Episode 360 - Coming Back Around
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 paying back generous family members, firmly defining dietary restrictions when attending parties, using ‘best regards’ when corresponding with strangers, and adequately thanking your host for giving up their bed. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about people who borrow things and don;t put them back where they belong. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript from etiquette Kindergarten.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social. Could you see that's old fashioned,
Speaker 2: Watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello!
Speaker 1: Welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 1: today's show, we take your questions on paying back generous family members, firmly defining dietary restrictions when attending parties
Speaker 1: using best regards when corresponding with strangers and adequately thinking your host for giving up their bed
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about people who borrow things and don't put them back where they belong.
Speaker 1: Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on etiquette, kindergarten.
Speaker 2: 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. I'm puja Gupta sending
Speaker 2: and I'm dan post sending and it is so good to have you on the
Speaker 1: show, this is kind of, this is, you know, so many things, I'm a little nervous, I'm excited to me too,
Speaker 1: and I'm happy that lizzie, so lizzie is on a vacation, which is why I'm here
Speaker 1: and I'm happy for her, I'm happy for her to get to get away and to be having some time off of work
Speaker 1: as much as it is fun to put on a podcast, it is also work for her.
Speaker 2: Well, let me interrupt you with a third. Me too, because I'm I also share that sentiment with
Speaker 1: you. Um should
Speaker 2: we, should we tell our awesome etiquette audience, those who weren't here two years ago when you did your last co hosting, who, the mystery woman with the same last name as me is on the, on the mic today.
Speaker 1: Oh, of course. Oh, sorry, okay. Friends. I have dan's wife, I'm dan's way by night and I'm here co hosting. I'm upstairs in the house and he's downstairs in the house to keep all of our mix and sound reverb and all those things happening smoothly.
Speaker 1: But I'm reporting to you as his wife,
Speaker 1: as a psychotherapist and hopefully etiquette quotes expert, I would not say I'm an expert, but I will do my best to try to give you a little bit, something different and just let you get to know me a little bit
Speaker 2: well pooch. I am so grateful that you are willing to be on the show today and I'm also a little bit nervous. You and I are so close to one of my favorite people in the whole world and
Speaker 2: we don't work professionally together very much. So it's sort of interesting for us to cross streams like this. And
Speaker 2: I know you co hosted before with lizzie a couple of times I think, and I've done this show with other co host, but this is the first time you and I have tested ourselves in this particular way.
Speaker 1: No, is it really? We have never done just me and you together on this.
Speaker 2: I think we've been here before, but we had lizzie asking us questions and that was that was a long time
Speaker 1: ago. Yeah, yeah, I think you're right. This is the first time.
Speaker 1: Oh, that is cool. Well there you have it, everybody. It's you're you're getting a little inner glimpse into us two together. But on in this format we hope you enjoy
Speaker 2: Well, and I've already failed one etiquette test. I asked you to introduce yourself. I mean, as the host of the show, I should probably have had an introduction prepared that.
Speaker 1: It's all good. It's all good. Everyone's in for the ride and now they know who I am. A little informality, never hurt anybody.
Speaker 2: Well in that spirit, we do have some listener questions to get to. Should we take a listen to some questions and maybe try to offer some advice to the awesome etiquette audience. Why not? Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 Or reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post inst I N S T
Speaker 1: on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute on facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media post. So we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question this week is about family finances,
Speaker 2: hi lizzie and dan or in this case pooja and dan.
Speaker 2: First off, thank you so much for what you do. I have listened to your podcast for years and love every episode. I recently introduced it to my little brother, a high schooler and he is addicted as well.
Speaker 2: My husband is one of a very large family. He has eight siblings. They are all very generous and love to get each other nice birthday and christmas gifts. However, my husband and I are both in graduate school and our budget does not allow for buying lots of really nice presence
Speaker 2: for a little while. We tried to get smaller, very thoughtful gifts. But even this is adding up to more than we feel comfortable paying.
Speaker 2: How do we tell his siblings that we are unable to participate at this level of giving?
Speaker 2: Since we can't buy 16 plus gifts a year, how do we tell them? We don't expect gifts.
Speaker 2: I hate for them to feel like we are using them and not returning the favor.
Speaker 2: All the best budgeting student,
Speaker 1: very thoughtful question, budgeting student. It makes so much sense that you're feeling a bit awkward, potentially preemptively feeling guilty for these awesome family members giving you pretty expensive gifts and not feeling and not being able to given kind
Speaker 1: and at the same time you do want to participate and you clearly intend to express your love to them.
Speaker 1: So it sounds like it's a question of how to do that well
Speaker 1: dan, what would your tips be in terms of the
Speaker 1: etiquette realm when this is a sensitive kind of question.
