Episode 385 - No Problem
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 using the phrase ‘no problem’ instead of ‘you’re welcome', inviting the wedding photographer to a post-celebration dinner, people who ask for favors when you’re not that close, and addressing someone who has multiple distinguished titles. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about going back on an offer to host due to COVID-19 changes. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on happieness.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness
Speaker 1: and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 2: where we explore
Speaker 1: modern etiquette through the
Speaker 2: lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on using the phrase No problem. Instead of you're welcome, inviting the wedding photographer to a post celebration dinner
Speaker 1: people who ask for favors when you're not that close and addressing someone who has multiple distinguished titles
Speaker 2: For awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about going back on an offer to host a baby shower due to COVID-19 surges
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on happiness and where to find it all. That's 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 dan post Senning and I'm
Speaker 2: lizzie post,
Speaker 1: how's it going?
Speaker 2: Oh it's going, it's a, it's a Wednesday hump day, middle of the week day, we've got another podcast to record this afternoon.
Speaker 2: I'm hoping we're gonna find some salutes between now and friday when the next one is to
Speaker 1: Record you forgot to mention it's -5°.
Speaker 2: Is it minus five degrees where you are? It is not minus five degrees where I am because that's probably why I didn't mention it. It's hold on, it's coming 22 degrees and cloudy in Burlington right now.
Speaker 1: Alright, so we're probably up from the -5 this morning if you're if you're at 22 there's no way I'm at -5, but it feels that way.
Speaker 2: There you go. There you go. No, it is cold, it is january in Vermont, I'm a fan of looking outside and seeing all that snow, but I'm also not a fan of having to walk outside to do anything right now. I'll tell you that,
Speaker 1: you know, lizzie post, it's been so cold here that we haven't been taking the girls outside every day, the way that we usually do,
Speaker 2: I feel like that just burst a bubble in the ideal Vermont life, like, like aren't we all supposed to go like we're supposed to just bundle up and love it. Right, Right, right.
Speaker 1: And you tell yourself you're like, we're all hearty and hale and we've got you know, the appropriate layers of outdoor clothing. But
Speaker 1: boy, the fire is so warm and that moment when you come through the door and the temperature is it's just it feels cozy all around you,
Speaker 1: it's hard to escape that stay
Speaker 2: in that Exactly.
Speaker 1: But there have been some, shall we call them etiquette side effects to this close quarters living that we've been doing.
Speaker 2: I don't know you're asking it with a question, I want to, I want to hear more to give an answer.
Speaker 1: I'm bringing it up in our intro because it's an etiquette
Speaker 1: question that has emerged in my life
Speaker 1: a present way almost every day and it's something we've touched on on the show. But it's new enough that I don't feel totally confident what I'm teaching my daughters. I feel like I'm making up etiquette as I go along,
Speaker 1: here's the situation
Speaker 2: just with that setup because I'm just gonna like, I'm like so curious as to what's coming next.
Speaker 1: Okay, so me too, because what's coming next is that my daughters have learned how to ask things of Alexa
Speaker 1: and in particular, they've figured out that we have a pretty comprehensive music library attached to that voice command, Alexa, would you please play
Speaker 1: say anything you want?
Speaker 1: And it started off when Anisha learned a song about gummy bears at her daycare and came home and asked Alexa to play the gummy bear song. I'm so sorry if there any parents out there that haven't been exposed yet and are about to face this in their own lives. But
Speaker 1: Alexa knew what she was talking about and we started listening to that a lot. And the first question that came up was how many times in a row is it okay to ask Alexa to play a song around other people
Speaker 2: the old the toddlers like to put things on repeat.
Speaker 1: That was just the beginning because
Speaker 1: as the list of things that each member of the family really likes has grown longer and longer. We now have a situation where both girls are interrupting each other's favorite songs to play their
Speaker 2: songs play their own the control of the clicker is now the control of the voice command
Speaker 1: and we'll
Speaker 2: forget that
Speaker 1: it's even there until data decides to listen to something that he maybe likes to listen to calmly in the background while making dinner.
Speaker 1: And just that action will inspire interest in the whole thing and then they come and they're ready to go. So now we're having the discussion about what's interrupting
Speaker 2: something you're listening to in the background during dinner, that's gone out the window at this point.
Speaker 1: Or even whether we might let someone enjoy that for like a half hour while they're cooking dinner or something like that. Right. Right. Right.
Speaker 1: Who is in charge of Alexa. How many songs is okay, What does taking turns really mean?
Speaker 1: Is it okay for dad to shut off the microphone when he decides that he's going to exercise that control Alexa etiquette is very much on my mind these days.
Speaker 2: Alive in the sending household. I I'm surprised that you qualified all of this as like, I don't feel like an expert in this only because
Speaker 2: We've got a pretty nice section in the 20th edition about using smart speakers and things like that.
Speaker 2: But I will say, I think we did talk about the issue of you don't just kind of like take control when someone is in the middle of listening to something. I think we got that, but I do not think we covered the toddler version of things being on repeat
Speaker 2: and that kid influence that could and and adults will do it too with certain songs and things like that, I'm sure.
Speaker 2: But I don't think we covered that angle in the book. So maybe we'll have to get up a web article this week on Alexa behaviors for or smart speaker behaviors for family households.
Speaker 1: What's the difference between Alexa doing your homework and helping you with your homework?
Speaker 2: Well that's a whole different one. You're not even in that one yet. Don't let your kids grow up too fast in your mind
Speaker 1: there.
Speaker 1: She knows the answers to all the math
Speaker 2: problems
Speaker 1: and you're right because we did and I'm glad we did pay some attention. I think some good attention to voice command
Speaker 1: devices in the 20th edition. I think it's one of the areas where
Speaker 1: I think that we were thinking about it.
Speaker 1: I just didn't realize frankly all the permutations and how present it was going to be in my own life so quickly.
Speaker 2: I gotta say I'm still a big fan of my device which arrived when they started being a sponsor for our podcast and they are no longer. But I kept the device and I've really enjoyed having it
Speaker 1: so much better than a clapper.
