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I know he’s trying to be helpful, but he’s making things worse


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One of my regulars in a big group in which we play together on Saturdays is just a gem of a guy.  He’s a senior; I’m not (yet)....love the guy to death.  

 

That said, he adds to my aggravations on those days when things go off the rails.  Today was one such day.  Nothing went well, and the next thing went worse yet.  We’ve all had it happen.  Now for sure, I’m my own worst critic.  Days like today find me  steaming internally, and yeah, the silent self-talk is not pretty.  It’s how I internalize things.  I DO recognize however, that the last thing anybody else wants to hear is someone griping and whining about their struggles, so I’m very careful that when the rails come off, to keep to myself and just stay away from my immediate playing partners so they don’t have to be affected by my poor play.  If I need to slam a club into the ground, I do it privately, quickly, & away from my partners.  And herein lies the problem....

 

The guy of whom I speak INSISTS on coming over to me when I’ve gone off to myself, trying to make me feel better about what is going on, which I find irritatingly patronizing; or worse, he’ll then start criticizing me (you know, like an uncle would do) about being so hard on myself, to the point that I just want to tell him to go play in the traffic.  I know he means well, but damn, I go to great lengths to keep my self-beatings, well, to myself....and I really believe he ought to recognize that effort and consideration of the group, and leave me alone to try and sort things out.  Because like today, I CAN sometimes turn it around.  14 over 50 at the turn (and I’m a 12 index; I’ve not had a 9 holes 50+ in YEARS), I played the more difficult back 9 in 3 over, for a very odd way to get to 89.  I get it, self-beratement doesn’t work for most people, but sometimes for me it does.  And yes, I kept to myself during the back 9 just like I did the front, pushing myself.

 

Then, at the watering hole afterwards, this guy starts in on me again w/ the criticism.  Like I said, he’s a senior, super-senior in fact, and we all think so much of him that I don’t want to tell him to F off in front of the others, but I was near that point today.

 

How can I get it thru this guy’s head that he’s not helping by trying to, nor are his admonitions helpful?  

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Guaranteed your tantrums are not just to yourself as you think they are   A guy being a suck is zero fun to play with.  You think you are not affecting the group and dynamics but you are

Before, I give you any advice, just want to check if you will listen to it?😉

Surprised you can find people to play with to be honest, you sound like a right diva, man up it’s only golf.:-)

Quite simply, you tell him. Just be honest.

 

But don’t do it when you’re heated. 

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Posted (edited)

Had that same situation a number of years back with a a friend that tried to make me feel better by telling me "it's only a game."  It was short and quick with some expletives.  Golf is fun, but it is also a serious game.  I don't need anyone patronizing me.

Edited by Socrates

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As mentioned earlier, wait until you have simmered down and post-round tell him how you feel. He will either accept it or he won't. If he's offering this unsolicited advice to you, he's done it before and has probably heard how you feel from someone else. There is an art to telling someone to bug-off without being an obvious tool about it and is a skill you will use more often, later in life.

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14 minutes ago, Socrates said:

Had that same situation a number of years back with a a friend that tried to make me feel better by telling me "it's only a game."  It was short and quick with some expletives.  Golf is fun, but it is also a serious game.  I don't need anyone patronizing me.

Ouch! 

 

The guys I play with all know each other so well that you have a sense over time of when to give someone a little space or whether an encouraging word will be welcome, and when a "______ off" isn't going too far, lol.  Delivered with a smile, of course!  Guessing your friend knows you well enough.

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3 minutes ago, cardoustie said:

Guaranteed your tantrums are not just to yourself as you think they are

 

A guy being a suck is zero fun to play with.  You think you are not affecting the group and dynamics but you are

 

a 3 second F is fine, but then you need to move on

Agreed.  I used to be an a** a long time ago.  I still get mad over a bad shot, but now it rarely goes beyond some bad words and maybe a dropped club (not a throw) and then it's done with.  The Steve Pate in me is long gone, but I'm not quite ready to be Matt Kutcher either ("Golly Matty" 🙄).

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3 minutes ago, Socrates said:

Agreed.  I used to be an a** a long time ago.  I still get mad over a bad shot, but now it rarely goes beyond some bad words and maybe a dropped club (not a throw) and then it's done with.  The Steve Pate in me is long gone, but I'm not quite ready to be Matt Kutcher either ("Golly Matty" 🙄).

Nothing wrong with a little fire, IMO!

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Change your attitude, like others have mentioned, you’re affecting others when having hissy fits regardless if you “are off on your own”.

 

You need to understand the vast majority of people do not like playing with people who when they are not playing well feel the need to cry about it and suck all the fun out of the round.