Speaker 1: And it's also a big change in in terms of this tradition that they're that they're taking on
Speaker 2: It really is. And in some ways I can't start this question without channeling lizzie post just a little bit
Speaker 2: because she has some gift giving advice that she loves to offer up, which is about the
Speaker 2: the assumption that many people have. The gift giving has to be reciprocal.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 2: it doesn't necessarily the idea when you give someone a gift isn't that you're going to get something of equal value in return. The idea is that you're thoughtfully giving something to someone because you care about them and you think they would like and appreciate it. And it is a natural human. And I think very good instinct to
Speaker 2: feel inspired to want to reciprocate when you're,
Speaker 2: when you get a gesture like that from someone and at the same time, it's it's not always possible or practical. And one of the worst etiquette mistakes you can make is to
Speaker 2: let that
Speaker 2: that reality impact receiving that gift well. And
Speaker 2: if this tradition somehow continues, where you're not able to participate in exactly the same way as other people,
Speaker 2: it can feel like that's an imbalance in the relationship, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. So there's a point of etiquette that's really worth bringing up early on
Speaker 2: that
Speaker 2: involves receiving gifts. Well, whether or not you're going to be able to give something of equal value in exchange.
Speaker 2: One other thing that comes up that I think can really help with that is by talking to someone ahead of time.
Speaker 2: As you acknowledged pooch, there's a tradition here that's been established and it might be something that's really significant within the family. Among the siblings are among the siblings and their parents. That this this gift exchanges are really important
Speaker 2: moment for this family in terms of how it functions to bring people together and that it's an expectation that people are aware of and you can kind of sense that in the question that this is,
Speaker 2: this is something that's happening and to excuse yourself from it or to change the way you participate in a family tradition like that is
Speaker 2: oftentimes important. So it's really important to let people know so that they're not surprised by it so that they understand what's happening and when I think about what exactly I would say to my siblings or to my parents,
Speaker 2: I think that I want to start with with that awareness that I'm, that I'm introducing something that's going to be a change for them and I want to take into account their feelings, the ways that they participate in it and
Speaker 2: I want to be sure that the way I talk about it really honors that. How am I doing pooch? How does the answer sound? Are we, are we are we on the right track? Do you think here? Does it does it sound coherent? I mean, I'm talking a lot of etiquette points, but is there a human angle that I think that, but is there a human angle that might come into play here? That that you're thinking about?
Speaker 1: Yeah, What I'm hearing is the practical. Um
Speaker 1: Well, one I'm hearing, receiving well is a task and I think it kind of is because I can imagine it feeling awkward that someone's giving you this expensive gift. I mean in fact 16 expensive gifts or 14, whatever the math is to come in your way and then not having those gifts and kind I can imagine being nervous about that.
Speaker 1: But that's really great advice. Um that lizzie points to about
Speaker 1: accepting it with grace and just being really grateful and the person who's gifting, being able to appreciate the joy that you experience from the gift and that
Speaker 1: that being enough that being the purpose, that being the intention.
Speaker 1: Um so that's cool too. I think to decouple the gift exchange as like a transaction, one person and then back to the other person
Speaker 1: and instead really be like an altruistic, I'm letting go and I the gift is in the giving as they say.
Speaker 1: So that's one part that I'm hearing. And then in terms of the practical sense that sounds like you want to be talking to people on the phone. So picking up the phone because it's a nuanced conversation and you're changing the tradition and that you want to do it
Speaker 1: not, I'm assuming not like the week of christmas, you want to do it a couple
Speaker 1: weeks a little bit advanced. It's
Speaker 2: funny you mentioned the particular date of the holiday also because another thought that had popped into my mind
Speaker 2: as I think about half measures and compromises.
Speaker 2: I'm wondering if maybe it would be possible to excuse yourself from the birthday gift giving tradition but maybe continue to participate in the annual, the holiday giving or or maybe it's a reverse of that, that you can excuse yourself from one and do the other,
Speaker 2: but that might reduce it by half.
Speaker 2: And I have been thinking about reducing the birthday presents because I think for many adults for precisely this reason people stop giving so many presidents, maybe outside of immediate family. In this particular case, it sounds like the siblings are still pretty connected in this way,
Speaker 2: but it's, it's oftentimes something that as we reach adulthood, the number of birthday presents that we expect from friends and even extended family starts to go down.
Speaker 2: Um so that might be an easier tradition to shift.
Speaker 2: Um within the family, there might even be some really appreciative people once you start to raise this as a possibility,
Speaker 1: how do you say this to have a script for budgeting student?
Speaker 2: We are definitely missing lizzie post the master example scripts. But
Speaker 2: I often times remember her good advice to say the thing that you mean. And in many ways I think that the sample script is really here in the question,
Speaker 2: how do we tell the siblings were unable to participate in this level of giving?
Speaker 2: I'm calling up to have a discussion with, oh boy, I'm already sounding way too formal,
Speaker 2: but having gotten through some basic introductory conversation,
Speaker 2: you tell them clearly and candidly that you can't
Speaker 2: realistically participate in this level of giving
Speaker 2: and discussions about money need to be candid and honest and open.
