(How) can I ask gifts be in cash/check instead of more restrictive instruments?

It answers the headline question directly and succinctly. There is no reason for anything other than Politeness when asking this to friends and family.

Also, I'm the only one to address the equally important secondary question:

Is it possible to make it easier on myself without taking away whatever pleasure the givers find in giving me plastic rectangles?

I'll even open it up to explain how the other remain answers are any better. For example, they both mention a savings account or something which OP doesn't even hint at.

I am open to any evidence based claims from the Question or my Answer.

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    A comment left under your answer was "While it's helpful to identify which skills are needed, can you provide some advice on actually putting that into practice? How can OP politely communicate their preferences? For instance, knowing when to bring it up and when/if to let it go would be useful." The comment is good advice; your answer doesn't really address the specifics of how politeness should be used here. – HDE 226868 Jan 23 '19 at 21:02
  • @HDE226868 I saw the comment, but it's not relevant for the reasons above. I don't expect them to actually justify the deletion, they've never been able to in the past. It's clearly personal. If you look at WendyG's Answer, EmC made an essentially identical comment which WendyG flatly refused to address and that Answer has not been deleted. – Johns-305 Jan 23 '19 at 21:15
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    You haven't given any rationale above, Johns, and you haven't given any reasons why the comment is irrelevant. – HDE 226868 Jan 23 '19 at 21:23
  • @HDE226868 "There is no reason for anything other than Politeness when asking this to friends and family." Sorry, I did. If the Answer required and example, I would have given one, as I often do. This case did not warrant it. – Johns-305 Jan 23 '19 at 21:28
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    @Johns-305 Please don't comment on other users' answers to complain. The other answer is not deleted because the community hasn't voted to delete it. Notice that I wasn't the one who deleted your answer; it was three different reviewers. – Em C Jan 23 '19 at 21:29
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    @Johns-305 That's about as vague as answering a question on Stack Overflow by saying "You need to delete some of your code" and not going into any more details. Just saying "Politeness" doesn't help anyone. Also, as EmC said, the community voted to deleted your answer, and the other answers you're mentioning have positive scores, so a mod would be needed to step in and delete it unilaterally. – HDE 226868 Jan 23 '19 at 21:34
  • @EmC It's not a complaint. I'm asking for an explanation for the inconsistent treatment. I was hoping they would have learned from our last incident, but I guess I'm still be treated unfairly for reasons unrelated to my participation (#6 for the quarter). – Johns-305 Jan 23 '19 at 21:34
  • @HDE226868 Except "You shouldn't be doing that at all" is perfectly reasonable answer to many questions on SE. In fact, I just use it earlier today. No reason to add unnecessary complication. – Johns-305 Jan 23 '19 at 21:36
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    Hey Johns, thanks for using a non-demanding title this time. I'm sorry your answer was deleted, but as far as your concerns about inconsistency--it appears your answer was deleted from 3 delete votes from high-rep users. The other answer you're comparing yours to, however, does not have a negative score, which means it'll take more than 3 votes to delete it. Perhaps yours was deleted before theirs because it takes longer to get >3 votes to delete? – scohe001 Jan 23 '19 at 21:39
  • @scohe001 My Answer is from roughly the same timeframe as the others yet my was delete >12 hours ago, meaning, they've had twice as much time to garner upvotes. Also, I had a +14 Answer Deleted so clearly Mods don't consider the Community opinion. Fun Fact, the Accepted Answer there was only +12. – Johns-305 Jan 23 '19 at 21:47
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    Just a reminder that upvotes have no bearing on whether something is on topic or meets the minimum requirements of a good IPS answer. Upvotes only mean that someone found something amusing or useful. Many users came to this site because of posts featured in the Hot Network Question sidebar. If they have the association bonus they will start with 101 rep, which is enough to upvote posts. Their first and only action on the site could be upvoting a post that they like. Most of these users have no interest in participating in community moderation, or an awareness of a particular site's policies. – sphennings Jan 24 '19 at 21:28
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    If upvotes were the only metric that mattered there wouldn't be a need for review queues, or flagging. – sphennings Jan 24 '19 at 21:29
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    You're complaining about unequal treatment. Other answers to that question are going through the same process that yours went through. Yours just garnered a few more downvotes earlier in the process. This isn't unequal treatment this is the site working as intended. – sphennings Jan 24 '19 at 22:07
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    I'm starting to think we could probably make a branch of our FAQ on why answers get deleted solely out of this guys meta posts. – Jess K. Jan 25 '19 at 18:36
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    @JessK Well, we do have a proposed FAQ here ;) maybe we ought to add a point about how upvotes and other currently visible answers are largely irrelevant? – Em C Jan 25 '19 at 19:26

Background #1: I'm one of the 3 who voted to delete this answer. I'm not a serial downvoter at all, and I'd rather use positive and nice ways to achieve things than anything else, anytime it's possible. Even if, sometimes, " 'NO' is a complete sentence. "

Background #2: to me, InterPersonal Skills are very often based upon and driven by feelings, and the way to (re)act when facing a situation you have no response to. You interact with people, most of the time, walking on eggs and with a real need of sugar-coating.

