Episode 278 - Hand-Me-Downs
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show Lizzie and Dan take your questions on trash day in the neighborhood, feeling obligated to take hand-me-downs, cleaning up after adult step-kids and a wedding budget bungled. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about cranky customers and how to handle them. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript segment on politeness as a tool.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See it's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy post and dan post sent to act as host and hostess.
Speaker 1: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show we take your questions on trash day in the neighborhood, feeling obligated to take hand me downs, cleaning up after adult step kids and a wedding budget bungle
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question is about cranky customers and how to handle them. Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on politeness as a tool. All that's coming up,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of Vermont Public radio and is proud to be produced in Burlington Vermont by the Emily Post Institute, I'm lizzie Post and I'm dan post sending and I got a puppy. You did not, I knew you did, but I'm going to feign surprise. That is so cool. Yeah, no it was kind of a surprise, it wasn't a
Speaker 1: christmas surprise. I actually did adopt the dog before christmas but he came a few days before christmas we went and
Speaker 1: met him and his transport, but he was a rescue um but he is a puppy and he is he and he's mostly Australian shepherd but we don't know what else they caught sight of the mom and so they knew but I can verify having seen the pictures and whatever he is, he's absolutely,
Speaker 1: he is, he's a super cute, he's really he's got that kind of blew Merrill looked to him so he's like
Speaker 1: grey and black and white and spotted and flecked and ticked all over and he's really cute little thing and he's about 16 weeks old but he's adorable. I don't have a solid name for him yet. So I'm going to hold off on sharing for those of you that might have remembered when I posted to instagram and adoption picture a few months ago. I did adopt a dog. It didn't work out.
Speaker 1: Jack is in a much better home that suits him and his needs.
Speaker 1: It was really, really hard and I waited a few months again to look into getting another dog and this one felt right and I'm really happy to have him. He's really cute and cuddly and sweet and we're doing all the fun learning puppy things. I can't wait to get to know him better. And I guess the naming is sort of part of that getting to know right? No, it is. And it definitely like Benny. We were just so set like I knew it was just so clear that he was a Benny and Benny was his name. O and but this one, this one, it's taken a little bit, you know, he's got some really cool markings and a really fun little personality so well, you know my thought on naming don't rush it, Don't hurry it.
Speaker 1: The Children didn't have names until they were well into the world. This is true. I know we will settle on something eventually and I'm sure you have some ideas that are getting tinkered with. Oh yeah, for sure, for sure. Excellent. Well
Speaker 1: the days are getting longer
Speaker 1: barely. But yes, that is such optimism in this corner of the world right now. 2020 is upon us, right? They are actually getting longer. We are beyond the solstice. The days are going to start getting longer. Yes,
Speaker 1: we can't quite start talking about springtime yet, but no dan, maybe we should just get to some questions. I think you're right because let's get to some questions,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions on how to behave. And if you have a question for us, you can email it to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K I N D. That's 8028585463 on twitter. You can find us at Emily Post inst on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts
Speaker 1: so that we know you want your question on the show. Sustaining members. Please remember to put sustaining member in Your message, will answer your questions on the sustaining member site now available at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette where you can access and adds free version of the show and all your bonus questions.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Our first question is about trashy and that's in quotes neighbors.
Speaker 1: Hi lizzie and dan. I'm a huge fan this podcast and your books have really helped me navigate wedding etiquette this past year, as I've been planning my upcoming wedding. Thank you. You're most welcome and congratulations.
Speaker 1: I have an etiquette question regarding approaching a neighbor that I was hoping you could help me with. We share an alley with a few neighbors who live on the street behind us. On trash day, one of our neighbors will not put a trash can out, but rather set a bag of trash on the ground.
Speaker 1: They leave it there overnight and frequently the wind will blow a few pieces of their trash all over the alley and into our yard and driveway.
Speaker 1: We have lived in our house about a year and have gotten the sense that these particular neighbors tend to keep to themselves
Speaker 1: since we have not gotten to know them. Besides brief introductions, I do not want our first real conversation to be about an issue we are having, but I am getting frustrated with picking up someone else's trash out of my yard twice a week
Speaker 1: when we moved into our house, we ended up with two trash cans since we brought ours with us and the previous owner left one as well. I had an idea that we could offer the unused trashcan to the neighbor, but my fiance feels that a gift of a used trash can is not a good idea, any advice or sample script would be greatly appreciated. Anonymous,
Speaker 1: anonymous. This is, it's both a, it's a tricky situation and it's like, it's so classic, I feel like of today's like mindset, it's that mindset of someone's doing something wrong and it's clearly impacting people around them,
Speaker 1: but you don't want to say anything, You haven't had any interactions to date you. You're not sure if you have agency, there is like a lack of, of conviction and confidence in the idea that yeah, your neighbor who you share a neighborhood you share an alley with is doing something that is negatively impacting you
Speaker 1: and I think different people are gonna think about this different ways. You've got the person who's going to say, you know, it's like this could be from there trash bag, it could be from a bottle that someone kicked into our alleyway. Like you, I don't know what the exact trash is, I don't know how bad the offense feels, you know,
Speaker 1: but anonymous is frustrated
Speaker 1: and you can't have it both ways. You can't be silently frustrated and just have the problem get fixed so you need to, you know what I mean? Like wishing and hoping that it was different. Just isn't going to work, you know? And so I think you're going to have to address this if you want to move forward and what's going to make addressing it easier is keeping a neighborly spirit about it. I think so feeling connected to these people remembering that your relationship is not just about trash, it's about
Speaker 1: your neighbors and there's a lot that goes with that in this particular case. It's not a really positive thing. But remembering the totality of that relationship is going to really help set the right tone for that first interaction. Whatever it is you're talking about, you just said something really interesting that I think we lose a lot of sight of and that's the fact that
Speaker 1: there is a totality to this conversation.
