Episode 411 - Too Friendly
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 people who don’t wash the communal dishes, a landlord who is a little…too friendly, making new friends as an adult, and getting a gift from an estranged family member. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about expecting or not expecting a man to pick up the check on the first date. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on feeling shame.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 2: host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello
Speaker 1: and 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 people who don't wash the communal dishes in an office, a landlord who's a little too friendly,
Speaker 1: making new friends as an adult and getting a gift from an estranged family
Speaker 2: member for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about expecting or not expecting a guy to pick up the check on the first date
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback and etiquette salute and a post script segment on shame.
Speaker 2: All that's coming
Speaker 1: 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 lizzie Post
Speaker 2: and I'm dan post Senning
Speaker 1: because I swear I am not like extremely caffeinated today. It is just such a go, go, go, go, go day that I am like, it's monday morning, I am amped. I am here, I am ready. I am dying to hear about Star Island because we kind of teased that last week in the show and and I've heard some bits and pieces but I'm excited to hear what you're going to share with the audience.
Speaker 2: I can't wait to do that and I wanna acknowledge that you are fitting in an entire week of work into a monday because you are off to record the audio version of the book for the next four
Speaker 1: days, Four plus two,
Speaker 2: it's true. And those are such long days, you're recording from 10 in the morning till five in the afternoon. And that is a lot of mike time. I am,
Speaker 2: I know how it feels when you're right at the front end of a project that's going to require a lot of work and I really appreciate the superior you're bringing this morning,
Speaker 1: because I didn't even say hello when I called this morning, I was just like, you need to calm me down and you did,
Speaker 1: you were great. You gave me an outlet to just spew all the million in one thoughts I had in my head that were racing
Speaker 1: and we still managed to get get to the mike on time this morning. So,
Speaker 2: it was a
Speaker 1: great pick me up for me
Speaker 2: on a monday morning. I was like, alright, this is gonna get me right into it. Let's
Speaker 1: go,
Speaker 1: Oh well, I do want to get right into it. And so I would love for you to tell our audience about the star island trip, kind of how it emerged or what it was like, getting ready to go and then what it was like when you were there.
Speaker 2: Sure. So, I was the featured speaker. I was a presenter at a conference that lasts about a week. So,
Speaker 2: I had a rare opportunity for me in my capacity as someone presenting Emily Post material, to do a series of lectures, a series of 1.5 hour morning lectures over the course of five days
Speaker 2: and you know me lizzie post, that gives me a chance to play around a little bit, do some things that I don't usually get to do when I'm working with a corporate client or when
Speaker 2: time is really of the essence. I've got two hours as part of a training session or an annual event and
Speaker 2: I was able to introduce some themes, get feedback from the audience, think broadly about Emily Post and the etiquette that we teach at Emily Post and how I want to present it to a group of interested people who have the time and the headspace to engage with the material. And
Speaker 2: I ended up coming up with a strategy where on day one, I introduced a lot of the
Speaker 2: big concepts that we talk about on this show a lot, the consideration, respect and honesty based decision making, the values based evaluation of behaviors that really is the
Speaker 2: heart and soul of what we do at Emily Post.
Speaker 2: But then I got to think about some different angles and approaches. So I did a day where I presented on the
Speaker 2: historical figure Emily Post what she was like as a person and a personality as well as what happened to her over the course of her life and the things that she did over the course of her life.
Speaker 2: Day three, I went back to the decision making process, we did problem solving as a group and dove deeper into that material. Day four was a very manner Z class dining etiquette of course, but you know, sort of compressed a 2.5 hour dining seminar into an hour and a half of classroom time
Speaker 2: And the 5th day I
Speaker 2: had allowed for more room. I thought of it as a day where we could
Speaker 2: take more of a look at concepts that had emerged over the course of the week or have discussions with a bigger group that
Speaker 2: let people in on some of the smaller side discussions that inevitably develop when you start talking about this material with a group of people and
Speaker 2: that was the day that was both a little nervous for me in terms of its just not being exactly planned, but also was a real opportunity for me to try some new material. And I think you would be excited to hear that. I ended up going to the thinking forward section of the centennial edition
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: raising the questions that we had posed to our audience in the book. But
Speaker 2: taking it for a
Speaker 1: little test drive
Speaker 2: among a group of people that had been at that point, thinking about etiquette for a week and big picture that Emily post side of things was everything that I had expected and a little bit that I had hoped for as well. It really was, it
Speaker 1: was
Speaker 2: the material was well received. The discussions that emerged were
Speaker 2: so satisfying and, and really illuminating for me because as you know, you and I get to spend a lot of time talking to each other, but it's just so much fun to hear other people's perspectives, voices and
Speaker 2: just when we start talking about the importance of relationships and what we can do to make them better.
Speaker 2: The reflections that people have are so often very personal and you end up getting a little window into the way people think about things that really matter to them and to me that is is such a treat and what a great way to meet a group of people. Also. I will also take a big step back away from Emily Post and say that the,
Speaker 2: the conference at Star Island and Star Island itself were
Speaker 1: and this is in maine right off the coast of Maine technically, I guess it's
Speaker 2: new Hampshire, it's the
Speaker 1: isle of shoals
Speaker 2: and it's a set of islands that are right on the maine new Hampshire border
Speaker 1: and these
Speaker 2: are the little details that you, you know, get into what you land. But apparently once upon a time there was a like a line on the dock that showed which side was main, which side was new Hampshire but it was more legend than reality
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: eventually it went away. But I think the particular island that we were on is in the state of new Hampshire. So proper respect is paid.
Speaker 1: Am I correct? You told me, I think that it's far enough into the water that you're seeing both the sunrise and the sunset over the ocean.
Speaker 2: Yes, you can still see the mainland,
Speaker 1: but you definitely
Speaker 2: get an ocean sunset as well as an ocean sunrise and
Speaker 1: I mean
Speaker 2: it's a perpetual ocean breezes and the sound of waves on the rocks and you know everything you would imagine from an old victorian hotel on the north atlantic coast, you know, huge wide deck built over 100 and 50 years ago with Adirondack rocking chairs on it that
Speaker 1: however
Speaker 2: many thousands of people have just sat on over, you know, hundreds of years now. It's really,
Speaker 2: it's a space that's both very relaxed and also very alive. There are a lot of artists and writers that have spent time there. There are a lot of young people that spend their summers on the island. So it ends up being a place where a lot of people that attend conferences there,
Speaker 2: a lot of kids that develop a relationship to the place end up working as staff and spending summers there. So there's also this living community on the island that
Speaker 2: knows the place very well and
Speaker 2: is also a special community. Oftentimes people that have have known each other and are there to
Speaker 2: both spend the summer working, but also to spend the summer with like minded people thinking big thoughts and making music and
Speaker 2: being a part of all these conferences that go on over the course of the summer.
Speaker 1: Very cool, very cool.
Speaker 2: Definitely picture my little girl's someday doing a summer of work as pelicans. That's what they call the council on Star Island. Exactly.
Speaker 1: Oh that's really, really cool. I know when you describe to me the,
Speaker 1: they did a big game of um
Speaker 1: I guess kind of like capture the flag but like capture the councilor like
Speaker 2: essentially.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And the thing that cracked me up was dan telling me that his oldest daughter Anisha niche was like hung out in this one spot and managed to catch like multiple counselors and so
Speaker 1: as she's walking them to the zone that you bring them to some gazebo or something, it's like she's got like two or three of them into.
Speaker 2: I mean she's,
Speaker 1: she's like tall and lean and she's got that wild hair like I could just say and she's so into whatever she's doing. I could just see her like yeah,
Speaker 1: here we go. I'm bringing in three and she
Speaker 2: was like a little bit on the young side to actually be a successful catcher of the super seniors that were hiding all around the island.