Speaker 1: Well, because I could keep on posing questions and talking about my difficulties with Alexa, but I don't think we're going to solve all this during our intro.
Speaker 2: Probably not. And it might be worthwhile to get to some of our listener questions.
Speaker 1: I think we should. Let's do it
Speaker 1: awesome
Speaker 2: etiquette is here to answer your questions and right now as we pre record we need as many of your questions as we can possibly get. So please email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I N. D.
Speaker 2: That's 8028585463. Or you can find us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post. That's I. M. S. T. On instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook or 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 this week asks is there a problem with? No problem.
Speaker 1: Hello, what is your opinion on the use of the phrase? No problem. When one says this in response to a request or as a reply for someone saying thank you. I look forward to listening to your podcast in 2022 sincerely Alison
Speaker 2: Allison, thank you so much for the question I like that, that it's our opinion is being asked for and so my thoughts are on. No problem is that there isn't a big problem with. No problem. However, I know some people have a problem with. No problem and therefore it's one that I know to stay away from in more formal situations
Speaker 2: or with people who I know don't appreciate the phrase. No problem. But
Speaker 2: the idea is that for people who don't like the phrase is that it would have or could have been a problem. That thing that you asked someone to do. I don't love trying to assume the negative and the worst and everything that I hear. So when I hear no problem,
Speaker 2: I think the other person is trying to let me know, this was easy for them to do.
Speaker 2: Like it was lots of different phrases come to mind. Um, but I think that the idea of it is that it's just trying to convey that you are happy to, it was easy for you to do that quite literally, this wasn't a problem. No problem.
Speaker 2: I, I don't see a huge problem with. No problem,
Speaker 2: wow.
Speaker 1: It's certainly no problem.
Speaker 2: I was going to add on to it that a lot of different languages have variations on this, you know, um, de nada, like it was nothing, it probably wasn't nothing. But you're just trying to say it was no biggie. I could do this easily, you know,
Speaker 2: dan, what are your thoughts on? No problem. Do you think it's a problem? Do you know, other people who think it's a problem?
Speaker 1: I don't think it's a problem. And I caution people against using it all the time. I like to warn against it becoming the habitual response that's your default. That's the one you go to all the time precisely because it's imprecise and that it doesn't always convey
Speaker 1: exactly what you mean it to convey or everything that you wanted to convey.
Speaker 2: I like the everything there quite a bit. I like the everything there because
Speaker 1: Exactly. Because as you say,
Speaker 1: a lot of languages have a construction related to this or similar to this and the idea of it didn't cost me a lot. It wasn't difficult for me are are all
Speaker 1: very easy ways to say to someone. I didn't mind doing it or it wasn't a big ask. The the flip side that I like the way you brought it up is that it's not always about, it wasn't a big deal for me. Sometimes it's about receiving someone's thanks or acknowledging something maybe was a bit of a cost for you, but you actually
Speaker 1: still didn't mind doing it or that you enjoy doing it or would do it for them again, even though it was a bit of an ask
Speaker 1: that you don't always need to minimize what it was that you did or approach it from the perspective of it, potentially being negative that
Speaker 1: sometimes receiving things
Speaker 1: well is important. And sometimes
Speaker 1: it's just nice. It's a it's
Speaker 2: a totally
Speaker 1: it's just nice and I don't want to say better because I don't think it's qualitatively better,
Speaker 1: but
Speaker 1: having options so that you've got a full range of expression is is what I want to encourage generally. So there's no problem with. No problem. Just don't make it. The only thing that you say and and and all of us fall into those. I like it. Okay, I'll stop talking now.
Speaker 2: Sorry. Oh boy,
Speaker 2: what do you think are some phrases that you might turn to as alternatives if you were choosing
Speaker 2: to try to to get away from saying no problem or choosing to try to say something else just in
Speaker 1: general, I was happy to,
Speaker 2: that's one of my favorites. I was happy to do it.
Speaker 1: I was happy to
Speaker 2: do it. My pleasure is like another pleasure
Speaker 1: For you, anything for you. I'd do it again 100 times. Get creative with it again. It's nothing wrong with having a thing that you say. It can be fun to try to branch out and
Speaker 1: and try some different things as well and to try some positive things to try some things that are really affirming and that are encouraging and that are acknowledging of the good things that happen around us.
Speaker 2: There's also the classic
Speaker 2: that you hear us advocate on this show for all the time and that is just simply you're welcome or maybe if you want to soften the you're welcome. We've talked about the potential arrogance of you're welcome to something like
Speaker 2: you're most welcome or something like you're happy, happy to have people do that as well. But you're welcome would be another thing that's easy to slide in here. Um In terms of a phrase
Speaker 1: to turn to, it's a good reminder of the post. I really like your welcome as well and I like to give myself the,
Speaker 1: I don't wanna say credit again but didn't give myself the allowance that I can say it in a way that won't sound stilted, that it'll sound warm and welcoming.
Speaker 2: Totally, totally Allison, Thank you so much for giving us a chance to ponder. No problem. And we hope that our opinions and answers help you decide how to use this particular phrase.
Speaker 2: Matters are important in helping people get along together. You'll never be happy with others until you learn to be considerate of them get along. Alright. Do you mickey? I wonder
Speaker 2: our next question is titled rental responsibilities. Hi lizzie and dan. What's a good sample script to set boundaries in this particular situation?
Speaker 2: My neighboring house is a rental property. And recently the landlord texted me at 6:30 a.m. To ask if I can flush his tankless water heater that day.
Speaker 2: His last tenants just moved out. So he's putting in a bunch of maintenance work.
Speaker 2: He referenced his last tenants had told him the landlord that I had the tools to perform the flush.
Speaker 2: I'll ignore the 6:30 AM text which is super early and we're not that close where I would respond to a text from him at that hour.
Speaker 2: My concern is his presumption that I would maintain his water heater on his rental.
Speaker 2: I've helped other neighbors do this as a neighborly thing to do, but they actually live there.
