Episode 334 - Received
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 we take your questions on title mix ups, a followup question on being an aunty, including non-supportive siblings in your wedding party, and getting confirmation that the gifts you sent were received. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about a dog etiquette dilemma. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript where we discuss a social future.
Show extra: We were memed
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy that's old fashioned. E
Speaker 1: watch how busy post and damn posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 1: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome toe Awesome etiquette,
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 2: today's show, we take your questions on title mix ups, a follow up to a question about being an inclusive and supportive aunt, a question about including an unsupportive sibling in your wedding party and getting confirmation that the gifts you sent were actually received and enjoyed
Speaker 1: for awesome
Speaker 2: etiquette sustaining
Speaker 1: members. Our question of the week is about a dog etiquette dilemma,
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript where we discuss the
Speaker 1: future. All that coming up
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 2: I'm Lizzie Post and
Speaker 1: I'm Dan Post setting.
Speaker 2: Hey,
Speaker 1: how's it going? Because
Speaker 2: it's going man. But I want to hear how it's going with you because I know somebody had a birthday this weekend. Yes,
Speaker 1: she did. Aneesh a sending is four years old. I can't believe it. Get anyone out there believe in Episode three of the show was be proposing to Pooja
Speaker 2: on Here We Are People sent baby like knitted baby hats and things for her when she was born. I remember like it Z she's been She's been with the show's, watched her grow up and she's at four now. I can't believe it. She's really tall, too. She's a tall four year
Speaker 1: old. She's tall, she's a talker. And I have to remind myself, A month ago I would remind myself she's still three years old. Don't treat her like a five year old. She's still three years old. Now she's
Speaker 2: four.
Speaker 1: It's such a delight. And as happens with early birthdays for new parents, it's got us thinking all about those special moments along the way. And, um, just what a what? A what a precious time this is with our little girls. So celebrating that birthday is a great opportunity for us as a family, and it's not over. I'm sitting here doubt recording with you, thinking about leaving my ZIP code for the first time in many months and with negative covert Destin hand and 14 days of observed protocols, were able to get some of the cousins together. Pooches already there with Anisha and I'm just getting reports about the kids playing together, and it's just so delightful I can't
Speaker 2: wait to be there. I
Speaker 1: can't wait to see you experience it.
Speaker 2: It is It is really nice and not doing daycare and stuff like that. It's it's majorly important and awesome and and just great that you guys were getting this opportunity and the kids were all getting this opportunity. It definitely it was exciting when you told us that you were going to be doing this. Can
Speaker 1: I? Can I be a little selfish? Thio Yeah, I've requested that all could have some of my favorite home cooked foods ready, and I didn't get specific with her because she knows what I like from her menu better than I dio
Speaker 2: e
Speaker 1: do think that there will be some delicious home made food waiting for me.
Speaker 2: I'm very jealous. I've had August cooking and it's lovely, so I am very, very jobs. Bring home some leftover
Speaker 1: because if history is any guide to the future, and it often is. I think there's a very good chance we will come home Well supplied.
Speaker 2: Very nice, very nice. I don't know what etiquette there is in asking for things of your host like that, but I feel like son in laws are are entitled if they're in good relation. Thio complement the host or hostesses cooking. You know,
Speaker 1: I was going to say I blew through the doors of that and I didn't I sent the message through by
Speaker 2: your booth. The Roundabout sometimes work in the family's
Speaker 1: essential find that right moment. Just drop it in. Oh, dance. So looking forward to coming, you
Speaker 2: can't wait. We should make this tonight. That's great. You want the sneaky
Speaker 1: rap? Just a little Okay, cause so I'm pins and needles, and I will give you the update next week. But there's one other thing I just have to mention on our intro today, and it's not related to travel. Zohra Nisha's birthday
Speaker 1: way have heard from many people about this show being a refuge of civility and, um, at the risk of letting politics intrude at all, something kind of fun happened in the political sphere this last week. Do you want to tell everybody
Speaker 2: you're no, You tell you Tell you tell we got
Speaker 1: maimed because
Speaker 2: we did. We got maimed. We ended up as one of our dear and awesome listeners created a Bernie Sanders mittens meme with the awesome etiquette photo on our on our awesome etiquette home page. Um, and we couldn't be more delighted because Bernie is our senator, and we both have an appreciate and know many people who have mittens just like Bernie's. And Park is just like Bernie's. And we have sat many a time cross
Speaker 1: like durability in the cold,
Speaker 2: just like just like Bernie's. And that was that was probably one of the top five highlights of my awesome etiquette career.
Speaker 1: Like
Speaker 2: that was awesome.
Speaker 1: Not being the most savvy social media user, Thio to see a mean pop up was really fun.
Speaker 2: So a big, big thank you to listener Karen, who did create this for us on DWI will get it out there on our social media because it was delightful that those of
Speaker 1: you like me who might not be eso tuned into the social media world. This is also a great chance. We have individuals show pages for all of the awesome etiquette shows on the new Emily post dot com website, and I will be sure to get this, um,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette Bernie Meme on our show page If you haven't had a chance to visit the new Emily Post website. Yeah, this would be a great excuse to go take a
Speaker 2: look. Well, because with Mittens and Park is on, do you think that we should dio go get to some questions today?