Speaker 1: So and by the end
Speaker 2: of the game, most of them are caught and are in the little gazebo down on the front lawn and
Speaker 2: the few remaining ones are kind of trying to break through these packs of kids that are set up all across the lawn and you know, so they're running for the gazebo and all the little kids streaming after
Speaker 1: after the and
Speaker 2: you know there's only a couple left, there's sort of a countdown and once they're all captured they get marched out the dock and they have to jump into the freezing
Speaker 1: atlantic
Speaker 2: ocean so summer can be and then all of a sudden at the top of the hill coming out of the tennis courts is Anisha and yeah she's got you know one in each hand and another she marches them down to the
Speaker 1: gazebo.
Speaker 1: They
Speaker 2: weren't the very last ones but it was close and you you would have to get her grandmother gaga my mother on the show to tell you the exact details of how it was that she lay in wait and snagged these three.
Speaker 2: But highlight of the weekend for me.
Speaker 1: Well that is awesome, thank you for painting such a vivid picture and it's really cool that you got to test out some of that thinking forward material. I'm curious was there a particular topic that you saw people really go o or like
Speaker 1: what was kind of the highlight from that conversation?
Speaker 1: Well, sort
Speaker 2: of as you would expect the I think the question about whether or not you always send a wedding gift was one that people sort of said uh huh they thought about, but it's it's it's a pretty specific question. So there wasn't a lot of discussion on it. It's just
Speaker 2: I feel this way, I feel that way.
Speaker 2: Um we also talked about tipping for table service at restaurants and what that might look like moving forward. And that actually ended up resulting in a pretty detailed discussion about the current system, just what it is, where it came from. What are the different overlapping
Speaker 2: laws about what servers are paid and what are some different approaches people have taken to
Speaker 2: thinking about ways to do that more equitably.
Speaker 2: And I think a lot like you and I I think the consensus in the room, although there wasn't much of a consensus that formed. I think people started to realize that
Speaker 2: there are lots of ins and outs to it and it is
Speaker 2: so ingrained in so many people, the idea of it changing is going to take a while. That was the thing, whether we think it should, whether we'd like it to go in this direction or that direction.
Speaker 2: The reality is it's such a strong social contract and we understand it
Speaker 2: so deeply. It's been processed and embedded in so many of us that it's going to be a hard one to change.
Speaker 2: We started to talk about how titles have changed over time, the additions of the miz and mix and
Speaker 2: the reality that for men, there is no married title. And the instant reaction in the room was, well, why not just get rid of married titles completely. And it almost seemed like there was a
Speaker 2: a very quick and instantaneous
Speaker 1: consensus
Speaker 2: that was coming together around that idea. Well, once you think about it, do we really need married titles? And
Speaker 2: as the discussion went on, I started to hear from in the room, started to hear from people who had lived with married titles for a long time and who had different kinds of thoughts and feelings about them. And even had real expectations about the way things had been done
Speaker 2: More consistently, let's say 30, 40 years ago and how much that meant to them. And
Speaker 2: all of a sudden the discussion was proceeding with a lot more nuance and care and the idea that a married title might be confusing, but also worthwhile to some people. So how do you reduce the confusion? How do you
Speaker 2: do it in a way that's equitable. And all of a sudden I think some of the suggestions that you and I had or some of the
Speaker 2: the ideas that we have about ways you might proceed with a married title that was more equitable I think was really registering with people.
Speaker 2: I don't think I got any converts.
Speaker 1: But it
Speaker 2: was really interesting to watch the discussion go from one of why are we even talking about titles? This isn't very interesting.
Speaker 2: Let's talk about tipping too.
Speaker 1: I see the subtlety
Speaker 2: of this. I see some of the ins and outs of this and why it might be worth thinking about, which is
Speaker 2: just really satisfying
Speaker 1: and how deeply personal it is to people, you know, as they were sharing some of those stories that you told me about. Um it really places that continued importance on
Speaker 1: our identities, how we think of ourselves, how we want the world to think of us and and how we want to be represented with
Speaker 1: our names and and the titles and the things that do identify us. So I I thought that was really cool. It's exactly what we were hoping for out of the thinking forward conversation of the book was that it would really stir conversation and expand thinking and and get people to to consider this as something to participate in.
Speaker 1: So I was really excited to hear about that. Oh, thank you so much cause for sharing so much about Star Island, both the fun side and the, and the etiquette fun side. Well,
Speaker 2: and I'm holding myself back, I could go on and on and on, but it's a little bit like um
Speaker 2: asking someone to watch slides of your vacation, just the right dosage is important. So I hope I've shown proper restraint.
Speaker 1: I think you certainly have, but I know that as your restraining there that we are about to unleash you on some questions
Speaker 2: ready to get to
Speaker 1: some questions for the show,
Speaker 2: Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Alright,
Speaker 1: awesome
Speaker 2: etiquette is here to answer your questions? You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: 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 were 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: Our first question is titled dirty dishes hello lizzie and dan, I hope this finds you enjoying the glories of Vermont summer and I will say indeed it has
Speaker 2: right.
Speaker 1: I have a question for the podcast.
Speaker 1: I rent an office in a small building where a few other folks rent individual offices, dan this sounds a lot like R. E. P. I office experience.
Speaker 2: I'm wondering if it's someone upstairs from me right now,
Speaker 1: if it is, it's gonna crack me up. We all share access to a kitchenette
Speaker 1: though only three of us seem to actually use it often. In fact, I would say usually when I reach for a piece of the communal dishware or utensil, I find it dirty,
Speaker 1: it's not languishing in the sink but in the drying rack as though someone believes they've washed it.
Speaker 1: Is there a polite and effective way to approach this problem with my office neighbors, a note left in the kitchen seems like too much, but the idea of face to face accusing them of poor dishwashing skills makes me quake in my sandals.
Speaker 1: I don't know them much at all,
Speaker 1: grateful for any suggestions or sample scripts. Thank you. Carmen.
Speaker 2: Carmen, thank you so much for the question. The office kitchen. I just want to put a little like siren alert. Beware beware like etiquette alarm that goes off as people even think the thought office kitchen?
Speaker 1: Well, this one's even harder because it's like, it's not one office, it's a shared kitchen between different businesses.
Speaker 2: Usually I would be saying to myself, okay, let's start ticking through the list. We've got a hierarchy for this. There's the, do you know them well enough to say something. Do you cross paths with them when you're in the space together? Could you just open the conversation?
Speaker 2: If not, is there a supervisor or boss or someone who
Speaker 2: does have the authority or the standing to address an issue? That's a repeated issue that's affecting other people.
Speaker 2: But you're right there is that complication here that that these are
Speaker 2: technically different businesses. So the chain of command. The hierarchy of the organization isn't something that you can lean into quite as easily here.
Speaker 1: It's almost like there's a kitchen committee of the, you know, like a, like a round table of the,
Speaker 1: of the kitchen and shared experience in this office building as opposed to like you're saying, some kind of
Speaker 1: simple and clear hierarchical
Speaker 2: structure. Yeah, I mean maybe there's a building manager or property manager or one of the business owners owns the building and its renting out the space to others.
Speaker 2: But even then you've got a complication and that the other
Speaker 2: tenants are in some ways customers. So it's, it's not as easy to dictate terms, even if technically you are the person who has the standing to address common space issues.
Speaker 2: I'm thinking that with an
Speaker 2: question like this where it's not
Speaker 2: clear question of safety or it's such an imposition on other people that it's easy for a property manager building manager to make a declaration about
Speaker 1: it, that
Speaker 2: my solutions would all be much more personal. I would be thinking about controlling the things I can control keeping a little set of clean dishes that I think of as mine.
Speaker 2: And I would say to myself, if other people really aren't washing up the way I would like them to, or up to standards that would make me feel comfortable.
Speaker 2: It's going to be easier for me
Speaker 2: to have a little subset of dishes that are mine, then it's going to be for me to really monitor what other people are doing or even impact or change their behaviors or habits,
Speaker 1: dan. I definitely hear you on that. And I think that for a lot of people that's going to be the go to solution is just, you know what I'm going to bring in my own dishes.
