12

Background

I've been saving for new PC for a while and should be enough in a couple of months, soon be building it. The PC's components have already been chosen and should be working for both my job and my gaming hobby.

Problem

Once in a while, some relatives or my parents's acquaintance heard about my saving through my parents and would ask about what I'm going to do with it in a conversation. When I said that I was saving for new PC they respond with something like:

That sound like a waste, you should spend it for traveling, get yourself some experience, you're still young.

Or

You can get a new motorbike with the same amount of money

(I maintain my bike very often, still in good condition)

Why would you waste so much money just for games? Why don't you save it and treat us sometimes

(I still hold small parties for my birthday and invite them...)

I usually respond with something like it's not just for games but for my work too, I'm not spending all my saving for it (about 50%-60%) or sometimes when the conversation getting heated I just keep silent.

While I understand the importance of saving and won't spend all of it for my PC, some of these still irritated me and kind of angry when someone's hobby like traveling, party,.. is better than my gaming hobby. I do appreciate the thoughtfulness of elders/former generation for me about saving for the future. That's why I always avoid response with something sound arrogant like: "It's my saving/hobby/you won't understand."

Question

How to response to double standards elder relatives/acquaintance about my saving for a new PC without looking like an arrogant/disrespectful person?

Goal

I wanna help them understand that this PC is necessary for my work and maybe also understand gaming is my hobby and should be treated like any other hobbies.

They're kind of my elders or same age/generation of my parents so it's not very wise to disrespect, especially where I come from.

  • Could you describe the existing relationship and expectations your elder relatives have in terms of you spending money. If they are getting into heated arguments over how you spend your money does that mean that they feel they have a say in what you buy? Do you have any examples of them controlling your spending in the past? How do you feel/react to this normally? How old are you? Do you have any insight for us into their motivations for acting this way? – Jesse Nov 2 '18 at 4:26
  • 5
    Your question asks how to respond to the double standards but you have not explained what those double standards are. Please explain how your elder relatives are applying their standards for spending money differently to other people or groups. – Jesse Nov 2 '18 at 4:30
14

First of all don't be angry about them, People more or less tend to try to convince others of what they like because I do it - so it must be perfect and the world needs to know.

You can make your statement smoother if you slightly modify it.
It's my hobby you won't understand becomes I know not everyone understands but it's my hobby. I like it and I'm looking forward to it. Doesn't that make it the perfect thing to save money for?
This sounds much better and by the way if they don't know what to respond they actually confirm you passively.

If you explain don't appear unsure. Don't find one "excuse" after the other, repeat the same answer to the same question. Yes this can become annoying and/or a kind of arrogant. But they probably will notice they were the ones who started it.
Another interesting answer to "I don't understand you" is "well ok ... but that isn't an actual problem, is it?".

4

It is only natural for people to voice their opinions. Unfortunately, sometimes they/we cross the line without even noticing and it leads to a dissonance in the conversation. Rest assure that they mean no harm (in most cases) but to answer your question of how to respectfully respond to that:

You will face 3 general strategies:

  1. Defend yourself and express why you should do it.
  2. Avoid the question
  3. [Secret Sauce] look at this as an opportunity to go around their opinion and ask them questions about things they feel passionate about. We all have at least one.

For example, say uncle Bob comes over and says:

That sound like a waste, you should spend it for traveling, get yourself some experience, you're still young.

Get pumped up with excitement (because you're going to talk about something that means something for you), and say:

Uncle Bob, you play the Piano every day for 3 hours; I know you like it and it sounds awesome. Mom told me you just purchased a very expensive one. Wow. You know, this is the level I want to operate in. I love computers and I'm going after this particular one because I understand exactly what is needed on a molecule level. I enjoy reading the specifics and I put attention on every detail. It just makes me happy.

This way, you divert the defensive approach of reasoning over an open conversation of what makes us happy in general. Can't see an outcome where they will still dispute that.

  • At first I thought you were just going for a subject change or diversion - get them to talk about their interests so they don't think about yours, but you take it in a different direction, I love the way you do that and draw a parallel between their interests and the interest in the computer. – Tango Nov 3 '18 at 3:37
2

I don't know if this counts as a good skill, maybe I need help from IPS, but I often just lie in those situations by implying I will/have changed my mind.

If somebody said:

You could buy a motorbike for that price.

I'd just say:

oh yeah, maybe I will buy a motorbike then.

It's pretty hard for people to persist in arguing with you after that.


Then after you buy the PC, you can then talk about something useful for your work that the PC does, or even imply that you wish you'd bought a motorbike instead, with a smile and shrug.


Warning: This may only work in (my) conflict-averse lower-middle-class white family.

1

You can twist the meaning around a bit. It's generally more accepted to spend money on education and your job than on hobbies, so emphasise that you need this computer for your job.

It's not just for games but for my work too. You need good tools to do good work and I think it's a waste to buy a cheap computer that is not well suited for my work. I could buy a new computer right now, but I'll save a little more money to invest into a better computer so I can do better work.

You should expect questions like "How does a more expensive computer improve your work?", so this strategy might backfire if you only need to write documents for your work. But if you do stuff that requires much processing power this answer might work for you.

  • 1
    I like this answer but I'd suggest going further and put the gaming last. Instead play up the education / work portion, e.g. "I'm studying <insert fancy tech here>...". – DaveG Nov 2 '18 at 15:58

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