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 Or you can reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Institute on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We're awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is about a gender neutral name. Dear Lizzie and Dan, I hope you are both staying safe and toasty. And Vermont. I'm writing for advice about email etiquette. I have an unusual gender neutral first name, and I received many emails to a Mr last name. I am a woman, and I have my pronouns in my email signature and linked in profile. I try not to take a fence and never acknowledged the mistake in my reply, instead directing them to call me by my first name. Um, I doing the right thing. Sometimes people are very apologetic, and I don't want them to feel bad at the same time. I wish they wouldn't assume I am a man just because of the job I have. Is it wrong to expect people to use the right salutation or, more importantly, not to default to Mr How should you address an email to someone whose gender you don't know? Thanks for your help. I love the podcast and have recommended it toe everyone I know, miss, not Mr
Speaker 2: Mrs not Mr. This is a great question, and one that does does happen to a lot of people. The quick answer is I think it's important to correct people on this, and I think that coming up with language that you're right doesn't blame them doesn't make them feel bad about it. I understand that's not your intention with it is key, but I also think it's really key that they know the right names and pronounced to be using with you. And I think that that it's an okay thing for us to get comfortable with addressing. And I also think that the person on the other end actually wants to get it right. It feels embarrassing when you find out that for weeks you've been calling someone Mr and they were, um is it feels like Oh my gosh, how did I get that wrong? I'm so sorry like, you know, and especially if you've got the pronouns listed in your signature, it means someone wasn't reading far enough or they might have read it but not registered it. And just, you know, went right along with their assumption. And so that's embarrassing for them. And I think fixing that rather than allowing for weeks, months or sometimes years to go by with the wrong impression out there is not the way to go.
Speaker 1: I agree. In some ways it's a very broccoli on the tooth kind of situation where you're helping someone avoid further awkwardness or embarrassment by addressing something that's a little awkward or embarrassing. I really like the awareness of that that we see in the way the whole question is framed. And it is to answer the big picture question really important toe address people correctly. It's about our identity, and it's about who we are. And it's about other people understanding that and communicating that they understand that it's fundamentally important. So it is rude to call people the wrong thing, particularly if you're well equipped to do the other. So
Speaker 1: by pointing out that it's happened, you're actually pointing out a real rudeness, which is where the awkwardness
Speaker 1: comes in for you. Exactly,
Speaker 2: and them
Speaker 1: In some ways I was thinking, if you can let them figure it out, if it's the kind of thing where after an email exchange, they pick up on it. When I was listening to you talk Lizzie and you were saying, this goes on for weeks, I was saying to myself, Is that something you do after the second time that it happens? And it might be that if it's something that you really know just happens all the time. You internalize that and say, Listen, I rather than step into that awkward moment, I give people two chances or something like that. I think there is room for that kind of latitude also, but
Speaker 1: it is so fundamentally important that having some language to address it is also important is also really worthwhile.
Speaker 1: Lizzie Post This is something I struggle with because it requires directness. Do you help us? Help me out? How how does that language sound to you?
Speaker 2: Not as bad as you think. When I'm thinking about what's going to go into this, we are taking into account the things that miss and not Mr was talking about, that you know, you do. You want to balance the other person's perspective. I think this is a small opportunity to be able to paint a vision of the future that would make this all easier sort of by noting that this is something that you run into frequently. And, boy, aren't you looking forward to a time when you don't or something. But when I'm when I'm thinking about it and all the different ways because pronouns Air one, Dan, where ah lot of people are are starting Thio, understand mawr what inclusive pronouns, language looks and sounds like And what behaviors around inclusive pronouns would look like an identity in general. And I think that this is a small moment not to direct people as to what they should be doing in, like, a hard line kind of way, but gently open people to the ideas that you know, Mr doesn't have to be the defaults. And you don't want to say it like that. This has to be done really delicately. So the sample language I've sort of started to flesh out starts with. I feel I should point out that I used the title in pronouns. Mrs and she her period People miss this all the time because my name is gender neutral, period.
Speaker 2: And then I think if you wanted to open it up to the idea of just encouraging that expansion or embracing of practices that you do like like you said, you wish more people used pronouns in their email signatures or paid more attention to them. I think you can kind of give ah longing projection to the future. You know. So the sentence I wrote for that was I can't wait for pronouns and email signatures to be, um, or used practice. And to me, this comes across as conversational. It comes across as both forgiving or understanding. You know that people miss this all the time because my name is gender neutral. But it also is a very clear I feel I should point this out to you. I use this title and thes pronouns.
Speaker 1: Lizzie Post. I really like that. And what I like about it is that it's straightforward. It's informational, and it's understanding from an etiquette perspective. I geek out a little bit. I loved seeing the title and pronouns thought of as all the important information that you would want someone toe have so they can address you correctly. And that really is what we're talking about here. It's that simple, and to me, that's a very clear etiquette. Appropriate response. Well done.
Speaker 2: Bravo. Well, I hope that it works for me is not Mr and if not, let us know so we could make some adjustments. But this is it's It's a tough one you are trying to balance when to do this you know, and and like you said Dan, maybe after two instances of it, that's when you say, Oh, this is, you know, consistent. This isn't just a one off.