Speaker 2: I feel it's another level for me to perform the same service on his for profit side, hustle free of charge
Speaker 2: in his text. He did not mention compensating me for my time or equipment or suggest he only wanted to borrow my tools. Side note I'm not a contractor or anything. Just a regular homeowner.
Speaker 2: What's the best way to say maintaining your rental is your responsibility and at most I can point you in the right direction.
Speaker 2: Great work you guys put out each week. Keep it up,
Speaker 1: Kent Kent thank you so much for the question. The first thing I wrote in my show notes was I'm feeling you
Speaker 2: here
Speaker 1: totally. This is one of my least favorite
Speaker 1: um feelings ever. And that's the feeling of something worse. Feeling like you're being taken advantage of
Speaker 1: is what I'm talking
Speaker 2: about. Even worse, even worse.
Speaker 1: It's one of the reasons that I have such a hard time asking people to do things for me is that I I know how I feel about the feeling of feeling taken advantage of and I dislike it so much and I don't ever want to
Speaker 1: have anyone else feel that way about me or what I'm asking of them
Speaker 1: and that's just the very personal place I come from in terms of
Speaker 1: wanting tend to understand that I think that this is a really natural, it's a natural response when you're being asked to do something and
Speaker 1: and it just doesn't feel right to you in some way. And I think that it can be really hard to then do the good etiquette work of separating that feeling from the way you respond to the ask
Speaker 1: and in his question, ken said, I'm gonna I'm gonna put aside the fact that this text arrived at 6 30 in the morning in the morning and I want to take that fact and just wrap my hands around and pull it right back into the conversation because I think it's important and
Speaker 1: it's part of what creates the feeling of this person's not considering me in this equation there really just thinking about themselves, their own timeline, their own needs.
Speaker 1: And I think that makes it harder to feel good about saying yes, if you were on the edge of it, I think it makes it easier to feel really bad about it if you wouldn't have said yes anyway,
Speaker 1: and I think it does provide some context for thinking about your response and whether or not you're going to
Speaker 1: cut someone the benefit of the doubt and
Speaker 1: ask more of yourself or whether you're going to say no,
Speaker 1: this feeling is coming from a genuine place in me and a core tenet of good etiquette is sincerity and authenticity and I've got to be true to myself. I've got to be true to the fact that I don't want to do this for this person for any number of good reasons I C. Two in this question
Speaker 1: and there's nothing obligating me to do it. I don't feel particularly compelled to do it.
Speaker 1: What what is sincere here is declining the request and I think that you do that and that you keep it simple. You you decline the request to do the thing that he's asking you to do in this moment.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: if possible, I'm going to say to myself
Speaker 1: the longer conversation, the one about really setting boundaries about what it's okay for this particular neighbor to ask of you and what isn't is one I would differ. I would maybe let my response to this be the first part of that communication. And if
Speaker 1: this type of request stops, then the person understood they understood that they overstepped that they're making an ask that isn't something you're likely to say yes to and they're not going to count on it or continue to ask.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: if they don't take that as the first part of that message. And these types of requests continue, then I think it's really reasonable to have that slightly longer conversation where I would massage what it is Kent wants to communicate and look for a benevolent kind way to communicate. It
Speaker 2: dan. I'm going to offer a different perspective and come to the same solution. I have people ask favors of me a lot
Speaker 2: and it's interesting
Speaker 2: that quite often my very first natural responses is how can I help? In fact to a point where I've had to call up dan and be like, hey I'm being asked these favors of me and I want to help, but I don't want to help and I don't know how to deal with that. And
Speaker 2: and you often give me a lot of good advice about setting
Speaker 1: boundaries
Speaker 2: for me where I come to the very same conclusion as you that it is absolutely okay to deliver the sincere response of I'm sorry, I won't I won't be able to help you on this one or sorry, I'm not the right person to turn to for this
Speaker 2: is legit because it doesn't sound to me like this is someone where there's some kind of back and forth that's happening between you like my neighbor and I for instance, uh feed each other's cats when each of us is away and it's just as long as we are home and able to do it.
Speaker 2: It's a yes for both of us every single time and there's a really easy back and forth when it then comes to asking other favors of each other.
Speaker 2: There's a rapport and a history of favor doing and here it seems like this is, you know, a neighbor, not this isn't one of the landlords tenants so they don't have a relationship like that. There's been no reference to compensation of any kind or really even a description of what you do want. Do you just want to borrow my stuff or do you want me to actually perform this act?
Speaker 2: Um and I think Dan you made a really great point about how the consideration of Kent's time was not even considered for the ask because it came in via text message at 6:30 AM and you just can't guarantee that everybody puts their phone on, do not disturb while they're asleep or something like that.
Speaker 2: So even though I tend to want to say yes to favors, especially ones where
Speaker 2: I have the capability and the tools to help somebody out in a moment. I too would look at this and say, you know, this is in my head, this is really your maintenance of your property, that is your business, whether it's a side hustle or not, doesn't really matter to me.
Speaker 2: It's really not the space for me to be coming in and and doing favors to make that work, especially in what does not sound like
Speaker 2: a relationship where there's, and I hate to put it like this. So transactional E but where there's some kind of benefit that Kent's getting from this particular landlord, you know, um and so different approach, but same results. You you really are in good stead to say no and turn this down and I gave a little bit of sample language, but I don't even think there's a whole lot of explanation other than no, sorry, I can't help you with that
Speaker 2: like that, that you need beyond this. I mean, do you do you like you talked about maybe saying this first and then having a bigger conversation if more requests are coming down the line and I think that's a smart way to divvy up the decline versus a larger conversation that may need to be had, but I really think this can be short and concise and I think you could do it via text.
Speaker 2: No, sorry, can't do that for you.
Speaker 2: Like, let me know if you need help finding someone would be generous as a follow up,
Speaker 1: you know? Yeah, I know, I know that, that like, you know,
Speaker 2: you're like, you don't even have to do that right?
