This might sound weird, but have you ever had the feeling that someone is competing with you? Or that someone — aka a fellow mom — is overly interested in what you, your kids, or family are doing? Moms competing is a real thing. There’s even a name: Competitive Mom Syndrome.
Perhaps this is the person who rarely, if ever, will Like or Comment on your Facebook posts. This is the person who will rarely pay you or your kids a compliment. She might just “forget” to RSVP to your child’s party.
Strangely, you may even feel this Certain Someone is sort of noticing you on social media.
I’m only on Facebook — goodness knows that eats up enough time — I can’t imagine being on other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, and Instagram too.
But I’ve felt it: that feeling that someone knows what I’m up to. This person may play psycho mind games or gossip. At times, she may be rude (subtle or overt).
These social mind games, in social media and in real life, are very interesting.
Moms competing with you
Have you ever been in a competition with someone but didn’t know you were in one? That’s how it is with this person I know.
Luckily, I moved hundreds of miles away, so it’s no longer an in-my-face issue. The situation still exists on Facebook though.
I want to scream: My family and I aren’t in competition with you and your family! We never were, and we never will be. Please turn your attention elsewhere.
Playing mind games
The older I get, the more I recognize that many people play mind games. One would think that as we age, we would become less competitive with each other, more sure of ourselves, and just overall happy for others’ successes and achievements.
Wouldn’t you rather someone do well than experience hard times? A rising tide lifts all boats, and all that?
As I watched Orange Is the New Black on Netflix, there was a flashback scene I actually rewound to watch again. This scene was with Piper and her friend Polly. Piper was sitting on a bed in Polly’s room and said something like, “Is it bad if I feel a little jealous of you?” Polly said, “No. That means I’m winning.”
I think of that now whenever a mom is rude or seems to be competing. Maybe she is jealous. Maybe she is just competitive and needs all the focus. Something is bringing out the insecurities in her that has nothing to do with me.
Social mind games
Unfortunately, social mind games are here to stay, especially among women. I will admit I have been a bit clueless about this but wow, does it come to light on Facebook.
It is interesting and speaks volumes about their character and who they deem worthy and important and in their circle. When I see someone snubbing someone or someone is snubbing me, at first I am appalled, and then I remember the OITNB scene and think maybe she is threatened in some way.
Maybe I’m the clueless one giving Likes and social praise. Someone is going on a fabulous vacation or looks awesome in a dress…. When they get 300 Likes does that really matter to me?
We aren’t in competition. We are all busy leading our own very busy lives. Does giving them praise (or positive Comments and Likes) take anything away from me? No, it doesn’t. Really, it doesn’t.
Something that gets on my very last nerve is people who can’t be bothered to RSVP for an Evite party or event.
I mean really, how much easier can it be with these online invitations? I’ve only ever used evite.com so I can only speak about this particular company.
Online invitations are so convenient and easy to use for the host and the recipients.
There are always friends and acquaintances who will RSVP right away or within days of receiving the evite, and others whom you will never, ever hear from.
Here’s what I’m not sure if the recipients understand: The person who invited you can SEE you opened the online invitation.
The party thrower can see the EXACT DATE AND TIME you first or last opened it. Your potential host will CONTINUE to see updates every other time you open the invitation until you RSVP.
One would think this would be motivation to respond by increasing people’s guilt factor.
Yet, so many people do not RSVP. This a real thing.
For whatever reason, even though it’s easier than ever to RSVP, many people do not.
And what’s stranger is that many times these potential guests you aren’t hearing from continue to access the invitation.
Sure, maybe they need to check the date or the time the party is. Maybe they need to verify the location and the address again. Or maybe they want to check back to see who else the person invited and who RSVP’d yes and no so far.
For whatever reason, there are some people who keep checking back with invitations but never respond. It’s very odd behavior.
If you aren’t sure if you can attend, just give the courtesy of a Maybe.
Why people don’t RSVP
There are lots of theories on this. Each party, invitation, date and guest list are unique. So depending on the situation, it’s likely one of these reasons.
They don’t have parties themselves
Many people believe chronic no-RSVPers don’t have parties themselves.
They don’t realize that while not knowing about one or two people is fine, it’s when there are 4-5+, it starts to make a difference.
This is especially true for kids’ parties where you can only invite 10 or 15 kids to a place. Maybe your kid was lucky enough to make the list but if you can’t make it, the host would like to invite others.
Wondering if something better will come up
Sometimes guests are waiting to see if they will be invited to something better. This is especially true of an event for New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, July 4th, and other holiday-type parties.
Sometimes people throw it out there that they might have a party for a certain holiday but then never do.
In the meantime, you get an invitation somewhere else. You would rather go to that first event but you haven’t heard anything about it since.
You are hesitant to RSVP.
Because you are waiting it out, you procrastinate RSVP-ing, and then never do.
It’s the digital age
Perhaps it’s just a sign of our digital age.
