Why It’s Important to Accept a Compliment

What is your initial response to someone giving you a sincere compliment? Do you say “thank you” or brush it off? An area of etiquette that many people struggle with is correctly responding to compliments. They have given me every excuse in the book – they feel that saying “thank you” makes them seem egotistical, they disagree with the person, they think the person may be teasing them, etc. The list goes on and on and on.

A little secret to etiquette is to focus more on the other person than yourself. You don’t have to justify why you’re dressed up or wearing make up. You don’t need to give a 20-minute monologue on where you found the top and the spectacular deal you got. Don’t fret over the fact you’re not where you want to be. You just need to say thanks. Genuine thanks.

We’re taught to keep to ourselves and to look out for ourselves. However, I truly believe that we are meant to be with others. We are meant to have relationships of all kinds and learning how to correctly interact with others is a key part of that relationship flourishing.

I encourage you to accept the compliment when someone steps out on a limb to give one instead of dismissing it, essentially dismissing their opinion and thought. It isn’t always easy to get out of your comfort zone and say something kind to a stranger. You are who you’re meant to be.

The RSVP Challenge

Happy Thursday! I’m not sure when school starts for you, but here in Sulphur Springs, we’re down to 12 days and counting. I have completely mixed emotions. I’m so proud of my daughter, and she is so excited to start the first grade. However, I’m also nervous and can’t believe she’s big enough to go to the first grade. I want to simultaneously protect her and see how well she flies on her own. Confusing? Try feeling all of that at the same time.

We’re on the brink of cool weather, warm sweaters, leaves, pumpkins and all things fall. With that, each year, I always notice an uptick in invitations. Birthday parties, Halloween parties, cookie parties, etc.

So, to help us become more helpful to others, I’m encouraging everyone to join in on my RSVP challenge! The goal is to RSVP within three days of receiving an invitation by the sender’s preferred method. If it doesn’t state how to RSVP, I encourage calling to let them know if you will/will not be able to attend.

Hosting a party is stressful enough with the cleaning, buying of food, cooking of food and on and on and on….let’s not add something else to the pile. It’s a simple, FREE way to become more helpful to others. I hope you’ll join in!

Correct Correspondence – Reader Q&A

Q. I wanted to see if you would be willing to give a little clarification on how to address people on an envelope. Specifically, with titles and without titles. Also, what about women who don’t change their last name after marriage? I appreciate your help!

A. Thank you for reading! I am more than happy to help. Let’s start with the basics. If John Smith and Jane Smith are married and are of equal ranks, it would Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. If you choose a more informal approach it would be Jane and John Smith. The old adage is, “you never separate a man from his name.” Yes, it’s a little dated, but it’s a decent way to remember which name goes first. If Jane had kept her maiden name of Johnson, it would be Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Johnson. She would never be addressed as Mrs. Smith, as she didn’t take that name. She would be Ms. Johnson. Now, let’s say she did take his last name of Smith. Traditionally, she would always be referred to as Mrs. John Smith and not Mrs. Jane Smith. Nowadays, it is completely acceptable to list Mrs. Jane Smith, if that is her preference.

If Jane is a doctor, and her husband is not, on the envelope it would be Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith. If they are both doctors, it may read Drs. Jane and John Smith.

If children are included on the envelope, they are addressed on a separate line below their parents’ names. For a boy, traditionally under the age of 10, the title of Master is to be used. He drops having a title after 10 until he turns 18, at which time he becomes a Mister and warrants his own invitation, even if he lives with his parents.

Girls traditionally did not have a title until age 10. It’s very common now, though, to refer to a female as Miss from birth on. At 18, she, too, receives her own invitation, even if she resides with her parents. I hope this helps!

 

 

Ball Field Etiquette

Welcome, Summer! This time of year brings long evenings, cool swims in the pool, watermelon and baseball with friends. Each year I notice an increase of parents acting less than, um, parental at the ball field. It’s almost as if something happens at the ball field where their brain no longer knows right from wrong. Winning is their sole obsession.

Winning is wonderful. I’m a Type A perfectionist. I want to win. It’s fueled my desire to work hard and succeed.

To my disadvantage, though, I have let that desire to win stop me from trying if I didn’t think I had something in the bag. Learning to lose gracefully is a sign of emotional maturity. It’s also a gift that many do not possess.

The desire to win is not evil.

The desire to win at the expense of anything else is wrong.

I usually don’t write in absolutes. However, I wholeheartedly stand by my statement. We have gotten away from grace. We don’t allow ourselves the grace to fall, so we don’t feel the need to extend grace to others. But, oh, how we’re missing out on a full life when we miss out on grace. Coaches, parents, fans, players – we all have a responsibility at the ball field, regardless of whether it’s Little League or MLB.

  1. Be a good sport. Calls will be missed. Players will make mistakes. Coaches will play the wrong player. Yelling at whoever messed up will not fix the mistake. The only thing is does is add fuel to the fire. Also, keep in mind everyone there is human, including you. That call may have looked a little different if you had been in a different seat. More than anything, be a good sport.
  2. Do not belittle anyone. This includes anyone who is in the stands, any player and any coach. Anyone. It is perfectly acceptable to cheer for your team. However, booing for the other team does not make your team any better. (It also doesn’t make their team any worse, just for the record.)
  3. Appreciate the talent. Some people think that their team or child is just God’s gift to this earth and that no one else could possibly ever find favor. A good fan will appreciate the talent and hard work the opposing team shows. Again, no one is saying you can’t cheer for your team. But by appreciating their talent and work, you understand you aren’t entitled to anything. Also, as a player, by realizing the talent the other team has, you’ll be able to better train and play your absolute best.
  4. At all times show respect.

By focusing on only winning, regardless of whether or not that win was deserved, we are instilling poor morals and values onto the next generation. Yelling and belittling is easy. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It takes true strength to see the players and coaches as valuable human beings. It takes true strength to see  beyond the moment.

 

If you have a child in a sport, I’d like to leave you with this final poem.

 

He’s Just a Little Boy by Chaplain Bob Fox

 

He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast.

The bases are loaded; the die has been cast.

Mom and Dad cannot help him; he stands all alone.

A hit at this moment would send his team home.

 

The ball meets the plate; he swings, and he misses.

There’s a groan from the crowd, with some boos and some hisses.

A thoughtless voice cries, “Strike out the bum.”

Tears fill his eyes; the game’s no longer fun.

 

So open up your heart and give him a break,

For it’s moments like this, a man you can make.

Please keep this in mind when you hear someone forget.

He is just a little boy and not a man, yet.

 

 

 

Long Live the Guest Book

A few years ago I took a history walk from a local historian and our current mayor, John Sellers. Now, while John knows just about everything there is to know about Hopkins County, he actually speaks all over Texas and the USA. We were touring an old home on College Street, and this home was once the hub for many parties. He said that prior to the tour he was looking through an old guest book, and he came across his mother’s signature, signed with her maiden name. For some reason, this story left a major impression on me.

I think back to all of the parties and gatherings we’ve had at our home, and, while we do a great job of taking a group picture at every event, I couldn’t help but wonder what piece of history we may have missed. So, I started looking for guest books. I found dozens in the $100+ range. Most were designed for weddings, but I found this Guest Book: Illustrated Nature Edition for less than $15.
I absolutely love it! I’m doing my best to find another one that allowed for menus of parties, etc., which I thought would be too fun to look back on. One day I have a feeling the pendulum will swing the other way, and our grandkids will enjoy the hardcopy items of things the internet just can’t replace. I’ve purchased this book and have it in our entryway. If you visit, plan to sign. 🙂

 

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