Speaker 1: They didn't fix it on their own.
Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. E think addressing it, then is probably the best way to go and directly and clearly as possible. And then when you move on with the rest of your communications, be friendly. And you know all of the good things that let them know that there were no hard feelings about this
Speaker 1: Mrs Not Mr Thank you so much for this question. We really appreciate the opportunity toe. Think about this and share it with the audience. Mickey isn't very good at apologizing because making apologies like
Speaker 2: other kinds of manners
Speaker 1: takes practice. Maybe he will learn his lesson about the importance
Speaker 2: of good manners. Or maybe he won't. It's pretty hard to tell. What do you think?
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled LGBTI Plus family Follow up. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. Thank you for all you do to help all of us make more considerate, respectful and honest decisions in our everyday lives.
Speaker 2: I wanted to drop a quick note to say, I appreciated your response to proud on an episode 3 31 as I, too, am starting to sort out my role as quote unquote childless adult, very invested in the Children of people I love. And I'm hoping that you can also share some of how shower etiquette applies toe LGBTI plus families.
Speaker 2: Most of the parents of my life are trying their best, and it's sometimes hard to not make assumptions about what kind of families, if any, their Children will build in the future. And I always like to pause for a moment when I find myself spinning specific futures for the small Children in my life. I never want a child. I love to feel their disappointing me by not going down the path I've imagined for them, and I want to prepare for the major milestones in their lives. No matter what form they take. I'm hoping you can offer some advice for how to prepare for showers for people of all genders, marrying people of all genders and how to shower people welcoming Children into their families in all the ways that they dio. Thank you for taking the time to read my feedback in question and for all the advice over the years, Katusha.
Speaker 1: Oh, Katusha, thank you so much for the question. I wish I could transport you into my kitchen so that you could join me in food. As we sit around and have this exact discussion. It's, I think, something that, um, everybody who has Children in their lives think about in some way or another because it is so natural to look at them that to think about where they're going to be someday and toe have hopes and dreams and aspirations for them. And you're right. There's a really important step between acknowledging and allowing yourself to have those feelings and projecting them on toe someone else, particularly a child in a way that
Speaker 1: can ultimately be restricting for that person. And you're really wise to be taking care with how you do that and thinking about this very natural thing that happens. And it is so natural that it does take a little bit of work to keep from doing it all the time, and it takes some willingness to look at yourself and really what your core assumptions are and how you're communicating them and I. I love what I see going on here in this question. It's a process that I think is endless, just like etiquette. It's not something you know. It's something you do. It's something you practice all the time.
Speaker 2: I think that with the kids and to the kids, when when you talk about creating that space where they aren't going to feel like they're disappointing you. That means that you spend time painting broad pictures of happy lives for the kids in your lives that you share stories and imagery and single and independent people being happy and people who have short relationships being happy. People have long relationships, married relationships, married people with kids, blended families, single people with kids, chosen families that you you talk to them about all these different types of ways to engage and live and be and be satisfied. And I think that's one of the strongest ways I think you can influence it across the board in terms of the showers. Though. Dan, what do you think are some specific tactics you might take when you're attending a shower,
Speaker 1: so showers are, ah, particular event where the etiquette involved, I think brings to mind some of these questions because the focus is Children and you're participating in filling their lives in space with things. In some ways, you're helping to define the space that they're going to grow up in. The message is that Lizzie is talking about. I think it delivered in so many times and so many ways. But this happens to be a moment where there's sort of a real physical, tangible thing that becomes a memory of that moment. And I think that's a particular opportunity to focus on a gift that is non gendered or doesn't restrict someone in terms of the way they think about the opportunities in their life in terms of class or profession or
Speaker 2: lifestyle lifestyle,
Speaker 1: where they might live on this whole planet. There are so many things that we assume and that aren't necessarily going to be the same assumptions that someone grows up with good etiquette generally says that you follow the parents lead or whoever is organizing a shower. If there's a particular theme or any kind of direction around gifts, it's a real courtesy to pay attention to that. Um, I think it's a good place to start with in that direction. It's also up to you is a gift giver toe. Make choices the align with your intentions as a gift giver. So if the theme of the showers books go books but pick books that have themes about diversity, equity and inclusion, or that paint those really broad pictures that Lizzy's talking about. If it's about decorating the nursery, honor that. But make choices that are science and math based or whatever
Speaker 2: it is that I was going to say, like if it's a pink themed shower, you could always get a pink dump truck like, you know, or well, maybe not for a baby, but you know you could you could even play with things. I worry about people playing too far, you know, and and pushing an agenda with a gift rather than giving something that that makes sense and feels comfortable and confident from them. And I think those air to slightly different things. You know,
Speaker 1: definitely,
Speaker 1: and you don't want the gift to carry the weight of a message that a parent has to sort out that that there is there is something to think about their in terms of how you're communicating,
Speaker 2: but
Speaker 1: gift giving is a place where you do have a little bit of latitude where it's it's a decision and choice that comes from you. And if it's something that really, really matters to you, um, it's important for your own integrity that you're aligned with that
Speaker 2: Katyusha. This is It is a broad question, and it's actually really nice to take a moment and explore it through a particular moment of etiquette. The shower, Because I think it is something a lot of us have on our minds, especially when that moment does come where it's time to go and give a gift. And these questions are starting to come up in our minds. So thank you for giving us a chance to explore it and keep reaching out with your feedback and letting us know good strategies or good etiquette moves that you've come up with as you choose to go down this path of making sure that the kids in your life have really brought an inclusive perspectives.