Speaker 2: It's not something you need to be ashamed about, but you can be really clear with people that this is something you've thought about and that you want to continue to participate,
Speaker 2: but
Speaker 2: this is the way that you're going to have to do it because you're working on a student budget at this point. And people are going to understand that it sounds like this families um
Speaker 2: pretty closely connected and they probably also understand the kind of situation that you're operating in and are going to be understanding about the choices that you have to make.
Speaker 1: You know, I just thought of one more thing
Speaker 1: and that is that depending on what your particular skills are, could be, that you have a little time. Could be your,
Speaker 1: you know,
Speaker 1: love to doodle and make little funny drawings
Speaker 1: and I wonder if there's a way to still participate in the gift giving in your own
Speaker 1: kind of unique offer. Even it not being even the scaled down version you had been doing prior
Speaker 1: um years ago, me and my sister did canned peaches for everybody and it was a lot of work and it was pretty fun, but people appreciated it. And I'm just thinking about
Speaker 1: so many different ways to
Speaker 1: make that phone call, make that personal connection, come through with a card with peaches with, I mean with anything you name it hot sauces. I had a client who did hot sauces for her whole family recently and they loved it.
Speaker 1: Budgeting student, I hope we helped to guide you a little bit and that this christmas is graceful and so much fun and in harmony with all the love that you clearly have between you and your family. Everybody tells me to be more thoughtful.
Speaker 1: Well
Speaker 1: I'd like to be more thoughtful.
Speaker 1: I only knew what it meant.
Speaker 1: This next question we titled seriously celiac
Speaker 1: dear etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute,
Speaker 1: I have celiac disease which is very misunderstood. It is not a wheat allergy as some assume, but rather an auto immune disease where even the consumption of a couple crumbs of something containing gluten, which is a protein found in wheat barley and rye
Speaker 1: causes my intestines to attack themselves, needless to say the effects are not pleasant. I can be really sick for days if I accidentally consume gluten. To the point where I have had take sick days.
Speaker 1: People with celiac disease have to be much more careful than people tend to assume because the amount of gluten that causes a reaction can be found in just a cracker crumb or two. On top of this, cross contamination is hugely important.
Speaker 1: We essentially have to have entirely separate cookware from things that are used to cook gluten and cannot be thoroughly washed.
Speaker 1: This includes cutting boards, crumbs can hide in the knife grooves, wooden spoons which are very porous toasters for obvious, obvious reasons, etcetera
Speaker 1: because of how seriously cross contamination needs to be taken. My husband and I keep an entirely gluten free household. However, occasionally I receive invitations to dinner parties or functions where food is served. It gets really tricky because most people do not actually understand how serious celiac diseases
Speaker 1: and some people have told me things like, oh, don't worry, I know all about gluten free, I was gluten free for a year or my mom actually lost a bunch of weight on a gluten free diet, so I have gluten free pasta at home.
Speaker 1: The problem is that because gluten free diets are so synonymous with the fad that many people have tried at some point. The general public has no idea how serious the cross contamination is for people who actually have celiac disease. I frankly do not feel comfortable eating at someone else's house
Speaker 1: unless someone in their household has the disorder
Speaker 1: or they have a gluten free kitchen. For some other reason,
Speaker 1: luckily for me it's heritable. So this usually isn't a problem for my big family dinners and reunions. However, I have had friends become offended that I don't trust them to cook something that is not just gluten free in the sense that it doesn't contain gluten but also is prepared in a safe way
Speaker 1: on top of that many common ingredients that many people don't think about contain gluten, such as soy sauce, malt or even normally safe ingredients bought in bulk from a section where cross contamination has occurred.
Speaker 1: The problem is that unless someone has certain separate cooking equipment, there is a good chance they would be effectively poisoning me and I would at the very least spend the next 48 hours or so with a terrible stomach ache.
Speaker 1: The effects are just not worth it to me and it's really bad for my health. Besides that,
Speaker 1: I know people mean well and are extending a generous offer, but celiac disease isn't like when someone is allergic to zucchini, but we'll be fine as long as you don't cook any zucchini for dinner.
Speaker 1: Do you have any ideas or sample scripts for how to graciously but firmly decline an invitation to eat at someone's house when you know it won't be safe for you?
Speaker 1: I often feel like I'm hurting someone's feelings by declining even as I explained cross contamination, I'm always as quite as possible, but I think the message people sometimes they're getting is that I'm using it as an excuse pretending that it's more serious than it is or that I'm just plain insulting them by implying they wouldn't cook a meal that was safe for me to eat.
Speaker 1: Sometimes I'm able to just suggest they come to my house for dinner or that we go to a restaurant, I'm able to eat it instead, but other times people seem genuinely excited to share their cooking with me or it's a specific event that is being hosted at a specific place.
Speaker 1: Thank you for all that you do. I love your podcast and can't wait to read the much teased book. Seriously, celiac,
Speaker 2: Seriously, celiac, thank you so much for the question
Speaker 2: and also thank you so much for your enthusiasm about the coming book. I'm glad that lizzie and my constant talking about it hasn't um just sent everyone running for the hills at this point, but that there is some actual enthusiasm for it. That is that is really nice to hear.