Speaker 1: I almost want to truncate that thought because I think you oftentimes you want to soften the blow.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I'm always trying to, maybe it's next weekend or maybe it's something I can help you find the right person or
Speaker 1: and I really did, I tried, I tried to keep my first sample script really limited to the No, because that's, that's hard for me to do too. And I had language so similar to yours. I said something like, sorry, I'm not able to help you out on this one or
Speaker 1: it's not going to work for me or it's not gonna be easy for me to do this and that the easy for me to do this was one that was starting to tiptoe up to that offering some explanation
Speaker 2: where
Speaker 1: you know, I think the simple language of I'm not able to help you out on this one.
Speaker 1: I did think that expressing some sort of sympathy for their situation like a sorry that what you're hearing is a decline, not
Speaker 2: sorry. And it's funny, it's
Speaker 1: such a subtle line because the sorry isn't that I can't help you because that you feel fine about the sorry is more for the decline because I don't even like delivering a no, but you know, sorry, but no,
Speaker 2: sorry. So yours would be sorry to deliver a no, but
Speaker 1: no, that's what I would mean by the Sorry, yes, gotcha, Gotcha. I did take a crack at a sample script for a follow up conversation if for whatever reason this continued to happen or
Speaker 1: maybe in the interest of a good relationship, even with an absentee
Speaker 1: or a landlord, homeowner next door who you didn't see much or ever um if you really wanted to invest in that relationship where it came up again, I tried to come up with some language that I thought would help communicate what it is that Kent wanted to communicate and I wanted to get a lizzie post
Speaker 1: read on it, okay,
Speaker 2: I haven't heard it yet. So I'll be curious. What have you got
Speaker 1: if the requests keep coming. Something like you know I wanted to talk to you about requests for work on the apartment or whatever it is.
Speaker 1: I'm happy to help out a neighbor in need but my time is really precious to me and without the direct link to my community I have to say no for the sake of my own time and priorities. If you ever need help in an emergency,
Speaker 1: please feel free to give me a call. But it's probably best not to rely on me or count on me for help with general maintenance work.
Speaker 1: And I was thinking that if you're if you have an interest in telling this person about what type of a relationship you would be open to and the type of community involvement that you want to have, how you want to engage.
Speaker 1: I think you could do that but I would try to avoid commenting on his role or his ask. I would really keep it focused on
Speaker 1: what it is you're willing to do. And if you want to explain some of those reasons that that it really does feel different to you when the neighbor that you have interactions with. The way you describe that relationship with your neighbor. That for that person there's a back and forth a give and take, that's an important part of community for you. But for a rental property you just don't have that same type of feel about the investment of the time and the energy.
Speaker 1: I think that's a reasonable thing to tell someone.
Speaker 2: I think it's a reasonable thing to tell someone. I might adjust the language that you've got there a little bit like the with a direct link to my community because technically this is the homeowner next door. He just doesn't live there. And so this is someone who is a part of your community and how he chooses to care for that home actually will impact you.
Speaker 2: Um, so I would probably stick
Speaker 2: to something that's a little cleaner and not bring up the part about community. The only way I might do it is say, hey, I know that in the past
Speaker 2: I've helped out some of your tenants in an emergency situation when something, you know, was wrong if I could help them and I'm still happy to do that directly with them.
Speaker 2: But I think for for calls from the landlord, I would really either, I would appreciate not getting them and I can recommend some people to you or
Speaker 2: I would appreciate that we set it up as actually a higher job, that sort of thing. And I think that could kind of help to distinguish that rather than the definition of who is a part of your community and who's not, which might feel more alienating.
Speaker 2: Um, but I think you're getting like it got it, got you there, you know, it got you to the place of saying and I like, I like the part of your sample script that I can see that says,
Speaker 2: I have to say no for the sake of my own time and priorities. I feel like that's really neutral language that doesn't use the word busy,
Speaker 2: but I have to say no for the sake of my own time and priorities and you could even put it just my own priorities or my own time if you didn't want to do both of them. But I think that was a really good line that you've gotten there because
Speaker 1: we always say that respect is another part of good etiquette and respect for yourself is an important part of that equation as well as respect for others,
Speaker 1: ken, thank you so much for this question. It's not an easy one. And for exactly that reason we hope that our answer helps asking to borrow things politely, not demanding them and sharing things when you can are more signs of good manners.
Speaker 1: Words that make day to day living go smoothly.
Speaker 1: Mhm
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a half elopement. Hello, Post cousins, longtime listener,
Speaker 1: my fiance and I have decided to do a half elopement for our wedding day and we've come upon a topic. We are not quite certain how to approach.
Speaker 1: We are from a city in the Midwest. We will be getting married on Tuesday that would be 22 February 2022 or 2 22 22
Speaker 1: At 2:22 PM
Speaker 1: at our rustic cabin with just our parents and a couple of friends plus the most amazingly talented photographer from the same city as us.
Speaker 1: I had sought him out for our wedding day as he does almost exclusively elopement weddings.
Speaker 1: The cabin is about an hour and a half drive from where we live. We have the photographer booked for four hours at the cabin
Speaker 1: after the ceremony and a little celebration. The group will be making their way back to the city for a dinner.
Speaker 1: What we are not sure about is if we should invite the photographer to the dinner or not
Speaker 1: Without the photographer, there will be a total of nine people
Speaker 1: by dinner. Our time booked with the photographer will be complete. However, he will also be going back to the same area and will have done a lot of driving for the day
Speaker 1: in a traditional wedding. Of course the photographer should be fed. These are not traditional circumstances though if not inviting him to dinner, we plan on getting him a generous gift card for a nicer restaurant in our city.
Speaker 1: Thank you for taking a look at our question. We look forward to your feedback sincerely. Bride 22
Speaker 2: Bride 22. Thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming half elopement. I like the title of half elopement because
Speaker 2: technically an elopement is where like just the couple or just a couple of like one or do you run like the, the point is there is no planning and I did get a chuckle over the past year of how many people called what was very clearly a full wedding and elopement just because it was not 100 and
Speaker 1: 50 person wedding.