IMO, you can't see/use/recommend anything on IPS and say: "use it like a switch, it's ON/OFF. Period." No need to explain why it works, or the risks you face if you misuse it?

Coming to that analogy, I'll use the electrical switch as an image.

  • ON: light.
  • OFF: no light.

But no explanation about the "how it works", or "why you should be careful", or "this is the light side / beware of the dark side", "risk of shorting", and so on...

Is that what we want on IPS? Just a plain "put the switch ON/OFF"? I'd say no. Please, no.

And that's what I feel when reading some of your answers. This "raw" feeling of the switch. I'll quote you:

Except "You shouldn't be doing that at all" is perfectly reasonable answer to many questions on SE. In fact, I just use it earlier today. No reason to add unnecessary complication.

  • to many questions on SE? yes. When it requires a Yes/NO answer. A work/doesn't work answer. When you're facing a technical problem. But not at all, IMO, when dealing with real people, with real feelings, with real problems...
  • In fact, I just use it earlier today. -> the one I think about is this one. To me, it's a "straight to the point answer with no explanation and without a true knowledge of the French culture". Still, it gets some UV and is top-rated. But, if you want to offer a frame-challenge and/or explain why a POV from different culture can be helful, then, explaining is much more than important.
  • No reason to add unnecessary complication -> IPS are about reasons and complications, because human being IS complicated, his feelings, his nature. Mankind and its problems aren't a ON/OFF switch.

As a kind of conclusion, even if Donald Trump is POTUS, he's not the representative image of ALL American Citizens. And Pepe Le Pew isn't the one of all French :D

I'm not trying to be controversial or trying to oppose them, I was just being stereotypical, and picking one character in each culture. Like a ON/OFF, 2 extreme of the scale. But I'd rather think (and, for the sake of Mankind, believe) that we have a very large choice on the spectrum between those 2 ;)

Can we be straight to the point? Yes.

Do we owe people explanation and clarification? Yes.

Sometimes, you can "straddle the fence" ("menager la chèvre et le chou" would say the French), even if, sometimes, you can't. The "how's" and "why's" are important.