Speaker 2: One thing that comes to mind right off the bat when I read
Speaker 2: or heard pooja reading this question is that I
Speaker 2: I'm just really glad that you wrote with such detail about what it is that you deal with as someone with celiac in terms of the amount of care that it takes to really prepare food in a way that's safe
Speaker 2: and ultimately
Speaker 2: safety supersedes etiquette. It has to um
Speaker 2: be the playing field that we play, the etiquette game on, and it sets the rules and the boundaries that we operate within. And for you, those boundaries are really defined and they're really clear.
Speaker 2: And that's important to know because that's going to determine everything else that follows. And as you point out in your question, there is a lot of confusion around this for people because that gluten free diet was so popular and because it serves an entirely different purpose than a
Speaker 2: gluten or wheat free diet serves for someone with the L A. X. And
Speaker 2: that's a really important distinction to understand. We have talked about it on this show a number of times and it's usually from the perspective of the person who's got a gluten free diet, who's talking to a host about
Speaker 2: their dietary restrictions.
Speaker 2: And one of the pieces of advice that we offer
Speaker 2: comes from that core principle of etiquette honesty. That it's really important to acknowledge when your dietary restriction is a preference or a choice versus something that's a real safety issue.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 2: that line is something that's not always clear for people. And one of the jokes that we tell on this show often is there's allergic to cats and then there's allergic to cats. There are some people who
Speaker 2: a little cat dander cat here
Speaker 2: can cause an anaphylactic response where breathing really becomes difficult or you get hives and
Speaker 2: for other people, it's an icky feeling and a sense that maybe they're getting kind of itchy because the space isn't clean and they're really different things and what you're describing are two really different things like gluten free diet, a diet that's for someone who's got celiac disease
Speaker 1: dan. I love that. I love that clarity of the fact that the it sounds like the problematic area in this communication
Speaker 1: is that it's really confusing for people when they hear gluten free and it sounds you, you wrote it down here seriously, celiac. I'm just looking back here. They think that you're using it as an excuse pretending that it's more serious than it is or that you're just insulting them by implying they wouldn't cook a meal that's safe for me. So either way in those scenarios, you're already a loss at a loss and you know, you're really sounds like again, well intended trying to communicate you want to attend, let's figure out how you come to my house. We do a restaurant,
Speaker 1: you know, the last thing you want to do is send that you're not a good cook. I don't think that you, I don't trust you so I love that dan, you made that specificity of even give an example.
Speaker 1: So if I've had the situation before where I eat up to crumbs, no joke, you would think this is, but it's, it's totally my reality and it is tough. I had to crumbs of bread from someone's kitchen and I couldn't go to work for like two days afterwards, I was in pain.
Speaker 1: It's a hard,
Speaker 1: it's a hard situation for me. So I want to put that out there as I'm talking to you about this awesome invitation given me, I want to connect with you, but I have this situation. It is, it's celiac, you know, it's not gluten intolerance or gluten free gluten free diet, but it's a real disease that I, you know, kind of work around pretty much all the time. So
Speaker 1: how can we connect, How can we still hang out and um I want to see you, I want to see your family, your kids, but I got to work around this, this, my celiac, So yeah, let's let's communicate, let's figure this out. Planning was I love that you're trying to figure this out because it sounds like this comes up all the time for you.
Speaker 2: Sharing food together is one of the most important
Speaker 2: social activities we participate in and I think you're right pooch that it's something that
Speaker 2: is really important. It's important in a lot of relationships and you've already in your sample script, opened up for more possibility around that connection than than I was thinking of in a really, really
Speaker 2: dictionary sort of reduced version of that sample script. And I,
Speaker 2: I like the way you're approaching it, the one place where I heard a little bit of a hang up and it's one thing I always notice in myself, when I'm testing out a sample script lizzie and I'll often start with one and I'll get halfway through and say, boy, this really isn't gonna work, there's no way to do this. Well, you got up to the point where it was the thing that was going to be the block.
Speaker 2: I I felt like the sample script was working really well to
Speaker 2: in a much more conversational approach
Speaker 1: laid out. Tell me exactly what I
Speaker 2: know that you would change. The tone was right. The discussion of the way celiac disease functions
Speaker 2: was all really good.