Speaker 1: And I do think in that case you're gonna want to keep those dishes separate from the communal dishes. You know, like I wouldn't go in expecting that. I could, you know, use my blue plate, which is the only blue plate that's there and my, you know, I don't know,
Speaker 1: non silver, silver, my own particular set of utensils and stuff and then other people won't touch them. If I haven't said anything like for me, I would be kind of keeping those things probably in my office and bringing them in, washing them, drying them and bringing them back.
Speaker 1: Or if you each have your own little cupboard or something like that,
Speaker 1: then I would, I would keep them in there. But I also think that there's space here for a conversation. I am sure that this group has to deal with some, I think my mother would call it like housekeeping in this type of situation where you're all sharing this particular space, but nobody maybe owns it or nobody is
Speaker 1: really in charge of it.
Speaker 1: That if there is some kind of meeting that, that you do that, that would be an opportune time to, to bring up and just say, hey,
Speaker 1: I just wanted to bring up the fact that I'm, I'm starting to see some things in the kitchen that um either concern me or that I'd love to address to make using the kitchen a more pleasant experience for everybody
Speaker 1: and go into the various things I've seen or noticed and then ask people how they'd like to handle it. Do you guys wanna just instead of having communal wear each have our own wear wear meaning dishware I'd open it up to some of the different solutions that might be possibilities from everybody. Just you know paying a bit more attention to
Speaker 1: actually separating things out. And that way it's kind of like a group decision that you're gonna change the M. O. Of what's going on there. I will just say general office whether it's a single office that owns the kitchen or whether it's a shared office experience like this between multiple businesses.
Speaker 1: It's it really isn't ever okay or good etiquette to leave stuck on food
Speaker 1: on your dishes and to put those in the drying rack or to treat the drying rack as if it's some kind of waiting station before you you clean your dishes. The drying rack should be for clean clean objects. Um And you really should never be leaving food
Speaker 1: um or stuck on food on on utensils and things. And I know like you know a little parmesan cheese on the side of the fork sometimes goes unnoticed or something like that and that would happen in our kitchen at E. P. I. When we had more staff
Speaker 1: but for the most part you wanna really make sure everything gets cleaned. And I think part of that is also making sure that there's good things to clean with. You know obviously dish soap but also a sponge that has a scrubby side to it
Speaker 1: that you can actually kind of work on something with. Because I think if you've just got a really soft sponge,
Speaker 1: there are times where that's not going to get off something that's dried on a little bit
Speaker 2: lizzie, could you talk a little bit about your father in the kitchen
Speaker 1: sink? So we did for quite a while share an office sync with a neighboring business
Speaker 1: and they thought it was hysterical because one of my dad's employees
Speaker 1: fat. Oh wait no it was me, sorry this wasn't a Bruce thing, this was a me thing because it was my photo, there was a photo from my high school graduation of my dad sitting in a lawn chair and he did that thing where you go to take a photo of him and rather than smile for a photo, you know that will end up in an album.
Speaker 1: He kind of gave this really like questioning look like a furrowed brow and like a
Speaker 1: the expression on his face wasn't terse but it was definitely like
Speaker 1: why are you taking a picture of me? You know like kind of like what what what like I don't know, maybe he was trying to be cool but it's a great photo because the look of like confusion and and just like nah don't do that like on his, on his face is really there and
Speaker 1: It's a slightly, you know, I was what? Well I guess I would have been 18 if it was high school, I would have been 14 if it was eighth grade and I don't remember which it was, but you know his hair hadn't grade yet and it was still kind of bushy and and so it was like a younger Peter Post as well. And
Speaker 1: I ended up putting a little thing on it that said don't mess with the sink
Speaker 1: and that photo went right above the sink and it kind of lived there in legend and when we moved out of the building, the other resident asked if they could take that photo and put it in there now own private kitchen for their employees.
Speaker 1: And that just cracked me up that like
Speaker 1: this don't mess with the sink. Like just became the thing of the kitchen at Union,
Speaker 2: the Union Street
Speaker 1: Adams school building
Speaker 2: essentially that alarm that I was talking about at the start of the answer because it is one of the places where we hear the most the shared bathrooms, the shared kitchen spaces are
Speaker 2: to places that people sometimes don't think of immediately when they think of offices and the etiquette issues that arise when people share workspaces, but it's those very critically important support spaces for the work that are oftentimes the locust for some of the biggest interpersonal problems that that start to crop up.
Speaker 2: And I love your reminder about the,
Speaker 2: the standards they're being elevated, being more than they would be in your own home, whatever the standard is for yourself in your own home,
Speaker 2: you want to take extra extra care so that
Speaker 2: you're a low impact, if not a no impact resident or tenant in those shared spaces,
Speaker 1: you know me, I'm a fan of that, no impact that that it should, it should be just pristine and clean and ready for the next person. Um, anything they grab should be usable. I used to do a thing at our offices where I wouldn't bring my like my plates or my dishes to the kitchen until I was, I had enough time to wash them because I didn't want to be that person leaving something in the sink and saying, oh I was gonna do it, but and because there's always some kind of but and it would be much better for me to have those dirty dishes sitting in with me and
Speaker 1: in our cases we had private offices
Speaker 1: um than it would be for me to go leave them there with a question mark or write a note, be right back like that's that's still making it someone else's problem to maneuver around. And so I was, I was always a fan of that, ready to use, always, always ready to use kitchen space
Speaker 2: leave no trace is the ideal.
Speaker 1: Carmen. Thank you so much for the question. We hope that this gives you a couple of different ways to approach this situation.
Speaker 2: That's right. You can take real pride in your dishes. Joy gets dishes more than clean, you get to see yourself shine.
Speaker 2: Joy is clear, crystal clear. There's nothing to dull dishes so your china and glasses dry shiny, even the pots and pans.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about a lingering landlord.
Speaker 2: Hello. How do you navigate a relationship with a landlord who is too friendly.
Speaker 2: I rent out one side of a duplex and the landlord lives next door when we first met to tour the unit. He was a very talkative guy and we ended up talking for over two hours about the unit, the neighborhood and eventually his background and childhood.
Speaker 2: In the first few weeks he would text occasionally to ask how I was settling in or if I needed anything fixed. This was all very nice up to this point, but then it started ramping up.
Speaker 2: He has invited me over to his unit for snacks several times he leaves food on my porch, bizarre new store bought food like canned diced tomatoes and croutons.
Speaker 2: He will call me just to chat and these would end up being 40 minute calls about the weather, local transportation, sports, which I told him I don't follow and one time the Oscars,
Speaker 2: once he called when I was at a store and I was next in line and when I told him so he said okay and abruptly hung up.
Speaker 2: I am generally very open and talkative myself and I realize some of these just sound like friendly neighbor behavior. But I don't feel comfortable having this personal relationship with my landlord. For example, he asks about my work from home schedule and what my weekend plans are
Speaker 2: and I don't feel comfortable telling my landlord who is next door when I won't be at the unit.
Speaker 2: He has texted me to remind me to wash my car when he noticed it getting dirty and then later he left a hose on my porch.
Speaker 2: Is there a term for passive, aggressively nice. How can I communicate to my landlord that I want to set a boundary here. I don't need food handouts. I don't want him to be monitoring my car and these chats always take far too long. Should I be more open to this level of friendliness with a landlord?
Speaker 2: I certainly appreciate that he is more friendly and available than not.
Speaker 2: I see the value of having a good relationship with the landlord and I really like the unit.
Speaker 2: But I also don't want to have to schmooze this much just for a good renewal rate.
Speaker 2: Thanks talkative tenant
Speaker 1: talkative tenant. This is a tough one dan because I and I feel like this is a situation I would find myself in because in general I am very willing to have conversation and that you know that brief hello could easily turn into a two hour talk. And
Speaker 1: I remember
Speaker 1: starting to establish this type of relationship with my neighbor one over um Andrea and her husband, well not husband but but husband jim.