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  • Some people might find a direct, to-the-point Answer useful. I'm very saddened that diversity in Answers is not accepted here. I really don't understand such intolerance of opinion. When can I expect my perfectly legitimate Answer to be restored? – Johns-305 Jan 24 '19 at 13:00
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    Some people might find a direct, to-the-point Answer useful -> and it is!... but without any explanation, it sounds like a try this answer, who cares, really... and that's not what is expected here, the community decided so, here on meta, and on the main site. – OldPadawan Jan 24 '19 at 13:03
  • Look, I hate to rehash this again, but it would help if you actually read the Answers before commenting. I did not give a 'try this' Answer. The Question was "How can I ask.." My Answer is essentially, Politely. That all OP needs to do. Notice, SZCZERZO KŁY opens with "Have you tried..." so if "try this" Answers are unacceptable, please have that one Deleted immediately as well. – Johns-305 Jan 24 '19 at 13:08
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    @Johns-305 If your answer was perfectly legitimate, the community wouldn't have made a collective vote to delete it. You have more "why is my answer deleted" posts on meta than any other single user because you ignore the explanations given to you and expect the results to change. You've provided other great answers in the past that have met answer requirements... Please listen to the input being given to you to improve your answer instead of bickering with the people trying to help you. – Jess K. Jan 24 '19 at 13:25
  • @JessK. Sorry, this is not a 'community' vote. It's 3 people voting explicitly against the community. As noted above, this has happened before on an Answer with a higher Community score (upvote) than even the Accepted Answer. I'm perfectly happy to let the real Community judge but I have a big problem when 3 users can delete a perfectly legitimate Answer with no justification at all. – Johns-305 Jan 24 '19 at 13:31
  • @Johns-305 You need 3 people if the answer has a negative score. You need 6 (plus a mod) if the answer has a positive one. – Ael Jan 24 '19 at 13:46
  • @Noon "your answer was deleted from 3 delete votes from high-rep users" - scohe001. – Johns-305 Jan 24 '19 at 13:50
  • @Johns-305 Yes, it was. But this was only possible because your answer had a negative score, it would have require six user + a mod otherwise – Ael Jan 24 '19 at 13:52
  • @Noon A score of -1. That tells me a lot. Very sad the delete voters a blocking an otherwise perfectly legitimate answer to both OP's questions. Note, no one else has addressed the second issue. :( I'm done. – Johns-305 Jan 24 '19 at 14:01
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    I like the analogy you used. Situations are often more complicated than they seem, and short, simple answers often (usually?) miss most of the important nuances of the issue, and therefore don't really help anyone. – HDE 226868 Jan 24 '19 at 14:13
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    @Johns-305 You can effectively count it as 4 then because I would agree your answer is insufficient and lacks an explanation as to how to use the skill. It doesn't matter how succinct the answer could be, the point of the matter is that we have guidelines in place that require answers to be explanatory for those who lack interpersonal skills/reasoning and cannot fill in the blanks on their own. Your answer does not meet that requirement, so it's deleted and won't be restored unless you update it according to the explanations being very graciously given to you in the answer above. – Jess K. Jan 24 '19 at 14:18
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    @Johns-305 WendyG's answer is in the review queue. Moderators generally wait for the community to complete the review task before taking further action (if any is even needed at that point). – Em C Jan 24 '19 at 14:31
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    @Johns-305 You can continue to create a false sense of fear/anger that the community is specifically out to get you, or you can read into the detailed answers that continue to be provided to you by very patient members on how you can improve your answers to get them restored. The answers that are provided to you are always upvoted, while your original questions on meta continue to be downvoted... a good sign that the advice being given to you is agreed upon by the community and the "you're all out to get me" attitude is not true or favorable... People keep trying to help you, let them. – Jess K. Jan 24 '19 at 20:21
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    @Johns-305 Moderators aren't the ones even deleting your answers. It's clear you're just out to argue, not to actually improve your answers or learn how to write an answer that fits the guideline requirements for this stack. I wish I could help you, as it seems very stressful to constantly feel the victim of planned attacks, but the only one able to help you past that mindset is yourself. I've seen great answers from you before, and believe you could be a great contributor here if you followed the guidelines and didn't feel your answers were above following them. Good luck, John! – Jess K. Jan 24 '19 at 21:26
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    @Johns-305 IPS isn't "everywhere else". Yes, IPS works differently from other stacks. There are some reasons for that, one of them being that we needed and still need very strict rules to make this site a success. I know those rules may seem complicated, pointless and hard to follow. But they all have a point and, if you are unable or unwilling to follow them, maybe it's best that you stop contributing altogether – Ael Jan 24 '19 at 21:49


I think it's important to give this discussion a second (third?) try, so there I go. I didn't want to edit my first answer, as this is just a offshoot that has its own developpment, and root question/problem. Not only I wish this could be helpful, but it may question / help / "protect" our (still weak and recovering) IPS community, its goals and tools.

I'm not (or consider myself) an Avenger ^^, but since I was kind of first-on-line on this one, I'll keep it running. I'm not calling names, just trying to answer you again, John, and clarify some points. But you'll be the example I'll choose, because you initiated this discussion that, IMO, is far more wide and broad than a single answer (yours, or mine). It's about what the Community has decided as time went by, and all of the developments this stack has had...

What I'm thinking of right now is this answer. You stand your ground. I'll not DV or flag or even review this answer. This is not the point, and no, I don't think you're targeted. So, here are my thoughts about that, and I'll give my analyze and POV.

This is (IMO) another "switch-answer", and we should avoid that. Why?

"I would expect Parents to be familiar with such restrictions" -> we don't know. So, it looks like "counting chickens before they are hatched".

It lacks background and clarification from OP -> assessing this and answering is like "shooting in the dark". You may hit the target, or not :)

"The first Interpersonal Skill to use is simple Honesty" -> but please, tell a white lie.

Randomly add some spice in the dish, and see if it suits your taste and your parents. Later, OP added this comment: "But because the reactions aren't anaphylactic shock, there's a whole discussion on whether its pickiness or actual allergies".

"The next Interpersonal Skill is Personal Accommodation" -> is this a skill?!

To me, it's a life-hack. More important, why would OP use this? What are the pros and cons? The possible outcome? I don't say that it's a bad idea, just that it would really benefit of some explanation and, if possible, be experienced/knowledge based.