Speaker 1: This conversation isn't just about how annoyed and frustrated you are. It's also about how you present that annoyance and frustration to someone else. How you make a genuine friendly connection with someone when there is a problem that you need to address at hand. And that's the total of the situation, not just the small part, which
Speaker 1: not small part, it's a pretty significant part which is your frustration or you looking like a not good neighbor. Because the first thing you're asking about, you know that's not the whole of the situation. I like your your think about the totality of it. So as far as what that conversation sounds like.
Speaker 1: My first thought is just like our question Askar I'd be so tempted to offer a trashcan. And part of me was even as I read the question, thinking oh could you offer a trash can? Then I got to the part that said, oh we've got to we've got a spare.
Speaker 1: And then I started saying to myself, well that's an obvious offer. I happen to have this extra trash can I noticed you don't have one. Would you like one? Okay. That is exactly how you should say it to me. That is perfect. That means you don't have to worry about giving someone a used trash can. It's an offer of a favor of a helping hand. And I've noticed you don't have one. We have an extra one that's sitting in our garage. You could decide to not even mention the negative. That's led up to this. That could be one option. By the way. You just should see me on the other side of this mike, cheering my cousin on.
Speaker 1: I love this option. I love the idea of what if the first ask isn't just a direct complaint about someone where you're showing your frustration, but instead it's a hey, I'm just trying to be helpful neighbor here. Do you? I happen to have two of these trash cans. We have brought ours with us, the old people in the house before left. There's would you like one of them? It's not that you're trying to pass it off as a special present
Speaker 1: to, to speak to maybe your fiancee's concerns here that um to the I got you a trash can. I used one at that. No, it's a neighborly favor. And to me that was the offer that was creeping up in my mind again, even just as I read the scenario,
Speaker 1: other things to think about. A general charm campaign with your neighbors. I've got a question mark
Speaker 1: next to it on my script because some places appropriate, some places it works. Some places it doesn't. But I always think it's a good idea to get to know the people in your neighborhood, to get to know the people particularly that live adjacent to you or
Speaker 1: on the same street, the ones who have some sort of direct impact on your life because things like this can come up and it's so nice to have an established relationship to know those numbers to
Speaker 1: no those names and personalities. So are you saying that the idea here is you put off the idea that you're going to talk about the issue and instead kind. And I'm not saying only use the charm to charm someone and then, you know, a month later, drop it on them. But the idea is okay.
Speaker 1: I haven't put the work in of going and saying hello. They've seem standoffish. So I've been reading the, you know, I've been going with my gut
Speaker 1: now is the time to actually mention if you like say hello, get some camaraderie going and then I can mention this thing. Is that the, is that what the charm campaign is about? That's not the way I would launch it. Uh huh. But that could be a naturally what happens. I
Speaker 1: sneaky best etiquette. I'm thinking of them as separate things. I'm thinking of making that offer but I'm also thinking more generally about making that effort. I'm thinking about future scenarios or situations.
Speaker 1: The one other thought I had about this is that
Speaker 1: you can say something to a neighbor if there's something that's negatively impacting you and you want to take care with that conversation you want to ask permission to at it. There's something I'd like to talk to you about. Do you have a minute and maybe that's when you're passing each other. If those opportunities present, maybe you have to do a little bit of detective work and make a phone call spying and waiting until they're bringing their trash out and then bring your trash out at the same time. Keep an eye open, generate one of those opportunities.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. An option. I think that you want to stay away from accusatory language or even um, suggesting a fix right away maybe, but letting someone know what's been happening and how it's impacted you
Speaker 1: I think is a really good place to start And I think you're right to want to avoid what I think of as the education angle,
Speaker 1: which is like the, you know, like let's say these folks are like mid sixties, you're really going to educate them on how to like fill a trash bag or properly die one off. I think you've got to be careful about how you choose to present that, you know, like I've had a problem with this before. This is how I fixed it him, like,
Speaker 1: but I do I do think you got to be careful about how you, how you make those suggestions. It is something we're just better bagging might fix it. It's true, it is true and it might be as simple as if someone knows that
Speaker 1: it's a really easy fix. And so I don't want to say don't ever bring something like this up because done well, just sort of queuing someone into something that, again, might be as simple as a trash bag that has a tie top instead of those kinds that you have to pull together. And then it could be a relatively simple
Speaker 1: thing to get this resolved. So I don't want to say, just don't do it because you don't want your first interaction to be negative. I agree, I agree. And there are just, there is something to be said for the practical nature of. Okay, so we haven't done the thing where I've lived here for a year and we've gotten to know each other, but I do have a problem
Speaker 1: and I need to address it with you and I hope you'll understand that I'd rather be clear and bring it up kindly and clearly than not do anything or try to educate you or suggest things for you.
Speaker 1: Having grown up in the country where I didn't have many neighbors and having moved to a suburban area after college where I was a young person without a lot of experience living in a neighborhood, a place with neighbors.