Speaker 2: They have a
Speaker 1: joke about the names, they call each other for waifish and no husband or non husband, something like that. Anyway, when it develops well
Speaker 1: and it becomes somebody you really like and can lean on. I mean we now
Speaker 1: I remember she was watching my cats while I was doing a stint of dog sitting out in another town and she snagged a couple rolls of paper towels and I hadn't even noticed and she said, hey, I took a couple rolls of paper towels.
Speaker 1: I'm sorry, I forgot to mention it earlier and I was like, I didn't even notice and please always feel free to do that. I have definitely snagged sugar from your house when I'm watching your cats like
Speaker 1: don't worry about it. She goes, I thought we had that kind of relationship. I was like, we definitely do. Um but it was really, it was fun building that it was fun testing those waters over time and it was fun because it all felt right and good
Speaker 1: and while I think that this type of relationship can be amazing when it's wanted,
Speaker 1: When you are in the position that talkative 10ant is where it's like I'm not interested in having you tell me to wash my car or to feel like you might be put off if I say I can't talk right now. I think that that's a really good indication that this
Speaker 1: isn't working for you and that it's not the type of relationship you'd like to have with your landlord and
Speaker 1: I do think you're in some delicate territory because you do live next door.
Speaker 1: And so things about when you might be a way they might be trying to plan maybe a get together or something like that and they know that it would bother you and so they don't, you know what I mean? I could see,
Speaker 1: I could see there being advantages to talking about schedules and things like that from time to time, but not all the time. And personally I find the whole wash your car, here's a hose thing way over the top. That to me feels like, you know, I really appreciate it. I'm sure you're trying to be nice, but I, I don't feel comfortable having you tell me when I should wash my car. And that's how it came across to me when you both reminded me about it and left a hose on my porch. And I think those would be conversations I'd be starting to want to have. I'm a little more confrontational than my cousin.
Speaker 1: Um, so I'm very curious to hear dan your thoughts on how talkative tenant might be able to handle some of these things.
Speaker 1: Um, but for me, when that, when that wash your car and the hose thing, I might say, oh thanks. I can take care of that kind of stuff for myself though. I, you know, I would appreciate not receiving reminders about that. Um, I think if you say it in a friendly enough and kind of, I hope I delivered that reasonably
Speaker 1: but a reasonable way. I think that some boundary setting here is, is probably necessary to get the relationship you're looking for.
Speaker 2: I was drawing a pretty similar line in my head when I was thinking about the things that I would respond to and the things that I would
Speaker 2: maybe try to preempt but would use subtler tactics to try to address. And I'm thinking a little bit about just the sense that this relationship doesn't feel right. The,
Speaker 2: the duration of the conversation, the nature of the food that's being left, the, that doesn't feel special occasione or gift. E but
Speaker 2: but harder to place. Exactly. And
Speaker 2: I think that hard to place feeling of this conversation isn't comfortable for me or I just don't like it. It's just going on too long. There's not an etiquette rule we can point at that says,
Speaker 2: oh, this person's behaving badly or they're not picking up cues or something like that. It's just something I think you trust yourself and and develops within a relationship, it's a sense that you have,
Speaker 2: I don't want to be spending this much time focused on and with this person, that's just not where my priorities are in terms of the relationships in my life there, my landlord,
Speaker 2: but I'm not really looking for them to be this kind of friend
Speaker 2: because it is subtler, more gray area. I think that my approach would be subtler and more gray. I would do things like I would set up my conversations with them letting them know, I don't have a lot of time to talk or
Speaker 2: I would pay attention to the incoming calls and I wouldn't take those calls at times where I didn't want to be talking to that person. There's
Speaker 2: no rule that says you have to answer your phone when someone calls you and
Speaker 2: if you can identify that this is the landlord next door and you talked to him yesterday and maybe the day before or maybe a couple of days before that and
Speaker 2: this isn't a great time for you or you're just not interested. I think it's perfectly ok to ignore that. And I think that becomes a type of communication. Your availability becomes a cue for them
Speaker 2: and it might be that you get to a point where they're not picking up those subtle cues and it's something you really want to address. But I would start with that kind of work.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: But like you lizzie when I, when I get to something where someone is telling me that my car needs washing and without me asking for any help or assistance, they're leaving out the materials that I would need to do that,
Speaker 2: I loved the beginning of that sample script and I forget the exact wording that you use, but it was something, something boundary setting, that was just you know, I really, I don't need someone to be checking in with me about that and I think you then followed up with a second sample script, there was something like, and I'd appreciate if you
Speaker 2: didn't remind me about it, I might wait to get a reminder or
Speaker 1: before
Speaker 2: I delivered that part of it, but I think that that would be an appropriate escalation if if they didn't
Speaker 2: listen to me when I clearly
Speaker 2: drew that line or mentioned that
Speaker 2: I like how our question ask er is also aware that
Speaker 2: this could potentially impact their relationship with this person as a landlord, that the friend relationship is a bit much in a lot of different ways,
Speaker 2: but that they want to take care with that because there's a landlord relationship there that is also valuable and that they appreciate
Speaker 1: and they like the space they want to keep that space. I feel like that's an important part there too, you know, they like the unit.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: so you you do your best to take really good care of the landlord relationship and draw as many boundaries as you can with the friend relationship.
Speaker 2: But I think you also can say to yourself and I think it's always a good exercise too
Speaker 2: allow yourself to imagine the extremes in any situation and what you could ultimately live with. And you might say to yourself as much as I love this unit and love the
Speaker 2: the current cost of it. If it comes with a new friend that I am not interested in, maybe
Speaker 1: it's not the perfect
Speaker 2: unit that maybe this is going to be a spot that you're in for a year or a couple of years or a rent cycle or two. But it isn't the long term place that you're looking for or there are elements of it that aren't just related to its location and its square footage that make it less desirable.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 1: talkative tenant. This is definitely delicate territory. And I think dan was doing a good job of describing just how delicate that was a moment ago.
Speaker 1: And so we do suggest that you proceed with caution,
Speaker 1: take each interaction as it comes and have confidence
Speaker 1: dealing with it in the moment or relatively close to the moment. And I think that that will help to over time build the boundaries that you are looking for or
Speaker 1: it will show you that those boundaries may be too hard to build. And as dan said, it might be something that you then move on from this place because even if you like the unit
Speaker 1: if the landlord slash neighbor that it comes with is too too much to deal with. That that's not that's that's not the type of living situation that you would want. But I think that that building the boundary slowly with each individual thing, whether that's
Speaker 1: you know, directly addressing a reminder like about the washing the car
Speaker 1: or if it's about as dan said, stating up front in conversations how much time you actually have to talk or really screening those phone calls and letting voicemail be that useful tool that over time you may be able to build the boundary that you're looking for.
Speaker 1: We wish you good luck. This is definitely an etiquette challenge, but we think it's one that you can definitely rise to and we hope that you're able to develop exactly the kind of relationship you need to have with your landlord.
Speaker 2: If you have any problems like those you've just seen talk them over get them settled
Speaker 2: because the only way to have a friend is to be one and friendship is one of the most precious things in life.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Confidante complication High E. P. I I have a question for the podcast which I adore. I'm 26 recently moved to a new city and have been faced with truly making new friends as an adult for the first time
Speaker 1: my existing friends all came from school college and my previous job.
Speaker 1: One thing I've struggled with is meeting people through various means, such as online apps like Bumble BFF, mutual friends or hobbies and clubs and attempting to move from the status of acquaintance to friend.
Speaker 1: Oftentimes I have extended invitations to someone to join me for coffee or drink or food or tag along to an event or even just mentioned that I'd be interested in joining them for something like for something they like to do yoga, kickboxing, dog park, etcetera. I want to be this person's friend
Speaker 1: after a few attempts to engage them and not have it be reciprocated important, even when they accept my invitations to get together, how much should I continue to initiate plans versus give up on the relationship?
Speaker 1: My trouble is that these people show interest. And so I put myself out there continually assuming they just need the nudge or that it helps to stay in their periphery.
Speaker 1: But after 2-3 times of not having an invitation returned, I start to worry that it's something else entirely and that I should stop making an effort.