Speaker 2: The point that I really hinged on is the thing that you're saying no to because there might be ways that you can eat together, ways to accept invitations, but
Speaker 2: it's food prepared in kitchens that aren't
Speaker 2: set up to produce food in a very specific way. And I think you could really focus on that detail as the point of the explanation. That's significant because it's not about someone's willingness to work hard or the menu that they'd put together or the food that they buy, but the reality that without experience cleaning a kitchen in a certain way, in a kitchen, maybe even that has certain kinds of surfaces that are clean able in certain ways,
Speaker 2: that it's just not possible. So that becomes the parameter and when you're
Speaker 2: accepting or declining, you can just start from that place. If this person has experienced preparing food in a certain way, in a kitchen that can do it,
Speaker 2: then I have the option of saying yes, and if not, I'm going to just be saying no, and we're gonna work around that detail. But I think that's the specific piece of information that I was looking for
Speaker 2: as the thing that you're declining ultimately. Because, as you say, you're not declining the spirit of the invitation, The desire to share food together. The, the desire for someone to host you, you might be able to say yes to invitations that involve
Speaker 2: events where you want to participate, but you just won't be eating the food.
Speaker 2: And I liked the way you set up your whole sample script because I think it would allow for you to negotiate things that aren't usually negotiated. Like I would love to come to your dinner party, but maybe I won't be eating anything at the dinner party
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 2: that's, that's trickier to negotiate etiquette wise. But I think the way you set it up, it becomes a possibility when you also really identify what it is. You can say yes and no to
Speaker 1: that makes so much sense, dan. That is the specific detail. It's that kitchen being celiac disease friendly or
Speaker 1: yeah, maybe celiac friendly kitchen
Speaker 2: pooch. I also have to offer up just my version of the sample script. It was much shorter because I was imagining the specific response to an invitation
Speaker 2: and I was thinking that from a guest perspective, you've just got to R. S. V. P. You've got to respond and it's okay to say no. So to me by sample decline sounded like thank you so much for the invitation. I regretfully have to decline but hope that we can connect in the near future.
Speaker 2: Very simple, very clean if you don't want to get into all of your reasonings, but definitely gives you the opportunity to reply to that invitation, which is so important.
Speaker 1: Seriously, celiac. This makes sense. You're calling yourself seriously celiac.
Speaker 1: I love that you're taking this seriously because it's safety and safety trumps etiquette. And I hope with a sample script and a little bit of confidence from us that you will be able to
Speaker 1: still connect and also um
Speaker 1: Not offend people and not have a stomach ache for 40 hours because that does not sound like the answer. Best of Luck.
Speaker 1: There's something we all enjoy about staying for dinner. You ever thought why it's because eating with others, it's fun.
Speaker 1: People like to come together at mealtimes,
Speaker 1: enjoy each other's company while they're enjoying good food.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled is Best regards Really Best.
Speaker 2: Hello. I enjoy listening to your podcast as I work and have often shared many topics with coworkers over lunch.
Speaker 2: A question has come up concerning the use of the term best regards in professional emails. I have always thought that sending someone regards implies that you are sending them well wishes and letting them know that you are thinking of them.
Speaker 2: This seems disingenuous for communication between relative strangers
Speaker 2: but is so common that I now feel as though the sentiment has been sterilized. It seems as though it is now very formal and is one of those phrases we use without thinking.
Speaker 2: That brings me to its use among those with whom we are friends and are closely acquainted with. A friend of mine has used the term, give my regards to mother, family, husband, etcetera,
Speaker 2: both in face to face interactions and in writing
Speaker 2: because of my association with this term in a formal business context, it feels cold and dismissive when coming from a friend in a social context,
Speaker 2: it can almost feel like a soft, bless your heart. I'm from Virginia by the way.
Speaker 2: Usually one would ask, oh, how is your family? Please tell so. And so hello,
Speaker 2: am I correct in assuming that this person is establishing a new boundary and now considers me more of an acquaintance than a friend
Speaker 2: for context. We grew up together, our families, our close and we are both now married with our own families and see each other during holidays.
Speaker 2: My husband and I sent a wedding gift and didn't receive a thank you and christmas cards and greetings have gone unacknowledged.
Speaker 2: Perhaps the dynamic has changed for him,
Speaker 2: My instinct says to leave it alone and to stop trying to reach out
Speaker 2: thoughts.
Speaker 2: And is there an alternative to the use of best regards? Both formally and in more familiar communications? Best regards truly? Ashley
Speaker 1: Ashley. I think this is a great subtle question you're asking sounds like in two fronts, in the formal business sense and then also in personal communication.
Speaker 1: I think it's a great question you ask at the end. Is there an alternative word or words for best regards in the business sense? Because I think that you're on to something there that the meaning of the words Best regards extends past what most people intend in their communication and work setting?
Speaker 2: Absolutely.
Speaker 1: Do you have any initial thoughts stand as to what might be the
Speaker 1: alternative business phrase you would use at the end of an email?
Speaker 2: I think about this more often than a person should be allowed to think about this.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 2: the hierarchy, sort of, the formal closing hierarchy starts with sincerely. And if you think about it sincerely probably rings
Speaker 2: even more formal in some ways than best regards. And it's interesting to be thinking of best regards as a very formal option because
Speaker 2: it's a step down from that sincerely and was
Speaker 2: sort of, I think, struck upon as uh as an alternative to sincerely when people were feeling about sincerely the way we might now be feeling about best regards.
