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'My girlfriend wants me to hide my Indian accent when I meet her parents.' UPDATED 3X

'My girlfriend wants me to hide my Indian accent when I meet her parents.' UPDATED 3X


We all get asked to make compromises in a relationship. But there's a major difference between a run-of-the-mill compromise, and being asked to change a fundamental part of who you are.

In a popular post on the Two Hot Takes subreddit, a man shared his GF's disrespectful request. He wrote:

"My (27F) girlfriend wants me (28M) to hide my accent when I meet her parents."

I'm from India, but have lived in the US for the past 4 years. I came here for my Masters, and now work in Chicago. I've been dating this girl for the past 4 months, and she wants me to go visit her parents with her next weekend. For context, she's white and born and brought up in the US, her family has been here for 6 generations. I still have hints of an Indian accent.

I don't think I had a very strong accent to begin with, and it's reduced over time, but it's definitely still noticeable. I am not ashamed of it, but it's just naturally changed over time and I'm also able to pretty much neutralize it if I really need to, though I try not to do that because I concentrate more on the accent then and less on what I'm speaking about.

Yesterday, my girlfriend asked if I could please "make sure my accent is more American" when I meet her parents. I asked why, she said they're not used to meeting Indian people and are already unfamiliar with the culture and I shouldn't "give them another excuse to dislike me" and she then laughed. I kinda saw where she's coming from but ngl I was also a bit offended.

Like I said, if I need to, I can neutralize the accent but that's for things like 30 min Zoom calls at work. I definitely want to be myself and not bother too much about my accent when I'm speaking with my girlfriends parents, who might be family one day.

I could just bite the bullet this one time, but I'm thinking of having a conversation with my girlfriend after the weekend to let her know that it offended me. What would be the best way to do this?

People were quick to respond in the comments.

PNL-Maine wrote:

“Give them another excuse to dislike me” is concerning to me. What does she mean by this, what did her parents mean? Do they not already like you, and if you showed up with an Indian accent, they would like you even less? Talk to her before you visit her parents, find out more information why she wants you to change your accent.

OP responded:

They don't have the best impression of Indian people. They've lived their whole life in a small, suburban town with not much racial diversity at all so a vast majority of their experiences have only been with white people. So she's worried that they are already wary because they are not familiar with Indian culture or people, and have only heard negative things in the media, or had bad experiences with Indian scammers etc. So her reasoning is if I don't sound Indian, that will make them more comfortable .

AlpineLad1965 wrote:

Why do you feel the need to hide your accent at work (Zoom calls)

OP responded:

Only because I want to make sure the other person understands what I'm saying. This is with clients, not with people I work with.

After comments started rolling in, OP shared a small edit/update.

EDIT: Since this has come up in a few comments. Her parents have lived all their lives in a small town with not much racial diversity at all. Their impression of India and Indian people is negative due to stuff they've heard or read about in the media, Indian scammers etc. So my girlfriends reasoning is that having a more American accent would make them less wary and be more accepting of me.

People did not hold back.

tofuspirit wrote:

What’s next? Make your skin a different shade because her parents are not used to meeting people who aren’t white?

whoop_there_she_is wrote:

Your girlfriend's parents are r*cist. She's hoping that if you hide your accent, you'll come off as less Indian. This is a pretty significant problem, not because she happened to be born to sh**ty parents but because she's taking their side and their comfort and putting it above your own. That's not cool. It's also a model for the future of your relationship.

What happens if you guys got serious, got married, have a kid? She's basically saying you would always have to hide a pretty significant part of who you are. It won't just be the accent; if her parents are r*cist enough to judge you just based on how you speak, imagine how little they'll be tolerant of all the other aspects of your culture!

Final-Grocery-3556 wrote:

Nope. Begin the way you mean to go on. Do not start out trying to be less Indian. Be yourself, and if your girlfriend and her parents aren’t cool with that, then you’ll know where you stand. I come from a similar background as your girlfriend and my brother’s wife is not white and not American.

I understand that this is probably difficult for your girlfriend, but she can’t stand with her legs on both side of the fence, so to speak. She can either go along with her parents racist attitudes and find herself a man they’d approve of, or she can decide they’re wrong.

Don’t let her pull you into a life of pretending y’all approve of their attitudes and trying to please them. You deserve a girlfriend who is proud to love you, just as you are!