Speaker 1: Ah, well mannered group.
Speaker 2: I think
Speaker 1: you notice they're good manners right away.
Speaker 1: Good manners make good first impressions and because your manners air showing all the time. They have a lot to do with how well people like you.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a sister situation. Hello, Lizzie and Dan. I am recently engaged.
Speaker 2: Hey,
Speaker 1: my fiance and I are eager and excited to start our new lives together. Though we have delayed planning due to the pandemic. The official proposal occurred in August that the process of deciding to get married has been a transparent team decision between my fiance and I, including selecting the ring and knowing exactly when he had the talk with my father back in November 2019, shortly after the talk, which occurred over that Thanksgiving holiday, my younger sister texted me out of the blue with a plea. Or, you might say, demand that I do not marry my fiance. I was obviously her by receiving this message and knew that she wasn't the biggest fan of Hiss. But what hurt the most was that her reasonings for the way she was making the plea were not founded in the reality of the relationship that my fiance and I share. Additionally, she has shown no interest in hearing my perspective on my relationship and life priorities she has ignored me and, needless to say, my fiance since then, whenever we have made it back to my hometown for visits to my parents house, where she also lives.
Speaker 1: Fast forward to two months after my own engagement and she is now engaged to In contrast to my delayed planning, she immediately booked a venue and started the wedding planning adventure. As part of that process, her fiance has asked our two brothers to be a groomsman, and she has asked me and our older sister to be bridesmaids.
Speaker 1: Here's where I finally get to my question. Do I have any obligation to include my younger sister in my wedding party? I believe that the individuals you invite to stand alongside you during your ceremony are chosen because of their support and love for the union. If the couple getting married, my sister has clearly demonstrated that she does not possess that quality. I worry about the optics of wanting to include my older sister, but not my younger sister in the wedding party. I do not want my older sister to feel left out, and I am contemplating other ways to incorporate her into the day. Such as asking her to do a reading. I would really appreciate your take on the situation. Thank you for your consideration and for the awesome etiquette podcast. Best wishes. Happy but confused middle sister
Speaker 2: Oh, happy but confused middle sister, Sister. Sister Dynamics can be tough, and wedding dynamics can be tough. And figuring out sort of what what matters to you and what doesn't can also be tough. So we feel you. This is not easy territory, and it's certainly extra hard when you're balancing sort of the feelings and experience of someone who has literally said, I don't support you in this. I think that's the tough place to be. Thio. Answer one of your questions very directly. No, you technically do not have an obligation to invite your sister to be a bridesmaid in your wedding. And the idea that someone's objecting to to this particular wedding is the kind of reason that might make you not invite someone close to you to be in that space. But typically, typically, siblings are invited to play this role. It's not a must, but it is very common. It's it's in fact, just as your sister's fiance is doing It's also very common to invite the siblings to be a part of sort of the other side. So you would invite your brother or your sister in law to be on a zit bridesmaid in your wedding party. It's it's really, really common. It's not a have to, but it's really common
Speaker 1: and for precisely the reason that there are no rules that can apply to every situation. And there's no way to know all of the factors that go into these decisions. It is okay to have your wedding party be made up of whoever you choose. You get to make those choices and you get to make them based on considerations that are known to you. And it's not up to you to explain those reasons to other people. So if if you were to choose to have one sister in your party and not another, that is
Speaker 2: ah,
Speaker 1: that's a choice that you can make that's not going to step outside of the bounds of etiquette and the great big, however, in our script is that other people's perception matters, and we understand your thinking about other people's perceptions as well as the very real consideration that these air, long term family relationships and the roles that people play at these important moments impact those relationships over time. Lizzie Post, you had some really incredible sample script language for talking to your sister about playing this role or
Speaker 2: not. My thought was that if you if you weren't going to be worried about the optics of it, that that if if you just were going to say, I'm gonna treat my sisters as separate individuals and I will ask them each and whatever they decide is how my bridal party gets made up, right? People can accept or decline. And if you were going to go, Yeah, exactly. If you were going to go that route, then I would I would suggest to your younger sister addressing the issue of support because, as you mentioned, you're not sure if she would be comfortable standing in that role. So I might say something to her like, I would love to have you stand by me up there on my wedding day. But I know that you've been clear that you do not support my marriage or engagement, and I would like you up there and as a bridesmaid if it feels right for you to be in that supportive role at my wedding. But I would completely understand if you would rather not play that role or be in that space on the wedding day, and I'll respect either choice. Um, my, my preference would be to have you up there. I would love my sister to be up there and supporting me, but I wanted to be respectful of what you've let me know. And I think that that's the kind of conversation you can start with her. I would try your best. You bring your most gracious self to not frame it as
Speaker 2: well. You've really made yourself clear about how you feel about my marriage. So I don't think you're very supportive. And, you know, it's like you don't want to use it as a weapon. Yeah, you do. Yeah, it's it's not that kind of a delivery. If if you're going to do this, it's got to be the genuine. I really want to create the space for you. But I also understand, based on you know, our recent history, that it might not be a space you want to be in. Um and giving it that respect, I think, is the way to go, even though I wish you weren't in a position to have to do that, To be honest, like I wish I wish you could have just had that support.
