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I can't stand the word, how do I break them of saying it?

My SO isn't racist by no means, and this I know because I know how he talks to people of different race, and how he talks about them. However, various members of his family like to use the N word to describe the african american race. I come from a family that has a lot of different races married into it. So to me, color and race should never be an issue. They say they aren't racist, but they use the term to describe a race, and I frankly don't like the word. So how do I at least get them to stop using it around me without being rude and causing riffs?


Asked by CharliesKrystal at 7:52 AM on Sep. 25, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 8 (244 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • I don't really think you should worry about rudeness with this issue. Sometimes people need to be hit in the face with the obvious stick. A swift and authoritative response at the time the word is being used is, I think, the best response. A touchy feel conversation about your feelings is just going to allow them to brush it off with a "She's so sensitive," and "All that PC stuff." A good swift "You know I don't know why you all use that word, you're not ignorant but you sure sound it when you talk like that." Then end the conversation. This is how I deal with these sorts of things in my family (no one in my family says the "n" word... but some do say other offensive things).

    Some of my recent statements over dinner:
    "That's really not an appropriate way to talk. Can you pass the peas?"
    "That's ignorant and rude, and I'm not going to discuss it further with you right now. Did you have the sauce yet?"

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:08 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • You can't break people of their habits. I have the exact same problem my husband's family does this too. I told them numerous times that the word offended me and I didn't like it, but I just learned to ignore it when they did. BUT when i had my daughter I informed EVERYONE in my family and his that if I ever heard a racial slur, something derogatory said about gays, or anything like that said in front of my daughter that the person who said it would not be seeing my daughter again. They knew that I was not kidding. You need to let your SO's family know that you do not want to hear that word said around your child EVER, and if it is you will not bring your child around them. And stick to it. It may cause a riff, but the only person you really need to worry about it your children, because if something is said around them enough they will start to say it.

    Answer by TeriMelisa at 8:32 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • Be brutally honest! Tell them that you are offended at the word and you would really rather that they didn't use it in front of you or your children. It will cause waves, but they will get over it.

    Answer by QueenMomma2023 at 9:13 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • i would tell them how you feel about it.

    Answer by sharonnacy at 8:00 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • I have a similar issue. I HATE that word, and similar words... My BIL uses it EVERY TIME he needs to mention a black person... Even ones he is okay with, but generally he's pretty racist. He lives here (in the basement) and although we do our best to stay clear of each other it comes up a good bit... I simply started saying something EVERY TIME I hear it... I'll jump right in to the sentence and correct it. It drives him nuts, but he's getting the point! There is no need for it. It's easy enough to say "this black guy at the store" rather than "that N*gger kid at the store" - seriously... Start correcting it EVER TIME you hear it. If they don't like you correcting them tell them flat out there is NO NEED for that word, it's ignorant, it's rude, it's offensive and there is just no need for it. Stick to your guns!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:28 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • When we lived closer to my in laws I had to constantly correct them and tell them not to talk like that in front of the children. You would have thought I had slapped them or something with the way they reacted but I told them if they were going to be around our children I WILL correct them. I even went so far as telling our children in front of them the N word is a stupid word that racist use to discribe African American people. After doing that a few times they finally got the point. I would shame them every darn time they said it.

    Answer by pnwmom at 12:48 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • I'd just tell them how offencive it is and how ignorant it makes them sound, ridiculously ignorant!! As pnwmom said... I'd tell my kids, right in front of them how ignorant they are being. They should be ashamed of themselves.


    Answer by Morgain at 2:11 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • Here's what you do: every time someone says it, have a coughing fit. Turn red, ask for water. Say, "Oh, my!". Seriously. If you do it every time they'll stop subconsciously. It's a Pavlovian response

    Answer by Saya at 8:26 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • I dont know if there is anything you could do, but you can try telling your SO about it and see if he may be able to talk to them and explain your feelings. It's very hard to get people to stop.

    Answer by Finkette at 8:34 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • my IL's do it..not often though. but they don't around the kids. my FIL did accidently say it in front of the kids once, but at soon as the word popped out of his mouth he covered it and said 'oops, sorry'...he has kids of his own, he knows not to lol. (adopted grandkids) if it's around me i just blow it off, no big deal to me. i'm used to it with them. they're the only ones i know that say that word though...i was a bit shocked the first time i heard it from them...that was the first time i heard anyone ever say it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:17 PM on Sep. 25, 2010