Speaker 1: I wonder if we're generally moving towards informality. Is that the case in business communication?
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And if we were to continue to descend down the scale of formality for closings, probably below best regards comes all the best
Speaker 2: and it really goes probably sincerely regards best regards all the best Best. If I was sort of giving my standard,
Speaker 2: let's stair, step down through formal closings.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 2: there's no question that in many ways sincerely really means for me, truly.
Speaker 2: But yet in its formal context, it doesn't have that, that same feeling of warmth that it does in other, in other situations, when you use it at the end of a thank you note, and it's written in your own hand, I think it might start to evoke that a little more,
Speaker 1: but in a business sense, you're like, dude, I don't know, you sincerely sounds like way beyond what we are. Absolutely. And I think
Speaker 2: you appropriately call it a really subtle question because it actually is really looking at the subtleties there. She's looking at the subtleties in the ways formality
Speaker 2: informs our communications. So
Speaker 2: I would just say almost sort of a gold star in terms of the way you and your colleagues are thinking about it. And I would think about that scale of formality as some different options that you could notch up a little more formal with sincerely, but you could also notch it down a little bit, within all the best or best.
Speaker 2: And I also think it works in in the context, in the way that actually is talking about using it professionally.
Speaker 2: I'm really fascinated in the way that transitions into the social world.
Speaker 1: Absolutely.
Speaker 2: Because it's taken on that kind of context
Speaker 2: in a world of email communication. That hearing it from a friend raises this question in your mind, are they trying to introduce some distance in this relationship?
Speaker 1: It's hard to tell for me because I give my regards to, I've heard that as well socially and I totally get it sounds more formal
Speaker 1: and for me it doesn't ring true to, okay, this guarantees me that the person
Speaker 1: is wanting to distance themselves.
Speaker 1: I hear what you're saying, Ashley, you've also got these other kind of variables happening that you sent the wedding gift, you didn't receive the thank you. I wonder, I mean, again, that could be, they didn't send anybody thank you. They're logged up and with other two DUIs and the thank you cards are sitting in the basement
Speaker 1: or maybe it is something I don't know, I wouldn't, that wouldn't be a red flag for me,
Speaker 1: christmas cards and greetings have gone unacknowledged.
Speaker 1: I wonder if there may be embarrassed that they didn't send christmas cards or rather thank you cards and so they don't want to bring up. Oh, thank you so much for that gift because they may feel awkward about it. I'm giving these friends if you are some latitude because I don't
Speaker 1: no, none of these actions seem like they're red flags. That okay, this means that they aren't interested in being my friends.
Speaker 1: They still spend time with you. It sounds like annually
Speaker 1: and their behavior hasn't changed. They've kind of been consistent and they're not sending thank you cards.
Speaker 1: I wonder so some people just don't do thank you cards or maybe like the last couple of questions ago, maybe they feel awkward about not having also sent you thank you cards because that's just what they don't do, that's that they don't do it.
Speaker 1: And I also want to say it is interesting that your instinct says leave alone, stop trying to reach out. I might ask my husband and kind of be like, what's your read on this in case he knows, in case he's picked up on any other social cues in there.
Speaker 1: But for the moment I would just still reach out the way that I felt comfortable to
Speaker 1: whether that meant christmas cards and greetings
Speaker 1: and still make plans with them. That's my kind of read dan. Would you add anything to that or change anything altogether
Speaker 2: pooch? I agree. I, I wouldn't necessarily interpret this as someone trying to send you a message as I was reading. It. Was. Thinking about how at times in my life I've played with using more formal language myself and I've always thought that I could imbue it with enough warmth and humanity that it wouldn't sound off
Speaker 2: putting or distant and I would give the same sort of latitude to someone who was, who was trying out something like that with me socially when you combine it with some of those other etiquette infractions, I think that one thing that's really interesting to me is the way that starts to create an impression for someone
Speaker 2: that maybe these people aren't as invested in the relationship or want to introduce some distance into it.
Speaker 2: And like you, I think there are lots of
Speaker 2: explanations that aren't from that don't come from that place that aren't motivated by that sort of thinking
Speaker 2: and at the same time that impression is created. And I think that you're really wise and emotionally coherent to say try not to let that impression impact where you're coming from.
Speaker 2: If you feel good sending those christmas cards, send those christmas cards if your instinct is to reach out and touch base when you're
Speaker 2: home visiting or you're both around, I think that you should continue to go for that.
Speaker 2: Ashleigh, thank you for a really thoughtful question. Please give our best to your co workers. I hope that the podcast continues to be good fodder for that lunch table discussion and I also hope that your relationship is able to continue with this person and that you're able to find a way to communicate with them. That makes sense to both of you.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled a budget bed and Breakfast in our listener writes, hi awesome etiquette team. I will be visiting a friend out of state soon who I haven't seen in some time.
Speaker 1: She has been kind enough to offer her bed to me and my son while she sleeps on the couch.