Speaker 1: There were some early educational moments and experiences that taught me how to get along with the people around me. And
Speaker 1: sometimes there is a little bit of a dialogue, a little bit of a getting to know each other before that can happen well
Speaker 1: anonymous. We hope that this helps and we hope that this frustrating, trashy situation gets cleaned up
Speaker 1: and look, this dispute was settled fairly and so jerry and Eddie are still good friends, just as they always were. It's worthwhile to know many ways to settle disputes.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: dan, this question is so for you obligated to take hand me downs.
Speaker 1: Hello, lizzie and dan, I love your podcast and so appreciate the advice you've provided me in the past. Thank you. I'm at a loss with a family situation currently and I'm really hoping you can help me find a good solution. My husband and I have two young kids, three years old and seven months old.
Speaker 1: And at various points since having our first child, my parents have approached us about taking hand me downs, my hand me downs that they voluntarily saved for 30 plus years.
Speaker 1: For various reasons. We may or may not want to take all of these items for our own kids. The sheer volume being chief among them. The items range anywhere from bags and bags of eighties era baby close to an entire bedroom set and lately a dozen or more sets of kid sheets.
Speaker 1: My parents don't seem to understand our reluctance and have gotten a little pushy in the past. We don't want to seem ungrateful for the generous offers, but at the same time we never asked them to hang on to these things for decades and are feeling a bit put upon being asked to bring all of this stuff into our home when we are already struggling
Speaker 1: with the storage requirements of having two small kids.
Speaker 1: Is there a graceful way to tackle this conversation? My husband's suggestion is to ask them whether they mind if whatever we don't end up using gets donated. I don't see this being well received by my parents and I also don't want to take on that added task. I'd really appreciate your take on this and how best to handle it with minimal feelings hurt.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your time. Feeling reluctantly obligated dan father of two, possibly more in the future. Who knows? I mean, my mom has like some of my clothing from when I was a kid, but they were like really specific pieces that we saved. It's not bags and bags of stuff. How do you deal with this?
Speaker 1: Anisha is currently wearing a jacket that I used to wear when I was three years old. So cute. It's got like red corduroy, so into it. It looks like it's from the mid eighties. Once I swear our moms got together and made them at the same time or something, it's got this retro cool to it. I think it's awesome.
Speaker 1: At the same time. I cannot go any further without dedicating this question to my cousin joe and he is a regular listener to this podcast
Speaker 1: and we have had this discussion. He has a daughter that's a little older than Anisha and
Speaker 1: she's our number one hand me down source. She's got a phenomenal style. Um big, big nod to Eva right now. Um, she is just the right size. She's just about six months one year older than Tunisia as she sizes out of things. The clothes are still in great shape. They come to us, joe has said to me every time he brings a trash bag full of clothes, is this okay? I know what it's like when the trash bags full of clothing are coming and they're coming from everybody and there's actually a volume question of how you deal with this stuff.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: it sounds like a little thing at the cinema. I can appreciate the genuine place. This question is coming from is what I'm saying. Does he, when he gives them to you, does he say take what you need and feel free to donate the rest? Or does he say take what you need will take the rest back? Which what happens there? What's that little moment? He turns it over to us and says, this is yours.
Speaker 1: You can do whatever you want with it. It can go straight in the recycling, it can go to Goodwill, you can pass it on. I have no attachment to anything that we're giving you. And that
Speaker 1: is a really nice thing to hear
Speaker 1: as well as the just say the word and I will not bring this again in the future. Or, or you can you can refuse this one that I like the offer. You know, before you show up with a bag of keep wanting to say a bag of trash, but it's a trash bag of baby clothes.
Speaker 1: Um, you know, like before that even happens, it's do you want me to bring this over? Would this be helpful, cousin joe? I hope you're listening and I hope you recognize that you are my model for good behavior here.
Speaker 1: What else I'm thinking about the parents and I think that you can absolutely do a couple of things one love and adore a few items definitely find things that are coming from the parents that
Speaker 1: you can utilize you can use and be sure to both. Thank for them and put them into play. Put them on display in front of your parents just a little bit. I think that can go a long way towards
Speaker 1: acknowledging the work they did, saving this stuff and also their good intentions, passing it on, take a picture of your child in the outfit and then it's like, then you've done it, you've done the thing you needed to do right.
Speaker 1: I'm also thinking maybe pick a few items to save for yourself that you might pass on someday. How cool would it be to have your grandmother's favorite winter coat from when she were three or
Speaker 1: christening dress or something that, that, that that could really become sort of a family heirloom or tradition. And I know clothing doesn't always work that way, but maybe there's an item or two, maybe there's a blanket or a nice outfit that can become that
Speaker 1: as far as the rest of it. I think it's time to have a
Speaker 1: realistic discussion with your parents and you can just tell them that I don't have the room or the space to keep all of it. I've
Speaker 1: put a few pieces into play. I've saved a view that I think are really special and I'm trying to decide what to do with the rest. Would you like to get it back or should I find a good second home for this stuff? And I think that that's
Speaker 1: something that any parents going to understand, particularly if you hit those first two notes than that third note is going to be easier to digest. And it sounds like they've had a little bit of those conversations going on, but I think it might be time to have the head on conversation about it.
Speaker 1: That like, I mean we've heard a little bit about like, you know, our our gentle pushes of saying we have too much stuff or no, it's not a good time they've gotten some pushback from. And so I think it might be time to sit down with mom and dad and say, hey mom and dad, I you know, was up in the attic or in the storage room the other day and I saw just how much stuff there really is.