Speaker 1: What do you think the etiquette rules are here? Especially in the modern world of friend making thanks Abby.
Speaker 1: That's a great question.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I was gonna say, Abby, thank you so much for the question Making friends as adults is not easy and it's not a question that we get asked explicitly like this that often, but it's
Speaker 2: such a great question and
Speaker 2: the parallels to dating come up in my mind, the idea that you've got these sort of feel each other out, get to know each other interactions that happen in public spaces and venues, and then there's a process of maybe spending a little bit more direct time together and then
Speaker 2: how you transition from that kind of a step to a relationship where you feel like you're closer, where you feel like you're inside a social circle or within a certain social distance that allows for maybe more casual or consistent get togethers in communication and how you establish those patterns and habits
Speaker 2: with people that are more and more fixed in their ways and have more and more demands on them and their times is
Speaker 2: is really not easy. And while we talk about it a lot in the dating context, we talk about it much less in the just adults making friends context. And it's such a great question, I'm sure that lizzie post has some thoughts on this,
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: hear you just waiting so patiently while I just sort of ramble on about the nature of the question,
Speaker 1: well, you've been a front row seat to to my own version of this, I feel like for the past
Speaker 1: 11, maybe 12 years now, I would say that when I got out of my last big relationship, that socializing became really important to me and there was a while when I ran with a crowd of girlfriends and we went downtown and we were kind of this group of like 6 to 10 women who all checked in with each other, hung out with each other, did things together. It was often going out to dinner and then going out dancing afterwards, but
Speaker 1: we found other things to do too. And then you watched that evolve into when I started playing golf much more seriously and I developed friends at the club and then I even developed a second group of friends from the club, but trying to get those friends to hang out outside of the club
Speaker 1: and like wondering kind of where you are with them because you do, you spend, I mean golf, it's like you spend a lot of time when you spend like four plus hours with someone
Speaker 1: you really get to talking about a lot. So those relationships can feel very intimate, but then you recognize, wait a minute, we never hang out anywhere but golf
Speaker 1: and then they ask you to officiate their wedding and you're like, wow, I really am in the inner circle here. Like, you know, I'm the only friend at this wedding, I want you to
Speaker 2: put a tag on that because I want to come back to,
Speaker 1: you know, but like I found that my definition of friendship has greatly changed
Speaker 1: that it's, I now have all kinds of different types of friends. I have my
Speaker 1: neighborhood friends that I can, like I said, I described earlier in today's show a neighbor with whom we can walk into each other's houses, we've got the keys, we've got the codes, uh, seen each other in all sorts of states, you know,
Speaker 1: and those are really deep and meaningful friendships. But they're different from my golfing friendships, which are also different from my, we went to high school together and our moms are best friends, friendships
Speaker 1: And my college friendships in my early 20s friendships which seem to be much more over the phone these days because nobody lives anywhere near each other. And I think abby, what I'm just trying to say is that
Speaker 1: there are so many different types of friendships we can have in life. And as you're building your networks in the places that you move to and, and that won't stop even if you choose to get married or have Children, you'll have your mom friends and you'll have your, these friends, you know, it's like
Speaker 1: really embracing all the different friendships and I found personally not letting it get to me that maybe I no longer had what I thought of as a best friend like or an in town a local best friend maybe as a way to put it, but to celebrate all the different types of friendships that I do have.
Speaker 1: It made me feel really good and it allowed some of those more really personal deep, close network can call him any time, you know, you hang out probably every other week or every week friendships to actually develop and,
Speaker 1: and some of them have dipped out. I, I have a friend, um, jenny who,
Speaker 1: um, we, she was dating a friend of mine and, and we like liked each other but weren't very close when that was going on. And then a number of years later they got back together and they actually got married and she and I became like really tight and then they like the pandemic hit and we really lost touch with each other
Speaker 1: and like this was someone who like held me during a very ugly cry when Benny, my dog that many of you have been on the show for a long time. No,
Speaker 1: like devastated me and then we didn't talk for like a year and a half now we're back to like getting in touch and golfing and checking in with one another and they've got a kid, so she's in the new mom zone so that's a little different in our friendship, but it's awesome and
Speaker 1: friendships as adults are really interesting things and if you can get to the place where
Speaker 1: you're really observant about who's kind of fallen into what category, I think it starts to become really manageable and something that you wrap your head around more than feeling like
Speaker 1: what do I gotta do to have a good friend here? You know, this is tough because I think it can be tough,
Speaker 1: Sorry cause I could go on and on. I mean that was like five minutes basically. No. And and
Speaker 2: I think that you're getting to the answer that is the answer I would most like to give to this question which is that friendships come in so many forms. When you were talking about
Speaker 2: the best friend concept, I was reminded of this episode of Paddington Bear that I watched with Anisha recently where Paddington gets to pick the best friend that he wants to bring out for a special pizza lunch and he can't do it
Speaker 2: and he's going through his life and he's got all of these people at the end of the show, he's got them all sitting there and he tells them that he can't pick a best friend because they're all his best friend. And
Speaker 2: it's so true that that as our lives get bigger and more complicated,
Speaker 2: there is a lot of room for a lot of different kinds of friendships. I love that reminder and as you were talking, I was reflecting back, I was thinking about my life and all the different
Speaker 2: stages of it where I had different friend groups in high school where I floated around with everybody in college where I had more of a dedicated group. I really felt like I was part of a social crew for the first time in my life or
Speaker 2: coming out of college, the way I discovered a community of people that were passionate about the same things I was passionate about dance and the performing arts and the types of friendships that formed out of the experiences that I had pursuing that interest and then
Speaker 2: returning home to friends and family and reconnect anyway, the various stages of my life and the the subset of friends that have traveled with me from one stage to another that so often the person I'm the closest to at this stage
Speaker 2: Maybe isn't the person I'm the closest to 10 years older, but someone else I knew at that stage in my life is really good at
Speaker 2: the long distance communication that it takes to sustain a relationship and then
Speaker 2: That friend ends up becoming sort of a college friend I end up having a more significant relationship with because we're able to attenuate it and have it over time and distance for the next 20 years. And
Speaker 2: it's really exciting to me to actually think about it in that way. The way all these different friendships that have happened in different venues have
Speaker 2: fulfilled different needs I had at the time, and then also the ways that they've
Speaker 2: stayed in my life or exited my life and and become the sort of pageant of relationships that that that you can look back on and enjoy and tap into.
Speaker 1: Um
Speaker 2: in terms of practical advice for me when I'm thinking about the complexity of life and just the amount of time that anybody has to spend on anything.
Speaker 2: I really like the idea of making friends around activities that I enjoy doing, so that there's
Speaker 2: never any loss if I'm just going to the yoga class, that's my favorite yoga class.
Speaker 2: Worst case, I get a great yoga class, Best case I get to know everyone else in town who thinks that yoga class is the best yoga class
Speaker 1: and little
Speaker 2: by little. I guess what I get to know the people that like that class as much as I do and there's a certain consistency that's required I think in knowing your own interests and
Speaker 2: pursuing them in a way that allows relationships to form around them.
Speaker 2: But it's, it's the advice that I think I can hear my parents giving me which
Speaker 2: is always pursue the things that are true to you and the relationships that emerge around those things are going to be relationships that have significance for you as well. So that would be my practical advice in terms of, I land in a new city, I'm looking to make friends or just meet people.
Speaker 2: I would think about the things that I enjoy the most and I would pursue them and pursue them in a way that I get to do them with other people
Speaker 2: and I would trust that we are social creatures and there is no way we can spend time together and not start to form social bonds.
Speaker 1: I think that another really important thing to remember right now and this is at least personally in my world, I am noticing that um since the pandemic, it has been harder to get together with people that I find people are still operating in a zone of feeling a bit burned out
Speaker 1: either having really enjoyed kind of the toning down of social life that the pandemic has done for a lot of us, especially that that first year and embracing it and moving forward with a slower social calendar or less full social calendar or that just, it's a struggle right now to still balance. We're not out of the woods yet as this be a five has just come around and I just experienced.