Speaker 1: I am saving a lot of money by not staying in a hotel and quite frankly would not be able to afford this vacation if I had to get a hotel. So my question is, what is an adequate way to repay a host who gives up their bed? A dinner a few dinners? I don't want her to feel like we have invaded her space without properly repaying her
Speaker 1: the best we can.
Speaker 1: Thanks Lillian.
Speaker 2: Oh, lily! What a great question. And what a great friend.
Speaker 2: That's just awesome. It is absolutely not necessary for a host to give up their own bed almost ever. And yet sometimes it really does make sense. And when a host does it, it can really make a visit. And I think that's a really, really kind gesture and it's really kind of you
Speaker 2: to recognize um
Speaker 2: that your host is doing that for you and for to inspire you to want to do a little bit more for them.
Speaker 1: I love how friendly and generous your host is, this friend of yours and that you guys get to connect after not seeing each other after some time. I'm imagining what the pandemic. There are so many people
Speaker 1: that are coming together. I know myself, I just stated a friends recently and you know that's the whole dance is how do I be a good guess. So I'm hearing that Lillian from you. It sounds like it's important
Speaker 1: and some ideas that come to mind are offering her maybe a little gift from your hometown, something unique and special.
Speaker 1: Another idea is to take her out to dinner. I've even had um friends pay for groceries. I thought that was really practical and easy when they were staying at my house
Speaker 1: and I'm imagining if you guys go do something for the day, cover your friend for that event, even if it's maybe a little more that could show, that could show them how much you care
Speaker 1: and definitely when you're heading out the door, give the verbal thank you If you're a hugger into the hug
Speaker 1: and afterwards send a written thank you note because that really lands and the person has something to hold onto and remember that great visit.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. That is some house guest, one oh 1123 Show up with something in hand.
Speaker 2: Such good advice to think of that as to bring a little something from where you're coming from
Speaker 2: doing a dinner or something over the course of the trip itself. And then that follow up note, I love the way you've mapped this out, Bhuj
Speaker 2: 123 before, during after. Those are the standard marks to hit and
Speaker 2: really
Speaker 2: they work to deliver that banks that Lillian's really wanting to deliver here,
Speaker 1: awesome dan. That's such a succinct way of putting that together and an easy way to remember. 123 Okay,
Speaker 1: Best houseguest, 101 Lillian. We hope we've given you some, some good tools to feel confident and have a wonderful trip. How do you go about being thoughtful? What do you do
Speaker 1: every time I try, I only make things worse.
Speaker 1: Is there some particular method of being thoughtful that works every time?
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com, fax. Oops, consider if you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com forward slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You'll get an ads, free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing that that you help to keep awesome etiquette on the air and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you for your support.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover today. We have feedback from Lisa on a question and episode 342 about feeling down when seeing others accepting job offers and not yet having one of your own
Speaker 1: Hi lizzie and dan. I wanted to share an idea with anonymous, a law student who is struggling with job searching and find social media posts from her peers about their job searching success to be demoralizing. I'm a seasoned attorney. I remember how difficult it is to find jobs in the legal field
Speaker 1: as a law student or new attorney.
Speaker 1: My suggestion is to turn these posts into a networking opportunity because networking is everything in the legal field. When you see a post about, appears new job, write a heartfelt note or email of congratulations to that person.
Speaker 1: You can conclude your note with a mention that you are still searching and would appreciate if your peer could let you know about any job opportunities they learn about
Speaker 1: this contact could end up helping you find a position. But even if it doesn't, it's always good to spread positivity in the world, which is sure to come back to you. Best of luck and I hope you enjoy the legal field as much as I have lisa
Speaker 2: lisa. Thank you so much for the feedback you're reminding me of one of my favorite pieces of etiquette advice, which is to send thank you notes when you don't get a job that you've interviewed for.
Speaker 2: It really is remarkable how much can come from being supportive of other people through our own ups and downs. And that oftentimes that's where we make those connections that end up being so, so, so important to us. Thank you for the feedback. Thank
Speaker 1: you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com.
Speaker 1: Or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8 028585463.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette. And today we're going back to etiquette kindergarten with the reading from Emily Post's 1922 edition of etiquette
Speaker 2: as lizzie Post and I were writing the 20th edition of Emily Post etiquette. We spent so much time rewriting the section that described how to eat with a knife and fork and I thought it might be fun to return to what Emily Post called etiquette kindergarten. This is how she tackled the topic in an appendix to her
Speaker 2: 1922 edition of etiquette.
Speaker 2: The section on the proper use of the fork begins
Speaker 2: as soon. Therefore, as his hand is dextrous enough, the child must be taught to hold his fork no longer gripped baby fashion in his fist, but much as a pencil is held in writing, only the fingers are placed near the top than the point,
Speaker 2: the thumb and the two first fingers are closed around the handle, two thirds of the way up the shank, and the food is taken up shovel wise on the turned up prongs.
Speaker 2: At first his little fingers will hold his fork stiffly, but as he grows older his fingers will become more flexible, just as they will in holding his pencil.