Speaker 1: One other thing that's in your sample script. Lizzie Post that didn't make it onto the show point that I really liked was the very last
Speaker 2: sentence. What does it say when you're ready,
Speaker 1: you're ready to talk about it or let me know how you feel. I'm here or I'm all years or whatever it, but something that says it takes you to think about it. Take some time.
Speaker 2: So that's the situation. If you were going to not worry about the optics of who was playing, what role where during your wedding? If it does matter to you, then I think you have to think about what degree is it? Is it that you've got just two sisters not participating at all? You know what a reading work? Or would that also suggests? Well, why isn't the other sister doing a reading? Why aren't any of the brothers doing readings? I don't know where in the one or two or three or four participating in the other one, not it feels uncomfortable, but those air things to think about because you don't want to just replace one discomfort with another, you know what I mean? And I do think, though, that asking if you, if you did go the route of neither of them, are going to be bridesmaids finding ways to talk with your older sister about ways that she would be comfortable supporting you and participating or ways she might like to. That might be a nice conversation to have with her.
Speaker 1: I really like that idea of talking to your sister. She might come up with ideas or have creative thoughts about ways that she could participate that aren't even on your list right now. You mentioned maybe doing a reading during in the question, and I think the last wedding that I went to this was exactly the set up. The brides, the bridal party. We're all old friends, old college friends and then the family members all had different roles over the course of the ceremony. It was a big family, so
Speaker 1: there was there was a brother and a sister, actually read specific things and then other brothers and sisters that the things these little groups or clusters and
Speaker 2: okay, gotcha. Gotcha
Speaker 1: to me what you suggest your would have happened over the course of that wedding and never been noticed by anybody. So in some ways, I think that's a a way to think about it. That, yeah, like, is another option for sure. In another good choice for you,
Speaker 2: happy but confused middle sister. We hope this This helps alleviate some of the confusion. But mostly we hope that you have a wonderful time planning this wedding and finally getting to that wedding day.
Speaker 1: Congratulations in any family way are bound to encounter a certain amount of rivalry among the brothers and sisters. Rivalry for attention, for esteem, and it's not too strong to say for love.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about gift gratitude. Hello, I apologize. If you've already answered this question before, I'm a new listener to the podcast, so feel free to point me to a resource where I can find the answer myself. Just so you know, that is, like amazingly considerate, like listener reaching out etiquette just just from the get go offering to point me to a resource where I could take care of it on my own. All right, the question continues. I would love thoughts on if and how to address a scenario where my brother and sister in law are not consistently acknowledging receipt of a gift or sending a thank you note for gifts sent to my young nieces and nephews all under 10, I found myself asking them to make sure they were received. Or if the kids liked the gifts, I would be more than happy with just a text from the parents that the gifts were received and they were enjoyed. I've tried tactics like letting them know to expect a box in the mail and toe, let me know when it arrives and that a video or picture would be lovely, which they have done on occasion. But it is hit or miss, and I'm wondering if it might be time to be a little more direct.
Speaker 2: It doesn't make it fun to give the kids gifts, since it feels very transactional, which is a shame, since I know it is not their fault, and I do really enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone Or should I just have compassion that they have a lot to juggle and let it go? Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you. Sincerely hoping the gifts didn't get lost in the mail.
Speaker 1: Oh, hoping the gifts didn't get lost in the mail. We have absolutely answered this question before, probably 100 times, maybe 1000 times. And I hope we get to answer it another 1000 times because this is such a great question, and it gets to the heart of the gratitude exchange around gift giving, the fundamentals of it. It's so important we are really invested in. This is a theme in etiquette.
Speaker 2: Is this where I can break in and tease you and be like We don't want to get this question 1000 more times? We want people to be great about gratitude and not feel like they're not getting the gratitude, you know, And it's It's such a hard thing because because our question Askar talks about not being transactional. And yet Theis exchange Maybe that's a better word for it. Of the thank you for the gift is so incredibly important. When it's not there, it doesn't feel right.
Speaker 1: There is an essential part of the process that really makes it work so beautifully for both parties. That is missing, and that's tough, and it's awkward to bring those kinds of things up. I think it's also, um, in a case like this, worthwhile because there are so many benefits that air there to be reaped if you can, if you can pull it off. And this is a close enough relationship, a relationship with a brother and a sister in law and their kids, and it's a big enough disruption in it that I kind of want to lean into that idea of having a slightly more direct conversation.