Pissedliberalgranny wrote:

Your girlfriend is telling you her parents are r*cist and that she’s ok with them being r*cist. That would be a deal breaker for me.

A day later, OP shared an update.

Thank you to everyone who responded. I decided to address this with my girlfriend last night, and not until after meeting her parents. Pretty much refused to do this, and said I would rather be myself while meeting them and that her request is unreasonable and frankly a bit demeaning. I also flipped it around and asked how she would feel if I asked her to speak in an Indian accent in front of my family.

She said she would never do that because it could be seen as mocking the accent. She did see my POV, but insisted that she loved me for who I am and didn't want me to change. Her parents are, in her words 'difficult' and she wanted to make sure they liked me because she really likes me and wants this to work. I told her this is something she needs to address with them and if they need more time, that's fine.

So for now we've decided I won't go with her to meet them next weekend. She's going to speak with them first and then make the intro a couple months later. I'm kind of happy I stood up for myself, but I'm also hoping this works out. I really do like her and want to believe her and that her parents are good people. Hoping for the best.

People were invested in the update.

Sheba_Baby wrote:

"I really do like her and want to believe her and that her parents are good people."

Her parents are not good people.

OP responded:

She is not like them. She's had her world view expanded through travel, living in a multicultural city and going to college with people from all walks of life and ethnicities. She's had to do a lot of work to break out of the mindset she was raised in.

WitchesofBangkok wrote:

The fact she asked you to change such a fundamental aspect of who you are indicated she still has a lot more work to do I wish for you a person who will love you as your are and who will protect you from unkindness and intolerance.

Designatedthrowaway wrote:

She may not be exactly like them, but she has a lot of learning and unlearning to do. Like it or not, her asking you to change is a direct reflection of the hold her parent's views still have on her mindset. These are very serious things to consider especially if you plan to have children with her. If your children end up with an accent, will she teach it out of them so they're "more acceptable?"

Will she stand up against her parents when they're r*cist against your children? If she has siblings, will her parents favor those grandchildren over your kids and how will she handle that? If other kids make fun of their food, will she defend them and teach them they're ok, or will she pack them lunchables so they'll fit in?

It sounds harsh, but all of these are things to consider. What type of mother will she be in terms of raising POC children?

PNL-Maine wrote:

What does that mean that her parents are “difficult?" Did she give you examples of how/why they are difficult? This is too vague. I think you two are delaying the inevitable. She is concerned about something when introducing you to her parents (accent, r*cist?). You gotta get to the bottom of this. After her visit with her parents, you need to discuss with her and get specifics.

OP responded:

I've elaborated in my other post, but they're not used to people who aren't white/like them. They're unlikely to accept me at the moment, but my girlfriend is going to work on that before introducing me to them.

Three days later, OP shared a major update.

What a crazy few days it's been. After our conversation a few days ago, we decided to carry on and that she would speak with her parents. I wasn't entirely comfortable with the scenario and something wasn't sitting right with me especially after reading through all the comments here. We were out for drinks with friends yesterday and she brought this up.

We were all a bit tipsy but she told them EVERYTHING about how she wanted me to change my accent, made fun of me for feeling bad about it, and made it seem like she was doing me a favor by speaking to her parents about me. She said every relationship needs 'compromises', our friends also chimed in saying 'I'm lucky that she's doing this for me'.

It honestly felt surreal and like I was in high school and being bullied (a post for another day). Anyway, I didn't want to do anything while tipsy, but broke up with her this morning. She is trying to blame it on the alcohol, but I've decided that this is just not going to end well and it's best we go our separate ways. So this relationship is over! Thank you to everyone who read and commented, I truly appreciate it.

The internet was fully in OP's corner.

allupinyourmind23 wrote:

Wow, friends are trash too 😭 glad you got rid of them though.

jettieb wrote:

You made the right decision. And yes, your “friends” sound horrible as well.

BaetrixReloaded wrote:

Time to enter the auntie network to get a nice Desi girl sent your way!

Jokes aside, proud of you man. Stay strong, and you are bound to find a girl who accepts you for the person you are, and you deserve nothing less.

OP responded:

Look out for me on the next season of Indian Matchmaking.

StephsCat wrote:

You made the right decision. It's ridiculous. Compromise??? Compromise is you wanna go out for dinner, I wanna stay home let's order in. It's not change who you are and deny your heritage.

OP did the right thing for him, hopefully it opens him up to better relationships in the future.

Sources: Reddit
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