Speaker 1: But I've noticed that that sometimes at the end of a long day connecting with other people isn't what I want to be doing or that I'm just in a habit of not doing it and so I let it go, I don't reach out to someone after work, even if we've talked about getting together and wanting to get together
Speaker 1: and so I try to to not beat myself up.
Speaker 1: Sometimes you are. And I remember my therapist actually marking this is something she really liked hearing from me once was that I had a weekend
Speaker 1: where I had, this was when I was newly single and trying to develop kind of my world again on my own and I just said to her, I was like, you know, I called all these people and my parents were out of town and you know, my sister and I weren't hanging out at that point and so it was like I just I didn't have anybody and so I was like, I just kind of like
Speaker 1: stuck in for a lonely weekend and and she loved the idea of embracing that sometimes too, where it's just like, you know,
Speaker 1: I put the feelers out there, I didn't get anything back. So to my garden, I went or to my personal activities that I like doing on my own, you know, I engaged, but it can be really tough when you do feel like you're the one always reaching out. You can be like, do they really want to hang out with me?
Speaker 1: Oftentimes that other person Abby is so grateful that you are reaching out because they feel like a heel for not having reached out. And at least that's what I hear from a lot of my friends, like
Speaker 1: one I have one friend who she is a terrible texter
Speaker 1: and I've just learned that like it's not that she doesn't care, it's not that she doesn't want to see me, it's just she struggles with this. And so I don't take it as personally as I used to and as you develop relationships with people, someone who really wants to be getting together and is used to being the person who reach out, they're gonna call you,
Speaker 1: they're gonna reach out and it's gonna happen, but especially in a new place, I think it can take some time to develop that and I just want to give you all the encouragement to keep doing what you're doing. It sounds like you are an awesome fun person who is ready to engage with folks
Speaker 1: and I just say have heart and keep after it. I really do mean it, I think you're on the right track and over time
Speaker 1: you're going to build the types of relationships that are gonna be really satisfying as friendships.
Speaker 2: I couldn't agree more. And before we close out our answer, I also want to address the point of etiquette that Abby raises, which is the question of reciprocating invitations. And there is a
Speaker 2: very classic etiquette rule that you make an effort to
Speaker 2: reciprocates social invitations and in some social circles that is as direct as okay, someone's invited me to a dinner party, I'm going to invite them to a dinner party or at least to a cocktail party and that you can
Speaker 2: very much count on people playing those roles in a way that's very intentional. The new person in the community gets invited by a certain subset of people in that community already to come do things.
Speaker 2: That invitation is returned and by the time it's done,
Speaker 2: basic introductions have been made and opportunities to figure out who you might want to engage with socially in the future has, has those opportunities have all been presented and and explored,
Speaker 2: There is a more casual version of that. I've called you a couple of times. It would be nice if you called me a couple of times and I've taken the burden of thinking about the movie that would be a fun movie to see or the activity that would be a fun one to have or the location to meet at or even inviting people to my place.
Speaker 2: Those are all great
Speaker 2: things to think about as invitations that are primed to be reciprocated. And if you're always following someone else's direction, giving them an opportunity to say yes to a plan that you have is
Speaker 2: a nice thing to do and it's good etiquette and it helps people to not feel the way Abby maybe feels sometimes and
Speaker 2: it's a way to share some of those social obligations. I don't want to call them burdens. Being someone who's more likely to stay home. I think of them as burdens sometimes, but they're really not their social opportunities
Speaker 1: And Dan. That is a really good etiquette point and I'm going to take us out of this long answer with a challenge. Everybody listening today or when you listen to this show, make it a point within the next, I'm gonna say eight hours, not 24 hours within the next eight hours. Reach out to someone who has reached out to you a couple of times,
Speaker 1: reach out to someone like an abbey,
Speaker 1: reach out to them and then tell us about it. Tell us about the friendship date that you went on the, you know, the get together, whatever it was, share it to our social media, drop it into our Patreon, Whatever works for you. Shoot us an email, give us a call, shoot us a text. We would love to hear from you,
Speaker 1: but think about someone who's been the person to initiate the last couple get togethers or even just outreaches that you had to turn down
Speaker 1: and call them up and invite them to do something and hopefully there's gonna be a lot of socializing going on. Abbi thank you so much
Speaker 2: for the question.
Speaker 2: Here we are at a nice friendly party. Watch carefully everything the people at this party do and say,
Speaker 2: then ask yourself, would I rate them plus or minus as friends. Ready. Here we go.
Speaker 1: Our next
Speaker 2: question is about an estranged envelope.
Speaker 1: Hello,
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette team. I'm writing in today with a question about an uncomfortable graduation gift.
Speaker 2: I recently received a graduation card and gift from my godmother on my estranged father's side of the family. I have not associated with the family for nearly 18 years due to both legal and personal reasons.
Speaker 2: When I received this card, my mother was excited at the thought of rekindling a relationship with my Godmother.
Speaker 2: However, I have decided that I want to maintain my boundary and do not want to associate with the family at all.
Speaker 2: This leaves me in a predicament with the kind gift my Godmother gave me.
Speaker 2: I want to send a thank you note, but I feel uncomfortable opening the door to the family even if only a crack.
Speaker 2: My current thought is to send a thank you note. Thanking her for her kind thoughts, gift, and wishing her well, but without including many personal details and without a return address.
Speaker 2: Would this be the most considerate, respectful and honest etiquette response?
Speaker 2: What might you suggest? Thank you, kindly, hesitant door opener,
Speaker 1: hesitant door opener. I actually do think that this is the appropriate response, although I am not sure that you can actually mail a letter without a return address.
Speaker 1: So it might be that you you choose an address that you feel comfortable with. If you have maybe a P. O. Box or something like that. And my guess is this gift made it to you somehow. I don't know if it was mailed or not, but they may already have your address or or aware of where you live.
Speaker 1: And that can also often be something people can find online quite easily.
Speaker 1: But I would definitely send a thank you note and there is nothing in a thank you note that says, you have to share personal details, as you've often heard on the show. We say, you do a nice greeting or an opener. You thank the person for the gift. You can wish them well and leave it at that. There is no tell about my life. In fact, we often think it's best if a thank you note focuses just on the thank you,
Speaker 1: I would leave it at that. And then if if there is any follow up outreach that starts to happen, I think that's probably something where you could say, you know, I did really appreciate your gift and I wanted to acknowledge it appropriately, but I'm not ready to open this door,
Speaker 1: but I did want to be polite and say thank you because I I recognized the the kindness that you extended to me. But I think that that could be a way to kind of be in that respectful zone, but keep the door shut.
Speaker 2: I like that reminder that by sending a note in reply, it doesn't obligate you then to future communication or correspondence. I think that also in the spirit of
Speaker 2: just perfect clarity. We should also say that safety supersedes
Speaker 1: etiquette. And
Speaker 2: if for any reason,
Speaker 2: the legal and personal reasons that you want to keep distance in this relationship make you think that even sending a thank you note would be too much.
Speaker 2: That sending a thank you note is the socially courteous thing to do it in some ways, closes the circle on the interaction in a way that I think
Speaker 2: wraps it up.
