By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor What is the etiquette for common personal mishaps whether they happen to us or the person with us? We’ve all experienced them, so we can relate to the embarrassment of having spinach caught in our teeth, our zipper accidentally undone, or a tag on our clothes sticking up. They’re common calamities that cause us discomfort and those with us to feel awkward because they don’t know what exactly to say or do, or if it’s better to pretend not to notice. Sometimes when we bring the mishap to the attention of the other person, our kindness throws him a social life preserver! Other times, our good intentions end up embarrassing the person to the point that her outward smile of thanks just might be covering the social noose she feels we’ve tightened around her neck. Honestly, it’s hard to know what to do. I might always want to know; you might never want to know; your coworker might want to know some of the time, but not all the time. It’s pure personal preference. The skills I have for you today are best practices with strangers. With others, use your sixth sense and alter them… Read More …
By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor
"It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." ~Benjamin Disraeli
Nit-picking—it seems to almost be a national sport the way some folks participate in it so frequently and enthusiastically. Sometimes when people speak, sadly, their words seem more spit out than thought out. These are the words of the "correctors," "nit-pickers" and "accusers."
Correcting others over small things is rarely called for, it seldom wins anyone friends, and on the rare occasion when it is called for, it's tricky to accomplish politely. For these reasons, it's important to know how, when and when... Read More …
By: Maralee McKee
"I'll be waiting to pick you up!" I assured Marc. "I'll be standing right here when you get out!"
He shifted his backpack, gave me a nervous smile, and said, "Yes, ma'am. I'll be glad to see you!"
It was the first day of a new school year and my oldest son's first day ever at his former home school co-op. Nervously, he pushed open the heavy door to the auditorium where all the students gathered first class. The freshly painted metal door shut hard behind him, separating me from my boy.
He knew no one - and, being shy, he... Read More …
By: Maralee McKee
People email me a lot
Until recently, my in-box was overflowing with queries and complaints about the problems that arise because no one RSVP's. It's sad, but I think people have given up hope that others will be courteous enough to let them know if they should prepare a place at their party for them. Maybe it's because I've shared the etiquette of it in posts like this one
and this quick one
,... Read More …
By: Maralee McKee
Knowing how to make a great first impression is probably the number one topic of importance in all of etiquette land. That's because it puts you in charge of not only the way you present yourself to the world, it also determines the ways others think about, respond to, and interact with you.
And, it all happens in the blink of an eye.
Psychologists and sociologists differ a little on exactly how long it takes for someone to form an opinion of us. They argue for anything from three-seconds to thirty-seconds. The vast majority of professionals place the amount of... Read More …
You were asked to be the Godmother of your dear friend's baby. When first asked, you were humbled, surprised and a little anxious. Mostly though, you were happy and honored!
Since denominations and churches have different guidelines on who can and can't be a Godparent, ranging from "no guidelines at all" to a lengthy list of personal and spiritual prerequisites, you did your research online and then contacted the church personally to double check. All was well, and you said yes to the parents.
The ceremony was meaningful! The reception was memorable!
Ava's parents loved the perfect "Godmother" gifts you gave her.
Something for... Read More …
Leo Tolstoy began Anna Karenina
with his famous line, “All happy families resemble one another….”
He struck truth.
Families that define themselves as “happy” share certain characteristics: standards for interacting with one another (manners) and agreed upon ways of doing so, (etiquette) and they’ve made these courtesies habit.
Are the courtesies stuffy or old-fashioned? Nope!
Are the courtesies personality suppressing? Yikes, No!
Are the habits the same for the adults and children in the home? Yep! (That's because, “Do as I say not as I do.” is hypocritical, and it doesn’t work.)
How do these courtesies make a difference? They raise the happiness quotient in our... Read More …
By: Maralee McKee~
We all know a few difficult people.
What is it with them?
You're quietly and happily going about your business and they sweep across your day or your life with a tornado of fault finding, pot stirring, can't-be-pleased-no-matter-what negativity that leaves you feeling stressed, dismayed and sometimes even hopeless.
As my grandmother use to say when she came across a difficult person "When they die they're going to be complaining about the weather in Heaven!"
I think my precious Grandma nailed it!
If it's a rude store clerk, cab driver, or restaurant server, we can give them a double dose of graciousness and... Read More …
By: Maralee McKee
Note: Please read the post before watching the video. You'll enjoy the video more!
Behind every child who grows into a great adult is a great mom. Be that mom! Awarded the Mom's Choice Gold Award for Excellence in Parenting Books
, Manners That Matter for Moms
is THE book that will show you how. You'll discover with every turn of the page how to teach your child the manners that matter for a successful life.
In honor of the book's anniversary, it gives me great joy to share the official book trailer for Read More …