Speaker 2: I think so, too. I think it is a hard conversation to have. It's a delicate one and Dan correct me if I'm wrong. But I think a lot of it does come in that when you I feel type language because I think you want to get across to the parents that you really love, giving these gifts that you don't want to be the person who chooses to stop giving gifts because it doesn't feel right anymore, like you're the person that has that wellspring of Oh, I just love this. I love getting to find something, and I love you know, knowing that it that it impacted someone well, And, um, I think that it's a It's a good spirit toe lead that conversation with, and to then follow up with the more direct for me. I do feel those feelings of let down and and hurt when I don't hear back that a gifted arrive or that the kids enjoyed it or that it was appreciated. And, you know, I always want to couch things as like call me sentimental or I'm just that type of person. But it does matter to me, and I don't like encouraging people to frame that kind of stuff is an apology to others because it like I'm so tempted to do it myself. But it shouldn't have to be in a Nepal aji like I feel like you shouldn't have to be asking for this appreciation. You know what I mean? Like, I just think it's so unfortunate that you end up getting put in a spot where you have to ask for that appreciation because it does sort of make it it almost feel like that's what you're looking for out of it and you're not. But without it, it does somehow feel really hurtful.
Speaker 1: I hear you about not wanting toe to minimize the importance of that exchange and that importance to you. I was thinking about another way to soften the message just a little bit. What could we do that that doesn't soften the impact that it has?
Speaker 2: E
Speaker 1: think that it's important to be explicit and acknowledge that you understand things from other people's perspectives? I understand you have a lot to juggle right now, and I know that you hit this. Sometimes are are things that I heard acknowledged in this question that I think would be really important parts of that conversation.
Speaker 2: Those times make my heart sing, you know, don't play them up
Speaker 1: exactly. And we've talked a lot on this show about how toe have difficult conversations and all of those all of that advice applies here that you ask permission toe, have it you set someone up for it. But I also like the idea of having some potential solutions so that if you raise a concern that you're also willing to talk about ways that you could move forward taking into account those things like it is a lot for parents to juggle sometimes, or it's a hard skill to teach. So you're in some ways trying toe connect with a group of people that are trying to get it together, repeating your request for something as simple as a text. If a text isn't forthcoming, sometimes a phone call is a really great way to give a thanks and might be easier for the kids to participate in a swell. So I think, restating some of those options that you're not sending them in. Emily Post thank you know, template and stationery.
Speaker 2: You know, fill these
Speaker 1: out and gives will continue.
Speaker 2: Dan, What you just said gave me to thoughts, and one is that when we teach people how to teach behavior to kids, we talk about how repetition is such a huge part that that, um, nagging voice that we all think of as the parental, you know, keep you know, elbows off the table, eat with your fork, not with your fingers, like sit up straight, sit up straight. You know, all of that kind of stuff. It's It is the repetition of hearing it. We all know a child doesn't learn it just by hearing something. Once adults don't learn things by hearing something once, um, I think you should feel confident in in that repeated asking, even though you would hope an adult would hear it once feel that Oh my gosh, I can't believe that we weren't getting you appropriate. Thank you, you know, and appropriate being a text message in this case, you know, we'll definitely work on that and then actively working on it, I think leave room for yourself to get a little repetitive about about making the request. The other thing was that you mentioned the phone Dan and I was thinking, If you're not yet getting the results you want, maybe just picking up the phone and calling and asking, at least so that you can and I know it's it's not the position I would want you to have to be in. But it might be a part of building the habit for these folks when a gift comes from you. That a conversation with you or a text message with you follows somewhat shortly after. And that means calling and checking in and saying, Hey, did that gift arrived. And then when they only say yes, it did. And they still don't say thank you or anything else you say, Oh, did so and so like it. Have they been using it? You know, you try to make that conversation happen, and I think over time you could get there with it, you know, and have it be a part of how the gift exchanges with you work, hopefully kind of trained them into the thank you's
Speaker 1: hoping the gifts don't get lost in the mail. We hope that our answer helps you establish amore effective gift routine with your family. Answer promptly. Don't keep the other person waiting. That's courtesy of work.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. Toe Awesome dedicated Emily post dot com Leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post. Install Instagram. We're at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media post so that we know you want your question on the show.
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Speaker 2: 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're hearing from Danielle on second baby showers.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for specifying that baby showers are for any time someone adds to their family. Many people don't realize that people who adopt would like to have their edition welcomed this way. Many adoptions happen with very little notice, and the family often needs everything to care for their little one. Also, these gatherings can be spun into different types of parties, such as welcome to our family gatherings for an older child. I'm the listener who you gave some great advice to an episode 1 89. Stay Off my Long about how to handle people who have intrusive questions about adoption. I wanted to let you know that we adopted a little girl in September 2019 and my sister in law through us, a lovely Dr Seuss themed shower. It was a wonderful day. The guests loved being able to meet our daughter, and my mom, who lives out of state, made a surprise appearance. I didn't know she was flying in a gift from my husband's family.
Speaker 1: All of your advice has been helpful, especially now that we're getting questions about our daughters background. We politely tell people that we aren't willing to share our daughter story until she is old enough to understand it herself. If people press us for details, we reiterate that we aren't sharing her story and leave the situation. Thank you so much for the show and the advice Daniel.
Speaker 2: Oh, Daniel. Well, this is so great to hear A that over time the advice has been helpful, and just that you've you've you've gone through these steps, your daughter is getting older and you're you're finding ways to be comfortable talking about how you became a family. I think that's just awesome.