Speaker 2: So I appreciate the reality of a half elopement, which is in fact just a teeny tiny wedding.
Speaker 2: But I, I also really think it's cool that you're getting married on Tuesday, the second month of the year, the 22nd day of the month, the 22nd year of the century at
Speaker 1: 2 22 PM.
Speaker 2: I have a friend who would just love
Speaker 1: that. My math nerd like spidey sense is tingling right
Speaker 2: now.
Speaker 2: But when I, when I look at the question,
Speaker 2: you're right at a typical wedding, the photographer and their assistants are usually fed some, some choose not to engage with that. Others really, really appreciate it. Different strokes for different folks, photographers are often a service that is setting a price. That's right for them.
Speaker 2: And so they're not someone who you typically have to tip.
Speaker 2: I know at the same time that that does not stop, nor should it stop anyone from wanting to give a little something as a thank you and a gift card to a nice local restaurant is a really thoughtful thing to do, especially if you're incredibly pleased with the service itself because this particular photographer
Speaker 2: does these, these small sort of half elopement style weddings frequently I might actually turn to them and ask them whether or not they would like to be included. You could say, boy, I know at least, you know, from my own experiences with weddings, the photographer often get, gets to dine at the wedding and would would that be something that you would want to do with us? Because
Speaker 2: because, you know, in my brain, I'm going, I don't know, the photographer might be like, really grateful that they can just like go back to their own lives right
Speaker 1: after.
Speaker 2: And like, I know that doesn't sound like the most gracious or like
Speaker 2: um social attitude towards things and at the same time, um you know, they might feel very obligated by your invitation. So rather than first make an invitation, I might first just ask, you know, what, what do you typically do? Is it like,
Speaker 2: I would love to have you join us for dinner afterwards if you would like to, but I don't want you to feel any pressure whatsoever to do. So if
Speaker 2: you're thinking jobs done, I want to get back to my own life, totally understand. And I think having that kind of a conversation with the photographer will get you to the place that you need to be, which is figuring out whether this is a 10 person reservation or nine person reservation whether or not you're getting that card or not. My guess is you're gonna end up getting that gift card just because I think you're gonna probably love your photography. It sounds, it sounds like you're a fan of
Speaker 2: the photographers photography. And I have a feeling that after a day of of being around this person, I'm taking fabulous photos of you that that you'll probably feel that that generosity, that gratitude and want to engage the card regardless. But dan, what do you think you think that's a fair assessment for something that's like a little a little different from maybe the way we talk about photographers, like in our wedding book or something like that, but
Speaker 2: but still trying to be respectful of what they often receive with a wedding job.
Speaker 1: I'm sitting here in my, my basement on a cold day thinking to myself, oh, I'm a little mad lizzie. Post answer is better than mine.
Speaker 2: What was your answer gonna be? It was
Speaker 1: very similar. But you said to ask them first and that's such a good thing to do. It really is. And
Speaker 2: you know what those they can they can feel like an obligation sometimes an invitation. You're like, oh, they invited me, I should go. I'll
Speaker 1: be, I got a little hung up on the details of having that conversation early. I was saying to myself, well, I'd want them to know that if they said no, they had a nice dinner gift card coming, but I don't think I'd want to set that up ahead of time as the, the choice.
Speaker 2: Like an either or would you like carter would you like that?
Speaker 1: You know, because it's, it's a little bit like, you know, I, I'd love to invite you if you want to come or not
Speaker 1: and if they're thinking to themselves. Well
Speaker 2: yeah, that's a really nice if
Speaker 1: I could get a really nice meal out of it and these are nice people. I'd probably enjoy my time with them, but
Speaker 1: I'd want them to also know that on the other side of that card was the option for them to enjoy that really nice meal at that really nice restaurant, but maybe by themselves or with someone of their choice or choosing. And I think it was that little detail that may be shy away from maybe asking them ahead of time, but I think it's,
Speaker 1: there's so, there's so much information you could glean from that conversation
Speaker 1: I brought you back. You reminded me that they do this all the time. This is what they
Speaker 2: do, especially if you're doing small weddings, you might have done three or four. I mean this is a Tuesday wedding. This photographer probably has friday saturday and maybe even sunday weddings to do too. And I had
Speaker 1: that frame of mind
Speaker 1: in play in my thinking and very much like you, I was imagining that while it's very nice to want to include them, that there are two things going on right now. One being that the ways people share food, eat, navigate restaurants with covid continuing is one question that comes up for people
Speaker 1: and another being that
Speaker 1: and I love the reference to the traditional because it gives us a place to jump off from that if you've got a photographer is taking pictures at an event where food is being served, being sure to include them on that list of people that foods available for is an important detail to remember
Speaker 1: that inviting someone to a separate
Speaker 1: event at a different location where they're not going to be taking pictures
Speaker 1: and they're not with a big group where they can kind of find a place blend in, fit in, but they're at a table with a a small close family celebrating a very important day of which you've been apart. So there would be no reason that you would be uncomfortable being there. But
Speaker 1: the nature of that meal is just, it's a different meal to kind of fit into as someone who's not a usual part of that group.
Speaker 2: I think it's a really good point dan.
Speaker 1: So that the etiquette obligation of include the photographer for dinner, that the whole idea and reasoning behind it kind of isn't in play in the same way. And it was that thinking that really had me saying
Speaker 1: make the offer if it makes you feel really good, but but don't feel bad about not stressing the offer presenting it as something that you would really enjoy them saying yes to. But really is something that's an option for them even to the point where I dangle the dangle but give them the option of taking that meal out on their own at a different time when when they're not just wrapping up a work day.
Speaker 2: No I think those are all really really good points and and I love the sort of leaning on the tradition to get us to the place of asking questions but letting the differences about this particular wedding you know sort of a half elopement wedding
Speaker 2: be realistic towards what what you might actually end up doing in the end whether it's the photographer joining you or not.
Speaker 2: I really appreciate that part of the answer.
