Bethlehem Press

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Respectfully Yours: Guidelines for email

Friday, February 22, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I find myself yearning for the old days of just having a landline telephone. My family and friends text and email all hours of the day. I don’t keep my cell phone with me all the time and I’m not always online. Everyone seems to want an immediate response. Are there rules for response time so as not to offend anyone?

Dear Reader, It seems the good, old-fashioned telephone call has gone by the wayside.

Although fast, email and texting bring about their own set of challenges.

Respectfully Yours: Phone-free dinner

Saturday, February 16, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I am planning on hosting a large family dinner. Our family doesn’t get together often and I really want to spend time talking and catching up. The problem is that I am concerned some family members will be distracted by their cell phones. I would like for everyone to interact and make fun, new memories. How do I ask them to put away their cell phones?

Dear Reader,

Hosting a family dinner is a great opportunity to reconnect and is so important it should be done as often as possible.

Respectfully Yours: Personal space in line

Friday, February 8, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I get very uncomfortable when I’m standing in a line and the person behind me is standing too close. When I try to put a little distance between me and the other person, the person always seem to move closer. How close should you stand next to someone in a line?

Dear Reader,

When a person is within arm’s reach, or even worse, close enough to feel their breath, they are in your personal space.

Anytime someone steps across that invisible line, it’s natural to feel uneasy and uncomfortable.

Respectfully Yours: Pushy salesperson

Saturday, February 2, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, The other day, I went to a big retailer and crossed paths with a salesperson who was pushy. After the first couple of tries to excuse myself, I started to feel uncomfortable. I was not interested in the product he was selling and he would not take “No” for an answer. How do you politely tell a persistent salesperson you are not interested?

Dear Reader,

Respectfully Yours: Turning the tables

Friday, January 25, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, I was out to dinner with my husband and after we were seated, I quickly realized I was seated next to a blazing heater and right under a sound speaker. I asked our server if we could switch to a different table. She moved us to another table but seemed annoyed. Is it bad manners to ask for a different table when you’ve already been seated?

Dear Reader, Sometimes it’s OK. Sometimes, it’s not. The most common restaurant protocol calls for a server to check with the host or hostess to see if tables are reserved.

Respectfully Yours: Dinner party

Friday, January 18, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I was shocked to see a guest arrive at a dinner party with her own food. The person did so because of being a picky-eater, not because of a dietary restriction or allergy. The host was gracious and did not say anything. What are your thoughts about bringing your own food to a dinner party?

Dear Reader, Being invited to a dinner party is a wonderful gift and a host will go through a lot of trouble planning and preparing a meal. Not mentioning ahead of time that you are bringing a casserole will seem like an insult.

Respectfully Yours: Declining alcohol

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, The one thing that sets me apart from my friends is I do not drink alcohol. A big part of my problem is feeling awkward in social situations. Is there a casual, polite response I could say when someone asks why I’m not drinking?

Dear Reader, Not everyone chooses to include drinking in their lifestyle and it is possible to say no to alcohol in a polite way.

There’s absolutely no reason to feel awkward. Not everyone drinks alcohol.

Respectfully Yours: Thank-you notes

Friday, January 4, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn, I know that you’re supposed to send thank-you notes for birthday and other gifts throughout the year. I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding whether you should send thank-you notes for every single gift you receive at Christmastime.

Dear Reader, It’s a grand and gracious act to consider sending each individual a thank-you note for a Christmas gift.

Respectfully Yours: How to eat pizza

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I was engaged in a friendly debate recently on what is the right etiquette for eating pizza. When, if ever, is it OK for someone to eat pizza with a fork and knife? I say eating pizza with your hands is totally acceptable. Am I right?

Dear Reader, This answer depends entirely on your location and who you are eating with. Many foods are meant to be eaten with your hands.

Wraps with fillings may fall out, tacos, crispy bacon, and corn on the cob should be eaten with your hands.

Respectfully Yours: Say the right thing

Friday, December 14, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

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?

Dear Reader,

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.