Say you read a book, or see movie or tv show, and you think a friend or family member might really like it. BUT, you also think some specific part of it might freak them out, be something they dislike, or even potentially trigger them. Do you warn them?
For example, I was really pushing one of my friends to watch a show recently, and then halfway through the first season, an episode was set at an inpatient mental health facility. This friend has stayed in one before, and it’s a horrible memory for them. I felt awkward doing it, but I gave them a heads up so they’d have some warning. This friend thanked me, but I wasn’t sure if bringing it up made things better or worse. However, I have told them in the past not to watch a show that included a specific trigger of theirs, and they were genuinely grateful in that situation. I also told them about the cat dying in a movie I was recommending, so they wouldn’t be surprised like I was. We’re really close, so in this case it’s easier.
But when you’re less close? I recently read a really amazing book and was recommending it to my aunt, who happens to love this particular genre. She wrote down the name and told me she would go get it. And then I realized—one of the book’s main characters is a mother whose child has died suddenly. This family member of mine? Her only child died young many years ago, when I was a baby. She is an adult and can look at the back cover and make an informed decision for herself about whether or not to read this book, but now I feel guilty for recommending the book to her.
Also, I was halfway through the book when I recommended it to her, and the day after our conversation I came across a graphic threesome sex scene, and now I feel weird about that too. Again, she is an adult and she’s clearly had sex in her life, so she can make her own calls—but she’s my aunt. I almost feel like I should apologize to her for the sex scenes now! I don’t actually plan on saying anything about any of this to my aunt, but I just feel weird now. Also, I told my mom how much I liked the book and she was all, “your grandma likes that genre, get it for her for Christmas!” And I had to be like, “I am not buying a book with threesomes in it for my grandmother. I cannot do that. You can read it and tell her if you think she’d like it, but I can’t get it for her.”
Poll: What is your policy for this sort of situation? Do you warn people when recommending stuff to them? Or just trust them to figure it out themselves?