Speaker 2: Bride 22, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. It sounds like it's going to be a wonderful day and we wish you and your small group who will be with you a wonderful time. And we hope that whether your photographer is with you at the table for dinner or not that you have beautiful photos of one of your most important days.
Speaker 2: The commercial photographer is often called a jack of all trades. He must be prepared to go anywhere to take pictures in addition to those he makes in his studio.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Dear Doctorate.
Speaker 2: It begins I was wondering if a person holds both a PhD in a non medical field and a J. D.
Speaker 2: And is practicing law? What are the options for addressing them both socially and formally,
Speaker 2: jennifer
Speaker 1: jennifer. Thank you so much for the question. And
Speaker 1: I want to start off by just giving the sort of simplest most common answer that you're going to encounter today. And that's that
Speaker 1: in general lawyers don't use their titles particularly not socially periodically every once in a while you'll see someone signs something their name esquire. But even that construction is one that's um
Speaker 1: it's it's used very infrequently and you're seeing it less and less and less.
Speaker 1: The PhD. The Academic Doctorate I think is definitely
Speaker 1: more of an open question. And I see if there is any shift going on in etiquette around this particular title, it would be that I think people are using it socially more and more
Speaker 2: curious to see statistics on it. But I have that overall sense of it as well because
Speaker 1: I like you. I imagine that our sense of that more and more. It sounded even too much more as it came out of my mouth because in our world where we're looking very specifically at very small subsets that are thinking about and caring about these things. We've heard anecdotally
Speaker 1: more questions about this title in the last couple of years than in the first couple of years that I was working at Emily post 10 almost 15 years ago now
Speaker 1: the PhD title definitely gives you options. Some people use it socially. Some people don't definitely in professional circumstances or formal circumstances where you're trying to honor someone, I would lean towards using it.
Speaker 1: But if
Speaker 1: I had any question in my mind either socially where I would tend to not use it professionally, where I would tend to use it, I would ask somebody what their preferences if
Speaker 1: if they were available to me. And I had any question in my mind about it
Speaker 2: dan, what about the J.
Speaker 1: D. J. D. Just stands for juris doctorate. So it's like a PhD is a doctor of philosophy and M. D. Is a doctor of medicine. J. D. Is a doctor of law, doctor of jurists, whatever the latin jurist means
Speaker 1: and I don't want to offer offense to all the esteemed esquire's out there listening right now. But the
Speaker 1: the reality of that degree is that it doesn't require a thesis defense. It doesn't require the type of six year program that's common for most people with an M. D. It's not a degree that happens post
Speaker 1: after your undergraduate
Speaker 1: that
Speaker 1: requires as much of a commitment of time and energy and you just don't tend to use that title in the same way as a practicing attorney that people do in the academic and medical professions
Speaker 2: Because I feel like I really want to peel back the curtain for a second because we have 22 weeks in a row, we've had questions about professional titles and when and how to use them. And it was probably one of the most brow sweat inducing parts of, of writing the 20th edition because a lot of the time when we would search and research about titles, our own website would come up as the answer and we can't use us as the to validate us.
Speaker 2: Um, and I know that I felt great joy. I know you felt great joy
Speaker 2: the day that we discovered robert Hickey's website forms of address dot info
Speaker 2: and robert Hickey is connected to the Washington School of Protocol and the, the actual book that he has written and produced is a much larger tome I think than even Emily Post.
Speaker 2: It is a huge book
Speaker 2: and its title is honor and respect. The official guide to names, titles and forms of address and it's a worthwhile book to have in your cannon. But also he has an absolutely fabulous website that allows you to search in great detail
Speaker 2: the different titles for military personnel, for religious leaders, for
Speaker 2: government officials. And it is, it is really a fabulous resource. So for those of you who are curious are really interested in the particular etiquette and protocol around
Speaker 2: professional titles as well as personal titles, robert Hickey forms of address dot info is a really fabulous, fabulous resource for you,
Speaker 1: lizzie, thank you for bringing robert Hickey and that is such a
Speaker 2: pleasant surprise.
Speaker 1: I've got to jump in, I'll try not to repeat anything that you just said, but I would like to add that one thing in particular. I think you and I have both really um enjoyed about him is that he
Speaker 1: answers questions about titles. So clearly the way he writes about them, I find myself understanding things that had eluded me for a long time. I would know that we did it this way, but I wouldn't really understand why and a lot of his, he has is a lot of clarity in terms of the way he talks about titles and the way he presents them. And
Speaker 1: I think that that clarity of communication makes him easy to understand and that's almost the highest compliment I can pay to someone writing about titles and forms of address
Speaker 2: jennifer. We hope that this answers your question and gives you a place to turn to
Speaker 1: in the future
Speaker 2: for more questions about titles and when to use them both socially and formally.
Speaker 1: 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.
Speaker 1: 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.
Speaker 1: Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: If you're enjoying our little podcast, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette memberships start at just a dollar a month and you will get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus
Speaker 2: you will feel great knowing that you helped keep awesome etiquette
Speaker 2: on the air and to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover and today we have feedback from Diana on tipping hotel staff during covid,
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie and dan and awesome etiquette team.
Speaker 2: I just listened to your most recent episode and was so happy and relieved to hear your perspective on tipping hotel staff in the covid era
Speaker 2: as it turns out, I just got back from a trip over the holidays where one hotel was operating under a business as usual model whereas another hotel in a different city only had staff attend to the room upon request or after check out. I felt great knowing that we quote unquote, did the right thing so to speak,
Speaker 2: which was to provide a small tip to the staff member who brought us an extra toothbrush, our first night, a typical tip at the end of our stay at the first hotel as a thanks for the daily service and then a more modest tip at the second hotel that didn't provide daily cleaning.
Speaker 2: I can't tell you how much I appreciate you, your team and the rest of the awesome etiquette listener community for everything you do to help us guide each other along the path of consideration and care for others sincerely. Thanks Diana
Speaker 1: Diana, thank you so much for the feedback. It's really nice to hear about etiquette working out in the world.