Speaker 1: This is so awesome. I I felt my heart started like faster. As I read on
Speaker 2: my body,
Speaker 1: temperature came up a couple of degrees. I feel warmer. Having just read this, the awesome etiquette family grows. Welcome to your daughter and thank you so so much for this feedback.
Speaker 2: This is definitely great feedback, and we're glad to hear it. One of the things were we even try to think about when we think about showers is rather than calling them baby showers, calling them new child showers. Or, like you said, welcoming a new one to the family and really framing it that way so that more people do feel included and more light bulbs go off when friends air, forming families different ways. Oh yeah, we should celebrate that moment. Danielle, thanks so much for the awesome feedback
Speaker 1: and thank you for sending us your thoughts, updates and questions. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback update or questions. Awesome etiquette and Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802 a five a kind that's 80285546
Speaker 2: three.
Speaker 2: It's time for a postscript segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette. And today, Dan, I thought we would talk about interacting in the future. I feel
Speaker 1: like E
Speaker 2: feel like we've gotten some questions via social media about this, but I've also just heard so many people talking about it with, you know, the first rounds of vaccines getting out with estimations of when life is going to return to our normal future future normal. Whenever we're going to call the future, they return to the normal. See, that's not gonna be normal, um, that people have been thinking about what they're excited about, what? Maybe this this period and social distancing has taught them or that they're going to embrace and carry forward with from it. And I myself, I'm trying to imagine, you know, I've already had moments where when I have gone toe, hang out with people or do things, and again, I'm doing them socially distance. So I know it won't quite be the same, but I noticed things like I get tired more easily that that amount of socializing it's I haven't, like, built up my stores of being able to be around other people because I am on my own all the time. Right now, I've been thinking about what my reentry is going to be like. But I figured what a good conversation to have here. What are some of the things on your mind? Because
Speaker 1: absolutely. And I've been noticing this this conversation percolating also both in my private life and professionally. As you say, we're starting toe
Speaker 1: here through the Emily Post Institute about people wondering about I'm newly vaccinated. How do I talk to people about it? Are friends of mine are vaccine? How do I talk to them about what are the greetings gonna look like? What are the visits gonna look
Speaker 2: like? We had someone right into our social media is saying I'm still not going to be shaking hands after you know, vaccinations and sort of the quote unquote pandemic is over. And that, I thought was really interesting.
Speaker 1: So interesting, because on top of the were returning to things that were just not as practiced at because we haven't done them. They're gonna be modifications to how we do them that we're gonna be giving each other a lot more latitude around things like a handshake or a greeting. Or
Speaker 1: maybe, you know, when we expect someone in the office or they're all kinds of changes that have emerged over this year that I do think are gonna impact both the long term future, but also that re entry period as we're figuring out what these new standards are and the patients, the flexibility, the understanding that that that reentry is going to require is so worth being ready for.
Speaker 2: I think about the greetings a lot, not just because we've gotten some questions about them, but because I have moments where, as I'm trying to think through things I'm like. So if you were around people who had been vaccinated, you hadn't like, Could you hug them like, Is it like what are you know, like, where? Where is it where we protected where we not if I was going to continue not shaking hands, I would feel really responsible toe. Let people know that when I go to greet them or when, when, like Dan, if you were going to make an introduction for me, I would feel responsible to say something like, You know, I'm still not shaking hands or I'm choosing actually not to shake hands. But I'm so pleased to meet you. You know, I personally will be shaking hands because you're like, I'm gonna be that person. You can't stop from trying Thio, but a star for the script. Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 1: I think you pretty much got it there because that the idea particularly around greetings that you understand the forms that you're returning to, but that you don't have the expectation that everybody is going to do that at the same pace. And just being that explicit with yourself about what you might encounter is probably enough with a script like that in your pocket to handle those situations.
Speaker 1: I'm also thinking about mask wearing you stop tin. You'd aware mass I might be one of them. It's nine degrees outside right now. There's nobody on Paul under road, but me and my two parents one house away and I'm wearing
Speaker 2: a mask. When I go outside. It keeps my face war. I'm
Speaker 1: just not fighting them. The or I don't find them is constricting, as some people do. So I think, being ready to see some people in mass. Some people, not not to feel like it's a comment on the cleanliness or safety of a space or on someone's political orientation, but just being willing to say that's a choice that they're making and different people are going to be comfortable
Speaker 1: taking that mask off at different times and in different
Speaker 2: places, I think, and you and I. You and I have talked about this, and I've heard you project this, too, that a lot of people will continue to wear masks, especially when they're in more like mass transit areas or or or flying. You know, like at an airport, that those spaces our spaces, where you might expect to still see ah lot of these social distancing practices being made but not so much. Maybe in your group of friends that you hang out with and socialize with are among your your extended family in the area, you know, or coworkers. Maybe I'm going to be really interested to see what happens with our workspaces and whether or not spaces that are kind of like the rentable office, you know, or the short term office or the just the one room office that you could go to to get away from a house or a space that you're in will be super popular. Or if a lot of those places you know won't be because people have figured out how to work from home. I'm I know a lot of office spaces won't be returning to the same volume of workers in the space. I think Ah, lot of people have made the decision both economically and for a lot of other reasons that its's OK to work from home, that it works. But I'm just gonna be very curious to see how how that happens over
Speaker 1: time. This is one of those places where I would love to, within a sound etiquette framework, retain some of the flexibility and latitude the people have been giving each other over the course of the last year around
Speaker 2: a hint. Business partner
Speaker 2: E.