 

In changing your attitude you’ll probably end up playing better golf as well, so it’s a win/win.

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Socrates, thanks for nailing the point: golf for devotees is fun, but a serious endeavor.

 

And retreating into one's inner self when you're not playing to a reasonable standard (I don't expect to shoot 68 as a 12 index, for example), IF you've found that to be effective at times, should be something one is allowed to do, IMO, as long as you take care to simply be polite about it and not involve your playing partners by keeping your distance, staying to one's self quietly, and not giving a "play by play" of what went wrong (THAT is what drives me nuts), etc., so as not to impact their rounds.  Having someone else drawing attention to me simply withdrawing in silence and some distance (off to the side of the tee box, for example) to refocus seems, in the case of this guy, unintentionally rude.  Particularly b/c I'm specifically trying NOT to cause disruption for my partners....the last thing I want is attention drawn to how I'm playing OR how I'm trying to deal with it.  And I continue to congratulate my partners on their good shots, so as to be supportive of their play, even when I'm kicking my own a** internally.

 

I've been running this group from an organizational perspective for years; we are all good friends, and we all like playing as a group.  I don't throw "hissy fits", to quote one replying poster who apparently had reading comp problems, and obviously I don't have any problem finding people to play with, to address another poster.

 

So, my takeaway from the serious replies (thank you, sincerely) is to pull this guy aside and tell him he's disrupting my internalization of what I've found to be helpful on the occasion of a round going off the tracks and my efforts to salvage it.  And that I know he means well and of that I'm appreciative, but he just needs to let me stew in silence and work thru it, as long as I'm being considerate of the other guys (not yelling and cursing and giving the aforementioned "play by play".....I just HATE that), for example.

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"You're not good enough to get upset about that shot."  Heard often during the season, lol, where I play.

 

In a nice way, not in a grumpy, pissant way, my wife sometimes engages in self-talk after shots that rivals the Carl's Golfland ads which I think are hilarious.  Friday night, things heard:  "I think my club must have twisted in my hand on that", "That went left" (after hitting her absolute best drive of the night with a little draw), "It's just a Callaway" (after finding and tossing back in the grass a new Callaway exactly like the one she didn't realize she was playing), "I miss my 5 iron" (after duffing her hybrid which when she makes a good swing outperforms her 5i and no comparison, lol).  

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1 hour ago, cardoustie said:

Guaranteed your tantrums are not just to yourself as you think they are

 

A guy being a suck is zero fun to play with.  You think you are not affecting the group and dynamics but you are

 

a 3 second F is fine, but then you need to move on

Well, simply put and respectfully, you're wrong w/ regards to your first statement.  I don't have outward tantrums; I'm "yelling" at myself in silence.  The other guys know this occassionally occurs and just don't worry about it, but this guy, good guy though he is, always has to try to "fix it", even though that's what I'm attempting to do.  Which draws attention to it; the last thing I want. 

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9 minutes ago, jc4birdie said:

Socrates, thanks for nailing the point: golf for devotees is fun, but a serious endeavor.

 

And retreating into one's inner self when you're not playing to a reasonable standard (I don't expect to shoot 68 as a 12 index, for example), IF you've found that to be effective at times, should be something one is allowed to do, IMO, as long as you take care to simply be polite about it and not involve your playing partners by keeping your distance, staying to one's self quietly, and not giving a "play by play" of what went wrong (THAT is what drives me nuts), etc., so as not to impact their rounds.  Having someone else drawing attention to me simply withdrawing in silence and some distance (off to the side of the tee box, for example) to refocus seems, in the case of this guy, unintentionally rude.  Particularly b/c I'm specifically trying NOT to cause disruption for my partners....the last thing I want is attention drawn to how I'm playing OR how I'm trying to deal with it.  And I continue to congratulate my partners on their good shots, so as to be supportive of their play, even when I'm kicking my own a** internally.

 

I've been running this group from an organizational perspective for years; we are all good friends, and we all like playing as a group.  I don't throw "hissy fits", to quote one replying poster who apparently had reading comp problems, and obviously I don't have any problem finding people to play with, to address another poster.

 

So, my takeaway from the serious replies (thank you, sincerely) is to pull this guy aside and tell him he's disrupting my internalization of what I've found to be helpful on the occasion of a round going off the tracks and my efforts to salvage it.  And that I know he means well and of that I'm appreciative, but he just needs to let me stew in silence and work thru it, as long as I'm being considerate of the other guys (not yelling and cursing and giving the aforementioned "play by play".....I just HATE that), for example.