Speaker 2: If he finds it hard work to shovel his food he can. For a while I continue to use his nursery pusher
Speaker 2: by and by. The pushers changed for a small piece of bread which is held in his left hand and between thumb and first two fingers, and against which the forks shovels up. Such elusive articles as corn, peas, poached egg, et cetera.
Speaker 2: The spoon
Speaker 2: in using the spoon, he holds it in his right hand like the fork in eating cereal or desert. He may be allowed to dip the bowl of the spoon toward him and eat from the end.
Speaker 2: But an eating soup he must dipped his spoon away from him, turning the outer rim of the bowl down as he does so
Speaker 2: fill the bull not more than three quarters full and sip it without noise out of the side, not the end of the bowl.
Speaker 2: The reason why the bull must not be filled full is because it is impossible to lift a brimming spoonful of liquid to his mouth without spilling some,
Speaker 2: or in the case of porridge, without filling his mouth too full
Speaker 2: while still very young. He may be taught never to leave the spoon in a cup while drinking out of it,
Speaker 2: but after stirring the cocoa or whatever it is to lay the spoon in the saucer,
Speaker 2: a very ugly table habit, which seems to be an impulse among all Children, is to pile up a great quantity of food on a fork and then lick or bite it off piecemeal.
Speaker 2: This must, on no account be permitted.
Speaker 2: It is perfectly correct, however, to take a little at a time of hot liquid from a spoon,
Speaker 2: in taking any liquid either from a spoon or drinking vessel, no noise must ever be made.
Speaker 2: This was the part that I was particularly interested in the fork
Speaker 2: and knife together.
Speaker 2: In being taught to use his knife. The child should at first cut only something very easy, such as a slice of chicken. He should not attempt anything with bones or gristle or anything that is tough
Speaker 2: in his left hand has put his fork with the prongs downward held near the top of the handle.
Speaker 2: His index finger is placed on the shank so that it points to the prongs and is supported at the side by his thumb.
Speaker 2: His other fingers close underneath and hold the handle tight.
Speaker 2: He must never be allowed to hold his fork. Child fashion perpendicular early, clutched in the clenched fist and two saw across the food at its base. With his knife
Speaker 2: we finished with the knife.
Speaker 2: The knife is held in his right hand exactly as the fork is held in his left firmly, and at the end of the handle with the index finger pointed down the back of the blade.
Speaker 2: In cutting he should learn not to scrape the back of the prongs with the cutting edge of the knife. Having cut off a mouthful, he thrust the fork through it with prongs pointed downward and conveys it to his mouth with his left hand. He must learn to cut off and eat one mouthful at a time.
Speaker 1: Who, that is speaking of? one mouthful. That is a mouthful. To be able to communicate
Speaker 1: that level of specificity about our hands, using tools to eat that you must have felt some kind of kingship with, with Emily.
Speaker 2: Oh, my goodness! You
Speaker 1: & Lizzie. At one
Speaker 2: point, lizzie discovered a word, I think it was para cule
Speaker 2: that describes the part of the hand where the thumb and the finger meet, and there's that sort of meaty pad
Speaker 2: on the back of the hand, there's a name for it and we needed to know it.
Speaker 1: That's wild.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much for bearing with me through a return to etiquette kindergarten. I certainly enjoy returning to the 22 edition of etiquette, particularly having just gotten this latest edition completed.
Speaker 1: Well, that's my first trip through etiquette kin *** and and I've learned a new word. Thank you for the reading.
Speaker 1: Up until this minute. Betty has been confident that a person should butter his vegetables with his knife. But now that Betty sees Floyd buttering his with his fork, she isn't certain she wishes she did. No, definitely.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 2: 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 and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from Janet.
Speaker 1: Hello, I would like to send an etiquette salute out from my landlord.
Speaker 1: This year has been very trying for me financially. I made a big move, had to take out some loans and now I have to pay some unexpected medical bills and there are more coming. Most landlords want all of your rent money at the start of the month.
Speaker 1: But mine has been kind enough to understand that it is difficult for me to budget that way.
Speaker 1: After I communicated my situation, he was kind enough to let me split my payment in half and paid twice a month.
Speaker 1: This helps me pay my other bills on time and I really appreciate his generosity,
Speaker 1: cheers,
Speaker 2: cheers and thank you for the salute. Oftentimes we hear about little things that make a big difference in people's lives and this sounds like a big thing that is really making a difference for you and it's good to hear that there are people out there taking care of each other.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much for this salute.
Speaker 2: Mhm
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: thank you for listening
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon,
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers and on social media.
Speaker 2: You can send us questions feedback or your next salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: 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. Please
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Speaker 1: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app and please consider leaving us a review. It helps our show ranking, which helps more people find awesome Connecticut.
Speaker 2: Our show was edited by chris Albertine and assistant produced by Brigitte. Dow. Thanks
Speaker 1: chris.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Yeah.