Speaker 1: Would love to talk to you about realistically how we should either store pass on or move on, you know, or or bring this stuff into our lives That way you guys get your space back.
Speaker 1: You know, we can, you know, figure out whether we have the room to store stuff if it's for when the girls are older, the kids are older, you know, things like that,
Speaker 1: but when you start listing things like bags and bags of eighties baby clothes and furniture and just like that's a lot of stuff that's not just a few things.
Speaker 1: And so I think it's important to recognize that I think it warrants a convert a sit down conversation about it
Speaker 1: and the more you can keep calm during that conversation, recognize how grateful you are that your parents did save things because you have the option of going through them and look at that as something to be grateful for as opposed to another chore. And I know you might just want to smack me across the face for having said that because
Speaker 1: how dare you lizzie post with no Children say something like this to someone who has no time.
Speaker 1: But I I urge you to take that Marie condo approach of this is you know, I'm I'm lucky to have things to go through and let's take care with the things that we want to to have because there probably are some precious gems in there and and that's that is kind of an exciting piece of it.
Speaker 1: I want to pull out one little thing that lizzie just said also, which was the option to store it. And it might be that your parents say give it back to us, we'll put it right back in the attic,
Speaker 1: you might decide that, you know,
Speaker 1: it's easier to get some storage space yourself. And maybe there's a place that you can carve out above the garage or maybe it's some storage space that you rent. But there might be an easy way to just take those bags, grab an item or two
Speaker 1: and take the rest into storage where you don't have to think about it for another 20 or 30 years. And
Speaker 1: that could be the simplest approach from a human perspective and
Speaker 1: is certainly an option.
Speaker 1: Feeling reluctantly obligated. We hope that this frees you of this obligation and makes you feel confidently nostalgic. That's mighty. Good. But what's better
Speaker 1: Tommy knows he's a real member of his family team.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a stinky steps on.
Speaker 1: Hi there. I've been reading and putting the rules into practice with good success. Thank you.
Speaker 1: But I have a growing situation. I'm constantly having to pick up after my 20 year old stepson food left out, bringing ants, dirty dishes left on the counter and not in the dishwasher, no household chores or responsibilities.
Speaker 1: I've asked him to lend a hand but have had only limited success.
Speaker 1: I've talked to my wife about this and it always ends in an argument.
Speaker 1: I'm not asking a lot just to be thoughtful and respectful to everyone in the house and to pitch in.
Speaker 1: My question is why do I feel like a servant to everyone else in the house?
Speaker 1: I feel my show of etiquette is being taken advantage of and my attitude is going downhill fast. Any suggestions? Thanks for the assistance. Tom I feel like tom and I should grab like a coffee or a beer together sometime because I am the same way when I live with other people, if they aren't pitching in,
Speaker 1: my desire to pitch in goes downhill fast, but if other people are pitching in, I actually find them a much cleaner person. Like I get excited by the times when my roommates have cleaned or when boyfriends have cleaned. You know what I mean? And like I'm like, oh yeah, we should keep it this. So I could, you did that. I could go do this now. You know, it's like that kind of an attitude. But when people stop doing things or when they're not doing things, you really do start to feel taken advantage of. And
Speaker 1: I think dan has always been a real champion on this show of looking at ourselves first, when we address the problem at home. And so I think first take a look at yourself and say, okay, yes, I'm doing all the cleaning or I'm doing all this particular type of core work. Is there something that somehow got set up that I got designated to be this person? You know,
Speaker 1: is there? And when you talk about things like dishes and putting simple things away? No, I don't think you should be the default person. I think we all have to clean up after ourselves, but also they do know they really do emerge, you know, and it's like, you know, someone often ends up doing the laundry, someone else, the litter boxes, someone else the
Speaker 1: this. And I think asking yourself a little bit, am I really doing everything or am I just doing a lot of the things I don't like doing
Speaker 1: tom I happen to think you're doing a lot of things that are basic level, like everyone needs to be pitching in and doing. But I also think it's important to look at ourselves and how are we asking other people to do this? Are you looking at your 20 year old stepson frustrated, annoyed and thinking about how lazy he he looks to you?
Speaker 1: And is that coming across with like every single word you use when you ask him with every tone you use when you ask a cup of a dish, every every gesture or action. Again, not assuming that this is the case, but those are the sorts of self checks checks that you want to be. Yeah, exactly. And could it be the kind of thing where together as a family? I mean, my mom used to do this stuff sometimes, like
Speaker 1: you set a timer after dinner that you've eaten together and you all pitch in and clean up or whoever cooks gets to go do something else. And the people who didn't cook, you know, my mom always was like off dish duty, but my dad, my sister and I would clean up
Speaker 1: the dishes and you had to, you know, is like the dishes had to be done, the floor had to be swept in, the counters, had to be cleaned off.
Speaker 1: And that was how we left the kitchen at the end of the night. The three of us while mom who had done all the cooking, got to kind of go chill for a bit or do something else. So you might just want to sit down with everybody and talk about it. And I do think because this is a step child and an adult step child, I would first talk with the adult child's mom.
Speaker 1: Um but I do think it's important to kind of say, listen, we're not all taking care of the simple things, the basic things around here and I think we need to start doing that
Speaker 1: to really feel good about living in our home together.
