb about how they abuse me. But, I ALWAYS feel like a loser for doing so, and like I'm not doing the right thing. When I play along, and say hello in a nice, friendly way right back, I also feel like a loser because I think that I'm making them think I am stupid and naive and needy.

Thoughts?

Last edited by slinky1; 08-18-2008 at 02:52 AM.
I didn't see the interview, but I read about it, and I think she just meant, he acted like he didn't remember him because to act like he remembered the kid would have meant acknowledging the way the kid treated Michael, which would have been embarassing to the kid. At least, that is how I took it. I didn't think he snubbed the kid, but just didn't bring up their past together, which I think is better than saying "Oh yeah, I remember you from swim meets" etc, etc.
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I didn't see the interview, but I read about it, and I think she just meant, he acted like he didn't remember him because to act like he remembered the kid would have meant acknowledging the way the kid treated Michael, which would have been embarassing to the kid. At least, that is how I took it. I didn't think he snubbed the kid, but just didn't bring up their past together, which I think is better than saying "Oh yeah, I remember you from swim meets" etc, etc.
Originally Posted by franfaircloth
That makes sense to me now. I misunderstood.
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I thought it was funny how he gave a big FU to all the bandwagon hoppers and the people who ignored him in the past who want to be his facebook/myspace friend now.
Yep, I am Italian and come from a big Italian family on both mine and my husband's side. We all do the snub thing but it takes a lot for it to get to that level. I guess it is a cultural thing. If I had a penny for every time I heard the phrase "So and so is DEAD TO ME!" while I was growing up, I'd be rich.

For me and my family, it's more like this: if someone treats you like c r a p and then is nice to your face, that is even more insulting then when they are treating you badly. If they don't like me, don't say hello to me, I can handle it. Really. You are not doing me any favors by being nice and really, I want to tell you to take your hello and shove it.

Maybe it's how I was raised but my thinking is NO ONE is allowed to treat me like c r a p. I don't care if you are a stranger, a neighbor or my flesh and blood. This is not a light decision to make either - I am talking about putting up with someone's bs for years before finally deciding they are dead to me. If I have be cordial (not nice, but cordial - please, thank you and excuse me and only talking to them when absolutely necessary) because they are at a family function, I will for the sake of the family I love, but that is as far as it goes. I would never start a big fight in front of the family.

Here's a story: Hubby's entire family finally cut off an aunt who has been pretty much torturing them with bs and making trouble for the past 40 years. They all decided that they were not going to let her talk about all the nieces and nephews anymore and told her to just keep it to herself if she had an issue and to stop asking people in the family to choose sides. The aunt was so mad that she didn't get her way and "banish" (seriously, she used that word and she told my cousin that she would not be coming to any family party that another cousin was invited to because she didn't like they way that cousin treated her GROWN son) people from the family she didn't like that she cut HERSELF off from all of us! Then his loving, wonderful aunt saw this horrible aunt in a store and they said hello but coldly. So nice aunt said "Why are you doing this to the family. Just stop and leave the kids alone. You are invited to everything I have at my house and you should have been there for so and so's birthday party." And mean aunt started to say something and nice aunt just let her have it right there in the store. So now mean aunt is running around telling people how "devastated" she is that her WHOLE family is not speaking to her anymore. Which just made nice aunt even madder because hello! you cut YOURSELF off when you didn't get your way.

This has been going on since May and honestly, we are all realizing just how much trouble she caused and how stressful it was when her and her family were around, and we are all feeling so happy and free that they are not around anymore. And if we (meaning the family) do see them somewhere, we just ignore them.

We still hear through various neighbors that she is talking badly about all of us though, so she can't be that upset.

Heh. And you thought YOUR family had drama....
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I thought it was funny how he gave a big FU to all the bandwagon hoppers and the people who ignored him in the past who want to be his facebook/myspace friend now.
Originally Posted by RichardHead
Haha yea...it was nicely done though.
I didn't see the interview, and I'm not Italian, but I do the same thing. Like Csarac, it's not something I do lightly. I only have 2 people on my snub list, and I put up with a lot of crap for years before I got to that point. There have been others, but they didn't stay. I used to do the polite thing, and it bit my in the a$$ too many times. IME some people will do that cheery hello as a way to reel you back in so they can do it all over again.
Edited due to a cyberstalker. Sorry, guys.

