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Knowing what to do before you encounter a situation makes them easier to navigate. Gain the polish of your favorite style icons here and navigate your encounters with style, confidence, and grace.


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The  5  Manners  for Dealing with Difficult People - www.mannersmentor.com

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 kindness to try to win them over from the dark side. If that doesn’t work, we say goodbye and find solace in the fact that we won’t have to deal with them again. Yet, what if the difficult person is someone close to us: an in-law, boss, co-worker, neighbor, sibling, parent, friend, (Maybe that makes them a “friendemey.”) or anyone else that we can’t choose to ignore? In these cases it’s time to bring out the gold standard (manners) for living out the golden rule. Without it, we aren’t going to have much of…    Read More …


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By: Maralee McKee Today’s question is one we all need to know how to best answer. Because, whether it’s something common like the flu or a dire announcement from the oncologist, our life, or that of someone we care about, is going to be altered either for a season or eternally by illness. Illness tends to strike quickly, and when it does, we’re thrown off balance. In the midst of it is not the time to wrestle with what to do. The best time to know how to graciously help a friend who’s battling illness, or how to accept or decline someone’s help if illness touches you or someone in our family is NOW. Pre-kowledge is a prerequisite for best dealing with any situation. When it comes to illness, we want to use the gold standard of interacting with one another so we can forgo awkwardness or second guessing. Let’s discover manners for accepting help when you or someone in your house is sick, and for offering your help when someone you care about is ill. Q & A Thursday Today’s question arrived last week in my email inbox. If you have a question for this segment, you can send…    Read More …


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  By: Maralee McKee Summer is around the corner, and the  block is short. I know this because Corbett, my youngest, tells me everyday (multiple times) how many days he has until his homeschool co-op begins summer break. (In case you’re dying of curiosity about this, as he assumes everyone is, it’s sixteen days, and that includes weekends!) Marc,  my oldest, has an additional week of his co-op, but for both of them, as I’m sure it is for your children, summer vacation is so close they’re almost bursting with anticipation for the sleeping-in and staying-up-late, the no-rush mornings, and eating some of their summer favorites. Foods that just seem to taste their best when served outside on a warm evening with a bit of a breeze to keep the heat down and the flies from buzzing about. There are lots of summer favorites. Two that make just about every list are fried chicken and corn-on-the cob. As I was going through readers’ questions today, I came across the same question from two different people in two different states. Both came from audience members at churches where I spoke on How to Become Everything You Were Created to Be. (I speak…    Read More …


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   By: Maralee McKee Hello! The weekend is almost upon us. I hope you have something fun planned for yours! If you’d like your weeks to fly by so that weekends come around quickly, and you’re anything like me, I suggest you take up blogging. You see, I’m a slow writer. The words drip out like a faucet with a tiny leak. Blip…Blop…Blip……………………..Blop. A sentence can take 20-minutes. I don’t write in paragraphs. I write in syllables. By the time I finish Monday’s mentoring post. It’s time to start Thursday’s Q&A. No complaints. I love sharing my passion for turning self-consciousness into self-confidence and passing along skills that let us shape the way others perceive, interact and respond to us. I also love mentoring people and watching their authentic best emerge transforming them into who they were always meant to be. I’m blessed to be living out my purpose. If you feel led, say a prayer for me that the words will come in spurts more like a geyser and less like a barely dripping faucet. It’s time to start my next Manners Mentor writing project, and I need between 45,000 and 60,000 words to flow forth in just several…    Read More …


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By: Maralee McKee Hello and Happy Thursday! “Wait, Maralee.” you say with a reassuring voice because you know I’m confused. Plus, you’re kind. Instead of being angry, you’re worried about the health of my current mental state. “Today is Monday, not Thursday. You remember! Don’t you? Your posts are called “Monday Manners with Maralee” and this is your post, so today is defintitly Monday.” Well, not to worry. I’m fine! Today is a dress rehearsal for a new feature of the Manners Mentor blog that will happen for you every Thursday starting this week. Allow me to share it with you! Q&A Thursday’s I wanted more time with you, and this will give us quality time. Even though the question might be someone else’s, I’ve found that if one person has a question, half or more of the other people who hear or read it think, “I’ve wondered about that, too.” Especially us, that’s because members of the Manners Mentor blog family have a lot in common. We care about how we treat others, and while we would never allow ourselves to be a doormat for the sake of appearances, (yeah us!) we always start out on the high road. That’s…    Read More …


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A Few of Their 100's of Mother's Rings

  By: Maralee McKee There’s more to opening a door than turning the knob or holding it for the next person. That’s why when you know the five specific manners of opening doors you unlock a lot. “A lot of what” you ask? The answer: goodwill, graciousness, and great possibilities! There’s just something nice about someone holding a door open for you. Don’t you think? And have you ever held the door open for someone, and they didn’t say thank you? It’s the worst. That’s because the person isn’t holding up their end of the unwritten social code we all know (and appreciate): hold the door open for the next person(s) and say thank you when someone does it for you. Not long ago, Corbett, my youngest son, and I were going in Barnes & Noble. Corbett ran ahead a few feet to open the door for several ladies. Each one walked through and never smiled, made eye contact, or said anything to him. “Mama, those ladies didn’t say thank you. I’m not going to hold the door open for anyone else…ever.” he said half in disappointment, half in indignation. “Babe” I tried to encourage him, “You can’t help what other…    Read More …