Speaker 1: I really like the way when you describe what your family does, there was a
Speaker 1: concrete outlining of the different jobs part of me was thinking there might be some of that that could go on here. That would be helpful. There are a number of things that have to happen for all of us to live comfortably here. It's floors, it's bathrooms, it's kitchen, it's
Speaker 1: garbage and we in our house just don't leave plates on the coffee table like we just don't, that's we're going to make that house rules, you know, and if you can buy into that, I can buy into X, Y or Z and
Speaker 1: having some agreement I think with your wife ahead of time so that you are presenting a solid front when you talk to the stepson is a great first step.
Speaker 1: I mean I started to even go the
Speaker 1: rent. Oh yeah, I know you did. Could you do a reduction of the rent based on an assumption of duties that otherwise, I mean there are ways to have this discussion to poorly structure it chore wheels on there. To remind me a little bit that
Speaker 1: sometimes we don't identify all of those different jobs that have to happen. We start getting used to this just happens because so and so takes care of it and it's not part of the shared task. But no, that's a shared task that they happen to take care of that
Speaker 1: chore wheels another way to pass the duties around so that someone's not always stuck doing the undesirable job and a willingness to sort of set up some systems of fairness like that, whether it's a physical chore wheel like you do with a child or
Speaker 1: uh acknowledged or wheel among functioning mostly adult. I like the chore wheel too because it just show everybody gets a turn doing all the jobs, you know what I mean? And you just and it rotates, you're not going to do the same jobs each week or something, but it's very hard to implement this stuff
Speaker 1: and I really want to give you the courage from our three CC's of communication, compromise and commitment to keep after it.
Speaker 1: It hasn't worked the first couple times you've addressed the issue. Don't give up,
Speaker 1: keep finding the way that it is going to work for you and your family and keep talking about why it's important to you that it works.
Speaker 1: The final final thought that I wanted to be sure to bring up before we left. This question is that you mentioned the rules consideration, respect, honesty and respect for self is a big part of applying those core principles. Well,
Speaker 1: remembering that self respect. When you're thinking about having these conversations that might continue as lizzie points out, there might be several of these in a row and don't consider it a failure. If the first one doesn't solve the problem, we're talking about changing really ingrained habits and relationships.
Speaker 1: It's neither a failure of yours or failure of theirs hearing and understanding and implementing.
Speaker 1: Hold yourself accountable as you continue to have these conversations. And I wanted to just say very clearly that you have the upper hand here, you are making a very reasonable request. You're talking about
Speaker 1: people treating a shared living space with respect and consideration. Basic levels of like putting your food away or plates away so that there isn't food or no food in bedroom trash cans so there aren't ants and bugs. We're talking about basics,
Speaker 1: calm persistence is your best friend. There is no need to raise your voice. There is no need not to listen to people's responses. There's no need to surrender the upper hand that you hold by getting drawn into arguments or discussions that are not respectful.
Speaker 1: You've got the high road hold it, don't give it up,
Speaker 1: stay true to your course and you're going to be able to get this fixed so that you've got a living situation that works for you. To me that sounds a lot like rather than letting yourself go down the the easy and frustration releasing path of you are 20 years old. Act like a man or, you know, grow up or I can't believe you baby him like this. I promise. I wasn't thinking anything. You know, I like my thought is that you could just see how many different ways that you could criticize two adults that you're living with for not cleaning up after themselves. And it's so tempting and it's such low hanging fruit and it's, in my opinion, it's exactly the thing that won't work.
Speaker 1: And so it's like really think about when dan says you're going to have repeated conversations,
Speaker 1: think about the places you shouldn't go during those conversations so that you remember that you've you've said no, I'm not going to do that, I'm not going to put them down in those ways. I'm going to find the encouragement the way to say,
Speaker 1: I know that this didn't work, but we've got to keep trying because these are some basic living standards that we should feel proud of together.
Speaker 1: Much better way to go, then I just can't believe you do, can't figure this out and tom this is really tough territory. We want to give you courage and we really, really hope that this moves forward in a positive way for you and your family.
Speaker 1: But once the young adults understand that their parents are people,
Speaker 1: people with habits smooth that our right to live their own life
Speaker 1: and when the parents realize how important it is for the young adults to manage their own affairs,
Speaker 1: then make and deal with each other as mutually respecting individuals
Speaker 1: and their relationships will be healthier and happier.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: our next question is about old fashioned thinking
Speaker 1: our daughter is getting married in little over a year and we are currently at odds over budgeting our daughter, the bride just wants us to hand over the money and she and the groom will plan the wedding, Her father and I say we're paying for the wedding, we have a say in how the money is spent. Are we old fashioned in our thinking?
Speaker 1: I have now been uninvited from shopping for the wedding dress because our daughter says that since she's paying for the dress, I have no say and do not need to be there
Speaker 1: your thoughts please?
Speaker 1: Okay, sorry, I'm gonna start with the simple answer. And then lizzie's gonna
Speaker 1: give your talk about how complicated this can actually be. When I saw your show notes for this, I was like, oh, this will be a fun debate. This is not old fashioned.
Speaker 1: You pay. You get a say, that's my that's my show notes. And it's, to my mind, not old fashioned thinking, because it comes from a really practical place, a really practical
Speaker 1: acknowledgement that if you hold the purse strings, you actually have a lot of control in a situation. You get a lot of say, where's my show note was not so fast. This is not what we teach. So, let's check this out a little bit. Let's look at the reality of the complications. So the complicated part of this is that people feel differently about money
Speaker 1: and we we we hear both sides of it on a regular basis. You have people who really believe that if they are going to contribute to something that they want to know and understand how their money is going to be used.