Speaker 2: But um, if any continued communication doesn't feel safe for you in any way you're not obligated to send a thank you note it is um Oftentimes a nice way to to de escalate in a situation because it as we, as we as I just said, it closes this interaction in some ways, but
Speaker 2: just because someone sends you something, you're not obligated to respond if, if it really isn't in your best interest and it doesn't feel safe to do So
Speaker 1: it's a really, really important point dan thank you for for bringing that up. Having
Speaker 2: said that, I really like what lizzie basically suggested the idea that
Speaker 2: that you moderate your language, you moderate your approach and you you fulfill the social obligation that's going to leave you feeling considerate, respectful and honest,
Speaker 1: hesitant
Speaker 2: door opener. We think that you can reply without opening this door too far and if you don't want to you don't have to open it even a smidge. We hope that our answer helps.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463. Or you can find us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily post on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook we are
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Speaker 1: Institute just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with any social media post so that we know you want your
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Speaker 2: If you enjoy awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing you help to keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 2: 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 in the topics we cover and today we have feedback from anonymous who had asked us for advice about getting work done instead of chatting while at her Children's swim practice. Oh I am excited for this update because
Speaker 2: me too dear lizzie and damn update, exclamation point
Speaker 2: dan. Your advice specifically was spot on. Last week. I started each of my weekly visits to the natatorium differently. I walked in, walked directly to the group of mothers who most often strike up conversation with me and sat down. They were immediately friendly and welcoming.
Speaker 2: I told them I had so appreciated their welcome the past few weeks and had enjoyed watching all the Children swimming. I asked their names, told them mine pointed out my Children, they did the same, made some small talk and then said I promised myself I would only chat for a little while. I wanted to get some work done before the end of practice. But it was so lovely meeting and chatting.
Speaker 2: Two days later when I returned I did the same thing, I immediately walked over and said hello, I tried to remember names
Speaker 2: And asked how everyone was doing. After some pleasant small talk. I excused myself. This interchanges typically no longer than 5-10 minutes as I am there for nearly two hours. I have plenty of time to do my own thing. I have continued to do this at each visit.
Speaker 2: It is beginning to feel like a natural and friendly way to start practice. They are very kind.
Speaker 2: You said something in your response to my question that really jumped out for me, your words were these are the best problems to have.
Speaker 2: It did open a new perspective for me. I really think the ladies were reaching out to include me as one of the few only people sitting alone in the bleachers. After hearing your answer, I wanted to genuinely acknowledge that kindness while being upfront about my time boundaries,
Speaker 2: but also warmly engaged and match their consideration even in a small way.
Speaker 2: I guess the old adage is right if you can't beat them, join them
Speaker 2: but be upfront with your expectations.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you so much for the great advice. Smiley face. The natatorium lady,
Speaker 1: Oh the natatorium lady, thank you so much. This is, this is the kind of stuff I live for on the podcast and because I'm giving you major air five fives and fist bumps over here. Like way to go, way to go, this is really great advice and I'm so glad that it worked
Speaker 1: and that it's given natatorium Lady a really successful way to both engage this community and get her work done in center boundaries. So cool.
Speaker 2: I think this one's going in the feedback hall of Fame. Thank you natatorium Lady.
Speaker 1: Yes,
Speaker 1: thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or you can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 802858546
Speaker 2: three.
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're gonna talk about shame and whether or not it is useful to feel bad about something because this is a big one, this is, this is some serious thought here, this
Speaker 2: is kind of a huge one.
Speaker 2: And I don't wanna imagine or pretend that we're gonna
Speaker 2: answer every question about shame and whether or not it's functional in one post script, but
Speaker 2: I did want to share something that had come up in the course of the lectures that I did on Star Island and particularly in some of the discussion that happened around those lectures
Speaker 1: and the idea
Speaker 2: of whether or not feeling bad about something is useful or not is something we've talked about on this podcast before. And
Speaker 2: when you teach about the topic of etiquette, you quickly learn that when you walk into a room full of people and you say the word etiquette, you get very different responses from people based on the experiences they've had, that people are very different,
Speaker 2: even emotional orientations around the word. Some people think about things that they loved experiences that they treasured
Speaker 2: and other people think about times they felt out of place or excluded or even judged and there are two sides of a coin when we feel like we understand social expectations and we meet them with grace and poise. It can make us feel very good and very confident. And on the flip side, when for some reason,
Speaker 2: social expectations are not met when that's someone else not meeting them, it can feel like we're being disrespected or we're not being seen
Speaker 2: and when we're not meeting them and when we're aware that we're not meeting them,
Speaker 2: it can feel really awkward. And
Speaker 2: I'm using the word shame because I think sometimes people feel some shame in those moments that
Speaker 2: any of us don't know what to do or don't know what's expected of us or
Speaker 2: maybe we sense that somebody was wanting something from us and we haven't delivered, we haven't fulfilled on that or met their expectation and
Speaker 2: that feeling of awkwardness or being out of place and in its most extreme forms of even being ashamed that there was something that we missed that would have made someone else truly feel good or not feel bad
Speaker 2: is is a real part of the etiquette equation. I think it's something worth thinking about and addressing
Speaker 1: when I think about shame. For some reason there's a, for me, a level of I should have known better or I do know better, whereas for me personally with embarrassment that like something could be very embarrassing, but I might not be as
Speaker 1: personally attached to it or it might be really understandable embarrassment.
Speaker 2: A
Speaker 1: burp escapes you loudly or you trip and fall and you know, your skirt goes above your head or something. You know, there's uh there's something about shame that,
Speaker 1: that for me if I'm taking it on and someone might try to shame me, but they might not really be effective in doing it.
Speaker 1: But there's a, there's a sense of, I feel badly about this because I did know better for me. It's funny, the first thing that comes to mind was the first time someone ever suggested to me to use embarrassment as a tool.
Speaker 1: I had gone into a credit card debt that I felt really uncomfortable about and I was really embarrassed about it and I needed to ask for help from people who had more financial experience than I for for what was the best way to handle this, What were the assets that I could
Speaker 1: lean into and the questions I could ask
Speaker 1: um both at my credit card company and at my bank and of myself in order to solve this problem because every day that the problem went on, it got worse your interest. And I was really, yeah, I know right.
Speaker 1: I was really embarrassed about that. And my Aunt Sarah was the one who told me, she said
Speaker 1: good,
Speaker 1: use that, use that embarrassment to teach yourself a lesson not to beat yourself up,
Speaker 1: but to move forward in a confident way. Because you now know what the thing that doesn't feel good that didn't serve you well looks like and you can take some control from that and you can take some confidence out of that. And it was a really interesting perspective shift for me and
Speaker 1: it wasn't the last time I got into trouble and I I was able to I'm just not in this situation anymore.
Speaker 1: But it was really good lesson learning as a young person starting to manage her own money and her own life and figuring out what the best ways to do that were when it when it came to my finances and credit and things like that. And it allowed me, I think in other ways too
Speaker 1: embrace embarrassment or shame and the distinctions between them moving forward
Speaker 1: in ways that could be more constructive rather than completely destructive, which I think they can feel that way sometimes. And and sometimes that's really there with us for a while and other times it's a shame or embarrassment. You know,
Speaker 1: I got into the car after seeing a bunch of people yesterday and I had an awful little white head on my nose and I was embarrassed. I was like, oh man. And nobody pointed it out
Speaker 1: and you know, you as an adult, I now get over that very quickly. It happens to so many people, you know, things like that. But I I really do think these can be useful tools when we use them that way and they don't always have to be something that is um the end of the world
Speaker 1: or the, you know, I need a paper bag over my head. Now when I'm out in public,
Speaker 2: know when when the shame is the period on the sentence. It's terrible when that's the last thing you're you're left with. I almost wish we could, I wish we had a recording of your Aunt Sarah's advice to you because it's it's essentially the point I wanted to drive to in this post script
Speaker 2: that that to the extent that
Speaker 2: that feeling
Speaker 2: shame or awkwardness or embarrassment can motivate us to be better to do better too.
Speaker 2: Pay more attention. I think it can be a really useful thing when you say to yourself that didn't feel good and there's there's reasons that didn't feel good and not wanting to feel that way again. I can do better and I can use this moment as a learning moment and I can move forward from here
Speaker 2: and I
Speaker 2: that was the sentiment that I found myself expressing and sharing with the group around a very different example, although I love your example of debt with the interest accruing because it's
Speaker 1: also every day. It's
Speaker 2: such a vivid reminder though of the
Speaker 2: the penalty or the cost of inaction that if that shame or embarrassment is debilitating, if it somehow limits you or or makes you withdraw inside yourself, that it
Speaker 2: it's functioning in exactly the opposite direction of the direction that you want it to function in.