While it’s super-easy to reach out to reply, we just never do it.
It’s akin to either responding to a text right away or never at all.
It would take just 10 seconds but for whatever reason, you saw the text and didn’t/couldn’t respond right then so you never do.
Playing mind games
Sometimes there are people with nothing better to do than to play mind games.
They may be feeling threatened or competitive with you in some way.
They can’t be bothered to acknowledge and thank you for your invitation.
This probably isn’t the case usually; it’s more that people get busy and forget.
But for some people, this may be true.
Be sure to consider the source before making assumptions.
Everyone is busy. Yet there are certain times and certain families when they really just are super-busy. Or something is going on health-wise or something outside of thinking about your party.
It’s not personal. This post is more about people who don’t have an excuse!
It’s easy to RSVP
Yes, I’ve had people text, email, or tell me in person that they can or cannot attend, and that’s great.
They are letting me know. They RSVP’d.
I don’t need them to go back to the online invitation and say Yes or No that way.
You can set your evite to remind guests before your party. If you don’t set it, it will default to two days prior.
Hosts love this evite function because it reminds everyone of your party and also subtly reminds those who haven’t RSVP’d yet to do so.
Yet, it’s often the day of the party, and I still haven’t heard from these potential guests.
And thanks to awesome technology, I can see they haven’t forgotten about the party because when I’m logging onto my invitation to see how many people are expected to show, I see that some of these people have checked it again, just minutes earlier.
Yet, they still can’t reach out to say they are or are not able to make it.
RSVPing in the past
When I think back to days before evite, punchbowl, smilebox, pingg, greenvelope, and other online invitations, I think of the hassle it was to RSVP.
Even now, while it’s so nice to get a paper invitation, there are lots of points between you receiving the invitation and you RSVPing, if you don’t RSVP right away.
First, you have to find that invitation.
You know you put it somewhere, and you are really hoping you didn’t miss the RSVP date and even the actual event itself.
At last, you found it!
Now you have to call the person to thank them for the invitation and to gladly accept or regretfully decline.
You had to exchange pleasantries and make small talk.
That took time out of your life.
Think back to the days with rotary phones. Think back to when we only had home phones.
Yet, we were able to handle this task.
These days, paper invitations are the exception, unless it’s for a more formal event, like a wedding, anniversary, baby shower, or religious ceremony.
We still get them occasionally for kids’ parties. The party host may have mailed them or gave them to the teacher to pass out in class.
RSVPing in the digital age of online invitations
The party host can go to a free online invitation site and quickly and easily create a nice-looking invitation.
Sure, this is more for birthday and holiday parties than weddings. So let’s stick with birthday parties, in particular, kids’ birthday parties.
I know moms are exhausted and busier than ever but it’s so much easier to RSVP nowadays.* In most instances, we can email or text our reply if we don’t want to click Yes or No right on evite or however the invitation came through.
My gosh! They have all this time to play around on Facebook, surely they can manage it.
Really, how hard is it to RSVP?
You took the time to open the invitation.
If you are someone who has a difficult time following through on tasks or are an out of sight, out of mind, kind of person, then it would make sense for you — right then and there — to click Yes or No or even that realistic Maybe.
We will try to make it. Stan has a soccer tournament, and if they win, we play on. But if they lose, we will be there!”
Maybe you have to check your schedule and aren’t sure if you can get Kimmy to the party, and you don’t want to intrude on the host by asking if they can drive your child home. Let the host know you are a “Maybe.”
If you are the kind of person who throws parties, then you probably know the importance of an RSVP.
This isn’t really a manners thing
I’m not a big follower of proper etiquette, though who didn’t love the Dear Abby and Ann Landers advice columns?
Still, RSVPing seems to be such a basic and easy thing to do, that I really am at a loss as to why I don’t always get a 100% response rate from my online invitations, assuming that person saw and opened it.
(In many instances, I have received a 100% response rate, so I guess I should be grateful.)
Really, it takes less than a minute to say No… we can’t make it… have fun.
What’s great about online invitations
From the host’s standpoint:
They are easy to use and usually free.
Unlike with paper invitations, the host will know the recipients received the invitation.
It’s simple to track RSVPs.
From the guests’ perspective:
It’s easy to view.
You can see who else is invited and who is coming. This is a fantastic feature!
The invitation resides in their email Inbox so it will be easy to find and access.
It’s simple to RSVP.
Can’t be bothered to RSVP
I just don’t get it, and I never will.
Someone has taken the time to invite you to a party. They want you or your family or your child there.
You had time to open the invitation. Take the extra 10 – 15 seconds to RSVP because the next time, you may be able to go, and it would be nice to be invited again.
Seriously, is it really that difficult to RSVP? We would love to hear your thoughts about RSVPing. Do you RSVP right away or wait it out? Is there ever a reason you purposefully don’t respond?
*Please know, of course there are situations — everyone has them — and we just plain forget or run out of time. I’m not talking about the exceptions here.