Last edited by Koukla72; 02-17-2009 at 01:19 AM.
Just wanted to add something to this already fruitful discussion:
One place I would not think about snubbing people is at work, even if they treat you like "trash." Work is a place for civil engagement and putting your professional advancement in front of personal issues.
Just wanted to add something to this already fruitful discussion:
One place I would not think about snubbing people is at work, even if they treat you like "trash." Work is a place for civil engagement and putting your professional advancement in front of personal issues.
Originally Posted by badgercurls

Absolutely.


I have someone I ignore. A group of three people who f-ed me over, both personally and professionally. I do not work with them or have any kind of professional interaction with them now, so when I see them when I am out for personal reasons, it is by far easiest to merely ignore them. There are no parties or social occasions in which a host would feel uncomfortable, but they have chosen not to resolve the fact they owe me money and severely mistreated me due to problems they had. Why would I *ever* want to speak with them? It's easier to just pretend they don't exist. And I've asked them to do the same for me.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
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But at least the pews never attend yoga!
hmmm. Well I'm Italian, Jewish, Irish, German, French, Indian, English and I pretty much try to just treat other folks how I'd want to be treated. It's hard sometimes with the crappy people, but I try not to let other folks crappiness turn me into a crappy person. Overcome crappiness with goodness. I think people holding grudges, snubbing others, etc.. is just not really the way I want to be. I just keep on keepin' on with the kindness, and if people don't want to reciprocate, that's pretty much their problem, not mine. I learned a huge lesson about this about 7 or 8 months ago. That won't happen again...

Like I said, I'm just going to keep on keepin' on with the kindness... crappy people lose all their power that way.
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Wow. Very interesting.

It isn't my imagination about people being brought up in completely divergent ways. That sounds like a stupid thing to say, but I think I've previously tried to assume that everyone knows deep down what is right (and that "right" is the same for everyone), and some people just choose to ignore that.

I guess I would never fully snub someone at work...I really meant that I sometimes say "hello" in a very curt manner and speak to people only when they need my assistance or if they speak to me first. That's probably not good, either.
There's no one in my life that got me to this point, at least no one that is at all in my life anymore. But I wouldn't snub them outright, just observe the bare minimum social protocol, not cheerfully but coolly.
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I remember you posting about your job situation a long time ago. I'm sorry you are still there & having to put up with this. I'm one to hold grudges. If someone screws me professionally then I will definitely snub them at work. If it is personally, then I wouldn't be friendly with them at work but I would do what I had to do at work with them to get the job done.

You say that some of these same people who treat you like crap will say hi to you in a friendly way. Do you think they are trying to make up for their behaviour or do you think they are doing this for other reasons?

ETA: I'm Scottish/Irish, an Aries, and I was raised in Texas. Heaven help the person who pisses me off. As Curls On Holiday said, "I'm moody & passionate." She was being nice.
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Last edited by g-stringranny; 08-18-2008 at 08:54 PM.
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To address the others comments...Yes, that was something that they chose to spend so much time talking about people teasing Phelps growing up and not being true friends, etc. Maybe his mother wanted to turn the interview into a life lesson for kids since she's a principal and all. I got the vibe that Michael really didn't have too much to say about what he had done...maybe he was still in shock...so maybe they needed filler.

I feel bad for folks who have family members who do this snubbing crap. That's tough.

To me, it seems like the crappy people have all the power whether you are nice to them or not. I think their mental illness just keeps them in their fantasyland where they're superior and no one can really do anything about it.

ETA: This is a different place with different situations. I wish I was back at the other job, because here people truly have a lot of ill will toward others. I was warned about this when I took the job, and I'm just hoping that it will teach me to have a thicker skin...even though I haven't quite figured out how to handle/rationalize things to make myself personally comfortable.

When people act nice after being nasty...I think it is just part of the control games. They let other people (managers) see them being nice, so that it looks like they're the team players and I'm the loser because I don't know how to react when they do this. There are so many facets to this whole thing for me. Like I said, I haven't figured this part of life out yet. I'm a little behind that way.

Last edited by slinky1; 08-18-2008 at 09:01 PM.
slinky, y'know... just don't play the game. Just be yourself. I've been through this same type of situation. and I've reacted in all sorts of different ways. Personally, I've found that if I just stay true to myself and the kind of person that I want to be, then overlooking stuff is much easier. Other people's games are much easier to deal with when you don't allow them to drag you into the game. Seriously, try to live each day as if it's your last and treat everyone with as much kindness as you can. You don't know who you may be helping by doing this. (You definitely help yourself, that goes without saying.) People who lose their tempers easily are weaker. They just are. I have a family full of hotheads. "Oh you don't want to mess with that dude... do you know who he is?" (my brother.) And it's always a brag... like it's something to be proud of. It's not. at all.
It's selfish, prideful, boorish and weak.