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your thoughts an update. Please keep them coming. Especially as we are trying to pre record six episodes right now you can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I N. D. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today dan is going to be talking with us about happiness and where to find it. I feel like this might be the like golden egg end of the rainbow, the like
Speaker 2: parting of the clouds. Que the Simpsons, music. I don't know like
Speaker 2: it's just feel like there's some kind of about this particular post script dan happiness and where to find it, what, what what I'm so curious what is coming,
Speaker 1: You've still got the right spirit for this post script because of and
Speaker 1: the inspiration for this post script came from you lizzie post who brought us readings the last two weeks.
Speaker 1: And I was thinking to myself, Lizzy has done such a good job of coming up with postscript topics. I'm going to go to my bookshelf and find us a
Speaker 2: postscript topic
Speaker 1: and on my bookshelf are some of my absolute favorite books because over
Speaker 1: the last couple of years I've really reduced the number of books I display at home and I'm now down to a very condensed little mini library of the most essential and in the etiquette component of that bookshelf,
Speaker 1: I have a book that people on this show would be very familiar with. I talk about it all the time. It's called the cost of Bad behavior
Speaker 1: and it's some of the best research that's been done about how
Speaker 1: incivility and rudeness affect relationships, particularly in the work world. Well, on my bookshelf, that book is paired with a companion book that looks at the same topic, but from a very different angle and it's a book called The Happiness Advantage. It's written by a man named Sean baker
Speaker 1: and I hope I'm pronouncing that right? It's a C H O R.
Speaker 1: And the happiness advantage is for me, the psychological other side of the coin to the cost of bad behavior. It's where I get to look at social relationships, particularly the impact professionals, but from the perspective of positivity and happiness as opposed to costs and negative impacts of incivility and rudeness.
Speaker 1: Yeah, so
Speaker 1: I don't lean on this book quite as much as I lean on the cost of bad behavior because it's not directed at the topic of incivility and rudeness in the same way, but
Speaker 1: it is um
Speaker 1: very much connected to the work that we do at Emily Post in a number of ways. So to talk about that, I want to give people the briefest synopsis of the book. The inside the book jacket
Speaker 1: condensation is that
Speaker 1: Shawn's thesis or the premise of the book is that for many people, the idea is that you achieve things in life or you do good things and that that brings you happiness
Speaker 1: that happiness is the reward for good actions in life. And he wants to flip that idea that equation around and talk to people about the possibility that you're successful outcomes are often determined by how you approach something and that by undertaking
Speaker 1: our lives and the things that we do in our lives
Speaker 1: with happiness as a
Speaker 1: a core operational model,
Speaker 1: that that's what leads to success, not the other way around. Success leads to happiness or professional achievement or financial
Speaker 1: rewards lead to happiness. But the other way around that if you can cultivate happiness, it will lead to your success and other benefits that are tangible and real benefits in life
Speaker 1: and a lot of the book he spends talking about that,
Speaker 1: but that raises the question in my mind well,
Speaker 1: If you can't find happiness by achieving things and doing good things, where do you find the happiness to then achieve and do good things? And he does talk about that as well and that's where we find the world of etiquette starts to come into the happiness equation. I want to start us off with a reading from page 175,
Speaker 1: where he talks about investing in happiness and
Speaker 1: how you cultivate that happiness. To begin with,
Speaker 1: Sean begins one of the longest running psychological studies of all time. The Harvard men's study followed 268 men from their entrance into college in the late 1930s, all the way through the present day
Speaker 1: from this wealth of data, scientists have been able to identify the life circumstances and personal characteristics that distinguished the happiest Fullest lives from the least successful ones.
Speaker 1: In the summer of 2009. George Valiant, the psychologist who has directed the study for the last 40 years,
Speaker 1: told the atlantic Monthly that he could sum up the findings in one word, love full stop.
Speaker 1: Could it really be so simple,
Speaker 1: valiant wrote his own follow up article that analyzed the data in great detail and his conclusions proved the same
Speaker 1: That there are 70 years of evidence that our relationships with other people matter and matter more than anything else in the world.
Speaker 1: The study's findings have been duplicated time and again in their book happiness psychologists at diner and robert is wonder review the massive amount of cross cultural research that has been conducted on happiness over the last few decades and they conclude that like food and air, we seem to need social relationships to thrive.
Speaker 1: That's because when we have a community of people, we can count on spouse, family, friends, colleagues, we multiply our emotional, intellectual and physical resources. We bounce back from setbacks faster, accomplish more and feel a greater sense of purpose.
Speaker 1: Furthermore the effect on our happiness and therefore our ability to profit from that happiness is both immediate and long lasting.
Speaker 1: First social interactions jolt us with positivity in the moment.
Speaker 1: Then each of these single connections strengthens a relationship over time which races are happiness baseline permanently.
Speaker 1: So when a colleague stops you in the hallway at work to say hello and ask about your day, the brief interaction actually sparks a continual upward spiral of happiness and its inherent rewards.
Speaker 1: Positive outliers already know this to be true.
Speaker 1: Indeed, it's what makes them positive outliers. In a study, appropriately titled, very happy people, researchers sought out the characteristics of the happiest 10% among us.
Speaker 1: Do they all live in warm climates? Are they all wealthy? Are they all physically fit? It turns out there was one and only one characteristic that distinguished the happiest 10% from everybody else. The strength of their social relationships. My empirical study of well being among 1600 Harvard undergraduates found a similar result,
Speaker 1: social support was a far greater predictor of happiness than any other factor
Speaker 1: more than GPA family income, sat scores, age, gender or race.
Speaker 1: In fact, the correlation between social support and happiness was 0.7.
Speaker 1: This may not sound like a big number, but for researchers, it's huge. Most psychology findings are considered significant when they hit a .3. The point is, the more social support you have, the happier you are and as we know, the happier you are, the more advantages you accrue in nearly every domain of life. So
Speaker 1: pretty much he says, happiness comes from the people around you being well connected to them and pay attention to your etiquette and it will be a happier person and that will lead to great benefits. It's just
Speaker 1: remarkable argument, I love reading it every time.