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By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor As a patient, time moves at an other-worldy pace in the hospital. One day and night in Room 777 at St. Angels of Healing seems five times longer than one vacation day in the Bahamas, and at least twice as long as a bad day at work, or one spent with toddler triplets cranky with colds. When we’re in the hospital we are definitely not at our best. We’re usually scared or at least feeling anxious, and we’re longing for the comfort of the familiar: Our family Our friends Our home. While friends can be a big part of recovery by lifting spirits, bringing the outside world in, and reminding us that we’re loved, there’s a lot more than popping-in for a visit that goes into being a great friend to someone in the hospital. In fact, sometimes, showing up isn’t the right thing to do. To be a great companion, you’ll want to know the Gold Standard of what to say and do to make sure you’re making the patient feel better instead of worse from accidental wear. From knowing when and if you should visit, what gift(s) you should bring, how long you…    Read More …


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  By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor None of us are immune to gossip. We’ve all been guilty of talking about someone who wasn’t in the room, and we’ve all been talked about behind our backs. Some dismiss gossip as harmless chit-chat that pumps a little excitement in the air of a boring office, classroom, or anywhere conversation. However, gossip is a ticking bomb of rumors, innuendos, half-truths, and hurtful truths. We need to stay clear of it to protect ourselves and others from its collateral damage. ~But how do we know if we’re spreading gossip or sharing legitmate news or concern about the other person? ~If someone is spreading gossip or rumors about us, how can we stop the person (whether the stories are true or not)? ~When we hear others gossiping, how can we stop them without being rude? Actually, the answer to all three questions is, “Very easily!” You need two things: to know the manners for protecting yourself and others from gossip and the moral courage to do the right thing. The manners are easy right from the start. The courage to confront someone who’s talking behind your back, or to break up a gossip fest among…    Read More …


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By: Maralee McKee I remember the day well. Actually, too well. I mostly shrug if off now, but at the time it had me shaking even though the woman yelling and berating me wasn’t anywhere near me. She was on the other end of the phone, off air, while I was doing a weekly hour-long radio spot that I hosted for more than five-years. We covered hundreds of topics during those five years. None of then had come close to generating the passion of the topic of pet etiquette. Some callers were defending me. Some wanted to devour me. If you’re like me, you love your pet. You spend time, attention, and money on it. You tend to its needs and wants, play with it, take it on vacation with you when possible, and when not, you have a special babysitter you trust as if he or she were watching your children. You wouldn’t harm your pet for anything. And, when a precious pet dies, we mourn as if we’ve lost a dear friend. Because we have. Your tears flow for months. Your memories last a lifetime. No good parent would disagree that we need to teach our sons and…    Read More …


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By: Maralee McKee Valentine’s Day: the most romantic, lovey-dovey, glorious day of affection, gifts, and expressions of love of the year. Or, a day you wish you could sleep through so you don’t have to look at even one gushing, bouquet carrying, heart shaped chocolate eating, drunk on love person. I’ve been on both sides of the Valentine’s Day love fest, and on both sides feelings are deep and emotions are high. Valentine’s Day came just sixteen-weeks after the death of my first husband from cancer. I was twenty-seven-years-old. I thought, How am I going to survive this every year. The day shattered my already fragile heart into a thousand shards that cut me from head to toe. Three-years later, I was a newlywed. Kent and I enjoyed the most romantic of first Valentine’s. We spent a long weekend in a lush bed-and-breakfast in Savannah, Georgia. My heart was whole and filled with the emotions and feelings that poets try to put into words but fall short. There’s a problem with the way we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It should never hurt, because it should never be an either-or day. Valentine’s Day should be a day that no one feels left out….    Read More …


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By: Maralee McKee You’ve just been handed a gift and are about to open it. All eyes are on you. If what’s in the box isn’t what you would have picked out for yourself, you hope your face will hide your feelings. You don’t want to hurt the gift giver. And, besides, you know it’s the thought that counts and not the gift. You also realize you’re not Meryl Streep or Robert Downey, Junior. You don’t know how convincingly you can act like you adore a gift you’ll never cherish. Not to worry. From now on, you’ve got this! Follow the steps I share in this post and whether the gift is very “you,” or has you wondering, “Really? You thought I would like this? You’re my friend, but do you know me at all?” These seven manners of opening gifts will show you how to receive presents graciously while being authentic. It won’t even matter if the gift turns out to be something you’re going to cherish or try to forget. If you’re hosting a bash and would rather people didn’t bring any gifts, that’s fine most of the time, but not always. For the full scoop check out, Does “No Gifts…    Read More …


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  By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor It holds many of the details of our lives and brings the whole world into the palm of our hand! No wonder we’re attached to our smartphones. In fact, if ours is lost we panic. It’s a hard thing to replace from scratch. Its become so essential (and addictive?) that we each need to consider for ourselves “Do we own our smartphone, or is it just smart enough that it owns us?” The answer? It depends. Do we use it as a device to get things done quickly and effecitnely so we can focus on people. Or, do we get lost in it’s labyrinth of apps, email, and texts, and inadvertently elevate its status to a type of DNA-less “human” giving it the gift of our attention that belongs to the persons around us. We probably do get lost in it more than we realize. I’m guilty. My most recent example was last Thursday evening. I was in bed holding a text conversation with a friend while my husband sat beside me watching a TV show he had recorded so that we could experience it together. About twenty-minutes into my texting, Kent said sweetly,…    Read More …



 
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