Speaker 1: I guess I'm thinking about particularly idea that within a framework of good etiquette and good business, I think that there's a real understanding that developed over the early stages of the pandemic and social distancing requirements that people were having to balance a lot of different things just to keep working in new situations.
Speaker 1: And I think that the reality is that probably a lot of life is like that and that we can take some of those lessons and apply them
Speaker 1: to the new normal and, um uh, giving each other the latitude and flexibility, the understanding that it is difficult to organize work and to make it happen and that we do our best, but that we also have that generosity of spirit around what's practical and doable for other people. And I like the idea of carrying that compassion forward even as we tighten up our expectations on ourselves for what we deliver.
Speaker 2: You've got me very much so envisioning moments you know of like just just as we said at the beginning, not everyone sort of adapting or changing, you know, to the new normal as quickly or taking their time with it. Or maybe maybe you're like, really into it the first month. But then you back off. I could just see so much like a lot of us right now. Talk about I don't have the bandwidth. I don't have the capacity. I'm not able to get done as much as I used to be able to get done, and that's been a struggle for a lot of people over the past year. And we've we've found ways to still get our work done and make things happen. But it's it's often been using up all our energy to do so. And I can imagine, as we sort of come out of this time that we've been living in, that there'll be almost like fits and starts for people or one week. You might be better at it. One week you might not be, and just that being so aware as we have been off are sort of emotional and capacity levels. I think there's gonna be a lot of empathy and sympathy that's going to still be needed in our reserves to make it through this next stage. Because you're right, it is very tempting. I think to wanna be like get back to it and, you know, full steam ahead and e think that's gonna be a little bit more of a balancing act than a just charge into the world again. You know,
Speaker 1: a Z. I sort of think broadly about this post script. The theme that emerges for me is that oftentimes in difficulty and challenges, we learn things and we find out things about ourselves that we didn't know, or we find reserves of strength or imagination or capacity that we didn't know were there
Speaker 1: and figuring out how to carry those lessons and to bring those expanded capacities that we've developed through this challenge with us. Hopefully, as those challenges abate somewhat, I think is a really worthwhile practice. I loved seeing this interacting with the future post script in the script.
Speaker 2: It is on the mind. It's on the mind, that's for sure. Well, I'm glad that you enjoyed seeing it in the script. I've We've been talking about it a lot, and I've heard from a lot of our listeners kind of little questions about the future that they're already starting to think about and prepare for. And as ever, I think, you know, equipping ourselves with with good practices of consideration, respect and honesty, and with really trying to think about the people around us as as whole people. Dan and I do that a lot with each other. I e often ask you, Dan, paint me the picture of what's going on so I can really understand. And often when you tell me Mawr than just the particular project we're working on and trying to get done. All of a sudden I start to see how your schedule fleshes out or what you're up against based on your workload, you know, And it it just does it paint such a broader perspective for me of the situation that we're both in and it's it's those kinds of listening skills and preparation skills and painting those whole pictures that I think they're gonna be be really, really good tools for us as we move into the
Speaker 1: future. Well, I'm sure we will continue to talk about partially vaccinated populations and the social requirements that that presents the ubiquity of the video call and the return toe travel on mass gatherings. And I am so looking forward to talking about all of those things in great
Speaker 2: detail,
Speaker 1: too.
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 have a salute from Murray,
Speaker 1: Dear Lizzie and Dan. I'm writing an etiquette salute about my neighbor Cali. Most of the houses in our neighborhood are owned by elderly folks, and many of them can no longer care for their yards. This becomes particularly apparent in the winter when it snows. Kali is the only one in our neighborhood with a plow on the front of his truck. He plows the whole neighborhood when it snows and makes a point of helping the older folks with their yards to. I think it's great, and I'm sure they appreciate it, too. Thanks for the podcast. Murray.
Speaker 2: Oh, Marie, I have Ah, Collie. But his name is buzzy in my neighborhood, and it's amazing. It's It is truly a gift. Anyone with a plow who decides to take the extra time or if you have a shovel and you want to go help a neighbor out. It is, that is, that is work people or end up being so grateful for.
Speaker 1: This is so nice it almost starts to cross the line in tow. Like Good Samaritan, it goes,
Speaker 2: totally does totally.
Speaker 1: It's like we're approaching where just like really great etiquette starts to be like I am a a neighbor who cares about your safety and takes care of you in in ways that air fundamentally important and sound. Marie, this is such a nice salute.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending it in. Oh, and thank you for listening and thank you to everyone who sent us something or who supports us on. Patryan.
Speaker 1: Please do connect with us. Share the show with friends, family and co workers. However you like to share podcast,
Speaker 2: you can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com By phone. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on Twitter We're at Emily Post. Install on Instagram Where at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook Were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
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Speaker 1: etiquette. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine and assistant produced by Brigitte.
Speaker 2: Thanks. Nice Christian.
Speaker 1: Bridget
Speaker 1: Oh!