I recently met up with a friend I haven’t seen in months. We were catching up and she mentioned that she just lost her job. I was at a loss for the right thing to say and said nothing at all. What do you say when someone shares an unhappy life event?
Finding the right words when someone is struggling is not easy. We find that words seem trivial and fail us.
This is especially true when we are caught off-guard. We immediately find ourselves searching for the right thing to say.
Dear Jacquelyn, I’m not trying to take the easy way out, but I have received several gifts over the years that I have no intention of using. I am considering re-gifting them this year. When I ask around, I get mixed answers about this. What’s your opinion on re-gifting?
Dear Reader, At one time it was considered poor taste to re-gift. Today, however, it has become widely acceptable.
There’s nothing wrong with thoughtfully passing along an item that you yourself won’t use to someone who will appreciate it.
Dear Jacquelyn, My mother has always handled sending out the holiday cards. Now that I’ve moved away from home, I’m sending cards for the first time. What is the basic etiquette on sending out holiday cards? And, if someone I overlooked sends me a card, do I need to send one back?
Dear Reader, The ins and outs of holiday-card etiquette is one of those little things in life that can seem overwhelming.
Dear Jacquelyn, A couple of weeks ago I attended a baby shower for a friend. I did not know most of the people there. I found myself watching everyone and not talking. I normally am not at a loss for words with my friends and family, but in this situation I was totally out of my comfort zone. I did not want to come across as disinterested, but I felt awkward. Do you have any suggestions about how to engage in small talk?
Dear Jacquelyn, The holidays are coming at us quickly and I always get confused about whom I should be tipping who normally does not get tips during the year. Also, how much should I be tipping so that I don’t look like a Scrooge and at the same time not blow my own holiday budget?
Good for you: planning early.
Why do some people not say, “Excuse me.” or “I beg your pardon?” When I am standing in line in a supermarket or drugstore, someone will rush ahead of me to ask the clerk a question. They never say, “Excuse me.” When I go to the bank or restaurant, some people never hold the door for other folks. What is going on with this world?
Dear Reader, Phrases go in and out of style and very few people say, “Excuse me” anymore. It appears many have lost a general sense of respect toward each other and consideration is becoming extinct.
Dear Jacquelyn, I recently took a bus trip to New York City. The bus was packed and I was seated before the long line of passengers piled onto the bus. The seat next to me was available and a woman sat down next to me. As soon as the bus pulled out, I noticed she had a cough and head cold. I knew I was in for an unpleasant bus ride. I worried that I would catch her cold. Why do people travel when they are visibly sick? What do you recommend I do if this happens again?
Dear Jacquelyn, I’ve noticed for years now that people don’t bother to get dressed up to attend church services anymore. When I was a child, putting on nice Sunday clothing was expected. I know that I am not alone when I say that I grow weary of seeing people come to church in clothes that they would wear to clean out the garage. Why don’t people wear their Sunday-best to church anymore?
Leaving a voicemail message makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know what to say and how much information to leave. Many times, when I hear the dreaded recording, I just figure, I’ll try again later when they’re there. When I do muster up the courage to leave a voicemail message, I tend to stumble a bit or I feel like I’m rambling on. How much information do I really need to leave? Any tips would be appreciated.
I’m a freshman in college and this is the first time I’ve had a roommate. I’m having trouble adjusting because we have drastically different social lives and study habits. Our dorm room is small and we can’t seem to get out of each other’s way. What can I do to survive living with my roommate?
First-year college students like you have a lot on their minds: making new friends, navigating the campus, and choosing a major.