I used to be a total hot head, just like everyone else in my family. Not anymore. Choose peace. No matter what... just keep being peaceful. At least, for me... I have found a lot of balance that way. Other people cannot take your peace away from you unless you LET THEM. When you play their games, you are letting them overpower you.
Think Peace. They are the weak ones...

I'm not saying to let people walk all over you. But most of the time, like I said if you choose the peaceful route, and choose to not play the game, and to just be yourself... you'll find that you are much stronger than you thought. Others may hate you for it...(they will, too..trust me, been there, done that and will do it again, I'm sure.) Some people hate peaceful folks. It's just the way it is. They feel threatened by it, or maybe they just don't understand it, I'm not sure. Or maybe it makes their crappiness stand out at them when they see theirselves in the mirror. I don't know what the heck it is that gets their feathers so ruffled. But just try to choose the most peaceful route in everything you do. (real peace, not phony peace. Not the passive aggressive b.s.)
Pretty soon, those people won't bother you as much anymore.
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Last edited by yagottaloveyacurls; 08-18-2008 at 09:48 PM.
i saw the interview and i was a bit befuddled when she wa ssaying how mature he was for pretending he didnt remember the kid and essentially ignoring him. i think thats actually very immature. i was never teased as a child, but i know i'll teach my daughter to treat people with kindness even if they have done your wrong in the past. not be a doormat, but at least be cordial. in the same situation i think the best approach would be to say, "yes i remember you," and leave it at that.
To address the others comments...Yes, that was something that they chose to spend so much time talking about people teasing Phelps growing up and not being true friends, etc. Maybe his mother wanted to turn the interview into a life lesson for kids since she's a principal and all. I got the vibe that Michael really didn't have too much to say about what he had done...maybe he was still in shock...so maybe they needed filler.

I feel bad for folks who have family members who do this snubbing crap. That's tough.

To me, it seems like the crappy people have all the power whether you are nice to them or not. I think their mental illness just keeps them in their fantasyland where they're superior and no one can really do anything about it.

ETA: This is a different place with different situations. I wish I was back at the other job, because here people truly have a lot of ill will toward others. I was warned about this when I took the job, and I'm just hoping that it will teach me to have a thicker skin...even though I haven't quite figured out how to handle/rationalize things to make myself personally comfortable.

When people act nice after being nasty...I think it is just part of the control games. They let other people (managers) see them being nice, so that it looks like they're the team players and I'm the loser because I don't know how to react when they do this. There are so many facets to this whole thing for me. Like I said, I haven't figured this part of life out yet. I'm a little behind that way.
Originally Posted by slinky1
You need to be in the work environment that I am in. I work for a dentist & it is just him & I. I don't have to deal with all this petty work drama. Have you thought of a career change?

I've worked most of my career life in jobs with 14 to 20 coworkers. They have "tried" to give me a hard time because I am older. You have said that you don't believe you are pretty & your coworkers have made fun of you because of that. I've gotten the same **** because of my age. You have to try to look & be confident even if you don't feel it. My advice is to work extra hard, be at work early & leave late. Get in good with your superiors. I did that I ended up managing the twits who were trying to intimidate me. It felt so good when they were trying to kiss my ass.
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For me, being nice after years of someone treating me badly is just an invitation for them to keep on doing it. I tried for over 10 years in 3 different cases and I kick myself for letting it go on that long. I learned my lesson the hard way on that front so I simply do not put up with it from anyone. At work or in my family.

Like I said in my original post, I will be cordial. But that is it. I wear my heart on my sleeve so if I don't like you, you know it - my "hello's" are neutral, I keep questions to a minimum and I give yes or no answers whenever I can, I say please, thank you and excuse me. I will never make others uncomfortable by starting a confrontation (at work or at a family function) or being outright rude but I will say whatever needs to be said in the quickest way possible. When I am at the point where I can't be bothered with you I certainly cannot stand there and LISTEN to you fake compliment me or smile in my face when I KNOW you have talked about me or wronged me in some other way. You are dead to me at that point. End of story. And that is how you will stay. (I know I totally sound like my 97 year old grandmother but that is honestly how I feel!)
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Wonder what Michael's dad is thinking? Had he been around, maybe the teasing wouldn't have had such an impact. Since he wasn't around though, a bond developed with the coach and Michael that led to the success we've seen.

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