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Bad cough etiquette from family

  • 27-04-2020 12:12pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    I live at home, unable for my own mortgage and rental property within budget is too hard to find. I live at home with my mother.

    My mother has poor cough etiquette. She's not cocoon age. She's knows about the virus and understands the virus and understands the guidelines. I have an issue though. Her cough etiquette is appalling. She has a cough. I think it's more environmental/dust reasons for the cough. She thinks the same. It's not a bad cough. Problem is she coughs into the open without trying to contain the cough. I've been asking her nicely to use tissues or her elbow and she doesn't like it when I ask her. I'm not being mean or rude about it. I'm asking her to be more mindful of her coughing. She gives out to me saying it's not the virus. That's besides the point. What if she was to become infected with the virus? It's not OK to cough into the open at all. Not at home. Not when out and about.

    How do I get her to change and be more mindful.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,704 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    Hi OP

    please cop onto yourself. you cannot make other people have good manners. And you most certainly cannot live in your mothers house and dictate how she behaves.

    you can educate and advise, but if you lived in my house and started to tell me how to conduct myself, i would becaome very annoyed and most likely do the exact opposote of what you said.

    When all is said and done, you can only control your own behaviour. You would be better advised trying to be a good example!


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Disagree strongly with previous poster.

    This isn't about good manners or etiquette. It's hygiene and personal safety. Are the the people you live with exempt from you complaining to them if they break a red light or disable the smoke alarm?

    Getting people to change habits is hard but you are well within your rights to ask someone to be considerate of more than themselves. This isn't just your health either. If she coughs like that in public she'll infect others. If she infects others in your household there's a chance they or you'll infect others. While the individual risk to one random person is low, a sustained chain of transmission will infect someone who will die. Yes, there is no way of being any way less blunt her crappy etiquette and naivety will probably lead to someone else dying. The challenge is explaining that to her without sounding hysterical or dramatic.

    Maybe try showing her a disease growth graphs of transmissions chains between people and how these chains can be broken?
    DEFINITELY try get her to wear a mask when outside in public to protect others.
    Try to educate her on respiratory hygiene. Not by pointing out what she's doing wrong but what she's doing right and why that's not enough.
    Emphasise how she's protecting not just herself but others. That, if she has the virus she won't know. The virus doesn't make you sick in the normal way.
    Explain how if you or she makes a mistake the actions of others can still protect you and vice versa. For example, you forgot to wash her hands after touching a suspect surface. Every person in society washes it with disinfectant then your mistake doesn't carry the same potential consequences.
    Emphasise to her that habits are automatic. If you don't build the proper technique in the safety net of your home. Outside of it will be carry much higher risk.
    The hash tag might be cringy but the better you can illustrate to her that we're all in this together the more likely she is to change her way. She's doing it to protect herself but also the people who's funerals she never wants to have to experience.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,704 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    So you believe OP should continue to tell/preach at mother, and expect an improvement in mothers response? You reckon graphs are the answer?

    I suggested a change of approach from OP where OP recognises mother is an adult and OP is living in their house and trying to dictate their behaviour.

    OPs mother sounds like she has a streak of stubbornness, and i really think a change of mindset is required from the OP to see any results. Telling people what to do can be counterproductive! OP must be smarter here, and use persuasion & good examples rather than instruction. Mother is not a child to be chastised in her own home!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Sorry about that


    So you believe OP should continue to tell/preach at mother, and expect an improvement in mothers response? You reckon graphs are the answer?

    I suggested a change of approach from OP where OP recognises mother is an adult and OP is living in their house and trying to dictate their behaviour.

    OPs mother sounds like she has a streak of stubbornness, and i really think a change of mindset is required from the OP to see any results. Telling people what to do can be counterproductive! OP must be smarter here, and use persuasion & good examples rather than instruction. Mother is not a child to be chastised in her own home!

    Op already stated that they asked their mother to improve her cough behaviour; I didn't read anything that indicated she was chastised or instructed.

    Get a face mask op, you'll protect yourself, and maybe your Mam will take the hint. Her coughing practice is no longer ok in these times, and she most definitely knows it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,476 ✭✭✭neonsofa



    Mother is not a child to be chastised in her own home!

    Mother is behaving like one by coughing the way she is, which is disgusting enough in normal circumstances, but during a global pandemic where there is constant guidance and information about hygeine and preventing the spread of the virus.... even young children are practicing better hygeine without being reminded or chastised.

    Saying shes in her own home and can do what she likes is all well and good if she is leaving her dirty dishes on the counter for longer than OP would like, or hogging the tv, but this woman is coughing around other people and not covering her mouth. Doesn't matter if the other people are paying tenants, or family members, or strangers. She should be covering her mouth. And her child shouldn't have to be telling her to do so. There are already enough medical professionals in the media advising her of that. The mother clearly thinks "it's not the virus making me cough so people are over reacting about my cough" but she has no way of knowing if she is asymptomatic or presymptomatic, and easily spreading the virus through coughing, regardless of the fact that the cough is not caused by the virus.

    If the mother has an issue with OP living in the house then the mother needs to address that as a separate issue. But as it stands they are both consenting adults living together and they are both entitled to feel safe in their shared living space. The OP is also at risk of infecting others if she were to catch the virus within her home. It is a public health issue. If op catches it, others may catch it. We are all responsible for tackling the spread of the virus. We are being asked to do certain things to prevent spreading a harmful illness to others, it's a public health issue, to reduce fatalities, this woman isnt above that because "her house, her rules".