Speaker 2: And I think it's a natural emotion. I think it's a natural thing to feel, we're all going to make mistakes, we're all going to
Speaker 2: miss moments that would be significant to someone else for some reason or another. And
Speaker 2: I know people that listen to this podcast and I know that you and I both think of etiquette is not something that's superficial, that it's really about wanting to be our best and to assume the best of others. And when we're really doing it well, it communicates
Speaker 2: fundamentally important things like consideration, respect and honesty. And sometimes when you miss one of those social marks,
Speaker 2: I think one of the reasons it can feel so painful is that you can understand that someone feels disrespected or that someone recognizes that you weren't considering them and
Speaker 2: those are those are offenses that can hurt enough that I do think that it can take something that
Speaker 2: maybe it feels like awkwardness or embarrassment and starts to make it feel shameful.
Speaker 2: And I think the sharpness of that feeling is something worth
Speaker 2: looking at and addressing but it's so important not to be incapacitated by it and to be able to use it
Speaker 2: to do a little better to make some improvements and and to be able to let it go once it's served its function or served its purpose. And we keep promising to have you on the show, my mental health therapist wife to talk about letting go of trauma and how we process trauma. But that's a different topic.
Speaker 2: When we were talking about this with the group, someone made a comment that I really appreciate it.
Speaker 2: And they were someone that worked in mental health as well and they were concerned about the nature of trauma and
Speaker 2: and even sort of an
Speaker 2: an even higher sort of order of shame or maybe a more intense experience of that want to feel like humiliated,
Speaker 2: like other people are shaming you are judging you. And that came up a little bit in the way you were talking about your experience with your aunt Sarah. And I was thinking to myself how important it is to mention that part of it as well. And that was the part of it. I've been thinking about since since this particular comment was made that, well, when we have our own sense of
Speaker 2: feeling bad that could potentially be useful. But when that bad feeling is directed at someone else, when we find ourselves saying they should be ashamed or they should feel bad about this. Or when we find ourselves on the receiving end of that emotion from someone else,
Speaker 2: that that can
Speaker 2: be a much harder thing to let go of. A much harder thing to make use of than when that feeling is coming from inside you and your own understanding of of how something wasn't working.
Speaker 2: Um but in in much the same way we talk about etiquette being so powerful when you're using it as a tool for self improvement. And usually we have a very positive framework around that.
Speaker 2: I think that the idea of feeling bad or feeling embarrassed or even a little ashamed is potentially incredibly useful if we're able to use it
Speaker 2: to guide ourselves.
Speaker 2: But that when we direct that emotion or that feeling at other people, I think it's much harder for them to use it in a productive or useful way. And that feeling of being humiliated, I think is something that
Speaker 2: we would never want to be a part of someone else experiencing.
Speaker 1: I will say that I was very grateful to my parents for never once shaking a finger at me during those, those times where I did kind of hang my head in shame and walk to them and said I am in trouble here and I need help or I want help, I'm going to ask for help
Speaker 1: And direction and they created a space that felt safe to learn and recover from a mistake in and I was really grateful for that and I remember thinking about that as I watched my sister as a mother tried to teach her kids who are you know two and in a couple of weeks five
Speaker 1: about moving forward from embarrassing moments, like you know, everybody trips every now and again, everybody, you know, makes little mistakes and it's it's okay that you got it wrong and look mom and I was so impressed that she would share moments of whether it was in her workday
Speaker 1: or in the way she talked to her husband or
Speaker 1: to me and and she would highlight them and talk about them and talk about the moving forward from it. And I thought personally I thought that was setting a really great example and it it
Speaker 1: it reminded me of the space my own parents had been creating for me and that even though they had probably done very similar things to my sister to me and my sister when we were little, that sometimes it can be really hard to
Speaker 1: either admit something or to ask for help and to, to move forward when you are feeling that shame and you feel like you should have known better, done better
Speaker 1: and you didn't and um it's a tough space to get into, to either admit it or feel it or carry it or bring it out into the open, but um, I was really grateful for the people and the times in my life where I have been able to take that step forward and was met with a lot of support,
Speaker 1: just really, really grateful for that.
Speaker 1: But it's interesting to see how, how you learn it, how you teach it, how you pass it on.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And it raises for me, sort of a final point or something that I was thinking about that came up in that discussion and when you talk about how we teach it, so that it's something that's useful to you. I think it also emphasizes how fraught it can potentially be. And I think it's worth
Speaker 2: asking the question of, well, what if we never felt shame?
Speaker 2: Do we really need to feel bad about anything? Is that really
Speaker 2: important at all? And it was really amazing to me, the response that came from the room, which was,
Speaker 2: we desperately need it. In
Speaker 1: fact, the
Speaker 2: would be a better place if people had a little more sense of themselves and frankly, the power that they have, the fact that they have on other people that in some ways, I think the ability to feel shame comes from
Speaker 2: a recognition that what you do matters and impacts other people and
Speaker 2: to really to really be able to fully understand all the impact that you can have, I think requires of us the understanding that none of us is gonna be perfect and that impact isn't always going to be positive and
Speaker 2: if we really understand the full breadth of what it is that we do,
Speaker 2: we have to have tools and skills for understanding when that doesn't go as well as we'd like it to. And definition aly, that's going to be the case and that if we operate
Speaker 2: without a sense of shame and we never feel bad and we never feel embarrassed,
Speaker 2: it's likely that we're missing something. It's likely that we're failing to understand the totality of the impact that we have on the people around us
Speaker 1: because this is a very big topic. I'm sure it won't be the last conversation we have on
Speaker 2: shame and
Speaker 1: embarrassment as a tool,
Speaker 1: but I really appreciate you bringing it up today and sharing what the Star Island conversation about it was like because it is these kind of conversations they get you thinking
Speaker 1: thanks so much for bringing up the topic.
Speaker 2: My pleasure.
Speaker 2: Did you ever feel as if you've been left out?
Speaker 2: Well, that's when it really hurts
Speaker 2: when no one understands that you'd do a good job if you had a chance that you'd make good, you feel pretty low when you've been left out.
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 today. We have a salute from anonymous.
Speaker 1: I'd like to give an etiquette shout out to my local buy nothing group in Durham north Carolina
Speaker 1: in buy nothing groups like mine members share items they no longer need with their neighbors.
Speaker 1: People in my group are so gracious when it comes to both giving and receiving these items. I usually get a thank you message after I give an item to someone. I've also been the recipient of many generous gifts like curtains, kitchen items and even a pair of concert tickets when something doesn't go quite as planned
Speaker 1: needing to change a pickup time, forgetting to set out an item etcetera.
Speaker 1: People are usually incredibly understanding.
Speaker 1: It's so nice to see neighbors coming together and generously sharing with one another. I also love that it keeps things out of the landfill and saves us all money.
Speaker 1: Thank you for the awesome show. Grateful in north Carolina is a great salute.
Speaker 2: Thank you grateful in north Carolina for this. I want to buy
Speaker 1: nothing group. I need to join one of these
Speaker 2: does front porch forum kind of work like a buy nothing group for you.
Speaker 1: I think so. And then there's facebook has another version that there's some kind of facebook thing that you can do. Um but yeah, I would say that front porch forum would be what I do, I think does a lot of this finding cool stuff on front porch forum.
Speaker 2: She absolutely does. And she puts out old stuff that we're sort of cycling past in our kids cycle. Um, and
Speaker 2: it definitely works like this. Buy nothing group, the sort of smaller front porch forum just for the ducks berry community.
Speaker 2: But it is such a reminder that those communities function on the good graces of the people that participate in them and when you have one that's working well, it can be such a delight on so many levels. The human level as well as the practical stuff. Level
Speaker 1: grateful in north Carolina. Thank you so much for this etiquette salute.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you for listening.
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Speaker 1: Our show is edited by Kris Albertine and assistant produced by Bridget, Dowd. Thanks, Chris and Bridget.