Speaker 1: Um it's why when we suggest to people who are planning a wedding and putting up a registry for something like a honeymoon
Speaker 1: that they say the different things they might go and do on that honeymoon or that they allow people to sign up for some of those different things because some folks just want that visual connection of what it is that they're really giving to. Um some folks want that visual understanding that ability to picture it because they might not want to pay for certain things. They might not want their money going to certain things and they want to feel some sort of agency and control in that
Speaker 1: other folks saying,
Speaker 1: you know what, at the end of the day, this is your party. You really need to be able to spend the money the way you want and should spend the money. So have at it. However this goes for you is you know, this is how much you have to work with. You go have fun, figure it out for yourself.
Speaker 1: There are just different opinions about how this works. And so rather than say that you are old fashioned or not old fashioned or that this way is right or that way is right, what we actually say is that you should really have a candid conversation and let your daughter know that
Speaker 1: I know you may disagree with what we think, but we really feel comfortable giving you the money for this wedding when we know what it's going to and we're going to participate in the decision making of how it's going to be spent.
Speaker 1: You might be the type of person to say to your daughter, I have no desire to dictate your wedding dress and I really would like to be a part of this, whether you pay for it or I pay for it because I just want to see you make this choice and I'm excited to support you with that.
Speaker 1: There are plenty of moms out there who have said no, if I'm paying for your wedding dress, there is no way you're going to have off the shoulder, v neck, mermaid style ball gown. This I mean there are so many moms who have said that and daughters who have turned around and said, okay,
Speaker 1: I'm going to pay for the wedding dress that way. I can feel confident in what I walked down the island,
Speaker 1: dan has been waiting so long to speak and I'm going to get in one last point before you do because
Speaker 1: it's that the wedding dress is something that I think is really special
Speaker 1: and I would hate to see you and your daughter lose a moment to connect that I think is a moment. A lot of moms and daughters look forward to connecting over because of money.
Speaker 1: And so if I were you in this situation, I would approach that particular subject with a
Speaker 1: a
Speaker 1: my darling girl. I want you to feel confident when you walk down that aisle and I'm excited to support you with whatever dress you choose.
Speaker 1: You can decide for yourself whether you want to pay for that dress or whether you don't want to try and contribute. But I think getting to the heart of talking to your daughter about the fact that you didn't want money to be something that starts to separate. The wedding planning process is going to be important here, dan. Thank you so much for letting me get all of that out.
Speaker 1: I want to think broadly about the question of
Speaker 1: pay in control and then look at more particularly the question of the dress that falls in. Okay, let's hear your thoughts
Speaker 1: when I'm thinking about the etiquette, it's a little host guest to me in that everything you said is true. I think someone could say I'm going to give this money and there's no strings attached or I'm going to give this money and this is the deal.
Speaker 1: If you're the one giving the money, I think you get to set those terms a little bit. So because this question is coming from mom who's setting those terms, I think that she
Speaker 1: can decide to be a little old fashioned and I'm putting old fashioned in 100% or let's say I'm going to choose to give this money with some parameters and stipulations and
Speaker 1: I like where you landed because I would be so careful about how I chose to do that. I would really ask myself what is it I'm trying to do here. How much control am I trying to exercise and why is it because I've got a partner in the planning who's really extravagant
Speaker 1: and they're spending someone else's money and they don't really understand where it's coming from or what it's going to take to get this money and I need to be here
Speaker 1: so that I can really help define a budget and keep this thing on the rails, that balanced version of this discussion that I think is so common. It happens all the time. Or conversely, no, no, we can afford this and you're trying to be so careful. I appreciate that. But we can have another 10 people at this wedding. It's okay. I want to be sure we include X, y and Z or your good friends or whatever it is. And in this case mom could also acknowledge that control only extends as far as those purse strings due and that if someone in this case a daughter didn't want to accept that money and make different choices that she still wants to be a part of the wedding and wants to participate in whatever ways.
Speaker 1: I love the more independent bride is now choosing to proceed. I love that
Speaker 1: as the bride, as someone potentially receiving money as a groom, potentially received it as a couple, potentially receiving money. I want to approach those discussions with similar care. I want my requests to come across as requests, not demands. I want to make those requests with an awareness of realistic budgeting and also
Speaker 1: a realistic awareness that maybe parental purse strings reach a little further than yours do at this time in life, it might be okay to have enough bathrooms for whatever it is, whatever those necessary expenses are that you really might not be able to afford on your own.
Speaker 1: I think it gets really interesting when we start talking about the dress because it's about the nature of this conversation, I could see a parent saying I'm paying for everything
Speaker 1: and you think by carving out this tiny little expense, you can assert control in that one little area. If I yanked my budget back, this whole thing comes crashing down around you wear that dress alone in a field, somewhere dan I can who just heard dan, The dad come out 100%. Oh my gosh, I'm just gaming out the extreme, extreme version of this, going bad. Yeah, no, totally. I'm hearing you, I'm hearing you at the same time, I can also see a similarly committed perspective of no, this is the one area I really want to be able to make my own choice about and I don't think my mother and I are going to agree, so I just want to pay for this myself
Speaker 1: so that I really can do that and feel good about that.
