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Social Etiquette


Week 3: Social Etiquette is Key

Week 3: Social Etiquette is Key

Hi! Welcome to week 3 in a series of 7 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me—an article I wrote for Hello, Darling Magazine. Last week I shared Laugh! Cry! Be Angry! Just Feel Something! If you didn’t get the chance to read it, either scroll down or click here. For those of you who did see the post, did you get a chance to express yourself—and show others you aren’t made of stone? If you feel comfortable, share your experience in the comments. I realize that some of these posts hit us right in the heart. I know some bring up uncomfortable memories. I am hearing from you…but through email and private messages. Thank you for letting me know you appreciate these posts and they are helping you in some way.  Now…onto week 3.

Here is the story I shared with Hello, Darling:

In high school and into adulthood, I seriously lacked in the social department. I laughed at the wrong moment in a joke. I said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I repeated myself to the point I would become annoying and irritating. I didn’t know any better. No one ever shared with me the secrets of self-awareness and reading social cues.

I remember high school well. For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged. Not immediately. And certainly not all the time. But, there were moments.

There were also moments I made a complete fool of myself. I remember those all too well. Like the time I decided to start a food fight and threw an apple against the stage doors. Yep. I confused everyone with that little trick. I have to wonder what my peers thought. What is wrong with her? Is she special needs? If I remember correctly most everyone just stared at me for a moment then pretended it didn’t happen. I can say I learned my lesson very well. I never threw another apple against a stage door. Truly, I didn’t.

You can attribute some of my lack simply to youth and lack of maturity. But not all. By the time a child enters high school, she should be somewhat trained in determining what is and what is not appropriate behavior. All my social etiquette do’s and don’ts came from learning experiences. All of them. They were hard lessons to be sure. But I can tell you I remember each and every one of them. So, perhaps someone did me a favor.

People say we learn our best lessons from experience. At least that is what my daughter says…no matter how much I want her to learn from my mistakes and save herself the heartache.

John Maxwell puts it like this:

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”

Experience truly is our best teacher.

The question is, are we recognizing our own mistakes? Are we learning from them? Are we fixing them?

Only you know the answer to those three questions as they pertain to your life. I can say mine is an ongoing project. I am constantly seeing my faults, learning from them, and correcting wrong behavior.

I have no choice in the matter. I want to move forward in what God has for me and growth is a requirement.

Have a fantastic week!