Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Speechless!

I apologize for not writing yesterday, I was unavoidably detained.

I want to write about those situations...we've all been in them before, when someone says or does something that is just rude. How do we respond? Do we simply smile? Do we tell them exactly what we think of them? A few years ago, a friend of mine in California was pregnant and due in a few weeks. At work she was constantly hounded about when she would finally have the baby and questions were posed like, "Aren't you overdue?". These questions and comments are never appropriate, and in many cases, can be hurtful...so let me help you learn how to respond with tact to these difficult comments and questions.

  1. Remember that you are never under obligation to answer any questions posed by friends, acquaintances, or strangers.
  2. If someone makes an outright rude comment, you can always say, "That really hurts my feelings". There is nothing wrong with letting them know that they've hurt you...just don't react in anger and lash out at them.
  3. If someone asks a personal question that you don't want to answer, you can respond like this: "That's a personal question that I'd rather not answer right now". If you can't say that, you can either change the subject, or say something like, "you know what? I forgot that I have to run to the bank before it closes" or something else that you had to do that day.
  4. Age questions: I think all women get to a point where they don't appreciate being asked their age (and it's rude to ask) so you can always say: "thirty nine and holding" or some other funny comment. Humor is a great way to deflect the rudeness.

If you are in a conversation, these are things you should never say:
  1. Wow, you're huge, weren't you due like weeks ago? (this is so insulting to the woman who is pregnant, not to mention hurtful). You should never comment on how large a pregnant lady has become, or how she doesn't look healthy. The only comments you should make are things like: "you are simply glowing", "I love your wardrobe, you always look so cute", "aren't you so excited to have this addition to your family?", or "I think pregnant women are beautiful". If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
  2. Age- it's never appropriate for one adult to ask another adult their age. You may be in a conversation where age comes up and if they volunteer their age that's fine, but don't ask!
  3. Weight/Looks- if someone you know has gained a few pounds, or looks tired, do not say these things. Find something positive to concentrate on like their hair, cute shoes, fantastic bubbly personality...whatever.
  4. Personal questions- as stated above, don't ask personal questions, no one likes feeling cornered. If you are a close friend, the conversation will naturally become personal and if you're an acquaintance, you have no business asking personal questions.
The point of etiquette is to make others around you feel comfortable. Think before you speak so that you can be sure to always make others feel at home in your presence.


Rebecca said...

I'm so glad you wrote about rude pregnancy questions. I couldn't believe the things people thought they could say to me when I was pregnant! And it's not just the "you're huge" comments. I was pretty small all throughout my pregnancy and people would make comments that were very personal and made me feel like I wasn't taking care of my baby or that there was something wrong because I was so small.

Tanyetta said...