Speaker 1: Do you want it to have that tone? Whatever it is that the daughter is saying to get to, that you wanted to have that tone and same with the mom, you wanted to have that tone that you were suggesting earlier, you know, open and supportive or even more generously. I really want to take a part of this wedding and do it myself because my mother has been helping with everything and I can do this. So
Speaker 1: this is a place where I can really not to get control but shine. Exactly. I'm loving your sample scripts by the way, because I'm loving your sample scripts. What I'm just so hoping here is that everyone gets to that place that you finished on, which is where money isn't an issue. I think there's a lot of enthusiasm for this wedding. I can feel it
Speaker 1: from both sides, even with a potential conflict sort of being the premise of the question and
Speaker 1: I think the quicker you can get back into that place of enjoying that planning together and often times that means the discussions about money are open, candid and very honest anonymous. You asked for our thoughts. Those are our thoughts on this particular issue. We really hope that you and your daughter are able to come back together and have a wonderful time planning this wedding.
Speaker 1: It isn't easy to figure out how best to spend the money because there are always so many bills to pay and so many things the family wants to buy. Yes sir, father and mother do a good job of working together
Speaker 1: like a team. Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates, comments or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I N. D. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: on twitter. You can find us at, at Emily post inst just use the hashtag awesome etiquette in your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover and today we hear from a listener who's been contributing to the show for years. Maureen from Oregon
Speaker 1: about ride shares after dinner.
Speaker 2: Hi, this is Maureen from Oregon and I'm listening to episode 2 58 I believe. Okay, this is the one
Speaker 1: about meeting
Speaker 2: friends for dinner
Speaker 2: and then ending up taking
Speaker 1: everyone home.
Speaker 2: The first thing I would say is
Speaker 2: I'd be happy to take all of you guys
Speaker 1: home if you want to
Speaker 2: buy my dinner
Speaker 2: and we can just make that part of the deals.
Speaker 2: I'm not sure if this is going to pass muster, but
Speaker 2: with me and my friends would probably what I say,
Speaker 2: so I have no idea if that's an option or not.
Speaker 2: I love your show. Thank you
Speaker 1: Maureen. This is why I love having you call in because I think you're right with the right friend group. This could pass muster. I don't think it's going to pass with everybody. I think I would definitely, you know me personally, I would be willing to set that up as like,
Speaker 1: hey guys, I've noticed I drive everybody home or I noticed they take care of the Uber every weekend. What if we make it a trade? I'll always take care of the Uber. If you guys always pay for my dinner
Speaker 1: and like that's like how I would go about it. But with Maureen it sounds like among her friends this would be well received. You can hear in her voice how this is casual and light. And how if anyone said no, I don't want to do that. She'd be like, okay man, thought I'd just offer you know like that. It would be easy enjoy finding your Uber tonight.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Right
Speaker 1: Marine, thank you for the feedback. Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your comment or update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I. N. D. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to talk about politeness as a tool. I'm actually really excited about this postscript segment. It's a topic that we touched upon in our sustaining member question this week. So if you haven't listened to the sustaining member episode over on Patreon, if you haven't listened to your bonus question, feel free to join in Patreon and listen to that.
Speaker 1: But what I loved about the, what we got into in that particular question was the idea of politeness as a tool. And last night I had a friend over to my house and he was talking about a really frustrating situation that he had found himself in, where
Speaker 1: he felt like he was caught between the idea of being genuine and being polite and being his best self.
Speaker 1: And there it was like a real difficult spot. You know, he was at a party with someone who he felt had wronged him
Speaker 1: and he wasn't ever going to be really good friends with this person, You know what I mean? They weren't close friends to begin with, but it was one of what many of you described to us as those, I'm worried about it, it's socially awkward, this person frustrates me or upsets me and I'm going to have to be in the same room with them type situations.
Speaker 1: So my friend said that he kind of brushed the guy off when they went to greet each other, that the guy had come up to him and said, you know, hey, I hope your holidays going well, that sort of thing. And my friend was very, you know, he didn't shake the guy's hand and he, he kind of felt proud for doing it, but he also felt rude for doing it and he felt caught between those two things, and so later he went up and explained, you know, I'm not comfortable,
Speaker 1: you know, hanging out with you or being closer friends because of you know what's happened between us, but
Speaker 1: you know, this is why I was that way, and so he kind of tried to explain himself a bit, but he still felt like
Speaker 1: if he had chosen to shake the guy's hand, he was somehow not being genuine to himself, that he was
Speaker 1: in a place where he was being a doormat or his pride was at stake, something was up there and he didn't know how to get through it,
Speaker 1: and so he was asking his friend, you know, what do I do, because this isn't an everyday situation, I'm not going to get a chance to practice this with every cashier I meet or every boss that I interact with, a co worker I interact with daily, you know what I mean? What do you know? It's true, it's true.
Speaker 1: So I told him that for me,
Speaker 1: one of the things that I try and think of is what is the bigger picture of my goals? Because he's thinking in his head right now of
Speaker 1: I'm not going to call it a smaller goal or a lesser goal, but he's only thinking of one of the goals, which is
Speaker 1: I don't want to have to interact with this person, I don't want to be their friend, that's my main goal.
Speaker 1: But my friend had bigger goals than that. He had goals, about being a well respected person, in that group of friends. He had goals about being the kind of guy who can rise above things.
Speaker 1: He had goals for himself, about not letting other people get to him so much. These are personal goals, these aren't things everybody is going to be working on all the time, but these were his own personal goals.