"you can use the Interpersonal Skill of Flattery" -> this, I can't agree.

Worst advice possible, the one that can badly backfire... Flattery is often associated with hypocrisy, and toadyism, and people usually hate this.

"Finally, have a plan in case [...] but you should be prepared" -> switch ON/OFF, try this, and if it doesn't work, plan B.

My understanding and conclusion are that, no matter if it has UV, this is not following the rules IPS has set. And, before anything else, rules can be discussed, here, on meta, rather than writing answers that won't fit. You're right to ask for a change, but while it's discussed/agreed here, we (not you only) should refrain from many things like the two main ones following:

  • accepting questions that don't fit the pre-defined model (but ask for clarification / edits...)
  • answering (FGITW syndrom) those questions.

If I had to say something that would reach a personal level for any of us, I'd point that we all can be, as individual, another valuable contributor if we follow the play-book the coach has set, and play with the team. Not for our own sake, not to attract the spotlight, not for being the bigshot. For the team. You don't win a battle/war/revolution by beating your opponent or losing our lives, but by protecting/saving the life of the ones you love. Sacrificing our [ pride / life / internet points / you name it ] at the benefit of the group is the heart of the problem, the crux of our involvement to help others.

If we are wrong, let's hold our hands and die as a team.

If you folks think this is unclear, too broad or off-topic, or if I'm wrong with this, or if it should be part of another discussion, or just deleted, please comment, let me/us know. Thanks.

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  • I know this may come across as ungrateful, but I have to point out you are simply incorrect on all points. A 'sensitivity' as OP describe it likely a mild allergy, hence, not a lie. Personal Accommodation is a situational Interpersonal Skill to avoid the interpersonal action of imposition. BTW, do you really think OP wouldn't understand the point of brining extra food was so Spouse could eat it? I guess I have a little more faith in people. Your opinion on Flattery is just, well, very sad. How about you write a compliant Answer? Be sure to follow all the 'rules' so I have an example. – Johns-305 Jan 25 '19 at 12:40
  • Also, the first part is specifically meant to inform OP that they are not alone in this situation, and they are not facing unique interpersonal crisis with Parents. This is a very common tactic. I'm surprised you didn't pick up on that. – Johns-305 Jan 25 '19 at 12:47
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    @Johns-305 : I can't and won't answer because I have no good idea that could help or would work, or known/personal experience that can succeed, no data, no explanation, nothing that could back-up any assessement I would tell/advice OP... nothing. For the same reason, I looked for some Q/A we have in stock (about vegan or even my mom cooking too much food for us ^^) and found nothing helpful. 1/2 – OldPadawan Jan 25 '19 at 12:48
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    2/2 - I know what won't work (in some cases) because I have exactly the same problem with GF (who doesn't like meat, can eat it, but doesn't enjoy) and Mother who is straight in her boots and will not listen, and still cook too much, and cook meat. No trick ever worked yet. What can I tell OP? here are all the things we tried and that failed?... – OldPadawan Jan 25 '19 at 12:49
  • Umm....bring more food. It's right there in my Answer. I never even hinted Mother would or should change her cooking. Bring Spouse food and compliment Mother so she doesn't feel rejected. How is this not clear? No point in continuing this. Thanks. – Johns-305 Jan 25 '19 at 12:52
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    "I'm surprised you didn't pick up on that" -> sorry, I missed it. Really, no kidding. I didn't get the point. And that's why, quoting @Jess-K ("we have guidelines in place that require answers to be explanatory for those who lack interpersonal skills/reasoning and cannot fill in the blanks on their own.") I'd really love reading answer that can be helpful for everybody :) I'm sure you can make the extra step. – OldPadawan Jan 25 '19 at 12:53
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    @Johns-305 : "this may come across as ungrateful" -> I don't see it like that :) we discuss, (dis)agree, no big deal... "but I have to point out you are simply incorrect on all points" -> only my POV, can be wrong, argued, whatever, no big deal again. What I'm trying, like many users here, is that no one pushes while some others try to pull the other way around and that all of our efforts end with wasted time and energy ;) – OldPadawan Jan 25 '19 at 12:59
  • reading the answer again and again, I just found out something, and I don't know if I'm misunderstanding or misinterpreting. Please anyone correct my english if I'm wrong :) -> First, this is at all an uncommon situation so you're not alone in facing this with Parents. = SO -> if the first part is specifically meant to inform OP that they are not alone in this situation, shouldn't it be First, this is NOT at all an uncommon..."? And that may be the reason some (including me) didn't properly got it? – OldPadawan Jan 27 '19 at 20:45

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