I'd pay one of those guys $50 to hug you.

 

It will be fine - just remember he can't read your mind so he really isn't being "rude" on purpose or not, he's just being nice and you don't want nice, there is a difference.  Imagine you are at the coffee shop - "it's me, not you".

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2 hours ago, Hawkeye77 said:

"You're not good enough to get upset about that shot."  Heard often during the season, lol, where I play.

The problem is, is that at points during the season, I am good enough to get upset about it.  Those points are getting farther apart now.  😪

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Surprised your playing partners haven’t encouraged you to toss your clubs into the water or break them, etc.  That’s what my buddies do.  

 

Plan A is to play well.  And when that fails, it’s Plan Beer.  But the second you start to show some emotions, the wolves are ready to pounce!

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You wouldn't last a day in my group.  We have one guy who, well, if he had a choice for the round between having a birdie and having one of the guys in the group tell him to f off, well...  If you hit a shot well to the right, he'll say something like "If you went any further right, Michael Moore would have made a movie about you."  The needle is out.  So you better be able to laugh or else it will be a very long day.  

 

On the flip side, among the same group of guys, when I played my best round of my life, they noticed I was playing well and started being quiet(sort of like not talking to the pitcher who has a no-hitter going).     

 

Agree with card and the others, though.  You are bringing the group down.  You may think you're not, but when you start doing that stuff, the rest of the guys start feeling like they need to walk on eggshells.  I used to play with a guy who would get all drama queen-ish on the first tee if he yanked it.  Mostly played with him because he was always willing to be there real early the prior week to make a tee time.  But after getting away from him for a bit, I found it was a hell of a lot nicer to play golf.  That I can still take it seriously but not life and death like he did.    

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JC


trying to help

 

In my group going into your mode would lead to some VERY hard teasing, needling and joking around

 

Try another approach to your bad play and see if that changes things for you

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42 minutes ago, jl923 said:

Is it possible that everyone in your group feels uncomfortable but only the older gent said something?

I seriously doubt it.  The other 2 of my particular 4some yesterday included one of my better buds, and a guy who i play a ton of my golf with; if something was bothering him, he would certainly not be shy about saying something.  That's what I mean about keeping it to myself and getting a bit of space from the others, to be considerate.  I honestly never pay any attention to how someone else is playing, and the kind of day they are having just doesn't impact me, good, bad, or indifferent.  Golf is just so "solo" in that way....as long as they don't try to get all up into me & give me the running commentary on their shots, good or bad....and that gets to me enough to simply state to the offender that "I don't really care about your shots, and I need to focus on mine." 

 

Anyway, not an issue at this point.  Had a chat w/ him just about 45 min ago.  As I said, he's a great guy, full of funny stories & a guy I'd have his back anytime he was in trouble.  He doesn't understand how that sometimes works for me, and I don't understand why he gives a rat's a**.  But we agreed to disagree, and he understands just to leave me be, and that when I'm disgusted with myself, it has nothing to do with him, so he just needs to go about his business.   And as always, we'll have some laughs at the 19th hole.  I mean, this is a very uncommon occurence, which I guess explains his confusion over how to NOT to try and "fix" things.  Anyway, all good.  

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5 minutes ago, jc4birdie said:

I seriously doubt it.  The other 2 of my particular 4some yesterday included one of my better buds, and a guy who i play a ton of my golf with; if something was bothering him, he would certainly not be shy about saying something.  That's what I mean about keeping it to myself and getting a bit of space from the others, to be considerate.  I honestly never pay any attention to how someone else is playing, and the kind of day they are having just doesn't impact me, good, bad, or indifferent.  Golf is just so "solo" in that way....as long as they don't try to get all up into me & give me the running commentary on their shots, good or bad....and that gets to me enough to simply state to the offender that "I don't really care about your shots, and I need to focus on mine." 

 

Anyway, not an issue at this point.  Had a chat w/ him just about 45 min ago.  As I said, he's a great guy, full of funny stories & a guy I'd have his back anytime he was in trouble.  He doesn't understand how that sometimes works for me, and I don't understand why he gives a rat's a**.  But we agreed to disagree, and he understands just to leave me be, and that when I'm disgusted with myself, it has nothing to do with him, so he just needs to go about his business.   And as always, we'll have some laughs at the 19th hole.  I mean, this is a very uncommon occurence, which I guess explains his confusion over how to NOT to try and "fix" things.  Anyway, all good.  

Right, just continue to be open about how you feel. Cheers!

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So you prefer someone who agrees with your self assessment ? You need to golf with me... I love agreeing with a guy getting down on his play. 

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