Speaker 1: And I said you have to make those personal goals more important to you
Speaker 1: then putting him down or showing him that you guys aren't friends. And he said, yeah, but I can't do that, that doesn't feel genuine. And you hear Dan and I talk all the time about how the third component of etiquette is honesty. It's being able to be believable and genuine, it's being able to move forward
Speaker 1: in a situation, having chosen an action that you feel confident with
Speaker 1: and shaking this guy's hand, wasn't going to make my friend feel confident in a sincere, authentic way, exactly that handshake
Speaker 1: could be delivered in a way that communicated everything that not shaking hands would communicate. And one of my,
Speaker 1: one of the things I love about the idea of this politeness as a tool segment is that it's
Speaker 1: really not about the tool itself, it's about how you use it, how you connect the use of that tool to those.
Speaker 1: I don't want them higher goals, bigger goals, more personal goals, other goals, let's just say the other goals that are present in the moment that you've identified as priorities for yourself. So they come from you. So why do I do this? Not because Emily Post said so in 1922 not because these weirdos on a podcast for the great, great grandkids of somebody somewhere sometime said so, but because these are actions that reinforce those things that you've decided are important to you and making those connections in significant ways in meaningful ways
Speaker 1: is in many ways the key to unlocking the power of of those tools, Those politeness tools we talk about in our business seminars, I ask people all the time. I say, who are the people in your life that matter to you? What are the relationships that matter to you?
Speaker 1: And those might be professional relationships? They might be personal relationships. Think about those people, prioritize those people because making the choice to have
Speaker 1: good etiquette to have good relationship skills is about supporting those people. It's about connecting with those people.
Speaker 1: That's why this matters not because I say so, not because
Speaker 1: some arbitrary standard as being a book was run you. Yeah,
Speaker 1: I really, really like this idea of connecting your larger goals to your behaviors in
Speaker 1: really realistic and sincere ways. I think when you're in that moment it is a great question to ask yourself, who do I want to be, Who do I want to be in this moment?
Speaker 1: What is going to get me there? And that's where my friend who is saying, but I don't feel like I can just shake his hand and smile. I feel like it's going to be fake and I say, no, it's taking the genuineness of that
Speaker 1: and applying it to the space that it should be applied to, which is as dancing the bigger goals that you have the goal of being someone who can hold their head high, Someone who's not going to wear. In this case, my friend was talking about how he feels like he wears his insecurity on his sleeve when he chose not to shake that guy's hand in the moment when he chose
Speaker 1: to show his unfriendliness.
Speaker 1: And so the bigger goal for him is not wearing, you know, his emotions on his sleeve, not being showing that insecurity and transferring the genuineness from the handshake and being friendly and what that feels like. It's giving up for him
Speaker 1: to an empowerment perspective of I'm going to shake this hand confidently, because that's the kind of guy I want to be and it doesn't give him anything for me to be that guy. He doesn't have to know that I don't need to be his friend.
Speaker 1: I can just show that I am willing in an open social situation to just simply be polite. And that's that's all I need to be. And it doesn't have to be giving up any more territory to do that. In fact,
Speaker 1: I end up being the person I want to be when I make that decision. And that was something he could use. And it was, it was so funny because they were the basic tools of a handshake, looking someone in the eye, warmly saying hello to them and being able to get there and do that. And
Speaker 1: it was really fun to talk with a friend of mine about a very particular scenario
Speaker 1: and apply this idea of politeness being something that could help rather than feeling like it was something you gave up. Our politeness is a generosity that we have. We get to be generous in giving it out, but it can also be this tool. It can be a tool to getting us through difficult situations and we can lean on it in that way, knowing that
Speaker 1: it allows us to behave in a way that other people are going to understand and be able to receive and that we can feel confident about for ourselves,
Speaker 1: lizzie post, thank you for bringing this idea to our bonus question this week and for expanding the discussion into our post script. My pleasure
Speaker 1: you realize that it's the simple things, being friendly thinking of the other person and showing respect,
Speaker 1: that make up every day courtesy.
Speaker 1: Real living courtesy has made the evening of pleasure
Speaker 1: and a success.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we hear from Emma,
Speaker 2: Hi Dannon lizzie, I have an etiquette salute. I would love to share with you all. I am a part of a curling club in Mississippi and last night we played against the team that unfortunately had to forfeit because not enough players showed up, but we did a scrimmage matt
Speaker 2: and they were so polite. They always said please and thank you when we shared the fighter and our stabilizer and they practice great curling etiquette by making sure the opponent's team was behind the hack and ready to go.
Speaker 2: I know that the two players had not been in our legal on, but it was so exciting to see them practicing good curling etiquette
Speaker 1: Emma that we just, we are giving you a clap. We have now feel like we have seen it almost all in our etiquette salutes a Mississippi curling team. It took me like three listens of this.
Speaker 1: No two real. Yeah, I kept automatically making it Minnesota or Minneapolis and I was like, no, this is Mississippi, this is curling in the south ice sports. I I really shouldn't be so like
Speaker 1: demographically surprised, but I am, I'm delighted and it sounds like the most wonderfully polite like sporting outing event I've ever heard of. Thank you for bringing us into this world. Thank you for sharing a salute. It is so much fun, Emma, thank you so much for this and thank you for listening.
Speaker 1: Thank you to everyone who sent us something. Please connect with us and share the show with your friends, family and co workers. You can send us your next question, comment or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com
Speaker 1: by phone. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on twitter. We are at Emily post inst on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute,
Speaker 1: please consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Itunes or your favorite podcast app and please consider leaving us a review. It helps with the show ranking, which helps other people find awesome etiquette. Our show is edited by chris Albertine and assistant produced by Bridgit Bowden. Thanks Chris Bridget.
Speaker 1: Mhm.