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Have Older People Ever "Spoken Down To" You? watch

  • View Poll Results: Have You Ever Been "Spoken Down To" By An Older Person?
    Yes, happens all the time
    25.00%
    Yes, sometimes
    25.00%
    Yes, but it's rare
    25.00%
    No, never
    25.00%

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    Has anyone noticed this happen a lot of the time - older people speaking down and being patronising to younger ones, even those in their 20s? I'm going on 21, so hardly a teenager, but I consistently notice older people (those in their 30s, 40s, or 50s, usually) speaking down to me, or other people, based solely on their age. It's not just older people in positions of power (like teachers), either.

    I'm not particularly passive, but I'm not aggressive or ruder to older people either (friends say I'm quite assertive, in between) and I don't have this problem with anyone else. How do I get them to stop? Sometimes, they can be downright insensitive and patronising. Is it that such people are just rude anyway, but feel safer when talking like that to younger people whom they might see as less capable of standing up for themselves?

    Quick examples of this (off the top of my head):

    -I went to see my GP a few weeks ago about some knee problems I've been having, and was completely patronising, not listened to, and talked over. He also kept huffing, sighing and rolling his eyes when I was actually trying to explain the problem! I realise that some GPs are just awful and will speak like that to anyone, but I think my youth had something to do with it because he told me at the end (when I made one final attempt to get through to him) that I should "learn to listen to my elders".

    -In my first part-time job, I was hired along with a bunch of older people (four other women and two guys) to work as waitresses at a new restaurant. I turned up on the first day dressed exactly as had been stipulated - black company shirt, black knee length skirt, black tights and flats, hair tidy, no make up as usual. Despite this, the older people on the team rolled their eyes at me after I introduced myself to them, I heard two of the women (who were both wearing the exact same outfit) say that I looked "tarty" in the toilets, and I had a lot of trouble in that job because they wouldn't work with me much (and flat-out tried to make my life hard, like refusing to move when they were carrying nothing and standing around and I was carrying plates back and forth, or keeping stuff the manager had told them to pass on from me). I told the manager about this, but because there was no evidence and it was six against one I eventually had to leave.

    -My best friend's sister, who is 18 and suffers from depression, fell for a 27-year-old friend of her dad. She was told by her 40-year-old single aunt that she was being a "stupid child" and that "older men just use younger women for sex" despite having merely asked her for advice. When her dad later found out that the guy had a girlfriend, she ended up really upset, and was told by a different aunt and uncle (who are in their 50s) to "just get over it," "stop being so pathetic" and that "she was being an immature embarrassment who could potentially wreck a home" though she said she told them she had no intention of making a move on him and hadn't flirted with him yet at all. She was really hurt about both of these incidents when she later told me and my best friend.

    Any other TSRians dealt with older people being patronising? How would you deal with it? It really annoys me. I look slightly younger and supposedly "cute", too (I've been told I could pass for 18) but even those people who know my age still often "speak down to" me.
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    (Original post by djpailo)
    I wouldn't say I've had that experience. It sounds more like they are bitter at you because at 40/50 years old, they're still in low tier jobs.


    That's good to hear (sorry for quoting you into another thread, but TSR made two - one anon and one non-anon for some reason, so I'm just sticking with this one ) Yeah, that was what I thought, too - it's happened more than that one time, though. I've spoken to friends about it and apparently it's quite common re: giving relationship advice too (like with my bff's sister).
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    There's nothing much you can do about it without 'getting into an argument' with the whole "I'm more experienced than you" crap. Sometimes the best thing to do is just listen to what they have to say, nod throughout and take what you want. You don't have to agree with them whatsoever.


    When most people get older I find they get more stubborn and opinionated. I feel as though some people feel as though they need to give advice and be some sort of parent figure when they just need to back down and listen and ask questions instead and speak to young people on their level. A lot of baby boomers fail to realise that they can learn a lot from other generations.







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