Speaker 2: Okay, so first of all, because the, the song, I think it's just called Happy by Pharrell is just completely like going through my mind right now and I think
Speaker 1: it'll be
Speaker 2: quite a while,
Speaker 2: but I do like just reading that made me feel happy. Like it just, it did. And even even during a time where I could very easily tap into the, well no wonder I haven't been happy these past couple of years with all the,
Speaker 2: you know, Yes. And and living in a house on your own. I really feel it.
Speaker 2: And even then I've noticed what a huge difference this year has been in terms of outreach and connection versus last year.
Speaker 2: Last winter was a really hard time for a lot of people. And I know that especially when we didn't have things like vaccines to be able to help us, it registered that loneliness and that lack of social engagement really registered. And this year I even remember calling up one of my
Speaker 2: nearest and dearest to like I was wondering last winter if our friendship was just over,
Speaker 2: you know, and she's over there wondering like the exact same thing and I just I called her up and I said, you know, this year we're doing so much better already because we're in communication over the holidays. We weren't doing that last year. You know,
Speaker 2: you could feel the difference or at least for me, I would say so, palpably have I felt the difference of connection
Speaker 2: this year versus last year in my life. And it it has, um I've had people tell me you you seem happier, you seem like you're doing really well and it it is it is 100% due to the fact that both I'm putting in more effort to those social connections and I've noticed other people being able to put them in that effort in toward me. I I see more text messages, more outreach from friends coming into me than I did last year too, and and I've been trying to apply that going out the other direction, but it it did just listening to everything you said, it made me feel happy because I felt like, yes, some of this is happening to me and coming back in my life, there's hope for my happiness, you know,
Speaker 2: not to, like, get desperate about it,
Speaker 1: but I know there are so many positive messages and takeaways when you start thinking about it a little bit differently. The idea that that happiness isn't something that's
Speaker 1: um waiting out there for you, that's on the other side of you performing in some way that it's not that it that it's not something that's that's achievement attainable, That it really that it really is something that's available to any of us at any time.
Speaker 1: It doesn't mean we're all happy all the time, but that but that it's possible and this is where it's so satisfying for me is etiquette consultant and author, is that the idea that that happiness is really found in human relationships and that that is the entire framework that we approach etiquette through. That it's not about a system of rules, it's about investing in relationships and
Speaker 1: the history of our social expectations
Speaker 1: can give us some really strong clues and point us in the right directions for good ways to build our relationships with other people, but always for you and me, the primary concern is how how does the decision we're making the choices we're making the
Speaker 1: the answers were trying to figure out for these questions? How do they support us having really good high quality relationships with the people around us and
Speaker 2: and that those relationships then bring us happiness in their lives in a lot of ways.
Speaker 1: Yeah, which is one of those
Speaker 1: sort of fundamental goods that the feeling of being happy, the feeling of satisfaction with your life of connectedness
Speaker 1: is a baseline from which so many other good things can emerge. So many of the things that I think we often think will bring us those feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction,
Speaker 2: because I feel like we often teach in our business etiquette seminars, the sort of stress cycle of how how stress leads to more rudeness, which leads to more stress, which can often lead to more rudeness. And I just actually put up an article on our website about breaking that particular cycle, but I love how the
Speaker 2: other version of that cycle is true too, which is that happiness often makes you feel like you want to engage or
Speaker 2: that you're getting benefits from engaging and so you'll engage with others and that will likely at least according to this study bring in more happiness to your life. And I think that just makes you want to engage more and so you can have sort of both the stress cycle and the happiness cycle.
Speaker 2: I think as powerful images to to be thinking about those loops that you can get into. And I love the idea of a loop that just feeds itself wonderfully as opposed to a loop that feeds itself with negativity. So really this is a postscript is making me happy.
Speaker 1: Well it's the the other side of that etiquette coin and I will make a little post New Year's commitment to be sure that for
Speaker 1: for every little tidbit I bring from the cost of bad behavior, I'll try to bring us a little tidbit from the happiness advantage as well.
Speaker 2: I love it. Well, if you are interested in reading the happiness advantage, we have a link to it up on our Patreon and that is the public side of our Patreon. So even if you're not a sustaining member, you can still access the link and go check out this fabulous book there,
Speaker 1: lizzie, thank you for posting that link. That will be really helpful. I hope that anybody out there who's interested will feel good about taking a chance and giving
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 out in the world and that can come in so many forms and today we are grateful to have a salute from Cindy
Speaker 1: dear awesome etiquette team.
Speaker 1: I think we are all tired of talking about this pandemic.
Speaker 1: but there is something positive that I have found in it.
Speaker 1: I want to say thank you to my husband john
Speaker 1: for two years. We have been pretty much joined at the hip and his patience and kindness during what could have been a very difficult time. Instead made it okay,
Speaker 1: so a big thanks to john
Speaker 1: for making these two years special and as easy as they could be.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for that salute. It is so nice to remember that all of us have people in our lives who we can appreciate and be thankful for.
Speaker 2: Speaking of being thankful, thank you are a wonderful audience for listening
Speaker 1: today and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon,
Speaker 2: please connect with us and share this show with your friends, family coworkers, anybody that you like to share podcasts with in any way that you like to
Speaker 1: share podcasts,
Speaker 1: you can send us your next question feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on twitter. We are at Emily Post hints on instagram, we are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute,
Speaker 2: please consider becoming a sustaining member of the podcast by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. Where you'll get an ads free version of the show, plus bonus content.
Speaker 2: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify
Speaker 1: or your favorite
Speaker 2: podcast app and please consider leaving us a review.
Speaker 1: It helps our show ranking, which helps more people find awesome etiquette. Our show is edited by Kris Albertine, an assistant produced by Bridget Dowd.
Speaker 1: Thanks. Thanks, Chris and Bridget.
Speaker 1: Mhm.