    I understand that the OPs approach may not have proved beneficial and sometimes you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so I get the whole try a different approach take, but OP is not in the wrong for expecting a basic level of respect for her health from everybody in society right now- never mind her family who she lives with.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 929 ✭✭✭Shelli2


    If she does that out and about, in a queue for a shop for example, she's likely to get a lot of abuse from other people. I've seen full on shouting arguments between people lately.

    You could put it to her that way?


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    OP, I'm having the same problem pretty much. I'm a millennial living at home. Had been in discussion with the bank for a mortgage and am slowly getting there but like many it's been very hard to gather up money despite living like a hermit for years. I'd be a single buyer in an expensive county so it's very hard. Anyway, living with the parents. Myself and my mother have been upset by my father just basically coughing and sneezing out openly all over us. He's always done this. Have caught colds from him before due to this. Had hoped a little thing like a pandemic would change him but obviously doesn't care about spreading anything he might have to us. My mam's v upset about that. No point in arguing. Have already asked nicely. So what I'm doing is:
    because he coughed right in my face at dinner the other week (sits across from me, table is so small we are not 2m apart) I now no longer sit at the table. I either work through that time period and make excuses so I can eat my dinner alone later or I eat my dinner sitting on the couch as far away from him as i can because I simply don't know when he's going to cough in my face. Never said anything about it, just do it.
    I avoid being in the same room as much as possible. No problem when we're out in the open chatting though.
    I keep all of my own cutlery and delph in my room with my own teatowel.
    That's literally all you can do.
    It's always been a bugbear of mine people coughing and sneezing openly. If people did do it this disease wouldn't transmit so efficiently. Simple as. How some people cannot refrain from coughing and sneezing openly is beyond me even before this pandemic. It's so rude. Always was and always will be. I manage to suppress them or do it into a tissue or,worst case, into the crease of my elbow. Why is that so hard for some? Best of luck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 300 ✭✭ATC110


    I manage to suppress them or do it into a tissue or,worst case, into the crease of my elbow. Why is that so hard for some? Best of luck.

    That is a bizarre situation..I can't help but wonder how someone could meet a partner, live with them and have children behaving like that:confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭the14thwarrior


    OP
    nothing much you can do.
    she's like that all her life
    no point in lecturing her, it makes for a miserable life

    you won't really change someone like that, if they can't be changed
    there are lots of families with people in them that do things like this all the time, pandemic or no pandemic, adults ....... and then another person comes along and tells them they don't like they way they are behaving. hmm....... a receipe for an argument that you can't win.

    people eat with their mouth full
    don't wash cups and dishes properly.
    would never think of washing the toilet, never mind the handles and seat
    cough out loud
    sneeze out loud
    fart out loud
    don't launder clothes all the time
    don't have a shower all the time
    smoke in the house
    drink from the top of the milk bottle despite a plethoria of cups beside them
    and these are only the things off the top of my head that my father does........

    but i manage to find a way around it and do my best because there are other things that i love him for and i can only pray that he doesn't get the virus because if he does............he'll probably survive (those people usually do) and i'll be the one that will be sick

    you'll have a find a way to overcome your outrage and yes, you are right , but that won't solve the problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,532 ✭✭✭Stacksofwacks


    Hi OP

    please cop onto yourself. you cannot make other people have good manners. And you most certainly cannot live in your mothers house and dictate how she behaves.

    you can educate and advise, but if you lived in my house and started to tell me how to conduct myself, i would becaome very annoyed and most likely do the exact opposote of what you said.

    When all is said and done, you can only control your own behaviour. You would be better advised trying to be a good example!

    This attitude of this is my house I do what I want and screw everyone else is how domestic abuse situations occur. The OP is a human being also who is living in the house and her views and safety are worthy of being listened to and considered. As long as its done in a constructive manner


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    Honestly I don’t agree with what they’re saying but don’t read that poster as having an abuser’s mindset or anything of the sort, it’s more a case of it being the default PI response that if someone is living at home then it’s their parents’ rules. And this is one such thread to show that that’s a bollocks notion. Purchasing a property does not give you carte blanche to behave how you want, it’s such a random qualifier for an impunity than many may want but none of us really have. If you don’t want to spend your life alone and/or away from society at large, then accepting some give and take is a part of life...whether you’ve purchased a property or not.

    Covering your mouth when you cough is as basic as not spitting everywhere you go or putting clothes on when around others. Nobody can stop you coughing up a lung or spitting everywhere in your own home, sure, but it doesn’t mean you should do it either and that not doing so won’t incur consequences.

    Unfortunately OP you’re falling short in the ‘what you can do about it’ category if you’ve said it directly and it’s made no difference. Sometimes dropping hints or saying things indirectly is a discreet way of getting someone to cop on while letting them maintain their pride, but that’s out the window once it’s become an issue. And when you basically call someone manky for something they do, that’s embarrassing, so if it still doesn’t work then there’s really no pride/shame there to work with. The only thing you can do from there is appeal to their caring side and almost plead with them to stop because you’re concerned about your own health. If that doesn’t work, all you can do is either get on with it or just look after yourself as best you can and limit your time around this person to only essential.


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